Posted at BigPeace.com by Dr. Marc Weisman Oct 23rd 2010 at 8:30 am
As a few of you may already know, Juan Williams, the liberal Fox News commentator and civil rights champion, wasabruptly and rudely fired on Thursday after the Council of Arab Islamic Relations (CAIR) not-so-subtly urged NPR to cut him loose.
What egregious act caused the axe to drop on Williams? The Monday before Williams was fired the commentator appeared on The O’Reilley Factor. Responding to a question posed to him by O’Reilley, Williams said that he, too, experiences anxiety about flying in a Post- 9/11 world. “When I get on a plane ,” Williams said, “I’ve got to tell you—when I see people who are in Muslim garb, and I think, you know, they’re identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”
Williams’ statement was an attempt to demonstrate that people’s fears—fears many of us hold, regardless of how rational they may be—need to be reconciled with the rights afforded to us under the constitution. However, in the twisted minds of the super-tolerant left, the die was cast.
But let’s really examine how illogical or prejudiced William’s admission actually was. Are we to forget that there have been at least six credible attempts to blow up airplanes by Islamic extremists in the past few years alone? Should we turn a blind eye to the fact that the current administration and the “mainstream” media have never pushed the silent majority of so-called moderate Muslims to speak out against extremism? Or that they castigate those who do?
The Williams affair comes on the heels of an episode of the view, where those oftentimes less-than-irreproachable women from ABC’s The View—Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Beyhar— literally got up and walked off their live set on October 15th. The stunt was an attempt to paint Bill O’Reilley a xenophobic bigot by feigning disgust.
As I think the entire world now knows, The View incident occurred when O’Reilley had the audacity to point out that the 9/11 terrorists were actually Muslims.
Now, we have this equally bizarre incident with Williams. I must admit that I’m both puzzled and delighted by these stories. I am puzzled because no matter how hard I try I just cannot wrap my head around the naïve, Islamist-denying drivel that is flooding America today. I am delighted because this provides yet two more indefensible, ideology-driven, and irrational examples of the political left attempting to exercise their self-appointed roles as the politically correct guardians of radical Islam.
Let’s recap: CAIR, a Muslim activist group widely acknowledged as an Islamist organization itself, calls upon NPR to discipline a liberal, black commentator and champion of civil rights for sharing his widely-held fears about Muslims in the post 9 /11 world. They demanded this in response to his candid and reasonable admission that he feels angst when boarding a plane if fellow passengers include traditionally-garbed Muslims. Then—the unabashedly liberal (and partly federally funded) NPR—terminates Williams’ ten-year employment with a text message followed by a phone call. Being the class act they are, they declined to meet him face to face to discuss his termination.
Maybe it’s just me, but this seems odd. Especially when Williams clarified on the same program that “We have an obligation as Americans to be careful to protect the constitutional rights of everyone in our country and to make sure that we don’t have any outbreak of bigotry—but that there’s a reality. You cannot ignore what happened on 9/11 and you cannot ignore the connection to Islamic radicalism.”
What Williams’ termination proves once again is that any dissent or outrage to Islamic extremism won’t be challenged in an open forum. Instead, the debate will be limited and the entire thing will be swept under the rug. And if you don’t think it will ever happen to you, let me share a story of my own:
As some of you know, I spent two years writing a book, Re-United States, which was recently published. The entire book is dedicated to exactly this issue: divisions within America and among Americans—some of which are real and some of which are imagined—and how these divisions cripple our approach to understanding radical Islam. I just learned that Re-United States will not be endorsed by my local community’s Jewish Book Fair this fall and that I, a new local author, will not even be listed in the new local authors section. No one had the civility to notify me or explain to me why I am being excluded, so I can only speculate. Could it be that my book’s message is incongruent with the local ideology?
My situation is not unique, and Williams’ termination is only the most recent example of it to grace national headlines. Dissent, even when it applies to opinions that the left is quick to label with ugly words like “xenophobic” or “fear mongering,” lead to a more mature national dialog. The left needs to be held to the fire and forced to defend their beliefs rather than allowed to (literally) walk off the set.
In fact, this kind of discourse might lead to Americans stop appeasing and start demanding the “silent majority” of Muslims to pick a side–hopefully ours. Many believe there is no moderate majority of Muslims, but I vigorously demur. Muslims the world over may be taught far too frequently to feel superior, to promulgate Islam by hook or by crook, and even to abhor infidels, but they are not all buying into this. It is this silent majority of which I speak. I believe that if we engage them, hold them accountable and even shame them to join the battle, we can defeat Islamic extremism. If you look at the numbers, it’s the only chance we’ve got, folks.
Juan Williams spoke his mind truthfully, and as an American, and he was silenced. I am not sure if we have yet reached peak awareness on this dangerous, self-destructive, politically correct and politically motivated bullying but we must be getting close. Williams may be fired, but I’m just getting fired up. How about you?