On May 31st, RWW first reported that during The 700 Club Pat Robertson likened his fight against Muslim civil rights to the fight against Nazis and Adolf Hitler, which was followed by a spurious denial by Christian Broadcasting Network. Such egregious comments are no surprise coming from Robertson, who in the past argued that “Islam is not a religion” and Muslims should be treated like “some fascist group.”
Robertson: I was thinking, you know, if you oppose Muslims, what is said? Well, you’re a bigot, right? Terrible bigotry. I wonder what were people who opposed the Nazis. Were they bigots?
Meeuwsen: Well, in that day I think they were looked down upon and frowned upon.
Robertson: Why can’t we speak out against an institution that is intent on dominating us and imposing Sharia law and making us all part of a universal caliphate? That’s the goal of some of these people. Why is that bigoted? Why is it bigoted to resist Adolf Hitler and the Nazis and to say we don’t want to live under Nazi Germany? We didn’t hesitate to say the truth, tell the truth about the Nazis, tell the truth about Hitler, tell the truth about fascism, tell the truth, if you will, about communism. But, oh, it’s bigoted if you speak out against a force that is slowly but surely trying to exercise domination over the world.
Now, Anti-Defamation League head Abraham Foxman wrote a letter to Robertson taking him to task for his anti-Muslim comments and his comparison of Muslims to Nazis, saying, “the answer to your question may be found within your own statements.”
Dear Mr. Robertson:
We were deeply disturbed by your remarks on the May 31 edition of The 700 Club concerning Muslims in Europe and America following a segment on the growing construction of mosques on the European Continent. You asked the question, why is it bigoted if one speaks out “against an institution that is intent on dominating us and imposing Sharia law and making us all part of a universal Caliphate? That is the goal of some of these people. Why is that bigoted? Why is it bigoted to resist Adolf Hitler and the Nazis and to say that we don’t want to live under Nazi Germany?”
Your statements here were troubling on several levels. For one, the suggestion that Muslims who, as you put it, “come into Europe and build their mosques” and “come into America and set up their schools and madrassas” are doing so in an effort to “exercise domination over the world” is a false notion based on hateful stereotypes of Islam. While you did qualify your statement with “some of these people,” you then pre-empted it with a series of generalizations. In fact, many if not most Muslims in Europe and in America immigrated to find a better life for themselves and to freely practice their faith. Sure, there is a minority of Muslims with extreme views. But the overwhelming majority of Muslims rejects these views and wants little more than the ability to practice their faith openly and freely and to be accepted as contributing members of society. It is wrong to paint all Muslims with such a broad brush, or to portray all Muslims as extremists as you have done here.
Second, the notion that Islam is something that needs to be opposed in the same manner as people resisted Adolf Hitler and the Nazis is outrageous and offensive. Nazism was a racist and genocidal political movement unlike any other in history, responsible for the massacre of six million Jews and millions of others in the Holocaust. One simply cannot and should not lump Muslims into the same category as Hitler.
So in response to your question about why is it bigoted for people to “oppose Muslims,” to me the answer is clear: It is bigoted when one assumes the worst about an entire faith based on the beliefs of a few; it is bigoted to paint all Muslims (or for that matter, Christians or Jews) with the broadest of brushes when in fact you are talking about a many-faceted and culturally diverse belief system; it is bigoted to suggest that the Islamic faith has nefarious and sinister plans to take over majority Christian nations when this is false at its core. Sadly, the answer to your question may be found within your own statements, which I believe should be categorically rejected by all reasonable people.
Abraham H. Foxman