The Fern Sidman Commentaries:
October 23rd, 2006: "ON THE AIRWAVES: 24/7 MUSLIM PROGRAMMING"
It has recently been reported that the American television airwaves will now include a 24 hour channel dedicated to Islamic programming. The new cable channel being broadcast by the Comcast Cable company is called Bridges TV, and is the brainchild of American Muslim banker, Muzzamil Hassan and his wife, Osea Zubare, an architect. The new channel is broadcast in English and is being seen on cable, satellite and broadband networks. It is being billed as the “American Muslim Lifestyle Network” and according to Hassan, the funding for this new channel is coming primarily from American Muslim investors as well as Wall Street venture capital and private equity firms. Hassan asserts that there is no foreign funding for this channel.
According to an article that appeared in The New York Sun newspaper on October 19, 2006, writer Steven Stalinsky reports that, "Bridges TV, an American-Islamic TV channel 'seeking to improve the image of Muslims in the United States' and to 'offer a unique perspective on the Middle East and the war on terrorism,' has extended its availability into six states, creating a potential audience of nearly 2 million."
Concerning the content of programming on this channel, Stalinsky also reports that, "One religious figure who appeared October 3 said Muslims have a duty to change America and to increase their numbers to 50% of the population from 2%. He recommended that Shariah, or Islamic law, be implemented in American courts. During a roundtable discussion on the Arab-Israeli conflict on October 5, one participant offered a solution: “For the Jews to leave and return to Europe." Since the Islamic holy month of Ramadan began, the channel has been showing official, Saudi government-controlled Wahhabi sermons from Mecca’s holiest mosque, Al-Haram. The sermons stream live via Saudi TV Channel one every day at 4 p.m., and Bridges TV adds its own English subtitles. An anti-Jewish, anti-Christian sermon from October 5 included the call, "May God destroy them!"
The article also reports that, "One of the stars of Bridges TV is a cofounder and vice chairman of the international health care company CBay Inc., Donald 'Skip' Conover, who hosts and produces a show called 'Words Matter.' He was the subject of a gushing article in the Saudi daily Arab News on September 27. In the article, Mr. Conover expressed 'his disgust' at what he called inflammatory statements about Arabs and Muslims in the press."
He also discussed the power of the "Jewish lobby" and called on all Muslims to vote for the Democratic Party. "Every American politician is in lockstep with Israel. If they vote against, then the Jewish lobby will put a lot of money behind the candidate against them in their districts in the future. I have news for the Muslim community. All American politicians are in the pocket of the Jewish lobby today because they control a lot of money, and they spend a lot of money in politics."
"If the Muslims of America believe that they don’t want Bush to have a free hand for the next two years, then the Muslims of America need to get organized and make sure they get out to vote for Democrats for both the House and the Senate," Mr. Conover added. "Every Muslim in the Middle East who has a relative in the U.S. should get the message across to their relatives. They need to make sure that all their friends vote against Bush."
It is clear that the agenda of Bridges TV is to create a media platform for anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiment. This channel will also serve as an invaluable recruitment tool for the Muslim cause. It will target non-Muslims in the hopes of tapping into and embellishing on anti-Israel sentiments that are already present. While billing itself with a "wholesome" and "innocuous" label as a Muslim Lifestyle Network that broadcasts cartoons, travel shows, sports, feature films and documentaries, in reality they are subtlely seeking to indoctrinate viewers with hatred of Jews, Christians, Israel, the US and all non-Muslims.
The influence of Islam in American is undoubtedly spreading at a fever pitch. Every day new websites are popping up that seek to spread the Islamic message to all non-believers in the USA and Canada. One such web site is called, www.islamandamerica.com, which offers free Qurans and free tickets to Islamic seminars to all non-Muslims. According to its mission statement, this web site seeks states, "We, The Message International, are a volunteer based, not-for-profit organization dedicated to tightening the gaps between the world and their information about Islam. Our goal is to convey the pristine, unadulterated message that has been so putridly tainted in recent times, especially here in the United States.
We offer 100% Free Islamic Materials (Qurans, Books, CDs & Brochures) in many Languages through our web sites and a toll free number.
- We supply Islamic materials to Public and Governmental US Organizations such as The Army, Hospitals, Law Enforcement Agencies, Prisons, Universities, Worship-Houses, and Shelters.
- We organize and establish indoor as well as outdoor Community tables.
- We hold Islamic conferences and interfaith dialogues.We serve and assist hundreds of New-Muslims every month."
While the implication of their mission statement is to chastise the United States for its "putridly tainted" view of Islam and Muslims, these sites do little to prove that Islam is a peaceful and law abiding religion that supports democratic principles and embraces concepts such as tolerance and diversity. In a democracy, particularly in the United States, these organizations, television channels and web sites have a right to exist. They are also protected by the First Amendment free speech rights, however preaching hatred of a religion, culture, society and political viewpoint is unacceptable. It is incumbent on those who recoil in horror at such hate speech to speak out against this incidious message.