Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Unreality TV

Last evening I was chained up and forced to watch Glen Beck for the first time. I would prefer waterboarding.

Actually I accidentally glimpsed Glen Beck a few weeks before, long enough to hear him saying something like this about Muslims: “These guys are crazy. They’ll kill you. I had to take my family across the country and hide after some of the remarks I made.” (Better hunting next time, Muslims!) I managed to escape from that first brush with Beck after a minute or so, as soon as I realized that I had wandered into some kind of unreality show based on the breathless babbling of a loony.

On this second occasion, Beck returned to his apparent favorite theme – evil Muslims. He graciously conceded that after much research (he claims he read the Koran) and some Middle East travel (perhaps on a Simon Wiesenthal Center expense account) he had concluded Islam was not an “evil religion”. He determined that the problem is not the religion itself, but rather that at least ten percent of its adherents are “off the charts evil”, and that the other ninety percent aren’t shouldering their burden of eliminating the evil ten percent and will therefore come to a well-deserved bad end behind razor wire – or worse -- if they don’t straighten themselves out.

Beck even interviewed a “good Muslim”, one Kamal Nawash, president (and I’m guessing the only active member) of something called the Free Muslims Coalition. Mr. Nawash dutifully seconded Beck’s call for a “reformation” of Islam similar to the Christian reformation led by Martin Luther – as if violence by Muslims against Israel and hence the United States was due to greed within their religious hierarchy.

Some quotes from Mr. Nawash’s website tell us where he is coming from: First, his appearance with Glen Beck, of which most people would be ashamed, gets proud top billing. “President of The Free Muslims Coalition, Kamal Nawash, talked to Glenn Beck about the future of Islam, and the possibility of reforming the religion.” Some other headlines from the “Free Muslims” website: “Don’t Blame the Jews”. “Free Muslims Call for Dismantling of Hezbollah” “Free Muslims represent the U.S. on combating anti-Semitism “. “HAMAS does not Truly Believe in Democracy; Nazis in Germany also Won at the Ballot Box.”

Mr. Nawash even invites his online readers to squeal on their fellow Muslims: “Tell us about individuals, organizations, student associations, religious leaders, mosques or any other group or individual of influence that advocates Muslim extremist ideology, engage in apologetic support for terrorist organizations or advocates Jihad. Submit an anonymous report of Extremism or Support for Terrorism.”

I will say with no hesitation that Glen Beck is a paid whore. While I can’t speak with such confidence about Kamal Nawash, I will note the saying about birds of a feather. . .

Now we return to my own favorite theme: What was omitted? Beck didn’t define “evil”. He did not explain why ten percent of a non-evil religion turned evil. And he did not mention any evil emanating from the members of other religions except for a pro forma aside that even Christianity did a few evil things hundreds of years ago. There was no mention of a cause of Muslim grievances, and of course no mention of Israel as the root of Muslim hostility and violence.

I intend to comment soon on Glen Beck’s segment on the “Holocaust” convention in Iran, after which I may never write about him again, not only because he is unworthy of attention but also because I refuse to submit myself to voluntary nausea.

“Beck's special on Islam entitled 'Exposed: The Extremist Agenda' on November 15, 2006, was rated the #1 show on all cable news in the 25-54 demographic.” WIKIPEDIA

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You wrote that Beck said, " . . . even Christianity did a few evil things hundreds of years ago." For Pete's sake! How about NOW in Iraq under the leadership of our Christian president?

Nawash mentioned that taking action in the name of God can give one a feeling of power and also much room for excuses. Hmm. Does that happen with other religions, too?