Stop Advocating Destructive Holy War

Target: Bill O’Reilly, host of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor

Goal: End calls for holy war against ISIS.

Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly has legitimized ISIS and put countless lives at risk by beginning to label the ongoing conflict against the organization “The Holy War.” Such language is reckless and plays right into the militants’ narrative of Islam versus the world. Demand that O’Reilly cease calling the conflict a holy war at once.

Since its rise, ISIS itself has painted the conflict it has created in cosmic, black-and-white language—it revels in viewing its struggle as a holy war, as a war between “true Muslims” and everyone else, including Muslims that do not follow its harsh ideology, Christians, Jews, and members of every other religion. Bearing that in mind, it is vital that we not legitimize such an encompassing narrative by talking about it in similarly cosmic terms, and instead recognize for what it is: a political struggle between a few religious extremists and everyone else. It’s because of this that what O’Reilly has said is so dangerous.

Calling this conflict “The Holy War” puts us on the same level as ISIS itself, and could motivate extremists in our own country to attack American Muslims who have nothing to do with the militant organization. Sign the petition below to demand that Bill O’Reilly stop labelling this clash a holy war.


Dear Mr. O’Reilly,

I am writing you today regarding a segment on your February 17th episode of The O’Reilly Factor in which you began to call the national and international conflict against ISIS “The Holy War.” This is a reckless use of language and I urge you to abandon it.

Not only does calling it a holy war ironically employ the very same language that ISIS itself uses and, as a result, plays right into its hands, it also puts many lives here at home in danger. You cannot deny that the climate in America is extremely suspicious of Muslims—indeed, you on your own program often espouse those suspicions. Unfortunately, that culture of suspicion has resulted in an increase in hate crimes against Muslims across the country.

Any appeal to an idea of “holy war” against ISIS will do nothing but motivate violence against American Muslims by viewers of yours who hear what you say but lack the will to understand that the vast majority of Muslims here and abroad condemn ISIS and its ideology. You are directly putting a population that is already vulnerable in even more danger.

With these issues in mind, the fact that calling the conflict against ISIS “The Holy War” is dangerous and counterproductive should be completely self-evident. I demand that you do the right thing and stop calling it that at once.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Nehrams2020 via Wikimedia Commons

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