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Islam Not Welcome in Hannity’s America

Reported by Chrish - November 23, 2007 -

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla

As has been noted in numerous News Hounds threads, Sean Hannity is very hostile to numerous groups and ideas – prominent among them Islam and public education. In the November 18th edition of “Hannity’s America,” Hannity was able to bash both of the aforementioned categories. He was also able to work in the ever popular Fox “fear factor” as he introduced his piece by stating that a “radical Islamic agenda is infiltrating public schools all across the nation and targeting our kids.” He spoke in apocalyptic terms when he declared that “there is a battle reaching the boiling point in California. Parents are taking a stand and fighting back.” In an “us vs them” (very popular with the conservative right wing and Fox News) metaphor he asserted that it’s “smalltown USA vs. Islamic indoctrination.”

Hannity began by noting that Lodi , California is the “Zinfandel capitol of the world;” but “it’s not wine that is drawing attention to Lodi – but radical Islam” (while showing photos of Muslim children playing in a school yard). He said that 2 years ago a pair of Muslim residents was charged with being part of a terror sleeper cell. (Comment: If Hannity were trying for accuracy he would have added that Hamid Hayat was sentenced to 24 years in jail; but the jury was deadlocked in the case of Hamid’s father, Umer Hayat.)

So now that the stage has been set by inferring that Lodi is a hotbed of radical Islam, Hannity moved to the main topic which was about a group of parents who are upset that the local school’s history text, “History Alive,” is being used to “teach Islam.” He interviewed local parents, Jim and Korina Self, who feel that the history of Islam, in this text, is given more attention than it warrants and that the information is inaccurate. The Selfs have petitioned the local school board to remove the text. (Comment: not mentioned by Hannity is the fact that the boy is now being homeschooled and that a school administrator “didn't know of any other parent who has contacted the district to complain about the textbook.” So much for this boiling point battle!)

Despite a local educator saying that it’s important that “young people learn about other cultures and that they’re not teaching Islam; but teaching about it,” Hannity continued his coverage of the “outrage.” While the California Board of Education has approved the text, the American Textbook Council has stated that “organized Islamicists have gained control of textbook content and control over curriculum.” (Comment: This “independent” review group is popular with right wing media sites such as World Net Daily and FrontPage Magazine). To reinforce the propaganda, Hannity then showed a clip of Daniel Pipes, who Source Watchsays is "a neo-conservative, orientalist, extreme right-wing Zionist, and often expresses islamophobic statements. He is director of the Middle East Forum, and a columnist for right-wing newspapers." Not surprisingly Pipes alleged that the Council on Islamic education is “very assiduous in making sure that everything that touches on Islam meets with their approval.” He also mentioned that this Council is part of the Wahabbi lobby. (Comment: Oh, you mean President Bush’s best bosom buddies?)

Hannity pronounced, without any real evidence, that the “Islamic agenda has gained a foothold in our schools and is aggressively targeting our kids” while “Christianity is being removed by some educators.” He claimed that students are learning how to be Muslims and that Islam is replacing the Nativity scene, displays of the cross, and the 10 commandments.” He added that “it is evident that Islamic indoctrination and Christian denigration is now universal.” (Comment: Hannity apparently has no problem with the American religious right being in control of much of Bush’s social and foreign policy agenda.) According to the gospel of Hannity, “learning about Islam is part of world history and should be taught – but at what cost?” College drop out Hannity questioned whether “history should be distorted and marginalized in order to please organizations that prefer to gloss over the true meaning of jihad.” (Comment: and replace it with an equally “distorted” curriculum more palatable to the American religious right.) Hannity wants a curriculum that teaches about the destructive aspects of radical Islam. (Comment: would he then accept a curriculum that teaches about the destruction wrought by radical Christian anti-abortionists like his friend Randall Terry. And which version of Christianity would he emphasize as there are many?)

Comment: When one discusses “distortion,” one should look no further than Sean Hannity who continues to produce progaganda meant to denigrate those who do not hew to his distorted view of reality which, in the fiction of “Hannity’s America,” is presented as undisputed fact.

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla