A national Islamic civil liberties organization and a conservativeradio talk show host are squaring off over the host's on-air reference toIslam as "a terrorist organization."

Michael Graham made his remarks on his Monday (July 25) show, which airson WMAL-AM in Washington, D.C.

"The problem is not extremism, the problem is Islam," Graham said. "Weare at war with a terrorist organization named Islam."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Washington-basedgroup, called on the station to reprimand Graham for the comments.

"Such hate-filled and inflammatory remarks only serve to encourage thosewho would turn bigoted views into violent or discriminatory actions againstordinary American Muslims," said Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR's communicationsdirector, in a statement urging "people of conscience" to contact thestation and demand an apology or disciplinary action.

The station's operations director, Randall Bloomquist, said he hasreceived more than 100 e-mails from Muslims criticizing Graham. A reportposted on the station's Web site says "Graham's comments are justified inthe context of a radio talk show, and he (Bloomquist) is standing behindGraham."

Graham has declined to comment on the controversy outside of his on-aircomments, but he posted a column on the WMAL Web site that reiterates hisposition.

"The reason Islam has itself become a terrorist organization is that itcannot address its own role in this violence. It cannot cast out themurderers from its members," Graham wrote in the column.

CAIR's Hooper said that in the absence of an apology or reprimand, hisgroup is urging members to contact the station's advertisers to expresstheir concern about Graham's program.

Hooper also said that in a conversation with Bloomquist, he was toldthat WMAL would not allow ethnic slurs, such as anti-Semitic epithets or the"N-word," on programs.

"It seems the only form of bigotry that's accepted by WMAL isanti-Muslim bigotry," Hooper said.

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