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Monday, January 30, 2006

Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Handel Transcript 

A transcript is now available.

Bill Handel Apology...Strings Attached

Bill Handel 1/30/2006:

Interesting news that happened actually started January 12th, on the morning show, the day of the Hajj in Mecca. A few hundred people were trampled to death as sometimes happens in Mecca, it’s a problem they’ve had for many many years.

And we did a little skit that morning, about them desperately needing a helicopter in the sky, and a traffic reporter to guide traffic. We did a little skit on that, and Paul did it in his accent, as an Arab helicopter/traffic reporter.

You never know, whenever we do something on a show, when it hits a nerve. Who are we going to offend today, and what is going to reverberate? I have no idea! I mean we start at 5:00 am in the morning offending people. That’s what this show is about, we make fun of everybody! There is no group that is off limits to us. There is no religion that is off limits to us, there is no ethnic group, no nationality. Nothing is off limits! You just never know who we offend, and every once in a while we hit and nerve, and BOOM, off it goes. And with two things happening…number one, the internet and its ability to marshal emails throughout the world and groups out there, the righteous groups that monitor for offensive comments. With these, you’ve got an interesting combination, and there is our story.

It broke last Thursday, that this group CAIR, the Counsel of American Islamic Relations, found what we had done on January 12th offensive, because we made fun of Muslims. Yes, we did, we make fun of everybody. Get in line, because we make fun of everybody. You think we are only making fun of you? HA! Well, they demanded of KFI and me, an apology and reprimand. They wanted me to apologize to Muslims for making fun of them, and they wanted a reprimand. As a matter of fact, we received emails, and I’m going to share with you a quick email sent to Mr. Greg Ashlock, Regional Vice President of Clear Channel Radio. (He reads the following email):

Dear Mr. Ashlock,

I am writing to kindly ask KFI radio and Clear Channel Communications to issue a formal apology and to reprimand Mr. Bill Handel for making Islamophobic remarks on one of his recently aired shows.

On January 12, Mr. Handel mocked the deaths of hundreds of Muslims while performing their annual pilgrimage to Mecca. He also described the event as a stampede, characterized Islam as a “strange religion,” and portrayed Muslims as anti-Semites.

Mr. Handel’s comments are not only incorrect; they also demonstrate a reckless and insensitive attitude toward the loss of human life and toward a religion that is practiced by 1.3 billion people around the globe.

Needless to say Mr. Handel’s comments about Muslims’
attitudes toward Jews are stereotypical and they only serve to increase tension and conflict among people of Abrahamic faiths.

I urge KFI and Clear Channel Communications to distance themselves from Mr. Handel’s repeated Islamophobic remarks by issuing a formal apology and a reprimand.

Looking forward to your reply,

Now, we got hundreds of these, hundreds! Beijing, China…Saudi Arabia…Jordan…Kuwait…needless to say all through America, too. Strangely enough, every one of them are identical! (Re-reads the first line of the email). How to you get hundreds of emails that say exactly, precisely the same thing? Why, you have an organization that sends emails out to all of its people and says please write to these folks because they have offended. Any by the way, not one of these people actually listen to the show. Nobody knows who Bill Handel is, nobody’s ever heard of Clear Channel. Why you think, Susan Baker in Bakrain, is buying a Select Comfort Bed because I’m pitching here at KFI? COME ON! Nope, it is about the organization CAIR. And they call themselves a civil rights organization, which I find hilarious. This is an organization, by the way, that has been accused of having ties, and was started by the folks that are part of Hamas. The very same people that on the news this morning, asked the world to continue sending aid to the people of Palestine. And the world says, all you need to do is say that Israel has a right to exist, and you’re going to give up terrorism. NOPE! They won’t do that.

So, CAIR has asked me for an apology for making fun of Muslims. Or in this case, specifically, for making light of the fact that hundreds of Muslims died while performing their annual pilgrimage to Mecca, and I was wrong in describing the event as a “stampede.” Although, I don’t know what other word you would use, when you have hundreds of people…stampeding, but so be it. And, characterizing Islam as a “strange religion…I sure did…I characterize Judaism as a strange religion, I characterize Catholicism as a strange religion, and every other religion as a strange religion, across the board. But, I guess when you are an Islamic organization; all you care about is, when I make fun of that particular religion. And I portray Muslims as Anti-Semites. Yeah, I got to apologize for that one, because I don’t know where the hell I ever got the idea that Muslims are Anti-Semites. Where would I ever get that idea?!! You’re right, you’re right; I guess I manufactured that out of a whole cloth.

So, CAIR, which by the way, has some of its own problems, in terms of how it was created, and who it’s connected to, and things that it has done. For example, several years ago, when a billboard showed a picture of Osama Bin Laden, here in Southern California, and it said something like “this guy is a threat.” They immediately said, “take that down,” they complained about some billboard company saying Osama is a threat, saying that’s anti-Muslim, how dare you do that.

So, bottom line, this is my response, I put it in writing, because it is going to be issued, and I want it verbatim.

I have been asked to apologize to the Muslim community, on behalf of CAIR, for comments I made on a January 12th broadcast, that it claims I was insensitive to Muslims. I have taken this request into consideration, and I am willing to issue a formal apology. I will issue a formal apology; live on the air, provided that CAIR clearly defines its positions on several issues. As has been widely reported, CAIR has been the subject of a number of investigations for ties to terrorism. If CAIR will publicly acknowledge the following three statements, I will recognize it as an organization that TRULY represents law-abiding, peace loving, American Muslim citizens. Not merely a front for people who advocate terrorism. Number one, CAIR denounces all bombings, attacks, where the intended victims were innocent civilians. Such as all bus, market, restaurant bombings in Israel, the 2004 train bombing in Madrid, and the 2005 subway and bus bombings in London. Denounce those as terrorism. Number two, Israel is a sovereign nation. Recognized by the world community, has a right to exist with defensible borders. CAIR will never say that. Three, CAIR, and its associates have no ties, nor have they ever had any ties with individuals or known terrorist organizations, whatsoever, financially or otherwise, including but not limited to, Hamas, Islamic jihad, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, or Al Qaeda. Can’t say that one either, they can try, but I doubt they will. Because if you look at the history of CAIR and how it started, you will see many of its founders in jail, tied to terrorism, financially tied to terrorism. But that’s up to them.

So here’s a question I have for them. I’m going to throw the gauntlet down now. I’ll be more than happy to apologize for offending people. I’ll apologize all day long. What I want to know is why the AP and our local television stations carry the banner when they describe themselves as civil rights organization. I would like reporters, media, print, radio, television reporters, to ask CAIR…how do you respond to Handel? You’ve demanded that Handel apologize, Handel has come back and said, I’ll be more than happy to apologize, if you denounce bombings as terrorism. The way the do it, is bombings against Israelis is that of a freedom fighter. And attacks from Israelis to Palestinians are terrorism. See how that works? Osama Bin Laden is a freedom fighter, to these people. The attacks on civilians are simply a revolution, to get out the bad guys. I want reporters to ask CAIR, respond! Do you denounce all bombings as terrorism, doesn’t matter of political motivation, doesn’t matter if an Israeli does it, doesn’t matter if a Palestinian does it, doesn’t matter if a Chinese guy does it, doesn’t matter if an Irish Republican Army guy does it, it is terrorism, if the victims are innocent civilians. Number two; Israel is a sovereign nation recognized by the world, has a right to exist. And you’ve never had any ties to anybody associated with terrorism…Hamas, Islamic jihad, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda. I’d love to see that. Then you get your apology. By the way, we have called CAIR, all through the weekend, left messages to their communications director, and we have not gotten a response. I would like to them to come, and respond on the AIR, and respond to these charges. I’m sure their response will be, that’s not the issue. Yes, it is the issue. I’ll be more than happy to talk about your issue if you talk about my issue. Maybe, they’ll shock me. You are invited to come on the show, and respond, because I am accusing you of all three of those allegations, and I’d like you to respond.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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