Muslim civil rights groups are demanding that a Los Angeles-area radio show apologize for making light of a Hajj Stampede in Mecca that claimed the lives of hundreds of worshippers.
Bill Handel, a host on KFI-AM 640, aired a segment entitled, the "Annual Stampede Report." According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR):
Handel imitated the people screaming and then joked that the Muslims at the pilgrimage should use a helicopter to monitor pilgrimage traffic, as is done in Los Angeles with the freeways.A CAIR spokesperson said in a statement:
The group quoted Handel as saying: "This is Mahmoud Nolan. Hajj in the Sky. There is an accident. ... Ali lost his sandal on the on-ramp to the Martin Luther King Jr. freeway."
"The deaths of hundreds of people engaged in religious observances is no laughing matter.... KFI needs to distance itself from Mr. Handel's unbelievable insensitivity by issuing a formal apology and a reprimand."Interestingly, KFI-AM is owned by Clear Channel Communications, the same corporation that booted Howard Stern off the air in some markets for his allegedly indecent material.
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