The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) cited Wednesday night's "Hannity & Colmes" program as an example of how the network promotes anti-Muslim hate.
On that program, host Sean Hannity seemed to encourage televangelist Pat Robertson in his venomous attack on Islam and on the Prophet Muhammad.
About the Prophet Muhammad, Robertson said: "This man was an absolute wild-eyed fanatic. He was a robber and a brigand. And to say that these terrorists distort Islam, they're carrying out Islam." Instead of challenging those hate-filled remarks, Hannity said: "Reverend, how widespread do you think that fanatical interpretation is? Do you think it's mainstream? Or do you think it's the majority of Muslims?"
After Robertson replied by calling Islam "a monumental scam," Hannity said: "So Islam is a threat bigger than what most people are willing to say publicly?... Do you think it's inevitable, then, that the world is going to be in conflict, perhaps even at war, with Islam for many decades to come?"
In the program's second segment, Robertson said: "[The Quran, Islam's revealed text] is strictly a theft of Jewish theology meaning this man [Muhammad] was a killer. And to think that this is a peaceful religion is fraudulent."
"Our office receives daily complaints from concerned Muslims and people of other faiths who say that, unlike other networks, Fox's news and views on Islam, Muslims or the Middle East are neither fair nor balanced. Venomous and hate-filled remarks like those made by Robertson, and Sean Hannity's failure to challenge those remarks, poison the minds of ordinary viewers and can incite acts of violence against American Muslims," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.
Awad added that in just the past month, there was a shooting attack on an Ohio mosque, vandalism at Islamic center under construction in Virginia and the revelation of a detailed plan to attack some 50 Florida mosques. He also called on American religious and political leaders to repudiate defamatory attacks on the faith of Islam.
As other examples of the network's anti-Muslim bias, Awad cited Fox's inflammatory coverage of last Friday's "terror scare" in Florida, talk show host Bill O'Reilly's comparison of the Quran to Hitler's "Mein Kampf" and the network's tendency to ambush and abuse those Muslims who do appear on its programs. He did however note that Fox's "On the Record" with host Greta Van Susteren often presents fair and balanced coverage of Muslims and Islam.
In a recent CAIR survey, 45 percent of Muslim respondents said Fox News was the media outlet that exhibited the most biased coverage of Islam and Muslims.
CAIR is seeking to counter anti-Muslim hate in American society with its Library Project, a campaign to encourage Muslim individuals and groups to sponsor 18-item "library packages" of books, videos and audio cassettes about Islam and Muslims for distribution to as many as 16,000 public libraries nationwide. The package contains books such as "Muhammad," a biography of the Prophet Muhammad by Yahiya Emerick.
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