Established in late 2007, the Hate Hurts America Interfaith and Community Coalition (HHA) described itself as “a coalition of religious and civic organizations that was formed to address the rising problem of hatred against American minorities.” “Hate hurts America by eroding our country’s great traditions of religious and cultural tolerance and mutual respect,” said HHA. “Hate-filled words can and do lead to violent actions.”
Specifically, HHA was established for the singular purpose of trying to ban conservative talk radio personality Michael Savage, host of the popular daily program The Savage Nation, from the airwaves. “While hatemongers have a First Amendment right to spew their hate speech, Americans of all backgrounds also have a First Amendment right not to support hate speech,” said HHA. “The best way conscientious Americans can stop supporting hate speech is to ask responsible companies to pull their advertising dollars from hatemongers. We therefore call upon companies to withdraw their advertisements from ‘The Savage Nation’ as a concrete demonstration of support for the American traditions of religious and cultural tolerance and mutual respect.”
HHA expressed concern about “Savage’s “history of hateful and bigoted comments against minorities including African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Catholics, Jews, immigrants and women.” But its chief concern was the broadcaster’s critical commentary about Islam and Muslims. HHA cited the following comments by Savage as being particularly egregious:
“I’m not gonna put my wife in a hijab. And I’m not gonna put my daughter in a burqa. And I’m not getting’ on my all-fours and braying to Mecca. And you could drop dead if you don’t like it. You can shove it up your pipe. I don’t wanna hear anymore about Islam. I don’t wanna hear one more word about Islam. Take your religion and shove it up your behind. I’m sick of you.”
“What kind of religion is this? What kind of world are you living in when you let them in here with that throwback document [the Koran] in their hand, which is a book of hate. Don’t tell me I need reeducation. They need deportation. I don’t need reeducation. Deportation, not reeducation.”
“Make no mistake about it, the Koran is not a document of freedom. The Koran is a document of slavery and chattel. It teaches you that you are a slave.”
“I think [Muslims] need to be forcibly converted to Christianity … It’s the only thing that can probably turn them into human beings.”
HHA did not mention that the context in which all these comments had been made was the rising tide, in the United States and around the world, of violent Islamic extremism — with its calls for jihad, Muslim dominion over the earth, the slaughter of infidels, the adoption of Muslim customs, and the institution of Sharia (Islamic law) in non-Muslim nations. Nor did HHA mention that Savage had made positive comments about Muslims who had rejected such hateful extremism.
Most of HHA’s coalition members were individuals affiliated with various Protestant churches and leftist organizations such as the War Resisters League, the American Friends Service Committee, and Tikkun (whose founder Michael Lerner was a member). Two of the more notable organizations belonging to the coalition were the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Students Association – West.
In 2009, HHA became inactive.