May
13
2014

O'Reilly: Back from Vacation, Still Hating Muslims

oreilly-muslimsFox News host Bill O'Reilly is back and he doesn't like what he's hearing about the awful Boko Haram kidnappings in Nigeria–which he used to launch into a familiar rant (5/12/14):

Once again the world is shocked by the actions of fanatical Muslim terrorists. The problem is not getting any better. There are scores of Islamic groups terrorizing civilians all over the world.

Yet, what are the Muslim nations doing about it? Very little. There should be a summit among Muslim nations, organizing against the jihadists. But there is nothing.

And if you dare speak out against the Muslim world, you're a bigot. You are a terrible person. I mean, how much more trouble can one group cause on this Earth? Everybody knows most Muslims are good people, but a substantial minority cause trouble.

Muslim countries like Iran, Pakistan, Syria, openly kill civilians with little accountability.

20th Century Deaths From War and Political Violence, by Religion

Adapted from JuanCole.com

Actually, Muslim nations have over the past century caused a disproportionately small share of deaths from war and religious violence (Extra!, 8/13). O'Reilly's right, though, that there are people out there who openly call for civilians to be killed with little accountability.

He's one of them.

Days after the 9/11 attacks (9/17/01; FAIR Action Alert, 9/21/01), O'Reilly called for attacks in several countries. Afghans should suffer, but they weren't the only ones. As FAIR summarized at the time:

O'Reilly added that in Iraq, "their infrastructure must be destroyed and the population made to endure yet another round of intense pain…. Maybe then the people there will finally overthrow Saddam." If Libya's Moammar Khadafy does not relinquish power and go into exile, "we bomb his oil facilities, all of them. And we mine the harbor in Tripoli. Nothing goes in, nothing goes out. We also destroy all the airports in Libya. Let them eat sand."

A few days later (9/19/01):

Acknowledging that Afghans "are starving as it is," O'Reilly recommended that the US intensify civilian suffering by knocking out "what little infrastructure they have" and blowing up "every truck you see" to make sure that "there's not going to be anything to eat."

Contrary to O'Reilly's suggestions about Muslim silence, it's not at all difficult to find collections of Muslim leaders who denounce terrorism and attacks on civilians.

While he was careful to follow his "how much more trouble can one group cause" comment with "most Muslims are good," it's important to note that he doesn't actually think there are very many good Muslims. In 2011 (5/9/11; FAIR Blog, 5/20/11) , he said it was about 50/50 (FAIR Blog, 5/20/11):

For every Muslim in the world that wants democracy and wants human rights, there is one who doesn't. And the one who doesn't, doesn't have any rules. And it will blow the hell out of the one that does.

As for the idea that killing civilians is a uniquely Muslim phenomenon committed by nations like Pakistan, Iran and Syria…. Well, there is one country that invaded two Muslim nations in the past dozen years, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians in the process. And its leaders are mostly Christian.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.