Here, in its entirety, is CAIR's official statement about the firing of Michael Graham from WMAL Radio:
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/22/05) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today applauded a Washington, D.C., radio station's decision to fire a talk show host who stated repeatedly that "Islam is a terrorist organization."
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said media reports indicate that WMAL-AM fired host Michael Graham last Friday after he refused to retract his anti-Islam statements, make an on-air apology and conduct additional outreach efforts to the Muslim community and others offended by his words.
The controversy began last month when Graham stated: 1. "Islam is a terrorist organization." 2. "Islam is at war with America." 3. "The problem is not extremism. The problem is Islam." 4. "We are at war with a terrorist organization named Islam." Other listeners said that Graham even encouraged a public "backlash" against Muslims. (Graham later claimed he meant a backlash of social pressure, not violent attacks on Muslims.)
In response, CAIR initiated a public campaign against WMAL and the station's advertisers after receiving complaints from listeners who heard Graham make those anti-Islam remarks. While WMAL initially stood behind Graham, it changed its position after hundreds of people responded to the group's action alerts by contacting the station and its sponsors.
"Just as Michael Graham has the right to hold bigoted views, so, too, does our society have the right to live free of hatred and incitement," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. "We are saddened that Michael Graham would not take responsibility for his hate-filled words, but we do welcome WMAL's action as a step toward reducing the level of anti-Muslim bigotry on our nation's airwaves."
Awad thanked local Metropolitan-D.C., interfaith and community leaders and the many people in America and worldwide who contacted WMAL and its advertisers to express their concerns over Graham's bigoted comments.
CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 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. To read CAIR's Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About
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And here is an excerpt from an August 23, 2005 Washington Post article :
"[Graham's] comments drew complaints and prompted an organized letter-writing campaign against WMAL and its advertisers by a Muslim group, the Council on American-Islam Relations (CAIR) of Washington. The protests led several advertisers to ask WMAL to stop airing their ads during Graham's weekday show, although the station says it didn't lose any advertisers amid the controversy.
"In a statement yesterday, Graham blamed CAIR for his firing and defended his comments: 'As a fan of talk radio, I find it absolutely outrageous that pressure from a special interest group like CAIR can result in the abandonment of free speech and open discourse on a talk radio show.'
"Graham, in an interview last night, said he and the station had reached an agreement on terms of his return last week, but the station called back to withdraw. 'It was a done deal,' he said. 'They revoked it because, after further consideration, it didn't contain an apology. And I will not apologize for something that is true.'
"Chris Berry, WMAL's president and general manager, disputed Graham's characterization, saying in an interview that no one involved in this decision ever had any contact with anyone from CAIR.' Instead, he said, Graham was terminated because he violated station policy and disregarded 'management direction' to redress it.
"Officials at WMAL, which is owned by the Walt Disney Co., had initially declined to take disciplinary action against Graham, defending his comments as part of the overheated rhetoric of talk radio. But that stance began to change as complaints about Graham's remarks mounted.
"Graham, 43, is one of several conservative talk hosts featured on the station. WMAL (630 AM) also carries Rush Limbaugh's and Sean Hannity's nationally syndicated radio shows. Graham's WMAL show is not syndicated.
"The station had hoped to work out an agreement that would return Graham to the air, Berry said, but it was evident by early yesterday that Graham would not agree to the station's terms...."
WMAL Radio broadcasts the slogan "Where America comes first." So, just for a refresher, check this for information about the origins of CAIR, and see if the founders and the officers of CAIR think that America comes first.