The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

O'Reilly on Islam

It's an uncomfortable fact of life for Muslims that the most prominent terrorists of our times commit murder in the name of their religion. That is something that has caused a fair amount of soul searching in the Islamic world, even if it is sometimes muddied by conflicting thoughts on other problems that preoccupy Muslims like imperialism and occupation.

Of course, you wouldn't turn to the O'Reilly Factor for thoughtfulness when tackling that debate. Here is what Bill O'Reilly said in an interview with Franklin Graham, the son of the popular American televangelist Billy Graham, who is holding a "crusade" in New York this weekend:

O'REILLY: Now, the problem that many of us — I'm a Christian. I'm a Catholic. And the problem that we have is that our enemy, our primary enemy, is centered around Allah. And most media people sweep that under the carpet.


O'REILLY: But if Islam didn't exist, there wouldn't be a war on terror. That's the fact. Now, we know that Islam has been hijacked by extremists and that most Muslims aren't terrorists and don't wish us ill. We know that. But how do you deal with an enemy that is religious-centric?

None of this is a surprise, of course, but what pisses me off the most about this exchange is that O'Reilly comes back to is obsession media conspiracy to hide the fact that the people behind recent acts of terrorism are Muslims. Does he live on a different planet? Is the American media really hiding the religion of the perpetrators? I seem to remember cover pictures of Muslims with the headlines "Why do they hate us?" right after 11 September.

The funny thing is, as I went to read the transcript of interview, the sidebar on the Fox News site had the following link to a video:


If you can find the segment (there's no way to link directly to it), watch it. It's incredible in that you actually have Bill O'Reilly saying things like:

"Why does Britain let so many Muslims - if you go to London, Edgware Road and other areas of London - it's just packed with dense Muslim neighborhood , which just breed this kind of contempt for Western society. Why do they let them in?"

You can catch the whole segment if you go the page linked above. Pretty sickening.