Skip to comments.Tallahassee Democrat reporter suspended for e-mail criticizing Arabs
Posted on 01/03/2003 1:37:05 PM PST by dennisw
Tallahassee Democrat reporter suspended for e-mail criticizing Arabs
By BRENDAN FARRINGTON Associated Press Writer
A Tallahassee Democrat reporter was suspended Thursday for using strong language in an e-mail criticizing Arab nations for the way they've reacted to Israel.
Political writer and columnist Bill Cotterell, in an e-mail exchange, wrote "Except for Jordan and Egypt, no Arab nation has a peace treaty with Israel. They've had 54 years to get over it. They choose not to."
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations sent an alert to its members calling the remarks anti-Muslim and anti-Arab.
Council spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said the e-mail's recipient had previously complained about a political cartoon that briefly appeared on the newspaper's Web site, asking "What would Mohammed drive?" and depicting a Ryder truck carrying a missile. The cartoon was not published in the paper.
The complaint started an exchange with Cotterell, who also wrote, "I don't give a damn if Israel kills a few in collateral damage while defending itself. So be it."
Cotterell was suspended a week without pay. Democrat Executive Editor John Winn Miller apologized for the remarks.
"They absolutely do not represent the views and sensitivities of this newspaper. Worse, they run counter to many of the values we hold dearest, among them tolerance, diversity and inclusiveness," Miller said in a written statement issued by the newspaper and carried in a story for Friday editions telling of Cotterell's suspension.
The cartoon was drawn by Doug Marlette, who draws from his home in Hillsborough, N.C.
Miller said Cotterell immediately regretted the remarks after sending the message on his company e-mail account and apologized to his colleagues "for the hurt and embarrassment he knows he caused."
"I was wrong and I am sorry," Cotterell said. "My remarks were grossly inappropriate and do not reflect my views toward Muslim people."
Hooper said the punishment was fair.
"It will send a positive message to the Muslim community in Florida that this kind of bigotry will not be tolerated and I appreciate the swift action of the Tallahassee Democrat in resolving this issue," he said. "We don't want to be vindictive in this. We just want to make sure bigoted views don't color the news related to Muslim and American-Arab issues."
I've never heard of a reporter being fired for making a statement of easily-verifiable historical record.
What? Truth is chopped liver?
CAIR: 'Moderate' friends of terror
by Daniel Pipes
New York Post
April 22, 2002
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations presents itself as just another civil-rights group. "We are similar to a Muslim NAACP," says spokesman Ibrahim Hooper. Its public language - about promoting "interest and understanding among the general public with regards to Islam and Muslims in North America" - certainly boosts an image of moderation.
That reputation has permitted CAIR to prosper since its founding in 1994, garnering sizeable donations, invitations to the White House, respectful media citations and a serious hearing by corporations.
In reality, CAIR is something quite different. For starters, it's on the wrong side in the war on terrorism. One indication came in October 1998, when the group demanded the removal of a Los Angeles billboard describing Osama bin Laden as "the sworn enemy," finding this depiction "offensive to Muslims."
The same year, CAIR denied bin Laden's responsibility for the twin East African embassy bombings. As Hooper saw it, those explosions resulted from some vague "misunderstandings of both sides." (A New York court, however, blamed bin Laden's side alone for the embassy blasts.)
In 2001, CAIR denied his culpability for the Sept. 11 massacre, saying only that "if [note the "if"] Osama bin Laden was behind it, we condemn him by name." (Only in December was CAIR finally embarrassed into acknowledging his role.)
CAIR consistently defends other militant Islamic terrorists too. The conviction of the perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing it deemed "a travesty of justice." The conviction of Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheikh who planned to blow up New York City landmarks, it called a "hate crime." The extradition order for suspected Hamas terrorist Mousa Abu Marook it labeled "anti-Islamic" and "anti-American."
Not surprisingly, CAIR also backs those who finance terrorism. When President Bush closed the Holy Land Foundation in December for collecting money he said was "used to support the Hamas terror organization," CAIR decried his action as "unjust" and "disturbing."
CAIR even includes at least one person associated with terrorism in its own ranks. On Feb. 2, 1995, U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White named Siraj Wahhaj as one of the "unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators" in the attempt to blow up New York City monuments. Yet CAIR deems him "one of the most respected Muslim leaders in America" and includes him on its advisory board.
For these and other reasons, the FBI's former chief of counterterrorism, Steven Pomerantz, concludes that "CAIR, its leaders and its activities effectively give aid to international terrorist groups."
Nor is terrorism the only disturbing aspect of CAIR's record. Other problems include:
Intimidating moderate Muslims. In at least two cases (Hisham Kabbani and Khalid Durán), CAIR has defamed moderate Muslims who reject its extremist agenda, leading to death threats against them.
Embracing murderers. CAIR responded to the arrest and conviction of Jamil Al-Amin (the former H. Rap Brown) by praising him, raising funds for him and then denying his guilt after his conviction for the murder of an Atlanta policeman. Likewise with Ahmad Adnan Chaudhry of San Bernardino, Calif.: Disregarding his conviction for attempting murder, CAIR declared him "innocent" and set up a defense fund for him.
Promoting anti-Semitism. The head of CAIR's Los Angeles office, Hussam Ayloush, routinely uses the term "zionazi" when referring to Israelis. CAIR co-hosted an event in May 1998 at which an Egyptian militant Islamic leader, Wagdi Ghunaym, called Jews the "descendants of the apes."
Aggressive ambitions. As reported by the San Ramon Valley Herald, CAIR Chairman Omar M. Ahmad told a crowd of California Muslims in July 1998, "Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran . . . should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth."
CAIR's real record is one of extremism. North American Muslims themselves are beginning to discover - and the government, leading media, churches, and businesses should follow - that CAIR represents not the noble civilization of Islam but an aggressive and radical strain similar to that which led to the suicide hijackings last September. CAIR must be shunned as a fringe group by responsible institutions and individuals throughout North America.
Bigotry? Not tolerated? Isn't he himself throwing the baby with the bath water here?
And what is he punishing? No heartfelt belief has been or can be punished with secular means, but only God ultimately does that. Another superstitious Democrat believing they can punish hearts but we cannot stop the evil secular deeds of the nationless Arabs/muslims. A world upside down of superstitious witches.
Do these liberals realize how idiotic they look when they recite these buzzwords, then intolerantly reduce the diversity of their workforce by excluding someone with a different opinion?
Oh, my God! This has to be satire, surely.
Hmmmm. I thought that guy looked familiar.
Tolerance for what? Attacking other nations because you're fascist?