Archive for Glenn Beck

Beck: I Would Be ‘Uncomfortable’ With Muslim In My Administration (AUDIO)

Posted in Loon Media, Loon Radio with tags , , , , , , , on June 14, 2011 by loonwatch
Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck is at it again.

Beck: I Would Be ‘Uncomfortable’ With Muslim In My Administration (AUDIO)

(Huffington Post) Glenn Beck agreed with GOP candidate Herman Cain on his Tuesday show, saying that he would be uncomfortable having a Muslim in his administration. Cain has attracted attention for saying that he is worried about the spread of Sharia law in the U.S., and that he was worried that a Muslim might not be faithful to the Constitution. On Tuesday, Beck said he understood what Cain meant. “Do you feel comfortable in saying, ‘yeah, you know what? I’m not even going to check that guy on his stance on Sharia law,’” Beck said. He started to say that, although it wasn’t fair, he wouldn’t ask the same of a Catholic or a Baptist, but then backtracked, saying that, in fact, he might be “uncomfortable” with people from any faith, explaining, “I don’t trust anybody anymore.” However, Beck had a distinction to make. “Would I be more uncomfortable with a Muslim?” he asked. “Yes.” The reason for this, he said, was because Muslim rights group had “wildly deceived” Americans–though he didn’t say about what exactly. “And a Muslim is more likely to want Sharia law in America than any other religion,” Beck’s co-host said. Beck was quick to say that not all Muslims wanted Sharia law. “I have friends who are Muslim who are not for Sharia law,” he said.http://cloudfront.mediamatters.org/static/flash/pl55.swf Beck has made controversial statements about Muslims in the past. He has said that around ten percent of Muslims are terrorists and that some want to bring about the Antichrist. And, in 2006, he famously asked Muslim Rep. Keith Ellison to “prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.”

Herman Cain Would Require Muslim Appointees To Take A Special Loyalty Oath

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2011 by loonwatch

(cross-posted from ThinkProgress)

By Scott Keyes on Jun 8, 2011 at 6:41 pm

In March, formers Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain burst onto the presidential scene when he told ThinkProgress that he “will not” appoint Muslims in his administration.

Under intense pressure, Cain’s campaign walked back the candidate’s words, saying that he would appoint “any person for a position based on merit.” However, the next week, Cain hedged his retraction, telling the Orlando Sun Sentinel that he would only appoint a Muslim who disavowed Sharia law, but that “he’s unaware of any Muslim who’d be willing to make such a disavowal.”

On the Glenn Beck Show today, the host asked the Georgia Republican about his refusal to appoint Muslims. Cain told Beck that he would be willing to appoint a Muslim only “if they can prove to me that they’re putting the Constitution of the United States first.” Beck followed up by asking if he was calling for “some loyalty proof” for Muslims. Cain said, “Yes, to the Constitution of the United States of America.” When Beck then asked “Would you do that to a Catholic or would you do that to a Mormon?” Cain told the host, “Nope, I wouldn’t.”:

BECK: You said you would not appoint a Muslim to anybody in your administration.

CAIN: The exact language was when I was asked, “would you be comfortable with a Muslim in your cabinet?” And I said, “no, I would not be comfortable.” I didn’t say I wouldn’t appoint one because if they can prove to me that they’re putting the Constitution of the United States first then they would be a candidate just like everybody else. My entire career, I’ve hired good people, great people, regardless of their religious orientation.

BECK: So wait a minute. Are you saying that Muslims have to prove their, that there has to be some loyalty proof?

CAIN: Yes, to the Constitution of the United States of America.

BECK: Would you do that to a Catholic or would you do that to a Mormon?

CAIN: Nope, I wouldn’t. Because there is a greater dangerous part of the Muslim faith than there is in these other religions. I know that there are some Muslims who talk about, “but we are a peaceful religion.” And I’m sure that there are some peace-loving Muslims.

Watch it:

Cain’s call for a loyalty oath targeted at a specific segment of the population is a historical relic that ought to be confined to the past. Forcing a subset of Americans to prove their loyalty to the United States was as wrong during the era of McCarthyism as it is today.

Cain’s requirement that Muslim nominees take a loyalty oath while Catholics and Mormons would be exempted is not only bigoted, it’s also ironic considering that the same suspicion was once levied at Catholics. During the 1960 presidential election, anti-Catholic sentiment held that if then-Sen. John F. Kennedy were elected president, his Catholic faith would make him beholden to the Pope rather than the United States. Such views were abhorrent when directed at Catholics 50 years ago, and they are abhorrent when directed at Muslims today.

Three months ago, ThinkProgress wrote, “As the Republican presidential nomination process begins, one GOP candidate is making a name for himself as the Islamophobia candidate: Herman Cain.” Unfortunately, we are seeing just how true that prediction was.

Cain continues walk-back of Muslim comments

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2011 by loonwatch

Cain continues walk-back of Muslim comments

Denials come days before Cain’s Iowa appearance on arm of Vander Plaats

In less than two weeks, former Godfather’s Pizza chief executive Herman Cain will return to Iowa as a participant in a religious conservative group’s presidential lecture series. For now, however, he is traveling the nation as a GOP presidential candidate and speaking with conservative-friendly media outlets in hopes of lessening the damage his remarks concerning Muslims have caused.

On Tuesday, Cain appeared on out-going Fox News host Glenn Beck’s radio program, and reiterated his belief that earlier comments he had made about Muslims had been “misconstrued.”

“I immediately said, without thinking, ‘No, I would not be comfortable.’ I did not say that I would not have [Muslims] in my cabinet. If you look at my career, I have hired good people regardless of race, religion, sex gender, orientation and this kind of thing.”

When Cain was approached by a Think Progress blogger in Des Moines following a late March Conservative Principles Conference, however, he was very clear.

… Would you be comfortable appointing a Muslim, either in your cabinet or as a federal judge?

Cain: “No, I would not. And here’s why. There is this creeping attempt, there is this attempted to gradually ease Sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government. It does not belong in our government. … The question that was asked that ‘raised some questions’ and, as my grandfather said, ‘I does not care, I feel the way I feel.’ … “

The controversy also began in late March with an interview Cain gave to reporter Trevor Persaud of Christianity Today:

… When speaking about your battle with cancer at the Milner church, at one point, you indicate that you were a little uncomfortable when you found out that your surgeon’s name was Abdallah, until you found out he was a Lebanese Christian. So what’s your perspective on the role of Muslims in American society?

The role of Muslims in American society is for them to be allowed to practice their religion freely, which is part of our First Amendment. The role of Muslims in America is not to convert the rest of us to the Muslim religion. That I resent. Because we are a Judeo-Christian nation, from the fact that 85 percent of us are self-described Christians, or evangelicals, or practicing the Jewish faith. Eighty-five percent. One percent of the practicing religious believers in this country are Muslim.

And so I push back and reject them trying to convert the rest of us. And based upon the little knowledge that I have of the Muslim religion, you know, they have an objective to convert all infidels or kill them. Now, I know that there are some peaceful Muslims who don’t go around preaching or practicing that. Well, unfortunately, we can’t sit back and tolerate the radical ones simply because we know that there are some of them who don’t believe in that aspect of the Muslim religion. …

While referring to the “several crises facing this country,” Cain specifically took on what he perceives as a “moral” crisis, saying that such problems would need to “be solved in our families, our communities, and in our various religious institutions.” But then Cain clarified that he didn’t believe all religions had a role to play in combating the moral crisis by noting that “Christians, evangelicals, Jews, believers of all types when it comes to biblically-based religions, are going to have to step up more, and push back more, and not allow our Christian beliefs to be intimidated.”

And, roughly two weeks after speaking with Think Progress and the Christianity Today interview, Cain appeared on Bryan Fischer‘s radio program to further explain and assure the religious conservative talk show host and his audience that he was not afraid of being labeled a bigot for speaking the truth about his feelings regarding Muslims.

“I have been upfront, which ruffles some feathers, but remember, Bryan, being politically correct is not one of my strong points. I come at it straight from the heart and straight from the way I see it. And the comment that I made that became controversial, and that my staff keeps hoping will die, is that I wouldn’t have Muslims in my administration. And it’s real simple: The Constitution does not have room for sharia law. I want people who are going to believe and enforce the Constitution of the United States of America. And so I don’t have time, as President of the United States, to try and screen people based upon their religious beliefs — I really don’t care what your religious believes are, but I do know that most of the people of the Muslim faith, they believe in sharia law. And to introduce that element as part of an administration when we have all of these other issues, I think I have a right to say that I won’t.”

Watch the exchange with Fischer:

Fischer is the director of issue analysis for government and public policy for the controversial and anti-gay religious organization American Family Association, which was one of the key national organizations that bank-rolled the successful effort by Bob Vander Plaats, now heading The Family Leader, to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices up for retention who took part in a unanimous decision that found a legislative ban on same-sex marriage to be in violation of Iowa’s equal protection clause.

Fischer insinuated on his blog in March that Muslims don’t have First Amendment rights.

When Cain returns to Iowa next month, he — like several other 2012 GOP hopefuls including Michele BachmannTim PawlentyRick Santorum, Ron Paul and, in July, Newt Gingrich — will appear beside Vander Plaats at a speaking event hosted and organized by The Family Leader, which continues to battle against the Iowa Judicial Branch, for a complete ban on all contraceptives and abortion services and for areturn of the unconstitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Cain is scheduled to speak on June 6 at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Pella Christian High School in Pella and the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City.

Glenn Beck: Off the Rails and into the Abyss with Joel Richardson and Zuhdi Jasser

Posted in Feature, Loon Media, Loon Pastors, Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2011 by loonwatch

Glenn Beck recently has been harping on and on about the impending doom of Armageddon, and he has figured out who the Anti-Christ is, an “Islamic figure” known as the “12th Imam” or “Mahdi.” To help promote his pseudo-religio-apocalyptic propaganda he had Joel Richardson (fundamentalist Christian) and Zuhdi Jasser, token Muslim beloved by Neo-Cons and wacko Islamophobes.

Beck claims he has been studying this “issue” for nearly five or six years, which is hard to believe when he can’t distinguish between Shi’as and Sunnis:

This hysteria is quite revealing. The Christian right-wing has always scapegoated or somehow cast America’s perceived “enemies” at one time or another as the Anti-Christ. During the Cold War the Soviet Union and its Premieres were the Anti-Christ, during the Gulf War it was Saddam Hussein, at various points throughout history it has been the Pope, and Jerry Falwell thought it obvious that theAnti-Christ was a “male Jew.”

It would almost be an exercise in futility (since they are so obvious) to rebut the horrendous, blatant factual inaccuracies regarding Islamic Eschatology here, but a brief response is necessary.

In the first instance it must be noted that Islamic Eschatology is a debated topic with various theological opinions amongst scholars, and both Sunni Islam and Shia’ Islam have different views of the events and also place different levels of importance on these End Times characters/scenarios. For Shia’ Twelver Islam the Mahdi is a central figure of their Faith whereas amongst Sunnis he is not central to the Faith.

Before we approach this subject it must be made abundantly clear that Muslims believe that no one, not the Prophets, Saints nor the Angels know when the Last Day/End Times will begin. This knowledge belongs only to God because he is the one who has decided it:

“They ask you about the Hour (Day of Resurrection): ‘When will be its appointed time?’ Say: ‘The knowledge thereof is with my Lord (Alone). None can reveal its time but He. Heavy is its burden through the heavens and the earth. It shall not come upon you except all of a sudden.’ They ask you as if you have a good knowledge of it. Say: ‘The knowledge thereof is with God (Alone), but most of mankind know not.’”

[al-‘Araf 7:187]

2 – God says:

“People ask you concerning the Hour, say: ‘The knowledge of it is with God only. What do you know? It may be that the Hour is near!’”

[al-Ahzaab 33:63]

Ibn Katheer (3/527) said:

God tells His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that he has no knowledge of the Hour and that when the people ask him about that, he should refer the matter to God.

Al-Shanqeeti said (6/604):

It is known that the word innama (translated here as “only”) has the effect of limiting or restricting the meaning, so what the verse means is: No one knows when the Hour will come except God alone.

3 – God says:

“They ask you (O Muhammad) about the Hour — when will be its appointed time?

You have no knowledge to say anything about it.

To your Lord belongs (the knowledge of) the term thereof

You (O Muhammad) are only a warner for those who fear it”

[al-Naaz’iaat 79:42-45]

al-Sa’di said:

Because knowing the time of the Hour serves no spiritual or worldly purpose for people, rather their interests lie in it being concealed from them, the knowledge of that has been kept from all of creation and God has kept it to Himself. “To your Lord belongs (the knowledge of) the term thereof.” (via. IslamQA)

It also must be made abundantly clear that according to Islamic doctrine no one, I repeat no one has the ability to hasten the Last Day/End Times. The logic goes: How can one hasten something God has already decided? Nothing any Muslim or non-Muslim does or doesn’t do has one iota of an effect on hastening or bringing closer the End Times. This is completely and utterly in the power of God. To believe otherwise is considered disbelief and counter to Orthodox Islamic teaching amongst all Sunni groups and schools of thought, and I would venture to say most Shia’ groups and schools of thought as well (Shia’ readers feel free to add comments).

Furthermore, Islamic ‘Aqeeda, belief that Allah knows everything and all things happen through His power and Will is so profound and deeply ingrained that the idea of hastening the Last Days never occurred as a theological possibility, it was unimaginable! There is not much said about it over 1400 years of Islamic history precisely because it was inconceivable and absurd from an Islamic viewpoint.

In fact, throughout history individuals who have claimed to have been mahdis or messiahs have generally not had a very happy end: they have either been persuaded to repent, forced to repent, jailed, killed or castigated as false pretenders. (hat tip: Ahmed)

The cult of Juhayman al-Otaibi is a case in point. He is the famous mastermind behind the siege of the Grand Mosque of Mecca in 1979. He was forwarding the concept that his brother-in-law was the awaited Mahdi. To do so — amongst other things — he attempted to fulfill some of the “signs of the Last Hour” mentioned in Hadith. Juhayman and 67 of his followers were (after being captured) summarily executed.

What we are really seeing from Glenn Beck and the Christian Right crowd that he is pandering to with these insane antics is a classic case of PROJECTION. It is in fact many in the Christian Right who believe that the End Times, the Last Days can be hastened. They actually believe they have a role in bringing Jesus Christ back to Earth!

One of the violent consequences of this disastrous theology is that they believe the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque must be destroyed and the Third Jewish Temple be built for Jesus to return to earth. Imagine the repercussions if they are successful in this mad dash to instigate cataclysm?

The one piece of evidence that Islamophobes, Beck and his ilk use to try to instill fear in the populace is their de-contextualized recital of a hadith (saying of the Prophet Muhammad) and its variations that says, ‘the Last Day will not arrive until the Jews fight the Muslims and the Muslims defeat them.’

Beck and company want to pass off and interpret these ahadith as somehow calling for a hastening of the End Times. Not only is this interpretation antithetical to Islamic creed, not only is it an interpretation NEVER forwarded in the 1400 years of Islamic history by any of the hadith commentators (I have Fath al-Bari by Imam Ibn Hajar al-’Asqalani, Sharh Sahih Muslim by Imam Nawawi, and other commentaries open in front of me right now), but it exposes a profound and disgustingly immense historical amnesia.

Why wouldn’t Muslims over the course of 1400 years, at a time when Christian Europe was murdering and enslaving Jews under the doctrine of Perpetual Servitude have exterminated Jews if Beck and his cohorts are right? Why were Jews thriving in the Muslim world? Why were they being appointed as Viziers, Advisors, Diplomats, Physicians to the Caliphs, Sultans and Amirs? Why was the Golden Age of Jewish thought and culture, the revivification of Hebrew (a previously near dead language) in lands ruled by Muslims? (I am currently writing a book review for LW on The Oranament of the World by Maria Rosa Menocal).

No doubt these ahadith have been used in a bellicose and bigoted manner over the past 80 or so odd years due to the political situation in the Middle East, i.e. the conflict between the creation of Israel and occupation and repression of Palestinians. But can the anti-Muslims who forward the claim that Muslims are using these ahadith to hasten the End Times bring one shred of evidence in which these ahadith have been used to instigate or incite pogroms or to usher in the Last Days over the last 1400 years? Maybe Bernard Lewis can help in this regard?

What Beck and co. are saying would be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that it was so dangerous. Some nut or group of nuts is going to see his show and start arming himself against the evil Mooslims and think to himself that he has to get the Mooslims before they get him.

 

Anthea Butler: Beck Fuels End-Times Hysteria Over Egypt

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2011 by loonwatch

Beck Fuels End-Times Hysteria Over Egypt

ANTHEA BUTLER

(Religion Dispatches)

While much of the world looks at the Egypt uprising as a spectacular story of human courage and hope for freedom and democracy in the face of oppression, in the world of Biblical prophecy there is only one lens: a sign of the end, a prophetic sign fulfilled, or the beginnings of the tribulation. Sites like Now the End BeginsProphecy Today, and Calvary Prophecy Report are just a few of the blogs and websites referring to the events in Egypt as a sign of the end or — more ominously — the beginning of a new war.

Conspiracy monger Glenn Beck has of course jumped with both feet into the fray, repeatedly referring in the last week to one of his favorite obscure books, “The Coming Insurrection.” Beck, without having to say anything religious, recites every end-time theme; fire, riots, Islam, Israel, you name it. Beck’s latest assertion is that the Egyptian uprising will result in a Muslim Caliphate. Ridiculous, yes, but it is the dog whistle that calls together conspiracy theorists, rapture-watchers and end-times purveyors. His constant refrain that this is our “Archduke Ferdinand” moment no doubt will sear a vision of an impending World War III into the minds of his listeners, and his blackboard will continue to contribute to the growing right-wing conspiracy theories that President Obama is engineering this from the White House.

The upshot of all of this is that while the rest of us are raptly watching Al Jazeeera (because CNN, MSNBC, and Fox only care about American tourists leaving the country, and have nothing of substance to say) to witness the impending overthrow of an authoritarian leader, others are taking advantage of the situation to exploit religious beliefs about the end-times. I don’t have a problem with the regular rapture watchers speculating about various events, because that’s what they do (and hey, it can be fun to read at times) but Beck’s constant haranguing and conspiracy theories are much, much more dangerous than any small-time blog.

Beck may not be explicit about his religious take on the current events, but his “teaching theater” feeds into many end-times beliefs. Too bad there isn’t a million person march to Fox News headquarters to demand that Roger Ailes pull the plug on Beck. Hey, it’s a fantasy, but you never know.

 

Glenn Beck: Ten Percent of Muslims are Terrorists

Posted in Loon Radio with tags , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2010 by loonwatch
Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck puts forward the lie that ten percent of Muslims are terrorists.

Glenn Beck: Ten Percent Of Muslims Are Terrorists (AUDIO)

(Huffington Post)

Glenn Beck said he thinks ten percent of all Muslims are terrorists.

As ThinkProgress pointed out, Beck’s estimate would mean that roughly 157 million Muslims in the world are terrorists.

Speaking on his radio show Monday, Beck decried the relative lack of coverage that the news media is giving to the figures he discusses day after day on his radio and television shows.

“We have revolutionaries here in America speaking — American citizens speaking — about an open violent revolution and no one will cover it!” Beck said. “Would they cover it if you had tape of al Qaeda saying they’re going to get out in the streets, they want violence? Of course you would!”

Beck surmised that the media don’t think that the threats he describes are sufficient enough to cover seriously. However, he said, they should look at the havoc a relatively small number of “Islamic terrorists” had caused:

“What is the number of Islamic terrorists? One percent? I think it’s closer to ten percent but the rest of the PC world will tell you, ‘oh no, it’s minuscule.’ OK, well, let’s take you at your one percent. Look at the havoc one percent of Muslims causing in the rest of the world. You don’t think one percent, half a percent here in the United States of radicals, of people who want to violently overthrow the government, is a problem?”

http://cloudfront.mediamatters.org/static/flash/player.swf

UPDATE: As The Huffington Post’s Sebastian Howard pointed out on Twitter, Beck’s figure of ten percent is hardly new. In fact, Beck used the same statistic in his 2003 book, “The Real America.” In it, Beck says that he has concluded, after “reading and prayer,” that, while ninety percent of Islam is peaceful, “ten percent wants to see us dead.” The remaining ten percent, he writes, is “composed of extreme radicals who have taken Islam through a time tunnel and twisted it into something ugly and barbaric.”

 

Glenn Beck flirts with anti-Semitism; what if he were Muslim?

Posted in Feature with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2010 by loonwatch
Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck is on a rampage.  It’s been one conspiracy theory after another, often with an anti-Semitic twist. In June, Beck promoted The Red Network, a book by anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist Elizabeth Dilling. In September, Beck promoted another book, Secrets of the Federal Reserve, written by Eustance Mullin, described in his obituary as a “nationally known white supremacist and anti-Semite.” And lately, Beck has devoted several days of coverage to his crusade against Jewish philanthropist George Soros. Soros is no stranger to criticism, but is it right for a so-called “news anchor” to invoke the holocaust for cheap political points?

Several Jewish groups have spoken out against Mr. Beck’s pattern of anti-Semitic conspiracy mongering, such as the Jewish Funds for Justice and the Anti-Defamation League. Media outlets joined the criticism as well, like Howard Kurtz on CNNReason magazine , and Commentary magazine.

Apparently, Beck’s shenanigans have gone too far this time, prompting conservatives like David Frum to complain about the right-wing’s “closed information systems based upon pretend information.” Frum writes in the New York Times:

Every day, Beck offers alternative knowledge — an alternative history of the United States and the world, an alternative system of economics, an alternative reality. As corporate profits soar, the closed information system insists that the free-enterprise system is under assault. As prices slump, we are warned of imminent hyperinflation. As black Americans are crushed under Depression-level unemployment, the administration’s policies are condemned by some conservatives as an outburst of Kenyan racial revenge against the white overlord.

More like alternative delusions. We’ve seen how quick CNN was to fire Rick Sanchez for his off-the-cuff remarks about Jews and Jon Stewart. Such is the nature of professional news organizations who don’t want to be seen as pandering to anti-Semitism. But has Beck gone too far for Fox News?

Sadly, no. Fox stands by the nutty professor Beck. Apparently their cost-benefit analysis has concluded that Beck’s rabble-rousing anti-Semitic flirtations bring in more profit and ratings than harm to the company’s reputation. So much for “fair and balanced.”

So now I have to ask: what if Beck was Muslim? What if, for example, Fareed Zakaria of CNN had spewed anti-Semitic nonsense on national television?

Following Islamophobic doctrine, as articulated by Pam Geller and company, we’d see the anti-Muslim blogosphere fired up by the same less-than-lazy comparisons between Muslims and Nazis. Then we’d see more of the same outpour of vitriolic hate speech from the Stop the Islamization of America crowd. Fox News would continue to aid and abet the anti-Muslim counter-culture bysmearing () ordinary mainstream Muslim leaders. (Yawn). And as usual, missing from the story would be good examples of Muslims saving Jews during World War 2 out of religious conviction to love thy neighbor, or mainstream American Muslims standing alongside Jews under attack by extremists, or the myriad of interfaith initiatives that bring together Jews, Christians, Muslims, and others to promote world peace. If mentioned at all, these positive stories would be explained away as silly Muslims who don’t know that their faith equals Nazism or just more ultimate intellectual cop-outs.

What we are witnessing here is the phenomenon of selective outrage, a tribalistic notion of us-versus-the-Moozlims, my country right-or-wrong, a rejection of immutable ethical principles applied evenly to all human beings regardless of race, color, gender, or religion. Rather, we see that when one of “them” is an anti-Semite, it gets projected onto all Islam and Muslims forever, but when one of “us” is an anti-Semite, well… nothing.

Closed information systems based on pretend information, you say? Precisely.