- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 14, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

It was inaccurate for Jeffrey T. Kuhner to write that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) supports the ban on controversial radio talk-show host Michael Savage entering Britain (“Silencing Savage,” Opinion, Sunday).

On May 11, The Washington Times reported: “An unlikely group [CAIR] is calling for Britain to remove conservative talk-radio host Michael Savage from its banned-persons list” (“Strange bedfellows,” Culture, May 11).

Just a few days later, The Times quoted me as saying: “Even though we have challenged Michael Savage’s hate speech and even ran an advertising campaign against his show, we still do not back this ban from Britain based on principle, not based on the man himself. We believe freedom of speech is a two-way street” (“Surviving the ‘cauldron,’ Nation, May 17).

CAIR never called for Mr. Savage to be “yanked off the air.”

Earlier this year, in reference to another talk-show host who vilified Islam and Muslims, I stated: “Radio hosts are free to hold bigoted views, but listeners have no obligation to subsidize those views by purchasing the goods or services of companies that choose to advertise on hate-filled programs.”

So, what Mr. Kuhner describes as an attempt by CAIR to silence Mr. Savage was, in fact, a defense of his free-speech rights and a very American affirmation of the right to challenge hate by exercising our own freedom of speech.

IBRAHIM HOOPER

National communications director

Council on American-Islamic Relations

Washington

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