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Another FOX News Guest Blames Muslims For Anti-Muslim Bias

Reported by Ellen - January 29, 2007 -

Discredited terrorism “expert” Steve Emerson was on Hannity & Colmes Friday night (1/26/07) to whip up some more hatred in FOX News viewers against Muslims. Emerson was there to complain about Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ meeting with some Muslim-American Groups to discuss ways of combating anti-Islamic bigotry. With video.

During his introduction, Alan Colmes explained Gonzales’ meeting. Colmes continued, “But tonight, some people are raising questions about the very groups (Gonzales) met with. Is their own rhetoric contributing to the problem?”

Emerson was there without a balancing guest despite the fact that as FAIR has reported, his “priority is not so much news as it is an unrelenting attack against Arabs and Muslims," and, as Media Matters reported, he has a history of peddling misinformation. Emerson is just the latest in a line of anti-Muslim hate-mongers among regular FOX News guests. For example, last month, Melanie Morgan suggested that only a Muslim with "evil intentions" would resent being racially profiled and regular Hannity-sub Rich Lowry said that it's "rational" for Americans to be suspicious of Muslims.

Emerson complained about Gonzales. “What he’s done here is to legitimize these groups and discredit genuine Muslim moderates.”

How Gonzales’ meeting discredited “genuine Muslim moderates,” I never figured out. But Emerson went on to make the dubious claim that the groups Gonzales did meet with are telling its members not to co-operate with the FBI. “I have evidence of Muslim Public Affairs Council saying that to its members. I have evidence of the fact that they construe the acts of prosecution against Islamic terrorists as a war against Islam. They’re the ones who are radicalizing their community.”

If MPAC is saying such a thing to their members, it’s being done in private. Their website encourages co-operation with law enforcement and offers recommendations to mosques on how to assist in the war on terror.

Chuck Norris (yes, THAT Chuck Norris) was substituting for Sean Hannity. Norris had told a previous guest that he thought the discredited scene cut by ABC from Path to 9/11, which was due to be aired by Hannity’s America last night, “should not have been in the film,” if it did not happen. (ABC admitted the scene was “improvised.”) Now Norris sided against Emerson in his attacks on Muslims. “Don’t you believe that only 2% of the Muslim world are extremists? That 98% of the Muslims want, believe that the Koran teaches a tolerance for other religions?” I suspect Norris will not be substituting for Hannity again anytime soon.

Emerson said he didn’t know the percentages, which is odd for a so-called terrorism expert. But he made another dubious claim: “In the United States there have been various opinion polls, many of whom show that there are large numbers of Muslims in the U.S. that support military attacks on the United States or on military targets.”

Norris replied, “Well, how’re we going to deal with this because so many Muslims are being criticized and condemned for what a few are doing?”

“Nobody is criticizing innocent Muslims. Nobody is making a blanket generalization,” Emerson disingenuously said. He soon added, “You do have a minority that is propagating violence and carrying out terrorism. But we don’t see the clerics coming out unambiguously saying Hamas, Hezbollah are terrorist groups. All they do is say ‘We’re against terrorism.’”

Norris reiterated “I just hate to see 98% discriminated against because of the 2% that are causing all the problems.”

“Who is discriminating against them?” Emerson demanded. “They’re making it up.”

Colmes jumped in to remind Emerson about the group of Muslims kicked off a plane flying from Minneapolis to Phoenix “doing nothing more than praying.” Colmes added, “You see discrimination in this country all the time against Muslims... Certainly, Muslims are not held in high regard in many quarters in this country.”

“There’s a reason for that.” Emerson must have forgotten that he had just denied the existence of Muslim bias and accused Muslims of making it up. Now he changed his tune to blaming the Muslims for the bias Emerson had just said did not exist. “The fact is that the radical Islamic clerics who control the institutions, the media, the madrassats, all the other types of institutions – preach violence. They’re the ones who are causing the blame on the innocent Muslims.”