California radio station apologizes for Islamophobic skit
A Los Angeles, Calif., radio station today issued an on-air apology for an Islamophobic skit that claimed Muslims have sex with animals, avoid bathing and are obsessed with killing Jews.
The apology by KFI AM 640 came one day after the Southern California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) announced that it had filed complaints about the skit with both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Clear Channel Communications, the station’s parent company.
In the March 10 Bill Handel show on KFI, a pretend “Muslim” allegedly reading from the new Iraqi constitution refers to “hairy Iraqi women,” “lovely Japanese schoolgirls,” the “infidel custom of bathing on a regular basis,” and “civil unions” between Iraqis and “loving camels and goats.” Throughout the skit, the mock-Muslim repeatedly stated “Allah be praised,” “death to the Jews” and “kill all Jews.” Listeners also heard recordings of Islamic prayers in Arabic.
Today’s on-air apology by KFI Program Director Robin Bertolucci stated: “Last Wednesday, we aired a satirical skit that was offensive to some members of the Muslim community, for that we are sorry. KFI is committed to all of its Southern California listeners, including those in the Muslim community.”
An initial CAIR-LA request for an apology was denied, but the station apparently relented after receiving hundreds of calls, faxes and e-mails from concerned Muslims and people of other faiths who responded to a CAIR action alert.
“We thank all those who contacted KFI to express their concerns about the skit’s outrageous and inflammatory content,” said CAIR-LA Communications Director Sabiha Khan. “This incident proves once again that positive actions on the part of individuals and organizations can bring positive results.”
Khan said CAIR-LA will continue to monitor KFI programming for anti-Muslim material and will inform the station’s sponsors about any future Islamophobic incidents.
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.