Talk Show Host Under Fire for Comments About Islam

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

( - An American Islamic civil rights group is calling on a Washington, D.C. radio station to reprimand its talk show host for claiming "Islam is a terrorist organization."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said it received complaints Monday from Muslim listeners who heard WMAL's Michael Graham say "Islam is a terrorist organization," "Islam is at war with America," "The problem is not extremism. The problem is Islam," and "We are at war with a terrorist organization named Islam."

"Such hate-filled and inflammatory remarks only serve to encourage those who would turn bigoted views into violent or discriminatory actions against ordinary American Muslims," said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.

"Reasoned discussion on issues related to terrorism should be encouraged, but extremist anti-Muslim rhetoric harms our nation's image worldwide and serves as a recruiting tool for terrorists," said Hooper.

CAIR said it contacted WMAL program director Randall Bloomquist to complain about Graham's remarks but Bloomquist stood behind the talk show host. Bloomquist said while he would not tolerate the use of the "n-word" or anti-Semitic slurs, Graham's comments about Islam do not warrant disciplinary action.

Hooper called on American Muslims to contact the station and its advertisers to voice their concern about Graham's remarks.

CAIR challenged remarks made by Graham last year as well reportedly implying that Americans should take violent action against Muslims. "I don't wanna say we should kill 'em all (Muslims), but unless there's reform (within Islam), there aren't a lot of other solutions that work in the ground struggle for survival."

"Would you hire an Arab-Muslim group for a friend's daughter's Bat Mitzvah, I wouldn't, if you would you're a dope, that's not bigotry, that completely reasonable smart discrimination," Graham said last year.

Graham's remarks were highlighted in the announcement of CAIR's "Hate Hurts America" campaign designed to counter anti-Muslim hate on radio talk shows.

CAIR has also launched a nationwide television public service announcement called "Not in the Name of Islam," in which the group condemns terrorism and rejects those who carry out terrorist attacks.

Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.