Even if a grieving sister was wrong when she alleged that anti-Muslim sentiment fueled the murder of her sibling, why would a news show spend an entire segment trying to denigrate her point of view, unless it had some kind of axe to grind?
An O'Reilly Factor discussion opened last night with the announcement that Craig Hicks had been indicted for the murders of what host Bill O’Reilly acknowledged were three “totally innocent” Muslims in North Carolina recently. Then he played a clip of a sister of one of the victims calling it “open season” on Muslims and saying that the media and movies like American Sniper dehumanize them.
The discussion was titled, “Putting the blame on the wrong villain?” Rather than host a Muslim who might explain the sister's feelings, O’Reilly consulted Fox News’ Charles Krauthammer.
The two ignored other recent attacks on Muslims such as the angry hecklers who disrupted the seventh biennial Texas Muslim Capitol Day with jeers of, “Go back to Baghdad,” and signs such as “Go Home and Take Obama with You.”
Also not discussed was the suspicious fire at a Houston Islamic center where investigators found evidence of arson.
Nor, of course, did either of the Fox News talking heads mention the animosity whipped up by Fox in opposition to Duke University’s decision to offer a Muslim call to prayer once a week. In fact, Duke - also in North Carolina - later canceled its plan because of security threats.
“I’ve seen no evidence of any anti-Muslim feeling across the country in any level, you know,” O’Reilly declared. You have to wonder how hard he looked.
“I think it’s ridiculous,” Krauthammer said. “I can understand her grief and I can understand how she would speak so illogically and irrationally. But that doesn’t make what she says true.”
Having established his compassion for the sister, Krauthammer went on to suggest Muslims have already gotten more forbearance than they deserve. “If anything, given the injuries that the United States and the west has suffered at the hands of Islamic radicals and terrorists, starting with 9/11, I think it’s been quite remarkable how much outreach, how much sympathy,” he said.
O’Reilly moved on to the subject of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who, according to O’Reilly, said that comparing ISIS or Al Qaeda to Islam is like comparing the Ku Klux Klan to Christianity. O’Reilly signaled his disapproval by describing Abdul-Jabbar as “one of the guys who’s become a spokesman of the ‘Don’t say the word Islam in connection with terrorism.’”
Krauthammer replied, “Look, I mean, how much evidence does one need? The Islamic state calls itself Islamic …(It) beheads 21 Christians, announcing that they are doing it because they are Christians… the video was issued to the nations of the cross. …It’s entirely about its interpretation of Islam. I mean, is it really so difficult for Kareem to say or for the president to say, 'We don’t see this as a war against Islam, we don’t believe in a war against Islam but it’s an unfortunate fact that one strain of Islam expressing itself all over the world… happens to believe that they are at war with other religions… to the point where they are willing to slaughter them in a genocidal way.' Is that so hard to say?”
O’Reilly threw another jab. “I’ve tried to reason with Mr. Jabbar," O'Reilly said. "I’ve tried to tell him that, ‘Look, it’s not you and the majority of the peace-loving Muslims,' but it is a situation where the peace-loving Muslims have got to start to get a hold of the non-peace-loving Muslims. …If all the Muslim nations would crack down on these people, then the problem would be on its way to being solved.”
Of course, The Westboro Baptist Church calls itself Baptist. But I never hear anyone on Fox demanding that Christians call them out as “Christian extremists.”
Watch it below, from last night's The O'Reilly Factor.