KFI's Handel To CAIR: Denounce Bombings, Recognize Israel And I'll Apologize
January 30, 2006 at 12:37 PM (PT)
CLEAR CHANNEL Talk KFI-A/LOS ANGELES morning man BILL HANDEL's response to the COUNCIL ON AMERICAN ISLAMIC RELATIONS' complaints regarding his "traffic copter" bit parodying the fatal HAJJ pilgrimage stampede last week was to challenge the group on-air MONDAY morning that he will apologize if they address three questions posed by HANDEL:
"...I am willing to issue a formal apology- I will issue a formal apology live on the air- provided that CAIR clearly defines its positions on several issues. As has been widely reported, CAIR has been the subject of a number of investigations for ties to terrorism. If CAIR will publicly acknowledge the following three statements, I will recognize it as an organization that truly represents law abiding, peace-loving American Muslim citizens, not merely a front for people who advocate terrorism.
There is no group that is off-limits...
"Number 1: CAIR denounces all bombings/attacks where the intended victims are innocent civilians... denounce those as terrorism. Number 2: ISRAEL is a sovereign nation, recognized by the world community, has the right to exist with defensible borders. CAIR will never say that. 3: CAIR and its associates have no ties, nor have they ever had any ties with individuals or known terrorist organizations whatsoever, financially or otherwise, including but not limited to HAMAS, ISLAMIC JIHAD, HEZBOLLAH, the MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, or AL QAEDA."
"We make fun of everybody," HANDEL said. "There is no group that is off-limits... every once in a while, you hit a nerve and boom, off it goes." HANDEL noted that hundreds of complaints came from all over the world, not LOS ANGELES, and were identically worded ("not one of these people actually listens to the show").
CAIR media representative SABIHA KHAN told ALL ACCESS that "KFI and BILL HANDEL continue to fail to take responsibility for their program... I'm glad he's going to acknowledge the need to apologize but it's unfortunate that he felt the need to put conditions on it which are totally unrelated to making an apology. Not only did he offend 1.3 billion Muslims, he also offended people of other faiths- Judaism and Christianity as well- who are equally if not more outraged. Everyone is still waiting for a genuine apology."
Later on MONDAY, KHAN answered HANDEL's three points with a terse "yes, yes, and no."
For its part, KFI management issued a statement reading "KFI-AM does not condone making light of the deaths of people engaged in religious observances. We regret that listeners found the comments of one of our on-air hosts to be insensitive. KFI does not censor its hosts, nor does it tell them what to say or not to say. KFI is a strong and passionate believer in 1st Amendment rights and that is at the very core of this radio station." KFI afternoon team JOHN AND KEN broadcast a show last year from an ORANGE COUNTY mosque with the participation of CAIR.
Hear HANDEL's statement by clicking here.