Ottawa Radio Station Chastised for Comments On Muslims

February 6, 2009

Author: Chris Cobb

Source: Ottawa Citizen

A veteran open-line radio host in Ottawa contravened Canadian broadcasting standards when he made “abusive and discriminatory” remarks against Muslims, the national broadcast watchdog ruled Friday.

According to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, Lowell Green launched an “uninformed and unfair” attack when he told his CFRA audience in early December that the majority of Muslims are fanatics, and extremist behaviour is symptomatic of the religion, not just a radical minority.

Green had been inspired by the story of British schoolteacher Gillian Gibbons, whose elementary class in the Sudanese capital Khartoum named a teddy bear “Muhammad,” causing a storm of outrage across the Muslim world.

Gibbons was forced to leave the country after being threatened with imprisonment and death.

Green posed the question to listeners: “Is there something inherent in the Muslim faith that promotes violence and oppression of women?”

In response to one Muslim caller who tried to defend Islam, Green responded: “Baloney,” and during another call, told a sympathetic, but apparently non-Muslim, caller that she had “abandoned common sense” and was being “silly.”

“Almost every act of terrorism around the world today is carried out in the name of Islam,” responded Green. “Don’t tell me this is the work of a few fanatics.”

The broadcast watchdog, an arm’s-length organization created and funded by private broadcasters to rule on listener and viewer complaints, was especially critical of Green for refusing to listen to pro-Islam callers, especially those who were clearly informed about the religion.

“The host has mounted a sweeping, abusive and unduly discriminatory criticism of Islam,” it said.