Last week I was in South Carolina, not far from the Bob Jones University (BJU), located in Greenville. The university is known for its Christian fundamentalist teachings. In the nearby state of North Carolina live televangelist Billy Graham and his bigot son Franklin. In his freshman year, Billy had studied in the BJU. In the 1940s the older Graham needed a media sponsor to promote his anti-communist preaching that the Cold War was a showdown between good and evil, and that communists were Satan-worshippers. "Either communism must die or Christianity must die," Graham famously preached. The publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst got wind of Graham's theme, and sent a memo to all of his papers' editors, ordering them to "puff Graham". The rest is history! Billy became America's most prominent Christian leader. Even the presidents would invite him to their American-style coronation.
Graham became close with every American President from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush, who said it was a conversation with Graham that led him to become a born-again Christian. He was an unabashed supporter of Senator Joseph McCarthy at the height of the blacklists and American red scare of the 1950s. He said of his friend McCarthy, “While nobody likes a watchdog, and for that reason many investigation committees are unpopular, I thank God for men who, in the face of public denouncement and ridicule, go loyally on in their work of exposing the pinks, the lavenders, and the reds who have sought refuge beneath the wings of the American eagle and from that vantage point try in every subtle, undercover way to bring comfort, aid and help to the greatest enemy we have ever known -- communism.”
Like most televangelists, Graham is an anti-Semite. It was a question of time when his ugly self would be exposed. That came in 2002 when a previously recorded tape conversation with President Richard M. Nixon was played. In that tape Billy was heard saying: "I go and I keep friends with [Abe] Rosenthal [a Jew] at The New York Times and people of that sort, you know. And all -- I mean, not all the Jews, but a lot of the Jews are great friends of mine, they swarm around me and are friendly to me because they know that I'm friendly with Israel. But they don't know how I really feel about what they are doing to this country."
Billy Graham fathered five children, who are all in the evangelical business. His eldest daughter, low-level televangelist Virginia "GiGi" Graham (born 1945), was arrested in 2005 for spousal abuse, after three witnesses reported that she had grabbed her husband by the throat and beaten him in a parking lot.
Billy’s son Franklin Graham is now the new CEO of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. In his college days, he was expelled from LeTourneau College. He has never disapproved of his father’s teachings. Like his father, he is also an anti-Semite, and notorious for his anti-Muslim hatred and bigotry. He promotes the hateful message that Islam has attacked America politically, militarily and theologically on 9/11. His sinister views about Islam reflect a despicable and highly disturbed mind that is part paranoid, part psychotic and part amnesic. Like many pinhead Islamophobes and bigots of our time, Franklin castigates an entire religion for the supposed crime of the few, and hides the violent passages of his own scripture -- that are responsible for some of the most heinous crimes against humanity -- from a fair comparison while he is all agog about cherry-picking passages from the Qur’an without any regard for context. The sad saga of America today is, like his father who had Hearst, Franklin does have promoters and merchants of hatred and bigotry within the media world to sell his poisonous messages.
I don’t know how much of such poisonous teachings, perpetrated by the bigots like Graham, are responsible for the not-so-subtle anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim hysteria heard in many of the radio talk show programs. One thing is clear though: these days there seems to be a mushrooming of such radio channels in the southern states of the USA. In the last six months during my many trips to the southern states of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Mississippi, I was simply shocked to find so many radio channels whose only business appears to be spreading Islamophobia. These conservative radio channels are doing exactly the same thing that the Fox TV has been doing for the last few years. Interestingly, like Sean Hannity of the Fox TV who is a college dropout, many of these talk show hosts are individuals with low-IQs.
Hatred sells, and as such, many of these red-necked, half-educated, and yet arrogant hosts draw six to eight figure salaries. Their programs are sponsored and produced by many neo-conservative tycoons who believe in American exceptionalism and that America is (and should be) at war with the world of Islam. They distaste President Obama’s overture that America is not and will never be at war with Islam.
Many of these Islamophobes have been popularizing the claim that “not all Muslims are terrorists, but (nearly) all terrorists are Muslims.” The reality, however, is quite different. The official FBI records show that only 6% of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil from 1980 to 2005 were carried out by Muslim extremists. The remaining 94% were from other groups -- 42% from Latinos, 24% from extreme left wing groups, 7% from extremist Jews, 5% from communists, and 16% from all other groups (note: outside the 1993 and 9/11 attacks on the WTC, there was hardly any terrorist attack linked to Muslims).
How about in Europe? Europol publishes an annual report entitled EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report. A reading of their official website proves unfalteringly that only 0.4% of terrorist attacks from 2007 to 2009 could be attributed to extremist Muslims; a whopping 99.6% of terrorist attacks in Europe were by non-Muslim groups; a good 84.8% of attacks were from separatist groups completely unrelated to Islam. Leftist groups accounted for over sixteen times as much terrorism as radical Muslim groups.
In three recent programs, Glenn Beck of the Fox TV accused Jewish billionaire philanthropist George Soros of being complicit with the Holocaust as a child in Nazi-occupied Hungary, and called him a “puppet master” who is “notorious for collapsing economies and regimes all around the world” and whose “next target” is the United States. Citing Mr. Soros’s statements about the decline of the dollar, Beck said, “Not only does he want to bring America to her knees, financially, he wants to reap obscene profits off us as well.” Many neo-conservatives hate Mr. Soros for his promotion of liberal causes and his support of some of the Democratic contestants in the last six years, including his failed attempt in 2004 to derail President George W. Bush's re-election.
The Jewish advocacy group, the Anti-Defamation League, took issue with Beck’s depiction of Mr. Soros as a “Jewish boy helping sending the Jews to the death camps,” calling it “offensive” and “horrific.” Its national director Abe Foxman said, “To hold a young boy responsible for what was going on around him during the Holocaust as part of a larger effort to denigrate the man is repugnant.” Writing on The Daily Beast, the author Michelle Goldberg said Mr. Beck’s programs were a “symphony of anti-Semitic dog whistles.”
Interestingly, because of his support of the war crimes perpetrated by the state of Israel against the Palestinian people, Glenn Beck, like many of his fellow conservative Christian and Mormon talk show hosts, was backed up in the past by many Jewish leaders. It is high time that these Jewish leaders wake up to the ground reality of what is happening now inside the USA under the name of Islamophobia and stop promoting and sponsoring hatred. To a Christian bigot, Muslims and Jews are all alike; they have failed to accept the supposed divinity of Jesus, and as such are doomed to be destroyed in the coming Armageddon!
What is today’s Islamophobia was yesterday’s anti-Semitism with the only difference that Muslims have replaced the Jews as the targeted victims. However, as demonstrated by Glenn Beck’s hostile attack on Mr. Soros, it is clear that anti-Semitism is still alive and kicking amongst many of these Christian talk show hosts and amongst their millions of viewers and listeners who continue to be brainwashed by these forked-tongue, utterly evil spiritual children of Julius Stryker of the Nazi era of Germany. Only by stopping sponsorship of advertisements and denying promotions of views of these bigots in the popular media can this battle against bigotry be won. And the Jewish media moguls and community leaders can play an important role in defeating this menace. Are they ready to stop hatred?