Lu Gronseth listens regularly to WWTC, a conservative talk-radio station in Minneapolis, and even advertises his mortgage-loan business on the station. But when he learned that a nationally syndicated radio show host had told WWTC listeners that Muslims should be deported and made rude comments about what they could do with their religion, Mr Gronseth pulled his ads from the station.
So have at least two other Minnesota businesses, at the urging of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington, D.C., as have a handful of national companies, including OfficeMax, JCPenney, Wal-Mart, and AT&T. But the comments by host Michael Savage in October – and previous anti-Muslim speech – have not created the furor that knocked radio icon Don Imus off of MSNBC and CBS Radio after he denigrated a black women’s basketball team. That leaves many Muslims-Americans – and non-Muslims like Mr Gronseth – suspicious that Americans have a double standard when it comes to Islam.
“My sense is that you could say anti-Muslim comments that you could never get away with, saying for example, as anti-Jewish comments,” said Stephen Wessler of the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence in Portland, Maine. “There’s a much greater public level of acceptance of denigrating Muslims.”
Meanwhile, Michael Savage is suing the Council on American-Islamic Relations for breach of copyright after the CAIR website rebroadcast excerpts from his show in which he called the Qur’an a “book of hate” and said Muslims “need deportation”.