Monday, December 04, 2006

Hidden Anti-Muslim Bias Revealed When D.C. Area Radio Host Punk'd His Listeners.

I saw this story on Friday. It has shown up at a few other places since then (here and here). It really is chilling because the host came up with a spoof making it look as if he was supporting treatment of Muslims in America in a manner similar to that of Jewish people in Nazi Germany. One would think that this would bring about an appropriate response from his listeners, that is condemnation. But surprise surprise..there were quite a few callers who expressed a clear anti-Muslim bias.
When radio host Jerry Klein suggested that all Muslims in the United States should be identified with a crescent-shape tattoo or a distinctive arm band, the phone lines jammed instantly.

The first caller to the station in Washington said that Klein must be "off his rocker." The second congratulated him and added: "Not only do you tattoo them in the middle of their forehead but you ship them out of this country ... they are here to kill us."

Another said that tattoos, armbands and other identifying markers such as crescent marks on driver's licenses, passports and birth certificates did not go far enough. "What good is identifying them?" he asked. "You have to set up encampments like during World War Two with the Japanese and Germans."

At the end of the one-hour show, rich with arguments on why visual identification of "the threat in our midst" would alleviate the public's fears, Klein revealed that he had staged a hoax. It drew out reactions that are not uncommon in post-9/11 America.

"I can't believe any of you are sick enough to have agreed for one second with anything I said," he told his audience on the AM station 630 WMAL (, which covers Washington, Northern Virginia and Maryland

"For me to suggest to tattoo marks on people's bodies, have them wear armbands, put a crescent moon on their driver's license on their passport or birth certificate is disgusting. It's beyond disgusting.

"Because basically what you just did was show me how the German people allowed what happened to the Jews to happen ... We need to separate them, we need to tattoo their arms, we need to make them wear the yellow Star of David, we need to put them in concentration camps, we basically just need to kill them all because they are dangerous."

If you think that this is a fringe minority..think again!

A Gallup poll this summer of more than 1,000 Americans showed that 39 percent were in favor of requiring Muslims in the United States, including American citizens, to carry special identification.

Roughly a quarter of those polled said they would not want to live next door to a Muslim and a third thought that Muslims in the United States sympathized with al Qaeda, the extremist group behind the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.

From one depressing bit of news to another well not really..

Japanese Paris Hilton doll from here..well not really but it's funny. Click on the picture to read the "English".


Asha said...

Monday! Getting serious,are we?:)

What would be my tattoo on my forehead for all the racists of America?!

OH! I know, 'OM'!!! and I would display it with pride too and gladly ship out of this country if it comes to that:)

Now, Paris doll depresses and bothers me deeply:(

Sanjay said...

@Asha.. Well sorta I guess. ANyways I would rather stand and fight these nuts.
I agree about the Paris doll.

Diana said...

Sadly, I'm not surprised, only deeply dismayed.

priya said...

Paris doll yucks and bad advertisement.

We can never change the concept of racism as long as people are scared with one another.

Maggie said...

I'm appalled and ashamed of my countrymen. How could anyone think like that in this day and age? How quickly the lessons of history are forgotten.

Sai said...

This is so disgusting! Racism is due to ignorance. I cannot believe how people could have such biases. *disgusted look*

@Asha: For all the racists in America, instead of "Om" perhaps we could wear saffron arm bands and have "Garv se kaho hum hindu hain" tattooed on our foreheads!!!*rolling eyes*

About Paris Hilton....EWWW

Mona Buonanotte said...

Oh, how the Bushies HATE when you compare them to Nazis/Hitler. But. There's truth to what you speak.

Shionge said...

No matter what Sanjay there's bound to have some element of bias against another regardless of which race & religion.

Oh Paris! Honestly I love Paris - the one in France not the one in America :D

Have a nice week ahead Sanjay!

Sanjay said...

@Diana.. Join the club. :-/

@Priya.. Agreed.

@Maggie. I agree and as a person of South Asian origin, I am particularly sensitive to this.

@Sai..I am not surprised that there is bias just that how easily it bubbled to the surface.

@Mona.. I have had ppl tell me here how the dems are the traitors and racists.

@Shionge.. ye.. LOL @ Paris comment.

Cacophoenix said...

Kind of reveals what Jung or Freud might classify as the inner devil within each man. At this day and age when countries are divided physically using borders by way of race, language and culture, it is not suprising people carry such views. When you elect apresident who loudly proclaims the greatness of evangelical christinaity, it is not suprising people have such views. When karnataka does not allow tamil movies or tamil people on its soil, it is not suprising these feelings exist. When you have govt opposition formed of 'hindutva people, it is not suprising to see people with this reaction. What is suprising is people never realise that no matter how secular a country every person feels he is a cut above the next.

Aditi said...

y does it surprise u? this is the country that shipped japanese to internment camps after pearl harbor? same time as nazi germany...
i wouldnt be surprised if they didnt stop at muslims but went after everyone...

Sanjay said...

@Cacophoenix..I agree with your point about the inner devil. All of us are inherently capable of acting inhuman. The rise of this feeling of religious chauvinism or superiority is troubling and it is seen in pretty much all religions.
Personally I tend to favor no religion it is how you live your life that probably matter more, assuming you have the clarity to question your own beliefs and actions at all times.

@Aditi.. It does not surprise me. My point was just to bring this out in the public sphere in my own little way.

meno said...

I guess i'll need a tattoo too. As an athiest, which translates into someone with no morals whatsoever, i wonder what it should be.

I would like to say that the callers surprised me with their responses, but sadly, no.

And then there's the Paris doll. Ick.

Arfeen said...

after reading posts like this it's hard to not think about your non muslim co-workers and friends with whom you interact daily. They all seem to be open minded & non chalant about your religion in front of you.
How can you find out if they really feel like that or is it just a facade that they put up so that they're not labelled as racists?

Lucia said...

This is so -expletive deleted- frightening. The kicker is that most Americans know ZERO Muslims personally. None. Nada. Zip.

And, on a lighter note, my heart is thirsting for wishness to be like Paris.

Sugarlips said...

This is hideous...I'm surprised ppl can stoop that low? Totally absurd comments !!

I'm going to spend this whole week to think what would be the tattoo on my forehead & if arm bands are from Cartier then I'm so ready :)

Paris Hilton..Her name should've been DUMB Hilton...ewww...!!

Stay Beautiful...!!

Keshi said...

**When radio host Jerry Klein suggested that all Muslims in the United States should be identified with a crescent-shape tattoo or a distinctive arm band, the phone lines jammed instantly.

thats such an insensitive thing to say. He should be sacked. While ppl r free to say what they feel, they r certainly not entitled to breed racism. He's an idiot.

me blondy...I didnt get that Paris Hilton pic :( wuts that spider abt?


Intern said...

I love bimbo celebrities -
Paris Hilton - YES!!!
Pamela Andreson - O YES!!!
Ashley Simpson - excellent entertainment ....

It would be so boring if these all walk and talk like Condi-Rice or Hillary ...

Britney Spears joins paris - superb!!!
Long live Enetrtainment channel!!!

Sanjay said...

@Meno.. Atheist? Ye got that right.

@Arfeen. I truly have no way of knowing what is in a person's mind. All I know is that I work with a great bunch of people. We are all professionals and respect each other.
I love working where I am which is really all that matters in a way.

@Lucia.. Yes. You have a point there.

@Sugarlips. Yes they exist out there, aren't we all better of knowing that?

@Keshi.. Actually he said that as a spoof, his aim being to see how people would react and they reacted as expected, but with more people revealing their bias.

@Intern..:-) You are so on top of things celebrity wise. But then so am I! ;-)

Potato Print said...

Hi Sanjay,

Thanks for your comment on my post about Christmas. I like your suggestion about enjoying food and lights.

You have QUITE the blog here. Oy! It's like a big steamroller. You really speak your mind. I need to learn how to do that.

My thoughts on the Muslim piece. People scapegoat the extremists, like the KKK or this idea of marking Muslims with tatoos. The reason we scapegoat them is to distance ourselve, to say, "OH! I'm not like them!"

What frightens me much, much more is the people who don't say anything, who harbor their fears and their racism.

My husband is a Muslim, and I can't tell you how many times people have expressed "CONCERN" about how I am treated. People have jokingly said "Does he work for Al Queda?" I think that kind of racism and intolerance is much more dangerous than the crazies.

Am I a steamroller?

moegirl said...

Sad, sad about the radio show.

Freaky, and yet hilarious about the Paris Hilton doll!

Ash said...

"without talent but famously anyway"

Haha :-)

Nadim said...

wil make things easier to b acceptd into american society if muslims strt socialising more! but socialising for americans means alcohol n food! and muslims (most of em) are against alcohol n eat only halal meat...
da line is drawn right frm der i gues! the more liberal ones might hav no prblms... atleast wont b tattoed on their forehead!!

but even socialisng might not matter to the extremists! its lik da same way hw all american citizens r islam's enemies acc to Qaida!!

Sanjay said...

@PP.. Thank you for your kind words. I try to speak my mind here, rather easier to do compared to the real world.

I think scapegoating is never nice. And the "concern" of folks shows how little they know about other religions.
Have you tried asking the ppl if they belong to the klan, when they try to joke about your hubby? Stay strong girl!

@Moe.. yep.

@Ash.. Thanks :)

@Nadim, you make an interesting point.

Keshi said...

**You are so on top of things celebrity wise. But then so am. I ;-)

oh ok then :):) Sanjay!


liberalfoodie said...

America's supposed to be the modern, progressive nation but, from that talk show, it sounds like people are still so racist. The saddest part in all of this is there are kids growing up learning this nonsense. SAD!

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, you guys are all a bunch of ignorant liberals, aren't you?

Who the hell came up with the comparison that we are like modern day Nazis? Hmmm, didn't the fucking Muslims bomb US first? Yeah, I don't remember the Jews flying DC-3's into buildings or planting IED's on the roadside to kill people....The JEWS didn't murder CIVILIANS, they didn't murder ANYBODY. The Islamic Extremists are the ones who fucked it up for the rest of you supposedly "peaceful" Muslims, and if you think I don't know about the Koran or have read it, you're dead wrong. Your holy book contradicts itself more times than Paris Hilton has had abortions, and I've seen countless Muslim men in captivity saying that all Muslims will one day fight the Western Demons, such as myself. Peaceful people DONT blow shit up. Mohhamed was a lying sack of shit, and you all fell for his crap. If he were alive today, Islam wouldn't be around because I'd have shot him in the face, along with anyone who thought that God told them to declare war on all those who didn't convert. I'm pretty sure that as powerful as God is, if he really wanted a race, or a religion gone, he would do it himself, he wouldn't need all you bastards to do it. I think you all deserve some kind of identifying mark on your's called an entry wound.....from my M-16.