Radio counselor Dr. Laura Schlessinger says she will not apologize, as demanded by a controversial Islamic lobby group that accused her of launching an “anti-Muslim tirade” on her program this week.
“It’s absurd that anyone would even imagine that I was expressing disdain for everyone who is a Muslim or who is an Arab,” she said on her show Thursday. “That’s even stupid. If anybody has listened to me for any period of time, that’s absurd.”
The Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations took offense to remarks made by Schlessinger on Monday’s program in response to a mother who asked whether her 16-year-old daughter should take part in a Catholic high school class’s field trip to a local mosque. The visit was part of a “moral themes” class that aimed to help students learn how “Muslims are treated” in the United States.
Schlessinger told the mother she should tell the teacher “you are willing to go to the mosque only if it is one that has done its best to rout out terrorists in its midst.”
CAIR said Schlessinger “crossed the line from legitimate commentary on terrorism to Islamophobic bigotry.”
Schlessinger said, in response, “Quite frankly I get really angry when people haven’t even heard something and they’re willing to be angry and do angry things on something somebody else told them happened. How dangerous does that make you and how much of a sheep does that make you? I’m certainly not inciting or condoning any acts of aggression toward any group, ever. I’m a Jew, I’m real aware of the pernicious and dangerous effects of prejudice.”
She emphasized her remarks “were quite specific to terrorists and the people who harbor them. Not to Muslims or Arabs in general.”
“That’s absurd that anyone could say it with a straight face,” she said of the condemnation. “And it sure gets us off the dialogue of what the issue is, doesn’t it?”
The main point she said, “whether you are Arab-American, Hispanic-American, German-American – I don’t care where you come from – our responsibility as Americans … is to stand between the innocent and evil doers and to rout them out of our midst. That’s the issue.”
On Monday, Schlessinger, a WND columnist, replied to the mother:
“This is a class on morals. What is the point of going to a mosque? … You’re joking of course. How many Americans have tortured and murdered Muslims. I think you ought to stand up against this class and this teacher. This is despicable. You tell him you are willing to go to the mosque only if it is one that has done its best to rout out terrorists in its midst. Instead of complaining.
“I am horrified that you would let her go. I am so sick and tired of all the Arab-American groups whining and complaining about some kind of treatment. What culture and what religion were all the murderers of 9-11? They murdered us. That’s the culture you want your daughter to learn about?”
CAIR’s communications director, Ibrahim Hooper, said in a response Wednesday,”Dr. Laura’s anti-Muslim tirade demonstrates a level of hostility toward Islam that should be of concern to her program’s audience and sponsors.”