Fox News host Bill O’Reilly chose on Tuesday night to slam President Obama for failing to condemn Islam in the immediate aftermath of the Boston bombings and claimed that American Muslims aren’t doing enough to stand up against jihad.
During his “Talking Point Commentary” segment, O’Reilly called the President “seriously wrong” for urging the country on Friday to not to jump to conclusions about the bombing suspects’ motivations.
“It’s all about motivation and it’s all about a specific group of people,” O’Reilly declared, referring to Muslims. He then went on to say that suspected Dzhokar Tsarnaev and his deceased brother Tamerlan were definitively jihadists, stating that “only radical Islam allows terror murder.”
What O’Reilly failed to mention is that Obama’s Friday statement was made before anything was known about the brothers or what led them to place explosives at the Boston Marathon. The FBI didn’t release the two suspects’ pictures until Thursday afternoon, kicking off a massive manhunt. While on Friday morning the media learned that the two were ethnic Chechens, that information alone provided no further knowledge of the motivation behind the attack. Only after questioning alleged bomber Dzohkar Tsarnaev in custody did authorities learn that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan provided at least part of the impetus for the bombing.
While attacking Obama for not speaking out against radical Islam, O’Reilly begrudgingly acknowledged that there are Muslim countries that are our allies, particularly those that utilize “secret police” to combat terrorism. He was disappointed, however, that more Muslims — including Muslim-Americans — aren’t doing their part to help combat radicalism. “Most Muslims on this Earth are good people, but they are not helping to neutralize the jihad,” he said. “They are not standing up against it in any numbers. And that includes American Muslims. They largely remain silent.”
Watch O’Reilly’s statements here:
Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, who appeared on the program, shared O’Reilly’s views that Obama isn’t doing enough to speak out about the threat that Muslims pose. Despite their worries, it was Muslim-Americans who found themselves the targets during the media’s excessively flawed coverage of the attacks. At least one Muslim woman was attacked based on the media’s shoddy reporting.
Counter to O’Reilly’s claims, there are many instances of Muslim communities standing up against radicalism in their ranks. Just this week, a Toronto imam was lauded for reporting suspicious behavior to the Canadian authorities, leading to a possible major terrorist plot being foiled. Leaders of the Muslim-American community also reiterated their opposition to terrorism at a press conference held on Friday.