The Cincinnati office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations‘ Ohio chapter called Tuesday for WLW-AM (700) to reprimand talk show host Bill Cunningham for what they call anti-Islamic remarks he made on the air Monday.
“The great war of this generation’s time is the war against Islamic fascists,” Cunningham said. “… They do not live for life, they live for death. Only through death can they believe they can be with those 72 virgins in heaven and have sex with children for eternity, which is the goal of that religion.”
Such remarks “can only serve to promote the kind of anti-Muslim hatred and bigotry that have such a negative impact on our society and on our nation’s international image,” said Karen Dabdoub, executive director of the Cincinnati office of CAIR.
Contacted Tuesday, Cunningham said: “One of the tenets of Islam is that if you die a martyr, you get to spend eternity in heaven with 72 virgins. I said, ‘That’s pretty sick. If that’s the goal, I don’t want to be there. That’s not my concept of heaven.’ ”
Cunningham said he got no calls about the remarks on Monday, “so I moved on to the Bengals.”
Darryl Parks, WLW operations director, could not be reached for comment.
Cunningham recently had to apologize for claiming the Reds’ Adam Dunn was drunk while playing in a game. The station also was involved in a controversy over a billboard and a radio spot that resulted in a boycott of advertisers by the Hispanic community.
Cunningham, 59, will debut a nationally syndicated show at 10 p.m. Sunday on WLW, replacing Internet journalist Matt Drudge on 325 stations from New York to Los Angeles. “Live on Sunday Night with Bill Cunningham” will be syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks. Clear Channel Communications Inc. owns WLW and Premiere.
Cunningham’s “Voice of the Common Man” will be syndicated nationally on 325 stations beginning Friday.