I spoke with Bob Dutko today. He's been spending a lot of time this week beating the drums of war, trying to convince his listeners that Muslims are scary, crazy, irrational people that blindly follow the dictates of their faith, which requires them to kill all things non-Muslim.
The Qur'an may not be the greatest book in the world in my view, but I know that Bob misrepresents it anyway, at least in some parts, to make Muslims look as bad as possible. So I challenged him on his presentation of Sura 9, which he offers in a grossly out of context fashion. In his mind it teaches that Muslims should now and forever more kill non-Muslims wherever they fid them. This is absurd, and I had corrected Bob on this before, but it didn't take. So I went into more detail this time. Listen here.
I thought my call went fine, but what was even more interesting was a subsequent call from a Muslim, which I did record. I've never heard a Muslim call in to the Dutko show before. This person likewise challenged Bob's claim that Islam teaches violence against Christians. He said that he was from Pakistan, had Christians friends, knows there are churches throughout Pakistan, so why is Bob claiming that Islam has some sort of problem with Christianity?
Bob engaged in a lot of spin, but the caller didn't bite. Bob pointed out that many people in Pakistan support Osama bin Laden, as if this was evidence of Muslim hostility to Christianity. The caller didn't deny that some in the Middle East support Osama bin Laden, but said that this was because they had a conflict with the United States, not Christianity. If they had a problem with Christianity, why were they traveling all the way to the United States, when there are many other Christians closer to them that they could attack? These people supported Osama bin Laden when he fought the Soviets and they were aligned with the Christian United States at that time. Why would they do this if their problem was with Christianity?
Bob did nothing but spin that point as he justified U.S. support for OBL at that time and subsequent shift. He didn't want to deal with the fact that this shows that the conflict with Muslim nations is not about their problem with Christianity, which Bob has been arguing all week.
It was a tremendous call, because Bob demonizes Muslims week in and week out. This is typical of people that are very aggressive in their militarism. It's easier to bomb people when you think of them as demons rather than humans. Now Bob has encountered a flesh and blood Muslim that doesn't fit the caricature he wants to draw. Bob will assume he's an exception to the caricature, but then why does he struggle so much to justify this caricature when confronted with a Muslim? This may make him pause in the future, and perhaps have a slightly more empathetic mentaility, knowing that Muslims are listening and expect him to back up his claims logically.
Then again, maybe it won't make any difference.