Comedian Jackie Mason raised the ire of a controversial Islamic lobby group by calling “the whole Muslim religion” a “murderous organization” that teaches “hate, terrorism and murder.”
The remarks came when Mason hosted the Jim Bohannon Show, syndicated nationally by the Westwood One radio network. Mason was elaborating on a comment by his co-author, New York lawyer Raoul Felder, who said Islam “is a religion of hate, this is a religion of murder.”
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, filed a complaint with the FCC and wants Westwood One to apologize.
Mason, according to CAIR, amplified on Felder’s “bigotry.”
“This is amazing information that almost nobody is aware of … everyone thinks that it’s a legitimate religion that preaches love and brotherhood,” said Mason. “The truth of the matter is [that terrorists] are reflecting the religion and following the religion.”
They are “following the orders of the religion directly from the Quran … in plain English, the whole Muslim religion is preaching and teaching hate, terrorism and murder, and nobody knows it, and its about time they found out about it, ” Mason said.
“The Quran … is 50 versions of hate, venom, hostility, and murder … dedicated to terrorism,” he added. ” … I don’t know how we can call it a religion in the traditional sense. It should be called a murderous organization that’s out to kill people.”
In a letter to Westwood One, CAIR demanded a public apology to the Muslim community and “an opportunity to refute Mason’s Islamophobic smears.”
The letter stated: “It is this type of hate-filled propaganda that was used by the Nazis as justification for their persecution of the Jewish community in Germany.”
Earlier this year, CAIR announced a campaign “to counter anti-Islamic hate on talk radio,” called Hate Hurts America.”
CAIR says its campaign is “based on the premise that the increasing attacks on Islam by talk-show hosts harm the United States by creating a downward spiral of interfaith mistrust and hostility.”
The campaign includes “step-by-step instructions on how to monitor local and syndicated radio programs, report anti-Muslim hate, file FCC complaints, and contact advertisers to register their concerns.”
A week later, a fill-in host referred to the comment, saying Harvey had received letters from several Muslim friends who “reminded all of us that Islam is a religion of peace, that terrorists do not represent Islam.”
WND reported in November radio counselor Dr. Laura Schlessinger refused to apologize as demanded by CAIR, which accused her of launching an “anti-Muslim tirade” on her program.
CAIR took offense to Schlessinger’s 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, “It’s absurd that anyone would even imagine that I was expressing disdain for everyone who is a Muslim or who is an Arab. That’s even stupid. If anybody has listened to me for any period of time, that’s absurd.”
CAIR said in 2002 it asked Schlessinger to clarify her claim there is a “Muslim plan” to take over the world, accusing her hostility toward Islam.
However, CAIR itself has helped cast doubt on Muslim groups that purport to be mainstream promoters of peace and tolerance.
CAIR is a spin-off of the Islamic Association For Palestine, or IAF, identified as a “front group” for the terrorist organization Hamas, according to two former heads of the FBI’s counterterrorism section.
In April, a member of CAIR’s national staff, Randall Todd “Ismail” Royer, pleaded guilty for conspiring to train on American soil for a “violent jihad.” Another CAIR figure, Bassem Khafagi, was arrested in 2003 while serving as the group’s director of community relations.
CAIR’s leaders also have provided evidence for claims Muslims have a plan for domination.
As WorldNetDaily reported, CAIR’s chairman of the board, Omar Ahmad, was cited by a California newspaper in 1998 declaring the Quran should be America’s highest authority.
He also was reported to have said Islam is not in America to be equal to any other religion but to be dominant.
CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper indicated in a 1993 interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he wants to see the United States become a Muslim country.
“I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future,” Hooper told the paper. “But I’m not going to do anything violent to promote that. I’m going to do it through education.”
In addition, CAIR has sought to convey the impression Muslims are under siege in America. A report released last year, titled “Guilt by Association,” blasted the Bush administration for government policies that unfairly single out Muslim individuals and organizations” – a charge denied by the Justice Department.
CAIR claimed when compared to the year preceding Sept. 11, its 2002 report on bias or hate-related incidents against Muslims showed a 64 percent increase.
Justice Department spokesman Jorge Martinez told WorldNetDaily, on the contrary, he saw a vastly improving situation in “backlash” incidents since a “spike” in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.