Juan Williams says airline passengers in 'Muslim garb' make him 'nervous'
WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today called on National Public Radio (NPR) to address analyst Juan Williams' statement that airline passengers in "Muslim garb" make him "nervous." (Williams is a news analyst for both NPR and Fox News.)
SEE: Juan Williams - News Analyst
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The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said that during an appearance Monday on Fox's "O'Reilly Factor," Williams backed Bill O'Reilly's recent claim that "Muslims killed us on 9/11" and then said: "[W]hen 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."
Video: NPR Analyst Says 'Muslim Garb' Make Him 'Nervous'
"NPR should address the fact that one of its news analysts seems to believe that all airline passengers who are perceived to be Muslim can legitimately be viewed as security threats," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "Such irresponsible and inflammatory comments would not be tolerated if they targeted any other racial, ethnic or religious minority, and they should not pass without action by NPR."
He noted that media commentators who launch rhetorical attacks on Islam and Muslims normally do not suffer the professional consequences of those who similarly target other racial, ethnic or religious groups.
SEE: Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Triggers Little Fallout (ABC)
Awad said CAIR publishes a pocket guide, called "Your Rights and Responsibilities as an American Muslim," with a section that deals with the right of airline passengers to "courteous, respectful and non-stigmatizing treatment by airline and security personnel."
SEE: Know Your Legal Rights as an Airline Passenger
CAIR recently announced the launch of a department devoted to addressing the alarming rise of Islamophobic sentiment in American society.
SEE: CAIR Launches Islamophobia Dept. at Sold-Out Banquet
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations