Juan Williams was reportedly fired by National Public Radio for saying that people on airplanes dressed in Muslim garb made him nervous about their intentions. Both conservatives and liberal commentators have condemned NPR. I wonder if they would be so quick to attack if Williams had been a white reporter who said that groups of young black men on street corners made him fearful? What would happen to such a reporter’s credibility?
If we allow Williams to speak of his irrational fears, then he should still have been fired for not learning anything as a reporter. Think back on all the photographs you have seen of Muslim terrorists: the 9/11 crew, the shoe bomber, the underwear bomber, the Times Square bomber, etc. Did any of them wear long robes or bin-Laden beards or akaru (the head scarf with the rope around it)? Of course not. --Well, I'll concede a scruffy beard on Richard Reid, but even with it, he looked more goofy than threatening.
Terrorists want to blend in so they can get closer to their targets. They do not want to draw attention to themselves. Terrorists look more like Williams, or you, or me or an Army doctor.
But, Williams is afraid of robes and beards. He has learned nothing. Reporters should be fired for stupidity.