CAIR Demands Apology From Another Radio Host
July 7, 2008 - 8:05 PM
(CNSNews.com) - A Muslim civil liberties group is once again demanding an apology from a talk-radio host whom it accuses of insulting Islam.
This time, the man in the please-apologize spotlight is Bill Handel of KFI-AM 640 in Los Angeles.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations complains that Handel made fun of a stampede that killed hundreds of Muslims during their annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
In a Jan. 12 segment called the "Annual Stampede Report," CAIR said Handel imitated people screaming, then joked that Muslim pilgrims should use a helicopter to monitor pilgrimage traffic, just as helicopters monitor traffic on L.A. freeways.
"The deaths of hundreds of people engaged in religious observances is no laughing matter," CAIR spokeswoman Sabiha Khan said in a statement. "KFI needs to distance itself from Mr. Handel's unbelievable insensitivity by issuing a formal apology and a reprimand."
CAIR said it has been rebuffed in its efforts to contact Handel and his producer.
More than 300 people were crushed in a stampede during this year's Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, the birthplace of the prophet Mohammed. It happened during a ritual in which pilgrims throw stones at a symbolic devil.
According to press reports from Saudi Arabia, some of the pilgrims, rushing to complete the stoning ritual before sunset, tripped over luggage and were crushed when other pilgrims pressed in from behind them.
This was not an isolated incident. The annual pilgrimage, which brings millions of people to Mecca, saw more than 1,400 people killed in a stampede in 1990; and 244 killed in Feb. 2004.
See Earlier Stories:
Talk Radio Host Puts 'Anti-Free-Speech Fiasco' Behind Him (15 Nov. 2005)
CAIR Hails Firing of Michael Graham (22 Aug. 2005)
Radio Station Apologizes for Song Mocking Tsunami Victims (25 Jan. 2005)
MSNBC Apologizes for Muslim Slur (24 Nov. 2004)
Muslim Group Targets Talk-Show Host; Plans FCC Complaint (28 April 2004)
GE Resumes Advertising on Paul Harvey Radio Programs (30 Dec. 2003)