By Binyamin L. Jolkovsky
Yesterday Michael Graham wrote in his column: “I take no pleasure in saying it. It pains me to think it. I could very well lose my job in talk radio over admitting it. But it is the plain truth: Islam is a terror organization.” And then his fears came true. Hours after his column appeared here, Graham, a mid-morning talker at WMAL in Washington, D.C., was suspended without pay pending an investigation. Graham’s column and previous on-air comments were not the first time he’s had a run-in with CAIR. In an April, 2004 column, he details other attempts by the Muslim group to silence him. But as late as this week, a WMAL executive, Randall Bloomquist, told the Washington Post that despite CAIR’s protests about some of Graham’s on-air utterances, the station had no intention of reprimanding him. Describing Graham’s rhetoric as “amped up”, he said, according to the paper, it is justified within the context of the program. “Remember that this is talk radio,” Bloomquist added. “We don’t do the dainty minuet of the newspaper editorial page. It’s not ‘Washington Week in Review.’ It depends on pungent statements to drive it. Michael is rattling the cage. It’s designed to start and further a conversation, and it has certainly done that.” Graham, on-air, explained his position on Islam:
“Because of the mix of Islamic theology that â rightly or wrongly â is interpreted to promote violence, added to an organizational structure that allows violent radicals to operate openly in Islam’s name with impunity, Islam has, sadly, become a terrorist organization. It pains me to say it. But the good news is it doesn’t have to stay this way if the vast majority of Muslims who don’t support terror will step forward and re-claim their religion.”
CAIR sent a mass e-mail to its sympathizers, who responded to their call.