Glenn Beck spent much of his show today recapping and reflecting on his weekend in Israel and his Restoring the Courage rally. “I have to tell you some of the stories I wasn’t able to tell you before…the things you didn’t know, that we couldn’t say,” he begins, always the story teller, and then reveals from his stop in South Africa that he and his team were left scrambling when several of the rally’s key participants dropped out after receiving threats on their lives. “What you may not know is how many people canceled at the last minute, and not because they were, you know, ‘I’m not going to stand with him,’ none of that,” he says. “The reason why they canceled is because they were under death threat.”
Amongst such participants were a choir that had been practicing for months and “believed in the program we were doing” but had been told they would lose their jobs, and an orchestrator of the music who was torn up that he could not attend, but because of his family, could not take a risk. Also hesitant to attend to do potential risk? Every Muslim they asked. Beck seemed particularly regretful of this, having specifically planned the rally in Jerusalem’s Old City, in close proximity to holy sites for Christians, Jews and Muslims alike.
“We could not get an Arab to perform, a Muslim to stand on stage,” he said. “The only Arab that stood with us was a guy that is a minister, a pastor, a Christian, who has his church in Bethlehem. This guys life is threatened every day, especially on Sundays.” So there was one Arab, but he was Christian, leaving the Muslim quota still, unfulfilled.
Beck’s hope, he goes on to explain, was that he might have a representative from each of the three faiths (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) come out and sing a prayer “to show the root of all of these faiths.” A cantor sang a Jewish prayer and then someone sang a Gregorian chant (“not a christian that did that, not a catholic, but someone who did the Gregorian chant,” he says). No one volunteered to get on stage and sing the call to prayer.
“There was no arab that would sing it,” Beck says, “because they felt that, if I sing it, I am a dead man.” And, although, as he admits, he doesn’t understand much about the call to prayer nor does he speak Arabic, he says that the guy they did get to sing it “wasn’t even allowed to sing actual words … he couldn’t actually say the words because it would have inflamed the Muslims, 40,000 of them were just above us as he did this performance.” “Melodic moans” would have to do. (Hear Beck’s impression of the chant at 8:25 in the clip below)
Now, Beck’s wont to have all faiths represented is one thing, but his frustration that no Muslim would join him on stage, for fear of persecution or otherwise, seems ironic. Given his frequent conflation of Islamic countries and a brewing caliphate…well, what did he expect?
Beck has a tendency — one that is on display in the below clip — to also sometimes conflate Arabs and Muslims casually (although he does, clearly, know the difference). But he has also in the past conflated Muslims and the antichrist. And so, while his intention seems to be good in this case, he has in the past made himself a rather unappealing alliance for the Muslim and Arab world. His detractors believe that he’s personally helped fan the flames of Islamaphobia for so many years, and so by that thinking, he himself has would have made it scary for a Muslim to stand in front of the rally’s sold-out crowd. He may have actually made “courage” too risky an action for any Arabic individual to stand with him.
Have a listen below:
H/T The Blaze
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