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O’Reilly: Speaking Openly About "The Muslim Problem" Is A Winning Campaign Strategy

Reported by Ellen - October 26, 2010 -

One week ago, on the night that Juan Williams spoke his now-infamous comments about Muslims on an airplane, O’Reilly went on an anti-Muslim rant that was a million times worse than anything he said on The View. The gist of it was that “political correctness” (think Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar) was preventing people from acknowledging the wisdom of those (think O’Reilly) speaking openly about the “huge” “Muslim threat to the world.” Last night (10/25/10), O’Reilly was back with the same “We’ve got to talk openly about the Muslim problem” message but this time, he suggested it could help win elections..

In his Talking Points commentary that opens the show, O’Reilly said, “There is no question the economy will drive the vote this year, as it should… But there is another component that may influence the upcoming vote. And that is the divide, the divide between liberal and conservative Americans. The recent Muslim controversy highlights that divide as conservatives generally believe there is a major Muslim problem in the world and liberals tend to downplay the situation.”

O’Reilly then posted statistics of the number of people (40,142) killed by Islamic extremists, as the result of 17,835 attacks, since 9/11.

He didn’t mention how many of those attacks may have occurred as part of our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. There was no word, either, on how many innocent Muslims we have killed as the result of our war in Iraq based on faulty intelligence. IraqBodyCount.org tallies the number of Iraqi civilians killed at 98,585-107,594. Not that I’m trying to argue the U.S. is anything like an Islamic extremist but that if you want to go on numbers killed, one could easily argue that there’s an American problem. But I digress.

O’Reilly went on to say that the U.S. “has spent more than $1 trillion combating Muslim terror threats, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” But according to a graphic on the screen, the money was not all spent on combating threats. It included “reconstruction, foreign aid, embassy costs and veterans’ health care.”

Nevertheless, O’Reilly added, “…And you’re telling me there isn’t a Muslim problem in the world?”

Although O’Reilly acknowledged “American believe Muslim Americans are loyal citizens and indeed the facts prove that,” he also attributed the “relatively few anti-Muslim incidents” in the U.S. to “the nobility of America,” thus implying that more hostility would have been a normal reaction. “There’s no question that most Americans are a bit uneasy about the turbulence in the Muslim world. That may not be fair, but it’s reality.”

O’Reilly continued, “When voters show up a week from tomorrow, the Muslim situation will not be the first thing on their minds. Economic well being will be. But as the NPR fiasco and The View fracas prove, Americans are in no mood for politically correct nonsense about the Muslim threat.”

I couldn’t find a poll asking how voters feel about “the Muslim threat” but there are plenty showing that terrorism is far from the top concern on voters’ minds. I’d bet that Muslims are an even lesser concern.

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