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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Juan Williams Fired For Expressing Stereotype Based Fears Of Seeing Muslims On Airplanes

This was a dumb statement. Identifying someone as being Muslim and fearing them because of their dress is unacceptable. I have experienced this prejudice myself, once during Christmas 2002, while in Malaysia. I saw Muslim men and women, walking in Muslim dress, in the hotel lobby. A cell phone rang and the song "Santa Clause Is coming To Town" came out of a Muslim woman's cell phone. I laughed at myself and immediately realized my own stupid prejudice. I was totally comfortable after that. I realized that I had internalized a bigoted attitude towards Muslims which was unacceptable for me. I rejected this impulse towards prejudice and bigotry.
The problem for Juan Williams is that he spoke prejudicially regarding Muslims and Islamic dress. Muslims should not be expected to wear western clothing. This is America. We have a separation of church and state even though the ignorant Christine O'Donnell does not think so. Juan williams was wrong in attacking Muslims for showing their religion with their dress. Is it wrong for a Catholic Nun or a Priest to wear their religious garb? They place their religion out front, on display.  Of course not. There is absolutely no evidence that the 9/11 bombers were wearing Islamic dress.  Prejudice is prejudice.  Juan Williams's statements were outrageous. They were totally unacceptable and he should have been fired from NPR.
John H. Armwood

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