Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Sean Hannity and Susan Estrich Use Religious Tolerance Discussion As Muslim-Bashing Platform

Reported by Ellen - August 17, 2007 -

Leave it to FOX News to tranform a discussion about a priest trying to build bridges between religions into a vehicle for attacking Muslims. But that’s what Sean Hannity and Susan Estrich (subbing for Alan Colmes) did last night as they turned a report of a Catholic bishop who suggested everyone use the term “Allah” for God into an excuse for vilifying Muslims. With video.

Estrich was full of disdain for Bishop Tiny Muskens from the start. She began the segment by saying, contemptuously, “You gotta hear this one. A Catholic bishop in Holland is causing outrage tonight – understandably – with his proposal for all Christians to use the name “Allah” when referring to God.”

FOXNews.com’s own report on this story notes that Arabic-speaking Christians use the word “Allah” when referring to God and that Muskens, who lived in Indonesia for eight years, said that priests there also used the word in mass. But, in their zeal to tarnish Muslims, neither Estrich nor Hannity seemed interested in knowing anything about Muskens’ reasoning.

Fortunately for viewers, the sole guest, Father Edward Beck offered some real balance, tolerance and understanding – which both hosts did their best to undermine.

“I think this guy is, with all due respect, NUTS!” Estrich said. And without waiting for any explanation from Beck, she segued right into her attack on Muslims. “Isn’t the real issue, at least from the Muslims I talk to, not Islam but terrorism and this guy seems to be confusing that. We need Muslim leaders to stand up and condemn terrorism.” She overlooked Beck’s critical but sympathetic explanations of Muskens in order to issue an edict to Muslims. “Isn’t the problem here that Muslim leaders, with all due respect, need to stand up and condemn terrorism for what it is?” Estrich asked again. “It’s the very minority of the community but they should be condemned.”

Beck pointed out that Muskens was trying to say, “Can we get together about God, at least? Can we say that we have one God and we’re trying to get to the same God? He’s going about it the wrong way but I think ultimately, that’s what he’s trying to say: Can we all get along?”

Hannity, of course, was not interested at all in Muskens’ message or building any bridges and moved straightaway to expanding on Estrich’s point as a means for his own, more vicious attacks. He began in his soft-spoken, disingenuously conciliatory tone. “Do you think that those that practice the Islamic faith, mainstream Muslims, have been outspoken enough in taking on those that want to hijack their religion, those that believe in the extremist views?”

When Beck gave the satisfying-to-Hannity answer that they had not, Hannity moved on to denigrating the Koran. “What about the Koran? What is one to make of the fact… take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends? What about all the talk of jihad?”

As Hannity argued that Christians should not take the name of Allah because, essentially, the faith didn’t deserve it, Beck said, “You have to realize that the name of God, what he’s trying to say, isn’t really the main issue. We can call God whatever we want. Some people don’t even say the name of God.”

“Christian” Hannity ignored that point in order to climb onto his bullyboy pulpit and demonize Muslims even further. But now he included those who strive for religious tolerance in his defamation. With his customary run-on sentences, he said, “I think this is 1936 all over again, I think we are in the midst of watching the rise of fascism and Nazism before our eyes, I think the extremist movement, the hijacking of religion is dramatically large, I think it’s going to have a huge impact on this world and I think there are very few people that want to face the fact that there are literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands that sympathize with this extremist point of view.”