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O’Reilly Blames Muslims For U.S. Antagonism Toward Ground Zero Mosque

Reported by Ellen - September 9, 2010 -

Bill O’Reilly was the epitome of the ugly American last night during his Talking Points Memo as he essentially blamed Muslims for U.S. antagonism toward the so-called Ground Zero mosque. If Muslims weren’t so intolerant themselves, so hostile to America in a religious kind of way, O’Reilly’s argument went, then we wouldn’t have to be suspicious and resentful of an Islamic cultural center that’s two blocks from Ground Zero. And until Muslims become more tolerant of Americans – by which O’Reilly seemed to mean they should completely accept everything America dishes out to them without objection – O’Reilly sees no reason Americans should be any more tolerant of them. In other words, Muslims not only deserve the mistrust constantly meted out on Fox News, they caused it.

O’Reilly began, “Right now, there are more than 100 mosques in New York City so there’s no religious tolerance issue here or in most other parts of America.” Well, except for that Koran-burning pastor or the arson at a Tennessee mosque or the New York City cabdriver stabbed after telling a passenger he was Muslim.

O’Reilly continued, “There is, however, a big religious tolerance problem in most Muslim countries as they don’t accept ANY other religion. By placing the proposed mosque within yards of the 9/11 attack, with no stated purpose for that, the imam has created a controversy. He did it! There’s simply no reason for the mosque to be there.”

There’s really no reason for the “mosque,” which is really an Islamic cultural center, not to be there, other than the fact that some Islamophobic hate mongers got into bed with Fox News and other right wing media and whipped up public animosity. And really, Bill, saying it’s “within yards of the 9/11 attack” is what you must surely know is a distortion, given that the building is two blocks away from Ground Zero. As for the purpose of the mosque’s location, the imam said in December, 2009, back when Fox News was for the project (before turning against it), that he wanted to “push back against the extremists” and send “the opposite statement to what happened on 9/11." As the old saying goes, you're entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

O’Reilly continued with a lecture for Muslims. “Sincere Muslims should respect (the objections of 9/11 families). Talking Points believes that tolerance deal swings both ways, right?” O’Reilly swung his finger back and forth for emphasis. “Seems every two minutes some Muslims are offended by America. Yeah! We have some kooks here who are disrespectful to Islam. But every nation has them. It is long past time for the Muslim world to show a little respect and tolerance to America!”

Personally, I think Muslims have shown a lot of respect and tolerance considering that we invaded one country based on faulty information and we’re killing civilians all over the place in another. The number of dead Iraqi civilians alone, is many times more than the number of Americans killed on 9/11. That’s not counting all the other destruction wreaked on the country because of a previous right-wing hysteria: Saddam Hussein’s (non-existent) weapons of mass destruction. Where's O'Reilly's sensitivity for the families of those innocent victims? I've never heard it.

Conveniently overlooking any and all American missteps, O’Reilly continued attacking Muslims for their lack of understanding. “After all, Muslims attacked us in the name of Allah! Until the imam and other Muslims understand the impact of that mass murder, many Americans will remain resentful…. Violent conflict generated by MUSLIMS (his emphasis) are raging all over the world while Muslim Americans here live in peace and relative prosperity. As well intentioned as Imam Rauf may be, the truth is that Americans are not seeing much tolerance in the Muslim world overseas. Respect and acceptance must be earned.”

Right. Must be earned – unless you’re an American or, more likely (because liberals probably don’t count here), someone O’Reilly thinks gets a permanent pass on blame.

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