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News & Analysis

024/05 July 28, 2005

Anti-CAIR received the following announcement;
In the interest of keeping the public informed of the
activities of the Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR), we are presenting the following as a public service.
The following is unedited.

ABC DISNEY BACKS DOWN TO THREATS FROM CAIR, FIRES CONSERVATIVE TALK HOST OVER STATEMENTS REGARDING ISLAM AND TERRORISM

    Conservative talk-show host Michael Graham was suspended without pay today by ABC Disney after threats from the Council for American-Islamic Relations over his on-air comments regarding terrorism and Islam.
 
    Despite repeated statements of support for Graham's free-speech rights by management at 630 WMAL in Washington, D.C. ----- the ABC-owned radio station where Graham works as mid-morning host ---- he was summarily suspended pending an "investigation."
 
    "I honestly don't know what Disney is investigating me for, unless it's for doing a compelling talk show that gets people's attention," Graham said. "I thought that was my job."
 
    Graham has been harshly criticized by CAIR for public comments linking the current theology and structure of Islam to the repeated acts of terror in its name. CAIR sent mass e-mails to its members urging them to contact ABC and demand the company to punish Graham for his remarks.

    The statements at the heart of the controversy reflect Graham's opinion that, as he puts it, "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."

    Ironically, CAIR announced today that a group of US Muslim scholars were issuing a fatwa against terrorism. According to Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR, the fatwa was issued in part due to criticism from talk radio hosts like Michael Graham.

    "Nearly four years after the World Trade Center fell, CAIR is participating in a blanket denunciation of terrorism, and my attitude is "better late than never."  If our conversation on 630 WMAL helped CAIR finally take this long-needed step, then we've done something good for the future of Islam," Graham said.
 
    Graham acknowledged that his statement has upset some people, but he refuses to recant. "Ahmed H. Al-Rahim, an Iraqi-American who has taught Arabic and Islamic studies at Harvard, wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week about a prominent Egyptian moderate who criticized the Islamists and their influence on all of Islam, and was threatened with death. He recanted and promised to be silent to save his life."
 
    "I can't blame him."
 
    "But I'm an American, and if fighting for free speech and for the truth in the war on terrorism means getting fired by some corporate suit at ABC Disney who can't stand up for free speech ----so be it. But I will not recant," Graham said.



To contact ABC Radio in Washington and express your opinion about their decision to cave into pressure from CAIR, call the General Manager, Chris Berry, at 202-686-3100 or email feedback@630wmal.com



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**ACAIR Note: (You can listen to Michael Graham's full Tuesday show by clicking here)


Andrew Whitehead
Director
Anti-CAIR (ACAIR)

ajwhitehead@anti-cair-net.org
www.anti-cair-net.org




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