In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MN RADIO STATION THANKED FOR ‘MUSLIM JEOPARDY’ SKIT APOLOGY
Contest categories reportedly included ‘smells like a Shia’
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/2/06) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today thanked a Minnesota radio station for reacting positively to concerns about an on-air skit that offended Muslim listeners.
A complaint received by the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) stated that KDWB-FM recently aired a segment called “Muslim Jeopardy” in which a person reportedly used a fake South Asian accent in announcing contest categories such as “infamous infidels,” “potent portables” and “smells like a Shia.” The complaint also stated that a female host was threatened with beheading when she got an answer wrong.
In a letter sent last week to KDWB, CAIR wrote:
“Given the existing prejudice against and stereotyping of Islam and Muslims, we believe Islamophobic rhetoric can and does have a negative impact on the lives of ordinary American Muslims.
“CAIR issues an annual report on the status of American Muslim civil rights outlining hundreds of incidents involving anti-Muslim discrimination, harassment and even physical violence. Just this past week, there was a sniper attack on a mosque in Florida. In August, a Minneapolis mosque was targeted by arsonists.
“It is our belief, based on years of experience, that many of these incidents result from the images of Islam and Muslims put forward in the news and entertainment industries.
“We have no desire to inhibit free speech or freedom of expression. However, it is our duty to defend both America’s traditions of ethnic and religious tolerance and the safety of the American Muslim community.”
The letter asked KDWB to investigate the matter and to take “appropriate action” based on the results of the investigation.
As a result of complaints about the skit, KDWB morning host Dave Ryan issued an apology and the station placed the following “Public Statement” on its web site:
“KDWB does not condone making light of Islam and Muslims. We regret that listeners found the ‘Muslim Jeopardy’ comedy skit of one of our on-air hosts to be insensitive.”
The station has also agreed to work with CAIR and the Minnesota Muslim community to offer public service announcements that would promote interfaith understanding.
“We thank KDWB for responding positively to the Muslim community’s concerns,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “Freedom of expression and respect for the religious sensitivities of others need not be mutually exclusive concepts.”
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 32 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR national Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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