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After Hate Mongering About “Ground Zero Mosque,” Hannity Wonders Why America Is Perceived As Hostile To Muslims

Reported by Ellen - August 23, 2010 -

Unrepentant bigot and Islamophobe Sean Hannity, who has used his prime time television hour to fear monger that Sharia law “is creeping into the United States,” that “terrorists have infiltrated these extremist mosques that exist... here in America,” and that Obama’s Muslim advisor “shared the following thoughts about spreading Sharia law – take a look at this!” sounded genuinely puzzled as he wondered aloud why the United States is perceived as anti-Muslim. I guess all that plus Rush Limbaugh using the term “Imam Obama” to smear our president, and Newt Gingrich comparing the “ground zero mosque” to Nazis is just what goes for “robust dialogue” in Hannity’s mind.

The thought came to Hannity during a “very special focus group” session with Fox News’ favorite pollster, Frank Luntz, part of a special “ground zero mosque” program on Friday (8/20/10). As if Hannity hadn't already spent a zillion hours hate mongering talking about the proposed Islamic cultural center. In the first focus group segment, Luntz said that of the presumably 29 participants, 12 had voted for John McCain, 17 for Barack Obama. However, he never explained whether that was a genuine reflection of the American electorate or voters in New York. For all we know, each of the 17 Obama voters were Republicans. We’ve previously caught Luntz’ sneaky tactics with the make up of his focus groups so forgive me for being suspicious.

In the second focus group segment (excerpted below), one member spoke on behalf of the mosque. “We can’t forget that Muslims also died in that 9/11 attack also… We’re not supporting terrorism. We just want freedom of religion.”

Hannity started proselytizing against its imam. “The imam that’s spearheading it said, ‘America is an accessory to what happened (9/11). I find that statement abhorrent.” Hannity then “asked,” “Who agrees?” and held his hand up just in case somebody missed the hint.

Hannity forgot to mention that News Corp’s second-largest shareholder behind the Murdoch family said something similar. Yet Hannity seems to have no problem accepting money from that “abhorrent” source.

The lone focus group dissenter said that there are Muslims dying “because of our hands.”

In response, Hannity started arguing. I always thought the purpose of focus groups was to find out what other people think, not to try to persuade them. Not if you're Sean Hannity, apparently. He said, “We helped people in Kosovo, in Indonesia, in Kuwait we liberated people, in Afghanistan, in Iraq. We have helped the Muslim world and I’m not sure where this concept comes from that America is somehow hostile to Islam or the Muslim world.” Of course, Hannity was hostile to “helping people” in Kosovo and he can hardly wait to bomb Iran but I guess that doesn’t count. Check out Robert Greenwald’s terrific Rethink Afghanistan videos to see some of the “help” we have given in Afghanistan to civilians and women.

One gets the feeling that Hannity's notion of American tolerance for Muslims means we're not blindly executing them. But that's exactly what the Fox Nation community advocates.

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