CAIR Demands Apology from LA Radio Host Who Made Fun of Hajj Stampede

January 26, 2006

Source: The Mercury News

On January 26, 2006 The Mercury News reported, "A Muslim civil liberties group demanded an apology Thursday from the host of a Los Angeles-area radio show for making fun of a stampede that killed hundreds of Muslims during an annual pilgrimage. The Council on American-Islamic Relations asked for an apology from KFI-AM 640 host Bill Handel, who allegedly made fun of the deaths during a Jan. 12 segment he called the 'Annual Stampede Report'... At least 363 pilgrims were killed and hundreds injured in a stampede that day in Mecca, where thousands of people were rushing to carry out a symbolic ritual of stoning the devil in Mina. According to CAIR, Handel imitated the people screaming and then joked that the Muslims at the pilgrimage should use a helicopter to monitor pilgrimage traffic, as is done in Los Angeles with the freeways... In March 2004, KFI issued an on-air apology after CAIR filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission following a skit that claimed Muslims have sex with animals, don't bathe and hate Jews. 'The deaths of hundreds of people engaged in religious observances is no laughing matter,' CAIR spokeswoman Sabiha Khan said in a statement. 'KFI needs to distance itself from Mr. Handel's unbelievable insensitivity by issuing a formal apology and a reprimand.'"