Americans don't have to look to Sudan to see Islamic fanaticism and extremism in action. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is trying to destroy the Savage Nation radio show featuring Michael Savage. Having forced the firing of radio host Michael Graham from WMAL in Washington, D.C., CAIR is trying to force independent conservative Michael Savage off the air nationally by intimidating his advertisers. Officially, CAIR claims its mission includes encouraging "dialogue." But this is a big lie.
This so-called "dialogue" is a one-way street. CAIR has found Savage "guilty" of having an "anti-Islam" bias in the same way that a British teacher was jailed and expelled from Sudan for naming a teddy bear Mohammed.
We had better wake up fast. "They're applying Sharia law here," says Bill Warner of the Center for the Study of Political Islam. "In the United States we're getting Sharia law by the inch. Islam cannot be criticized. It is a sin against Allah. What Savage has done is a grievous sin against Allah, Mohammed and Islam. They are not making this up. CAIR has no choice here. As a real Muslim organization, they must condemn anyone who criticizes Islam."
In a November 15 release, CAIR announced that OfficeMax "has joined a growing list of companies that have stopped advertising on Michael Savage's nationally-syndicated radio program because of the host's anti-Muslim views." CAIR thanked OfficeMax "for its prompt response to Muslim concerns" and "is asking other Savage advertisers to follow that company's example."
The modus operandi is as straightforward as it is frighteningÂ¯pressure companies to stop advertising on the show, and "The Savage Nation" will go off the air. Hence, a prominent critic of political Islam will be silenced.
Ironically, CAIR is distributing a column by Ibrahim Hooper on the Teddy Bear case insisting that "the Prophet had the opportunity to retaliate against those who abused him, but refrained from doing so." The article goes on to say, "After the Danish cartoon controversy and allegations of Quran desecration at Guantanamo Bay, CAIR initiated educational campaigns as a peaceful, constructive response. This is an approach that people of all faiths can appreciate, as it helps us move toward respect and religious tolerance."
But CAIR isn't interested in the virtues of "dialogue" and "tolerance" in Savage's case. It isn't waging an "educational campaign" but is trying to force him off the air. It did the same thing with Michael Graham, who was fired from WMAL in 2005 for claiming Islam was a terrorist organization. At the time, CAIR welcomed WMAL's action "as a step toward reducing the level of anti-Muslim bigotry on our nation's airwaves."
What we are witnessing is a direct attack on the First Amendment disguised as a campaign against "hate speech" that comes from special interest groups, not government. But the use of government for this same purpose is being promised by liberal-left organizations that want a President Clinton or Obama to put in place a liberal majority at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to crack down on conservative talk radio. That is why AIM has titled its new book on the controversy, The Death of Talk Radio?
The CAIR vs. Michael Savage case provides a lesson in how this campaign will proceed once liberals control the White House. It is important to realize that, with a 3-2 majority on the FCC, the liberals won't even have to bother with pressuring advertisers. They will be able to directly use the full force of the federal government to pressure talk radio to toe the politically correct line. The FCC can bring back the so-called Fairness Doctrine, in order to suppress "hate speech" on the air, without a vote by Congress.
In fascinating comments on the Savage case, CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin was quoted as saying that it was "encouraging that companies nationwide are choosing not to associate with Mr. Savage's hatred and bigotry." She added, "Freedom of speech includes the right not to subsidize hate."
The right not to subsidize hate? What about the right to free speech? Notice how the First Amendment has taken a back seat to whether the speech meets with CAIR's approval. In effect, CAIR is setting itself up as a national arbiter of what should be permitted to be said on the air. CAIR even advises its supporters to "organize local coalitions with friends of the Muslim community to challenge Savage's hate rhetoric."
Those friends include Media Matters, the Hillary Clinton front organization which has publicized CAIR's complaints about "anti-Muslim" comments in the media.
The return of the Fairness Doctrine would give these groups direct access to the FCC.
The issue isn't whether Savage has been critical of Islam or even whether he has made some extreme statements. The issue is that a special interest group wants to muzzle its political enemies. And it is succeeding! It is just as dangerous as the campaign against the British school teacher in the Sudan.
Ironically, CAIR's vice-chairman received the ACLU's 2003 Liberty's Flame Award "for contributions to the advancement and protection of civil liberties." But the civil liberties of Michael Savage don't matter in CAIR's scheme of things.
Whether you like Savage or not, he must not be forced off the air as the result of a special interest political pressure campaign. Beyond that, however, the public must be educated about how CAIR's campaign against Savage is part of the effort to force Sharia law on the world.
Will Sharia law or the First Amendment prevail in the U.S.? The fate of Michael Savage will provide the answer.