Oct
31
2008

Campaign Media's Religious Preferences

Hosting FAIR communications director Isabel Macdonald on his religion radio show State of Belief (10/25/08), Rev. Welton Gaddy raised the issue of corporate televangelist Pat Robertson's "really significant role in aiding and abetting Islamophobia." Macdonald pointed out how

Robertson made some of the most outrageous comments about Muslims and Islam, and in addition to his broadcast on the Christian Broadcasting Network, he also appears regularly on Fox News as a guest. And he has called Islam a "bloody, brutal type of religion," has referred to Muslims as being linked to Satan on-air. He has made repeated extraordinarily racist and offensive remarks about Muslims.

Gaddy talked "about how these attitudes show up… when newspapers use terms like 'Islamic terrorism' instead of just 'terrorism.' Or… the use of the word 'Islamofascism.'" Macdonald pointed out the double standard:

In the mainstream media, we hear repeated references to Muslim terrorists, whereas we don't see references to Christian terrorists, if you have a group that says they're taking the word of a Christian god as a rationale for bombing an abortion clinic, for instance…. I think it's really playing out noticeably in this election in which we have this campaign to portray Obama as a Muslim, and we know it's not true–these are false rumors. Normally, if you had a campaign that was portraying a politician as being secretly a member of a religious group, you would not expect the first reaction of the press just to be to correct that information. You would also expect them to raise questions about why this tactic was being used–and to raise the issue of bigotry and prejudice that is central in this kind of a campaign like the one we've seen to portray Obama as a Muslim.

Check out FAIR's special report: Smearcasting: How Islamophobes Spread Fear, Bigotry and Misinformation