* Bumped up *
Many have written about the abrupt firing of NPR and Fox News commentator, Juan Williams, for comments Mr. Williams made regarding Muslims on a recent Bill O’Reilly program. There is no need for me to duplicate their worthy efforts (Bronwyn’s Harbor of NQ has two very good posts on the incident, and some of the fall-out of the firing. Logistics Monster has two great posts, too, one highlighting the issue of free speech, and following the money with C.A.I.R., the other has Bill O’Reilly speaking out.).
I do not always agree with Mr. Williams, but what happened to him is simply unacceptable, especially since NPR apparently caved to pressure from the Muslim organization, C.A.I.R., about which Uppity Women commented in her inimitable style:
You remember CAIR don’t you? The organization whose founder said he thought SHARIA Law in the USA would be great and Islam is not in America to be equal but to dominate? CAIR, the organization accused of having ties to Islamofascism? That CAIR?
Yep. That C.A.I.R.
Well, it turns out that not everyone is so happy with C.A.I.R’s insistence, and NPR’s caving, as this article in the Daily Caller by Caroline May indicates, Muslims Speak Out Against NPR’s Political Correctness:
While a Muslim advocacy group, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), was instrumental in getting National Public Radio (NPR) to fire Juan Williams, some Muslims are speaking out against succumbing to the censorship of political correctness.
Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, took issue with those who wrap themselves in feel-good sensitivity, while denying the fact that the majority of terrorists are Muslim. (Emphasis mine.)
Indeed, the threat is real enough even for Fatah, a liberal Muslim, who looks at women in burkas with skepticism. “I am scared when I see women in burkas, how do I know what is behind that?” Fatah said, noting that many Muslims share his concerns.
“We are victims of these guys. A number of suicide bombers who have attacked have killed people [while] wearing the burka,” Fatah said. “This is the truth, we should be speaking the truth rather than what people expect us to say. ”
Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, told The Daily Caller that though Williams could have been more tactful, his ouster is symptomatic of the problems Americans continue to face when discussing Islam.
“As much as the way he said it was poorly chosen, the era we find ourselves — of political correctness — we are not able to address what this fear is,” Jasser said. “Anybody that starts talking about this fear gets shut down.”
No kidding. Those of us who have tried to discuss the building of a mosque chosen for both its proximity to the World Trade Towers and because it had part of one of the planes fall on it, know this all too well. Heck, Bill O’Reilly (of whom I am not a fan) had Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg storm off the set of The View for his FACTUAL comment that the atrocities of 9/11 were perpetrated by Muslims. What the heck? 9/11 WAS committed by Muslims – there is simply no denying that reality! What does it serve Behar and Goldberg, or anyone, for that matter, to try and revise that reality? They were extremists, sure, but they committed these acts as a RESULT of their Muslim beliefs. Not all Muslims support that belief, but to deny that many do is just childish.
So, how are all of these “politically correct” folks going to deal with MUSLIMS saying they, too, get nervous when they see women in burkas because there is no telling what they might be hiding? When Muslims acknowledge that, yes, the people who committed these acts, these people who continue to plan and plot against us, are Muslims?
How in the world can NPR legitimately report news if they are unwilling to accept that, say Major Nassan, the Army psychiatrist who gunned down a number of his fellow soldiers, did so as a Muslim? Or the Times Square bomber, who, despite failing at his task, “spoke with pride” about his attempt to kill people because he is a Muslim? You know the one, Shahzad, just sentenced to life for this attempt, who said, “Brace yourselves, because the war with Muslims has just begun” (emphasis mine)?
If NPR (and others) are willing to subject free speech, how in the WORLD can they be considered a reputable news source, especially when the opinions expressed by Mr. Williams are some shared by liberal Muslims themselves? Or when there are Muslim extremists flat out telling us to brace ourselves?
The reality of Muslim extremists targeting us was emphasized again in this article:
[snip] According to Jasser, the fact that the vast majority of national security threats emanate from the Muslim world makes Williams’ fear reasonable. Without open discussion, however, those concerns will never be conquered.
“I think that ultimately what we find when many thought leaders try to talk about it, [they say] ‘well there are some common elements to those who threaten national security,’ and the only one so far they have been able to nail down is that they come from some form of Islamic theology,’” Jasser said. “And because we have not become skilled in discussing theo-political threats, you’re having a lot of these little skirmishes happening.”
Stephen Schwartz, executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, echoed Fatah and Jasser. Schwartz told TheDC that he and his organization opposed NPR’s reaction to Williams’ comments.
“Mr. Williams is basically an opinion journalist and he offered an opinion based on an undeniable reality: American Muslims have so far failed in our duty to prevent negative perceptions among our non-Muslim neighbors, and many, unfortunately, have taken the existing concerns among non-Muslims as a challenge to assert Muslim identity more aggressively, through forms of dress as well as speech that are often extravagant and excessive,” Schwartz wrote in an e-mail to TheDC.
“Mr. Williams spoke to this reality in an understated, candid way. He did not express hatred or incite violence against Muslims. He should not have been dismissed.” (Click HERE to read the rest.)
What does it serve NPR, or Joy Behar, or any of the other “PC” people to deny the realty with which we are currently living? It is one thing for Behar and Goldberg to storm off the set of an opinion show, but NPR is SUPPOSED to be a reputable news outlet, not one subject to the so-called politically correct demands of a radical organization. The reaction of NPR says WAY more about them than Juan Williams’ comment says about him. They have allowed themselves to be manipulated, and seem intent on revising our history of just who attacked us on 9/11, and why.
Should we fear all Muslims? Certainly not. But should we deny that it was, indeed, Muslims who attacked us on 9/11, shot our soldiers down at Fort Hood, tried to cause serious damage and loss of life in New York City’s Time Square? Hell, no. And that is basically what Juan Williams was saying. Perhaps he said it inexpertly, but his reasoning was sound. We have legitimate reasons to be suspicious of certain groups from their own mouths (Shahzad, for example), and to pretend otherwise is sheer folly.
NPR should be ashamed of how it handled this situation, and that it allowed itself to be used by one organization whose motives are well documented. They are an embarrassment.