Thursday, October 21, 2010
Image by Fairfax County Public Library via FlickrNPR Fires Commentator Juan Williams Over Muslim Remarks
National Public Radio fired news analyst Juan Williams late Wednesday for saying on Fox News Channel that he gets "worried" when he sees fellow passengers on an airplane in Muslim garb, "identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims."
Williams' remarks Monday on "The O'Reilly Factor" were "inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a new analyst for NPR," the public radio organization said in a statement reported Thursday by the New York Times.
"I'm not a bigot," Williams had told host Bill O'Reilly. Williams, an African American, noted that he had written books about the civil rights movement. But then he went on: "But when I get on a 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."
Williams, 56, added that the Pakistani immigrant who pleaded guilty recently to trying to plant a bomb in a vehicle at Times Square has said " 'the war with Muslims, America's war, is just beginning, first drop of blood.' I don't think there's any way to get away from these facts." His comments came after O'Reilly had said, "The cold truth is that in the world today, jihad, aided and abetted buy some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet."
Williams, in the exchange, warned O'Reilly that all Muslims should not be blamed for extremist acts anymore than Christians should be faulted for the actions of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. During O'Reilly's recent appearance on "The View," his statements on Muslim ties to the 9/11 attacks prompted co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg to walk off the show.