Did that Oklahoma man who beheaded a woman do so because he’s Muslim? Don’t count on Fox to tell you. Another day, another Fox News segment stoking the flames of hate against Muslims.
The latest chapter in Fox’s unholy war on Muslims occurred on Wednesday night’s episode of “The Kelly File” where the show served up factual inaccuracies and an anonymous guest of questionable credibility to bash Muslims.
In this “news” segment, Megyn Kelly discussed Alton Nolan, the Oklahoma man who allegedly beheaded a woman at his workplace. Kelly began the segment calling Nolan a “self radicalized” Muslim, inferring that his horrific crime was connected to Islam.
What Kelly left out for viewers was any mention that the local District Attorney had recently stated that Nolan’s killing appeared to be motivated by racial issues and revenge, not religion. You see, Nolan had been suspended from work hours before the crime for comments about “not liking white people.” The prosecutor added that Nolan had returned to his workplace shortly after being suspended with a weapon because he “wanted to get revenge on certain people he felt responsible for him being suspended and who had wronged him.”
But Kelly continued with the storyline that Nolan is simply one of many Muslims living amongst us who at any time might kill you. She then expressed her annoyance that the leader of the Oklahoma mosque where Nolan had worshipped refused to appear on her show. So instead, she featured an anonymous guest described as a former member of the mosque who was going to reveal to viewers the real reason Nolan committed his hideous crime.
The guest was introduced using the alias “Noor,” which means “light” in Arabic, although ironically he sat in the dark to hide his identity for his “own protection.” Noor offered up stories of the mosque preaching fiery sermons calling for jihad—both military-style ones and the so-called “stealth” ones, such as when Muslims would try to work in our government or in the media to impose Islam. He also claimed the mosque leaders told him that they supported terrorism but urged him to not reveal these views to the press.
The problems with Noor are twofold. First, he stated on air that he had not been to the mosque since 2011. That is two years before Nolan had even converted from Christianity to Islam. Again Fox News left that fact out.
Second, the Imam at the mosque, Dr. Imad Enchassi, informed me that he and others in the community know exactly who “Noor” is, and in their view he was a “troubled man.” Imam Enchassi also noted that when Noor left the mosque, he had joined a local conservative group that spewed anti-Muslim views. That could explain why Noor’s comments parroted the rhetoric we often hear from professional Muslim bashers, such as their fabricated claim of “stealth” jihad, which is truly their attempt to keep American Muslims out of the media and government service.
Fox was not done yet misleading viewers. Kelly then said that Suhaib Webb, who had once been the Imam of the Oklahoma mosque, was the head of the Islamic center that the Tsarnaev brothers, the Boston Marathon bombers, had attended. That would truly be compelling evidence of a possible link to radicals.
But here’s the problem: It’s not true. Imam Webb heads the Islamic center in Roxbury. The Tsarnaev brothers had attended another mosque in Cambridge. Webb pointed out this factual error in a September 27 article he wrote specifically in response to Fox News’ repeated mistaken assertion.
Could it be that Fox News doesn’t have access to Google? Or do they simply not care about facts when demonizing Muslims?
So what do we really know about Nolan and the mosque he attended? Enchassi explained that while he had never met Nolan, other members of the community informed him that Nolan had started coming to the mosque in June of this year, attending services a few times a month. However, Nolan was not involved with the local Muslim community in any other way, to Enchassi’s knowledge.
Nolan was described to the Imam as a little unusual in that he would bring other religious books with him besides a Koran and would say prayers in languages other than Arabic. Enchassi noted that some surmised Nolan might have also considered himself a member of the Black Hebrew Israelites.
That could possibly be correct. Nolan’s Facebook page includes a claim he was born in Israel and his postings began not with the traditional Muslim greeting of “Assalamu alaikum” but with “Shalom Alhakeium.” (“Shalom” being the Hebrew word for peace.)
However, I will stop to note, because I am not Fox News, that Nolan’s Facebook page did include a photo a few months ago of a beheading and an image of Osama Bin Laden. And if it turns out that Nolan did commit his heinous act in the name of Islam, I, along with Muslims nationwide, will denounce his actions. But as of now, at least, those are not the facts.
I also asked Enchassi, who in 2014 received the Interfaith Alliance Community Service Award for spearheading efforts to bring communities of different faiths together in Oklahoma, about the allegations of preaching holy war or beheadings. Enchassi said that he has never uttered or heard such rhetoric at the mosque, which he has headed since 2007.
In fact, he says, he has preached on numerous occasions denouncing ISIS, Al Qaeda and other similar terror groups. He added that he speaks frequently to his community of the “religious duty” of Muslims to alert the authorities if they suspect any person may be preaching violence or might be radicals.
Will Fox News acknowledge these factual errors? Will the network stop demonizing Muslims? Okay, you can stop laughing.