Levellers

Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Fight Savage’s Anti-Muslim Hate Speech

It’s time to stop the anti-Muslim hate speech. We begin with super-bigot demagogue Michael Savage. Yes, I believe in freech speech. Yes, I love Voltaire’s dictum, “I may disagree with everything you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” But we don’t have to pay for it. Hate speech creates an atmosphere of fear that leads to crimes created by a mob mentality.  In the 1930s, Henry Ford bought a newspaper and used it to spew anti-Jewish propaganda–that was so vindictively anti-semitic that Adolf Hitler praised Henry Ford in Mein Kampf and later gave him a medal. The renegade Catholic priest, Fr. Joseph Coughlin, used a radio show to spew such anti-semitic bigotry across the airwaves. So successful was this anti-Jewish propaganda here in the land of the free that, even as the Nazis began their anti-Jewish campaigns in the ’30s, polls showed that 50% of Americans believed Jews brought at least some of this treatment on themselves! (Source for that statistic: The Jewish Americans series on PBS.  It is worth watching.)

Now, this same kind of bigotry campaign is targetting Muslims. We cannot stand back and let it happen.  Those of us who are Christians have specifically religious obligations to stop it: including the commands against bearing false witness, the commands to love neighbors and enemies, the command to treat others as we would want to be treated.  Some of us come from traditions that have known our own persecution–and in that history we would have wanted others to speak out on our behalf. Now our Muslim sisters and brothers need that kind of courage from us.  This is not about whose religion is right or wrong. This is not about questions of soteriology (exclusive, inclusive, etc.), but about simple truthtelling and defending the rights and dignity of our neighbors and fellow citizens.

We begin by taking on the demagogue Michael Savage.  See the following video. Then go to NoSavage.org and take action: email him and call his talk show to protest. Contact his sponsors and urge them to pull out or we boycott their products–we do not have to pay for his hate speech. (One major sponsor has already pulled out.) Does Savage have free speech? Absolutely. In this country, he can spew whatever bile he wants without fear of arrest. But we DON’T have to give him a microphone. Do something. Fight back against this bile, now.

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January 18, 2008 Posted by | civil liberties, interfaith, Islam, peacemaking, prejudice, religious liberty, U.S. politics | 6 Comments