* Â From the ‘anything to shut you up’ department:
Muslims pressure radio station regarding Coptic priest Zakaria Botros’ “rants” about Muhammad
And the radio station complies. There is perhaps no one person that “radicals” despise as much as Father Zakaria Botros. I first described him and his ministryÂ hereÂ (be sure to click on links that go to important video clips of him, with English subtitles). The problem Muslims have with Botros is that they simply cannot refute his “rants” and “hate speech,” for the simple reason that everything he says — no matter how scandalizing for Islam — isÂ alwaysÂ based on Islamic sources. This article, for example, keeps demonizing Botros by suggesting that, out of the blue and with no evidence, Botros claims Muhammad had homosexual inclinations. Well, I just watched that show on theÂ internet, and, even though his talk about Islam’s prophet was scandalous, it was also, nonetheless, totally derived from Islamic sources, particularly little known hadiths — all of which were certainly at leastÂ suggestiveÂ of homosexual behavior. And at any rate, I have rarely seen BotrosÂ claimÂ anything about Islam; he only raises questions, based on Islam’s sources, and then invites Islam’s ulema to respond and “clarify” the matter. However, as this report indicates, their response is only to have him censored. “Priest irks community with bizarre, offensive comments about Islam,” by Khalil AlHajal forÂ Arab American News, August 15, with thanks to DW:
Local religious leaders believe they’ve successfully convinced a local AM radio stationÂ to forceÂ a regular guest on one of its programs to tone down his intense, often strange commentaries critical of the Islamic faith.
Egyptian Coptic priest Zakaria Botros, known around the world for his controversial theological rants about Islam, had been featured regularly for weeks on a Chaldean Christian programming broadcast by WNZK (690 AM), enraging many with frequent assertions that Islam’s Prophet Mohammed, was, among other things, a homosexual.
Muslim leaders feared the weekly programs could cause tension between local Christian and Muslim communities, and sought out talks between interfaith leaders and the station owner about pressuring producers and the host of the show to keep the more radical commentaries off the air, said Ghalib Begg, Chair of the Council Of Islamic Organizations Of Michigan.
“It seems theÂ hate speechÂ has stopped,” Begg said.
After hearing furious complaints about the program for weeks, a group of Sunni and Shia Imams gathered in an emergency meeting in Dearborn on July 28 to discuss the issue, deciding to pursue a resolution through interfaith representatives, Begg said.
“As much as this show was not a good thing, it brought the Imams together,” he said.
Awww, imagine that? ItÂ wouldÂ take an infidel “ranting hate speech” to bringÂ thatÂ group together.
The group continues to look to create positive outcomes from an ugly situation.Â
Begg said they are planning a meeting with station executives on Aug. 20 to work out a way to buy airtime forÂ interfaith programming.
“Our objective now is to do something positive,” he said.
I.e., kowtow to Islam.
Owner of the Southfield-based radio station, Sima Birach, confirmed that he is “working on this case,” but did not comment further as of press time Thursday.[…]Â
“Father Zakaria is fueled by desperation, but no one should be condemned by other people’s faith,” he said. “Just leave him alone and he’ll go away…Â There are fanatics among Christians. There are fanatics among Muslims. There are fanatics among Jews. If we pay attention to fanatics, we become fanatic…Â Don’t forget we have freedom of speech here. No one can silence another by force.“[…]
Well isn’t this a contradiction, since the whole problem is that some Muslims insist on censoring Botros’ “free speech”?
A second option the Imams first considered, he said, was to “bombard all the advertisers” supporting the program, putting real pressure on the producers with the threat of financial consequences.Â
In the end the group decided to assemble a committee of interfaith representatives to express their concerns to the station in a way that would create relationships rather than burn bridges.
Begg said a diverse group of people that included Chaldeans participated in communicating their indignation Botros’ most divisive commentaries, which at times included strangely detailed theories about the Prophet Mohammed’s sexuality.[…]
Berry said he was impressed with the receptiveness of station owner Birach.
“He promised to make them stop defaming the Prophet,” he said.
Berry and Begg said the Christian programs on the station, while still featuring theological discussions that might include criticisms of Islam, seem to haveÂ cut out the offensive, inflammatory elements, taking on a more respectful tone.
They said they would continue to monitor the shows, one of which airs every Wednesday from 3-5 p.m.Â
“And we would do the same thing if someone comes out demonizing Jesus or (denying) the Holocaust,” said Begg.
If anyone can find scriptural evidence to “demonize” Jesus, by all means: do so. The problem, however, is one will be extremely hard pressed to find anything “ethically controversial” about Jesus in the whole of the New Testament — regardless of what hacks likeÂ Morton SmithÂ said.