Bill O'Reilly had some serious problems with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's column in Time Magazine because once again, he feels the guy who has been a Muslim for over 40 years doesn't know squat about Islam.
Abdul-Jabbar quite reasonably pointed out:
When the Ku Klux Klan burn a cross in a black family’s yard, prominent Christians aren’t required to explain how these aren’t really Christian acts. Most people already realize that the KKK doesn’t represent Christian teachings. That’s what I and other Muslims long for—the day when these terrorists praising the Prophet Muhammad or Allah’s name as they debase their actual teachings are instantly recognized as thugs disguising themselves as Muslims. It’s like bank robbers wearing masks of presidents; we don’t really think Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush hit the Bank of America during their down time.
This infuriated BillO, who retorted "Mr. Abdul-Jabbar's wish would come true a lot faster if all the Muslim nations would confront the jihad, the way the U.S.A. confronted the KKK." He continued, "The FBI, largely comprised of Christians, wiped the Klan out, destroying its leadership and vigorously prosecuting their crimes."
It must be nice to be so monumentally wrong about something and yet cling to it as an absolute. Behold Bill O'Reilly insisting that if only the world would behave just like the FBI and eradicate the world of "radical jihadists" just like the FBI did with the KKK then everything would be awesome.
If only Muslims would take on their radical factions, whines O'Reilly. Yes, and if only Americans would take on their own radical factions. But I digress.
I just searched on the term "KKK" here on Crooks and Liars. As you all know, we celebrated our 10th anniversary last year, so we weren't blogging back in the days of those brave Christian G-Men soldiers who eradicated the KKK, but strangely enough, they're mentioned a lot here. And the mentions are on the rise, too, From one mention in 2005 to 59 in 2014, including Chris Hayes' interview with one of their Grand Wizards just last November.
Anyone with a working knowledge of history knows the FBI did not at all step on the KKK during their reign of terror in the South during the Civil Rights movement. In fact, those good Christians of the FBI more often than not allied with the KKK.
The Ku Klux Klan, with its long history of violence, is the most infamous - and oldest - of American hate groups. Although black Americans have typically been the Klan's primary target, it also has attacked Jews, immigrants, gays and lesbians and, until recently, Catholics. Over the years since it was formed in December 1865, the Klan has typically seen itself as a Christian organization, although in modern times Klan groups are motivated by a variety of theological and political ideologies.
The Klan arose a third time during the 1960s to oppose the civil rights movement and to preserve segregation in the face of unfavorable court rulings. The Klan's bombings, murders and other attacks took a great many lives, including, among others, four young girls killed while preparing for Sunday services at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala.
What weakened the KKK? It wasn't the FBI, my friends.
Since the 1970s the Klan has been greatly weakened by internal conflicts, court cases, a seemingly endless series of splits and government infiltration. While some factions have preserved an openly racist and militant approach, others have tried to enter the mainstream, cloaking their racism as mere "civil rights for whites." Today, the Center estimates that there are between 5,000 and 8,000 Klan members, split among dozens of different - and often warring - organizations that use the Klan name.
In light of the recent events in Ferguson and elsewhere, I'm betting the SPLC will be revising their estimate of the number of active KKK terrorist cells in the United States in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, let's remember that just since August, police have been exposed as active KKK members, which sort of shoots the foundation right out from under O'Reilly's unwarranted certitude.
Billo can rewrite history as much as he wants for Fox News viewers, but that won't change the facts. We still have our own home-grown violent extremists in this country, the FBI did not kill the KKK, and it would be good for Bill to quit trashing Islam and take care of the mess in his own backyard instead. A mess, I might add, that he and his employer has made much, much worse.