Fox News, Keith Ellison, and the "Nazi bible"

Al-Jazeera's English broadcast puts Fox News' "fair and balanced" tagline to a smell test by looking at its December 1 coverage of Keith Ellison's request to be sworn in on the Quran. With Dennis Prager at center screen, host Sean Hannity compares Islam's nearly 1500-year-old scriptures with an autobiographical screed written in 1925 by a genocidal-maniac-to-be.

Hannity asked:
"On what grounds will those of you defending this congressman's decision in his right to chose his favorite book... Would you allow him to choose Hitler's Mein Kampf, which is the Nazi bible?"
While Hannity's innuendo--linking the Quran and Mein Kampf in the same breath--is troubling, it's his use of the term "Nazi bible" that's surprising, especially since he and Prager are so concerned that Ellison honor the book most often used in oaths.

The term "bible," while deriving from the Greek for book (biblia) according to Webster, predominantly refers to either the Christian or Jewish holy books, not to political tracts. A "Nazi bible"--as the first find in a Google search of the phrase yields--would suggest, well, Hitler's bible.

Like the one the F├╝hrer commissioned in 1939; in an attempt to "Nazify" the church, Hitler ordered hand-picked theologians to "cleanse church texts of all non-Aryan influences" and revise the 10 Commandments to include 12, deleting several and adding these:

Keep the blood pure and your honour holy! Maintain and multiply the heritage of your forefathers. Always be ready to help and to forgive. Honour your Fuehrer and master!
Perhaps these modifications indicate my issue with the Ellison/Quran flap: what is being sworn is of greater import than what it's being sworn on.

After all, in Mein Kampf Hitler wrote that "today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.”

Hitler, like anyone, was judged by his actions, those of a homicidal racist, rather than by his statements of faith. (The quote above continues: "By defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.")

Congressman-elect Ellison will be rated--and berated--by the likes of Hannity and Prager, no doubt. But perhaps they could wait til after his first day in office to get started.

[A frequent rightwing commenter at Minnesota Monitor, where I crossposted his entry, seems to have a bigger problem with a mention of al-Jazeera than the utterings of Sean Hannity.]

And: The director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Dr. Stephen Feinstein, calls for the resignation of Dennis Prager from the US Holocaust Memorial Council for saying Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison shouldn't serve if he won't take his oath on the bible. Says Feinstein, "[E]veryone should see Prager's comments as bigotry enthroned... [H]is statements have single-handedly made it clear that one Jew does not understand the civic responsibilities of an organization whose board he represents."

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