Michael Savage: You are hurting America

You know, when I see a woman walking around with a burqa, I see a Nazi. That’s what I see — how do you like that? — a hateful Nazi who would like to cut your throat and kill your children. Don’t give me this crap that they’re doing it out of a sacred ritual ...

600701_070709_savage_05.jpg
600701_070709_savage_05.jpg

You know, when I see a woman walking around with a burqa, I see a Nazi. That's what I see -- how do you like that? -- a hateful Nazi who would like to cut your throat and kill your children. Don't give me this crap that they're doing it out of a sacred ritual or rite. It's not required by the Quran that a woman walk around in a seventh-century drape. She's doing it to spit in your face. She's saying, "You white moron, you, I'm going to kill you if I can."

Those are the words of Michael Savage, a U.S. talk-show host whose radio program, Savage Nation, reaches some 8 million listeners each week. He said them last Monday on the air.

I'm no fan of the "burqa," or niqab as the full Islamic veil known in Arabic. But there's a difference between respectful criticism and hate-mongering. Obviously, Savage crossed the line. And naturally, his words are getting picked up overseas. Here's Egypt's al-Masry al-Youm ("The Egyptian Today"), an independent daily in Cairo:

You know, when I see a woman walking around with a burqa, I see a Nazi. That’s what I see — how do you like that? — a hateful Nazi who would like to cut your throat and kill your children. Don’t give me this crap that they’re doing it out of a sacred ritual or rite. It’s not required by the Quran that a woman walk around in a seventh-century drape. She’s doing it to spit in your face. She’s saying, “You white moron, you, I’m going to kill you if I can.”

Those are the words of Michael Savage, a U.S. talk-show host whose radio program, Savage Nation, reaches some 8 million listeners each week. He said them last Monday on the air.

I’m no fan of the “burqa,” or niqab as the full Islamic veil known in Arabic. But there’s a difference between respectful criticism and hate-mongering. Obviously, Savage crossed the line. And naturally, his words are getting picked up overseas. Here’s Egypt’s al-Masry al-Youm (“The Egyptian Today”), an independent daily in Cairo:

US ‘Arab American News’ newspaper said that US hard-line radio stations are some of the main platforms to attack Muslims in the US. It also affirmed that US Muslims are almost every day exposed to racial discrimination in radio programs, most of which are presented by intransigent conservatives.

To prove that Muslims are targeted in US radios, the newspaper, which is the Arab community’s mouthpiece in the US, reported the dialogue in which US hard-line presenter, Michael Savage, whose program is the third most-listened-to in the US, while talking about the last attacks in Britain, described a woman wearing the ‘Burqa’ (Complete Veil) as a ‘hateful Nazi’ who wants to kill Americans and their children.

Readers of Passport will be able to place Savage in his proper context. He’s a buffoon, a performance artist who says shocking things to get attention. But read about him for the first time in al-Masry al-Youm, and you might think he is a mainstream, influential figure. And that is a very dangerous impression for the United States to be sending.

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.