Dressed up Muslims

October 23, 2010 | By | 4 Replies More

What do Muslims look like? Here’s a response to Juan Williams.

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Category: Bigotry

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Looking at the situation from a different perspective, here's what Williams said:

    "But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/19/juan-wil

    How many Americans, if they were honest, would admit that they would be nervous seeing someone in traditional Muslim clothing getting on their airplane. 90%? 95%? What percentage of the NPR hierarchy responsible for firing Williams would admit this too, if honest?

    I think that there is rank hypocrisy in the air at NPR. Comments like Williams are the price one pays for spontaneity and candor. Further, NPR has spun the episode as though Williams is disparaging all Muslims for the acts of a few. That is the opposite of what he said in his follow-up comments.

    Speaking of hypocrisy, the conservatives have now declared war on NPR, suggesting that the entire organization should be judged on the basis of this one episode. I could say more than a few things that I don't like about NPR (including the creeping commercialization and the common failure to rely on establishment talking heads rather than bringing true progressives into many of the conversations), but NPR is about the only American radio source for in-depth reporting of serious national and international issues. How can it be that this is of little value to those now striving to defund it? I don't mean to sound naive. I know that NPR is inconvenient to deregulation of the entire United States. For many conservatives, it is a viewpoint that they can do without.

  2. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    Juan Williams' remark can be interpreted in many ways, but I think it shows the effectiveness of the propaganda spewing from the right-wing media.

    His fear of Muslims is, as with many Americans, the result of the right-wing talk media's vilification of all Arabs. If he let his personal prejudice influence his professional responsibilities on a regular basis, he should be fired.

    On the other hand this is a first offense, he should be reprimanded and allowed to apologize.

    It should be pointed out that air passengers in "Muslim garb" will be more thoroughly searched than the typical American or European styled passenger, and as a result will be less likely to be a terrorists.

    Put another way, if you are a terrorist with a mission to hijack an airliner and crash it into a high profile target, you will attempt to look as normal and harmless as possible so as not to attract the attention of the security people.

  3. Tim Hogan says:

    Several years ago, I traveled to and from Detroit some 8-10 times for a case which was actually in Bay City MI (a beautiful city with nice people!). Five times I was detained for more extensive searches of my bags and person. These searches took an additional 10-20 minutes over the regular searches.

    I figured that they needed to hassle at least one big, fat, blonde haired, blue eyed, white guy to meet some quota (or I was on some kind of list?). If these searches are indicative of what some others perhaps more suspiciously dressed than I have to go through before getting on a plane, I really don't care how they are dressed; stuff won't get through.

    As far as Mr. Williams goes, I think he should have been shitcanned from NPR as soon as he took his gig with Faux News. Faux News is not a "news" organization, it's the propaganda arm of the far right wing neocon fascist racist corporatist wing of the Republican Party. No self-respecting journalist would work for Faux News, they're all in it for the money (just like Juan who got a three year mega-deal from the Fauxies right after the NPR flap)!

  4. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    Back in the late 1970's, for about a year and a half, I had an Iraqi girlfriend. She was kind, considerate, caring and affectionate. She was also Muslim.

    She always wore jeans with sweaters as did her younger sister. She showed me photos taken from around Baghdad which, except for the Arabic signs on businesses, could have been mistaken for any city in the American Midwest.

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