Tensions ran high recently on The View when Fox News host Bill O’Reilly clashed with hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg over bigotry against Muslims. Goldberg and Behar walked offstage at after becoming incensed at Bill O’Reilly shouting “listen to me, because you’ll learn,” and later “Muslims killed us on 9/11.”
After losing several of The View‘s hosts, Barbara Walters took control of the interview and said on the show, “we should be able to have discussions without washing our hands and screaming and walking offstage. I love my colleagues, but that should not have happened.”
A Melting Pot No More?
Park 51, or the “Ground Zero Mosque,” continues to be a polarizing and controversial news story testing the limits of the multicultural fabric in America and the notion of America as a “melting pot.”
The plans to build the “Ground Zero Mosque” were first announced to little fanfare in December of 2009. However, six months later, when the extremist organization Stop Islamization of America, a chapter of the global extremist group Stop Islamisation of Europe, started making the rounds on cable news shows, the controversy was born.
The group’s motto posted on their website does not hide their zealous bigotry: “Racism is the lowest form of human stupidity, but Islamophobia is the height of common sense.”
Since May, the story has remained popular-attracting interest and active participation from both Islamophobes and the defenders of multiculturalism. Over the summer, a series of protests played out in Downtown Manhattan near the site of the proposed “Ground Zero Mosque.” Adding to the controversy were a series of polls that revealed a deeply divided American and New York City public.
In an early September poll conducted by the New York Times, 67 percent of New Yorkers felt the mosque should not be built at the location near the former World Trade Center. But 62 percent felt that anyone had the right to build a mosque at that location. A poll conducted by Quinnipiac University revealed that Manhattan was the only borough of New York City more in favor of building the mosque at Ground Zero than against it (46 percent of Manhattanites supported the building of the mosque and 36 percent opposed it).
The controversy at Park 51 quickly spread around the nation as Islamophobes in numerous communities from Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, began protesting the building of mosques in their neighborhoods.
The story and controversy surrounding the Ground Zero Mosque is likely to continue for some time. The clash between Western culture and the Islamic World is far from over. The divisions between multiculturalists and Islamophobes is unlikely to be hammered out between Bill O’Reilly and Joy Behar on The View.
The View will always side with the multiculturalists. And Fox News hosts will always stoke the fires of Islamophobia. Fox News host Bill O’Reilly will always say, “Muslims killed us on 9/11.” Fox News host Dick Morris will always say, “the proposed mosque near to ground zero is not really a religious institution. It would be-as many mosques throughout the nation are-a terrorist recruitment, indoctrination, and training center.” And Fox News host Brian Kilmeade will always say, “not all Mulsims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.”
Brian Kilmeade: ‘All Terrorists Are Muslims’, The Huffington Post
Stop Islamisation of Europe
Michael Barbaro & Marjorie Connelly, New York Poll Finds Wariness for Muslim Site, New York Times
Thomas Tracy, CITY SCRUBS MOSQUE! Sheepshead Bay Islamic Center is denied permit, The Brooklyn Paper