To watch "The Memo" click here.
Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight.
You know, every time I go on vacation, everything breaks loose. I'm sitting there in Jackson, Wyoming, and Nightline is taking shots at me as well as The Washington Post. So of course I'm back, and that is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.
The subject of the controversy is the mandate by the University of North Carolina that all incoming freshmen read a book called, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations.
Book is favorable towards Islam.
My beef is that the book should not be forced upon students because it is religious in nature. If students were forced to read the Bible in order to gain admission to a public university, all hell would break loose, no pun intended.
In my initial debate with U.N.C. professor Robert Kirkpatrick, I said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
I'm for academic freedom. I want all the students in universities and colleges across the country to be as well versed as possible. But I don't know what this serves to take a look at our enemy's religion. See, I mean, I wouldn't give people a book during World War II on the emperor as God in Japan, would you?
ROBERT KIRKPATRICK, PH.D., ENGLISH PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA-CHAPEL HILL: Sure, why not?
KIRKPATRICK: Wouldn't that explain -- wouldn't that have explained kamikaze pilots?
O'REILLY: No. It would have just -- I don't think it would have. I mean, I would say the culture of Japan, fine, but not the religion. The religion aspect of this bothers me. I wouldn't read the book, and I'll tell you why, I wouldn't have read Mein Kampf either. If I were going to UNC in 1941, and you, professor, said, Read Mein Kampf, I would have said, Hey, professor, with all due respect, shove it, I ain't readin' it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Now, the professor claims that knowing about the Koran helps put the terror of 9/11 in perspective. I disagree. The Koran has nothing to do with the war on terror. The criminals that attacked us can hide behind anything they want, in this case religion, but you don't have to understand Islam to understand murder. The two are not joined together.
What Professor Kirkpatrick and the elite media want is for Americans to take a sympathetic view of Islam, and that is the agenda in play here.
Listen to this quote from Nightline: "Popular television talk show host Bill O'Reilly of Fox News made the university's assignment a national cause. Why, he asked, should students study what he called "the enemy's religion"?
What he called the enemy's religion? Is Nightline serious? What religion's in play here, Buddhism? Where does the concept of jihad come from? Give me a break.
And I never said the students shouldn't study Islam, I said they shouldn't be forced to study it in order to be admitted to the college.
That Nightline report was one of the weakest I've ever seen on any network.
The truth is that Nightline and other elite media outlets and some college professors don't want to acknowledge that the greatest threat to the world today is radical Islam. That's undeniable, and you can put whatever happy face you want on it, but the threat is real.
Then The Washington Post joined the Greek chorus and editorialized. "In a particular display of demagogic illiteracy, popular talk show host Bill O'Reilly compared studying the Quran today to reading Mein Kampf during World War II."
Again, a complete distortion. And what happened to the Japanese analogy I made supporting the argument that you need not understand the theology of people that attack you in order to understand the threat?
But of course The Post and the rest of the distortion merchants get far more bang for the buck by painting it as a Quran versus Mein Kampf issue. The intellectual dishonesty of this is simply staggering.
Of course, we invited Ted Koppel and the editorial writer of The Washington Post on this program. Of course, they declined.
But in the weight of a superior argument, the University of North Carolina has pulled back. Now if freshman don't want to read the Quran book, all they have to do is discuss the subject with a teacher. And that's fine with us.
We even suggest the freshmen check out the Quran book to see what it's all about. Just don't let them force you.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."
Things are hopping down in Florida. The Sun-Sentinel newspaper says monstrous grasshoppers, too nasty tempered and toxic to be eaten by natural predators are on a rampage in the Sunshine State.
Wow! Look at that monstrous grasshopper!
Apparently these hoppers are immune to bug spray and are mocking attempts to curb their appetites. If you touch one of them, a foul smelling odor and irritating foam zips out of them. Sounds like some rocker rooms I've been in.
Anyway, if you live in central Florida, authorities say you can drown the grasshoppers in a bucket of soapy water, which may be ridiculous, but it's better than having them take up residence in your guest room.
— You can watch Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 & 11p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. Send your comments to: email@example.com