Media figures have used the recent attacks on the U.S. embassy in Egypt and consulate in Libya to make Islamophobic comments, from claiming that "they hate us because they hate us" to asking guests if they think "there is a Muslim problem in the world."
Media Figures Use Embassy Attacks, Unrest To Malign Muslims And Islam
Fox's Eric Bolling: Obama Administration "Answers To The Quran First And The Constitution Second." During the September 17 broadcast of Fox News' The Five, the co-hosts discussed reports that the filmmaker allegedly behind the anti-Islamic movie that sparked widespread protests had been detained for possibly violating his parole. Co-host Eric Bolling said:
BOLLING: To use a -- what is being called a flimsy ploy to bring this guy in for questioning -
PERINO: What next?
BOLLING: -- proves that the Obama administration, through all this appeasement and apologizing, answers to the Quran first and to the Constitution second. [Fox News, The Five, 9/17/12, via Media Matters]
Fox's Tantaros: "This Jihad Will Not Stop" Until "We Are All Muslims" Or "Until We're All Ruled By Muslims" -- "They Only Preach Tolerance When They're Outnumbered." Earlier in the September 17 edition of The Five, Bolling asked co-host Andrea Tantaros, "Is there a sense in the Muslim world that we're weak? That we're appeasing? That we're apologetic?" Tantaros replied:
TANTAROS: Yes. We're -- we're on the retreat. And that is why Islam is on the march. And if you read [historian] Bernard Lewis, this goes way back hundreds and hundreds of years to the days of Thomas Jefferson. If you read and study the Quran, Lewis will tell you, this jihad will not stop. They are commanded, radicals, to perform jihad until one of two things happen. One, we are all Muslims or, two, until we're all ruled by Muslims.
BECKEL: I, I -
TANTAROS: They only preach tolerance when they're outnumbered, Bob. So this is not a shock that this is happening because of a video, or Israel, or something. [Fox News, The Five, 9/17/12, via Media Matters]
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough: "They Hate Us Because Of Their Religion" And "Culture" ... "They Hate Us Because They Hate Us." During the September 17 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough talked about the embassy attacks and subsequent protests and said:
SCARBOROUGH: I think we see just how naïve every president is that thinks they're going to come in and transform the Middle East. How naïve every president is -- you know, "If we could just talk to them, they would understand us." And, of course, this president talked about the fact that he was raised in a Muslim country would somehow take -- you know, make things better in the Middle East. It just doesn't happen. You know why they hate us? I talked to intelligence people all weekend. They hate us because of their religion. They hate us because of their culture, and they hate us because of peer pressure. And you talk to any intelligence person, they will tell you that's the same thing. And all these people that think we're going to go over there and change them and make them hate us less are just naïve.
Think about the savagery, just the sheer, unrestrained savagery that we have seen across the Middle East and the Arab world over the past week because of a crude film. They know what they're doing. They know it's a crude film. They know it has nothing to do with the United States government. It is an excuse. One intelligence person told me, if you scratch the surface, and if you gave every street vendor, from street vendor to prime minister in that region, a chance to throw a rock at the U.S. Embassy, they would. So this is their excuse.
SCARBOROUGH: [The Taliban has] been doing this for months now, these insider attacks. The film? Give me a break. You know, it's just like -- oh, you know, "They hate us because of waterboarding." No, they don't. They hate us because they hate us. "They hate us because of Obama's drone attacks." No, they don't. They hate us because they hate us. "They hate us because somebody burned a Quran." No, they don't. They hate us because they hate us. They hate us because of this crude film? No, they don't. They hate us because they hate us. And any U.S. politician that thinks they're going to go in and transform the region and stop people from hating us because they hate us are absolute fools. They're absolute fools. [MSNBC, Morning Joe, 9/17/12]
Newsweek Cover: "Muslim Rage." For the cover of its most recent issue, Newsweek portrayed a group of stereotypically angry Arab men with the headline "Muslim Rage," and encouraged their Twitter followers to discuss the cover using the hashtag "#MuslimRage." The cover drew immediate critical response, including from Yousef Munayyer, the executive director of the Jerusalem Fund.
Fox's Bill O'Reilly: "Do You Think There Is A Muslim Problem In The World?" During the September 14 broadcast of his Fox News show, host Bill O'Reilly interviewed retired Gen. Wesley Clark. At one point, O'Reilly asked Clark, "Do you think there is a Muslim problem in the world?" O'Reilly added: "I mean, I think the, you know -- not -- most Muslims are good people, we've always said that, but there's a substantial minority that hates us, and they continue to cause trouble." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 9/14/12, via Media Matters]
O'Reilly: "What Is It About Islam That Makes These People Have Such Hatred?" Discussing Middle East violence with Muslim guests on The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly said that "nobody believes that a stupid film that nobody's seen causes people to assassinate ambassadors and to storm embassies and to try to kill people. I mean, that's just irrational. If Allah and the prophet Muhammad, if they condone murder because of a stupid film, then you guys got a real problem inherent in your religion." O'Reilly later asked his guests: "What is it about Islam that makes these people have such hatred?" [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 9/17/12, via Media Matters]
CBN's Pat Robertson: "You Wonder What It Is In These Muslims That Causes Them To Go Crazy." During the September 12 edition of the Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club, host Pat Robertson responded to a news report about the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Cairo and consulate in Benghazi by saying, "You know, you wonder what it is in these Muslims that causes them to go crazy because somebody says something about Muhammad, most of which happens to be true." He continued:
ROBERTSON: He took his favorite wife, when she was either 8 or 9 years old, and he was 53 and he began having sexual relations with that 8- or 9-year-old child. Now we call that pedophile -- pedophilia in this country. But with him it was like a holy act. He had a number of wives, and this movie showed him having sexual intercourse with one or more of his wives, and I guess the Muslims got upset about that. But Muhammad was very frank about what he did and what he didn't do, and you read some of the writings of Muhammad and what he has to say, it's all in there. But he seemed to, you know, Muslims can have four wives and he probably had more than his quota, but nevertheless, why do they riot? Why do they kill people? What is it about this religion that makes them so terribly defensive? The reason they're so defensive is because they cannot defend some of the stuff they believe, and therefore they are very protective of it. What do you think? Glad to see you. I mean if a man is 53 years old and he starts having sex with an 8-year-old? [Christian Broadcasting Network, The 700 Club, 9/12/12, via Media Matters]