How much anti-Muslim fear and loathing did Fox host Jesse Watters pack into one five-minute discussion Sunday night? Too much to count the ways!
The very premise for the Watters World segment was insulting. “The question is, are American Muslims doing enough in the fight against ISIS?” Watters “asked.” It was a suggestion they have not met some kind of quota, as though ISIS is some huge local problem that rests on their shoulders.
To further promote distaste for Muslims, Watters began by asking “American Muslim and Daily Beast columnist” [in that order] Dean Obeidallah, “We had our people look for examples of Muslims in America protesting terrorism and I gotta be honest with you. We didn’t find a lot of examples.”
Of course, Watters never asked whether conservatives are “doing enough” to fight right-wing extremism which is at least as serious a threat here and more common in the U.S. I so wish Obeidallah had confronted Watters on his blatantly disingenuous and biased premise.
Obeidallah replied that Muslims are “doing something better than protesting,” i.e., they are actually turning in extremists. He said the Orlando shooter was turned in by “a fellow Muslim from his mosque.”
“The FBI sources have not verified that,” Watters quickly interjected. God forbid anyone watching should feel too warm and fuzzy about a Muslim!
Obeidallah went on to say that there are a thousand Muslim Americans serving in the New York Police Department, most as police officers, and 5,000 Muslims serving in the military. He also said there are also imams working with the FBI.
It was telling that Watters showed no interest in any details about how those Muslims work to combat extremism. For example, Obeidallah said that most extremism happens online. But Watters asked no questions about how Muslim police or military might be helping that effort nor about what imams specifically do to help the FBI.
Instead, Watters interrupted to lecture Obedallah and other American Muslims. “I actually do think, visually, it would create a big kind of momentum shift if other Americans could see video of a massive amount of American Muslims out there in the streets, protesting ISIS,” Watters chastised.
Because otherwise we can’t be sure if they support ISIS?
Yes, that was exactly what Watters was suggesting. Before Obeidallah could respond, Watters turned to his other guest, Zuhdi Jasser, to ask about a “very disturbing” poll of U.K. Muslims that found 2/3 would not give the government any information if they knew the details of a terror plot.
Jasser probably made the calculation that accusing the affable Obeidallah of being an ISIS sympathizer would not fly so he went to Islamophobic Plan B: Jasser accused Obeidallh of being dangerously naïve.
JASSER: “It’s almost as if Dean is still on 9/12 2001 and we’re 16 years later.
The underbelly of terrorism…is this complicity, if you will. The homophobia, the anti-Semitism, the 30% that said they would chop [off] the hands of those who steal. The 40% that said they would stone and commit acts that are medieval of the part of Sharia law.
[...] What the Deans of the world are missing is they’re in denial. We need a 12-step program.
Watters helped validate the bigotry: “It seems like a lot of the Muslims here in America are more upset over Trump’s travel ban than they are ISIS beheading people. What’s that all about?” Watters smirked.
Well, maybe it’s about the fact that Trump’s Muslim ban affects them and their families directly.
Obeidallah responded by saying that while Americans may not hear Muslims publicly denouncing terrorism, they despise it. “It’s not Islam versus the west,” Obeidallah said. “It’s ISIS versus all of us.”
Of course, Watters disagreed. He interrupted to say, “It does have something to do with Islam.”
Later, Jasser continued sneering about Obeidallah, this time saying he talked “like a drunk at a bar who is saying that we’re taking away the keys from the drunk drivers.”
As Jasser went on to call Obeidallah a “non-violent Islamist,” he finally had enough. “This is ridiculous,” Obeidallah said. He told Jasser, “The fact is, you know nothing about [what’s] going on in the Muslim community because you’re rejected by our community...People don’t even want you…I’m being honest, Zuhdi. You know it, I know it. Let’s be blunt. You’re a punchline. These are punchlines…Muslim Americans are on the front line in this country, working with law enforcement –"
Suddenly, Watters was concerned with manners. “Don’t insult him,’ he scolded Obeidallah. When Obeidallah pointed out Jasser’s “drunk guy” insult, Watters said “Calling you a drunk guy was a euphemism, it was a figure of speech, OK? So let’s not get too excited.”
And suddenly, the discussion was over.
In other words, on Fox News, it’s OK to attack a Muslim if you’re a Muslim hater but not OK to call out the hater.
Watch the bigoted hate mongering below, from the June 4, 2017 Watters World.
The likes of Watters and any number of other haters do nothing but encourage those feelings amongst minorities, Muslims, women, liberals, gays, atheists – all their usual suspects. SURELY they know that they are only sowing seeds to create the next atrocity.