A friend and I were talking about the Juan Williams firing, and the general sense was that while it may not be kosher to say it, a lot of Americans probably feel the same nervousness that Williams said he feels when he sees people in “Muslim garb” on his plane.
Jeffrey Goldberg agrees. And in strong fashion, he fired up a blog post titled “Juan Williams Fired by NPR for No Particular Reason.” Here’s the nugget:
The first quotation reflects the views, I’m guessing, of the vast majority of people who fly in this country (and in Europe and Asia and other parts of the world, as well). With some regularity, Muslim men associated with radical Islamist organizations have been trying to kill American civilians, here and abroad. A group of 19 Muslim men succeeded beyond their wildest dreams in their mission nine years ago. The majority of Muslims abhor terrorism, and Muslims are the disproportionate victims of Muslim terror, but the essential truth remains that most of the world’s spectacular terrorism today—thwarted and achieved—is committed by Muslims. Juan Williams misunderstands one crucial fact: Muslim terrorists who are attempting to commit acts of terror seldom if ever dress in “Muslim garb”; they dress, for obvious tactical reasons, in a manner meant to help them blend in with surroundings. So Williams is wrong, I think, to be particularly suspicious of traditionally-dressed Muslims. But is he wrong to worry about Islamist terrorism? Of course not.
Of course what Williams said is not politically correct, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. And just because you’re paranoid, don’t mean they’re not after you.