Washington, D.C. talk radio station WMAL, 630 AM, has caved to pressure from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a group that has savaged journalists, critics of radical Islam, even the Fox TV show “24”—but which just as steadfastly has refused to specifically condemn various Islamic terrorist organizations.
After a three-week suspension, mid-morning host Michael Graham was fired over the weekend for his comment on July 21 that “Islam has, sadly, become a terrorist organization.” According to a formal statement issued by the host last night, Disney-owned WMAL terminated him for the original remarks and his refusal to apologize for them.
The latest development in the month-long saga is surprising given that there was barely a stir for the first few days after Graham’s original remarks—and he wasn’t suspended until a week later, on July 28. Once he was suspended—which happened as a result of a CAIR-led campaign—the group instigated a campaign to have him fired.
In the week before the suspension, CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper even came on Graham's show—telling him that CAIR didn’t want him fired, just punished. Once Graham was suspended indefinitely later that week, however, CAIR quickly called for his head.
In buckling to pressure from CAIR, WMAL has sided with an organization that continually demonizes genuine criticism of radical Islam as “Islamophobia” and has never specifically condemned radical Islam or Islamic terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah.
And in the process, the radio station arguably has given CAIR its biggest coup to date.
Not only did WMAL side with organization with three former officials who have been convicted, arrested, or deported on terror-related charges, but it demanded an apology for comments that were far from flippant and were not beyond the pale. The surrounding statements made by Graham, in fact, put the thrust of his comments in an entirely different light.
Here are Graham’s remarks, with full context:
Because of the mix of Islamic theology that—rightly or wrongly—is interpreted to promote violence, added to an organizational structure that allows violent radicals to operate openly in Islam’s name with impunity, Islam has, sadly, become a terrorist organization. It pains me to say it. But the good news is it doesn’t have to stay this way, if the vast majority of Muslims who don’t support terror will step forward and re-claim their religion.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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