CAIR renews call for radio host's firing
CAIR today renewed its call for the firing of a Boston-area radio talk show host after a newspaper report showed that his anti-Muslim remarks were even more offensive than first thought.
CAIR made its original demand last Friday after receiving a complaint from a concerned listener who said WTKK-FM (www.969fmtalk.com) host Jay Severin urged the killing of American Muslims. Quotes from a tape of the actual program obtained by the Boston Globe show that Severin called Muslims a "fifth column"* in America and seemed to confirm the report that he wanted them killed. (WTKK denied CAIR's request for a tape of the program.)
The Globe reported that in a conversation with a caller who suggested that the United States befriend Muslims in this country, Severin said:
"I believe that Muslims in this country are a fifth column…The vast majority of Muslims in this country are very obviously loyal, not to the United States, but to their religion. And I'm worried that when the time comes for them to stand up and be counted, the reason they are here is to take over our culture and eventually take over our country."
"My suspicion is that the majority of Muslims in the United States, who regard themselves as Muslims first and not as Americans really at all, see an American map one day where this is the United States of Islam, not the United States of America. I think it pays to harbor those suspicions."
Severin asked the caller: "Do you think we should befriend them?" "Yes," the caller said.
"I've got good news for you: We have," Severin replied. "Thanks for the call and that's what I'm worried about." Then, introducing another caller, Severin said: "I have an alternative viewpoint. It's slightly different than yours. You think we should befriend them; I think we should kill them."
Severin told the Globe: "To anyone who may have been offended by misunderstanding or misconstruing my remarks, I want you to know that I regret that."
See: Radio host says remarks misconstrued
"The actual transcript of the program is even worse than what had initially been reported," said CAIR's Executive Director Nihad Awad. "Based on Mr. Severin's claim that Muslim citizens are a 'fifth column' in this country and his apparent belief that they should be killed, we renew our call for his termination." Awad added that CAIR will ask for an FCC investigation of Severin's remarks.
Hundreds of concerned Muslims have already contacted the station and its advertisers to ask for Severin's dismissal. At least one advertiser has pulled its ads from the station.
Last week, CAIR announced a new campaign designed to counter anti-Muslim hate on radio talk shows. The campaign, called "Hate Hurts America," is based on the premise that the increasing attacks on Islam by talk show hosts harm the United States by creating a downward spiral of interfaith mistrust and hostility. A recent spike in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide has been blamed at least in part on the increase in Islamophobic rhetoric in America.
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 26 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.
(* "Fifth column" is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as "a clandestine subversive organization working within a country to further an invading enemy's military and political aims." It was first applied in 1936 to rebel sympathizers inside Madrid when four columns of rebel troops were attacking that city.)
Immediate Action Requested: (As always, be firm but POLITE.)
Contact Matt Mills, WTKK-FM General Manager, to ask that he fire Jay Severin for his anti-Muslim remarks.
Mr. Matt Mills
55 William T Morrissey Blvd.
Dorchester, MA 02125-3315
Phone: (617) 822-9600
Fax: (617) 822-6859
Contact Mr. Severin's sponsors and make them aware of your concerns. (Always be polite and respectful.)
Smile Boston - Dr. Steven Spitz
665 Beacon Street, Suite 202
Boston, MA 02215
Longview Corporate Center
80 Erdman Way, Suite 301
Leominster, MA 01453
(978) 840-2096 Fax: (978) 840-2098
Toll Free: (800) 564-4488
The Camera Company
858 Providence Highway
Norwood, MA 02062
EDC-Excell Data & Communications Inc
464 High Street
Clinton MA 01510
Kitchen Sales, Inc.
60 Manley Street
West Bridgewater, Ma 02379
Toll free 1-800-553-4330
The Countertop Shoppe
853 N. Main Street Suite 202
Leominster, MA 01453
Toll free at: (800) 714-8114
Fax: (978) 537- 4694
Seasonal Pool & Patio
256 Cambridge Street Rte 3A
Burlington MA 01803
Phone: 781 272-8422
Join CAIR's "Hate Hurts America" campaign by listening to radio talk shows and documenting any anti-Muslim content with exact quotes from the program. Record the show. Label and date your tapes, and indicate the time on the tape of the most offensive quotes. Report all incidents to CAIR by calling 202-488-8787, faxing 202-488-0833, or e-mailing: email@example.com
How to challenge anti-Muslim Rhetoric on the Radio
- Force yourself to listen. It may be distasteful and upsetting, but unless people of conscience listen to these programs, the bigotry they spew will go unchallenged.
- Document the program's anti-Muslim content. Without exact quotes from the program, any response will be ineffective. Record the show. Label and date your tapes, and indicate the time on the tape of the most offensive quotes. You can record programs that are broadcast on the Internet using sound recording software such as Audacity. SEE: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
- Set up a quick-response list of people in your area who can be contacted quickly by phone or e-mail to call in to the program.
- Transcribe the most offensive comments. Distribute these transcripts to those on your action list.
- Call in to the show. If several people call in, it can change the entire direction of the program. REMEMBER - On radio, the first person to get angry loses the debate.
- Write letters to station managers or owners and ask others to write letters. Station officials need to hear your views. Even a few letters can have an impact.
- Request a meeting between station officials and local Muslim leaders and activists. Bring interfaith and minority coalition partners along to the meeting.
- Notify local media of your efforts. Send a press release about any action, such as protests or letter-writing campaigns to advertisers that you initiate.
- Organize a demonstration. A demonstration can draw attention to the problem. Large signs or placards and a one-page flyer with some of the worst on-air statements by the host and your coalition's demands will educate the public.
- Put pressure on advertisers. Make note of the advertisers on the offensive program. Contact each one and ask that others in your action list contact them as well. Ask that they drop their commercials from the offensive programs. BE POLITE and PROFESSIONAL in all your communications.
File a complaint with the FCC, particularly if the host uses indecent or obscene language.
To file a complaint, go to: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/complaints.html
Tel: 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322)
- Report all incidents to CAIR by calling 202-488-8787, faxing 202-488-0833, or e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org