Bob Beckel, the co-anchor of Fox News's The Five, went on an anti-Islamic rant on yesterday's show during a discussion of the Kenya mall attack. Directing his remarks toward the "supposedly peaceful ... moderate Muslims out there," Beckel demanded an end to student visas for Muslims and a prohibition on mosque-building "until you stand up and denounce what's happened in the name of your prophet."
Never mind that Muslim leaders from America's largest Somalian community, in Minnesota, have already denounced the attack, or that countless other Muslim-Americans speak out against Islamic terrorism on a regular basis. Beckel — the campaign manager for Walter Mondale's 1984 presidential run, as strange as that seems — is really just looking for an excuse to ban mosques and Muslims from sullying the United States; the actual reason for doing so is somewhat incidental.
Back in July, during a discussion about a massacre at a school in Nigeria, Beckel called for a similar ban on new mosques unless a different set of absurd preconditions were met. "If it were up to me, I would not have another mosque built in this country until we got it worked out who was not a terrorist," Beckel said. What this even meant, we doubt Beckel himself had any idea, but basically, Muslims bad.
Of course, these echoed comments from April, when Beckel proposed banning Muslim study-abroad students after the Boston Marathon bombing. “I think we really have to consider, given the fact that so many people hate us, that we’re going to have to cut off Muslim students coming to this country for some period of time so that we can absorb what we’ve got, and look at what we’ve got, and decide whether some of the people here should be sent back home or to prison," Beckel proposed.
A bombing in Boston. A massacre in Nigeria. An attack in Kenya. Any time a Muslim somewhere in the world does something awful, Bob Beckel wants to use it as an excuse to ban mosques or Muslim students from America. As ugly as this strain of thinking is, Beckel has gone even uglier.
In 2012, following another attack on Christians in Nigeria by Muslim extremists, Beckel essentially threatened Muslims living in America. "If you want us to be nice to Muslims in this country, if you want us to treat them with decency, then stop killing our people," Beckel says. "Or you're going to pay a price for it. A big price." Notice how Beckel equates Americans with Christians, as if they are synonymous.
There are bigots everywhere, but most of them don't get to host a TV show on the nation's most popular cable news channel. Bob Beckel does, and it's crazy.