Calling Juan Williams “Irrational” Is Ignoring Reality

October 26th, 2010

By Brianna Aubin

This letter to the editor was sent in to the Daily Illini in response to their editorial on Juan Williams getting fired from NPR:

Saying that it is irrational for Mr. Williams to worry that a co-passenger on a plane who visibly identifies as Muslim might be an Islamist plotting a terrorist attack is like telling a woman on campus that she is irrational to worry that a man who approaches her while she walks around alone on campus at midnight might be planning to assault her.  Certainly it is true that most Muslims do not want to blow things up, just as most men on campus do not want to commit crimes.  However, the simple fact of the matter is that Mr. Williams is no more capable of telling the moderate and the Islamist apart by their looks than that woman would be of distinguishing a pedestrian from a criminal.  Nobody would tell that woman that she was irrational for worrying that the man approaching her for the time might actually be planning to steal her wallet or rape her.  So why does Mr. Jones accuse Mr. Williams of being irrational for fearing that the Muslim might be in the same ideological camp as the ones which flew planes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, shot up Fort Hood, and tried to blow up Times Square?

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3 Responses to “Calling Juan Williams “Irrational” Is Ignoring Reality”

  1. Tom Carter |

    I agree with the letter (and its author, of course). To the extend the analogy, a guy who enters a bank wearing a long coat and a ski mask with his hands in his pockets is going to attract suspicion. The fact that it’s a cold, snowy day outside won’t much matter — he looks like a bank robber.

    The simple fact is that islamist terrorists are motivated by Islam. Those who dress in distinctively Muslim ways and make a point of their religious identity make a whole lot of people nervous, including Juan Williams and me. It’s regretable that very few people like this have evil intent, but that doesn’t change the reality.

    I hate to sound like Geert Wilders (or Angela Merkel, for that matter), but Muslims who want to live in and be accepted by more advanced Western societies must assimilate. Among other advantages, that will more clearly separate them from their violent coreligionists.

  2. Brianna |

    Tom, I’m the author of the letter.

  3. Tom Carter |

    I know…. I checked out the article and the comments. You stated the case very well.

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