“A Muslim response to Juan Williams” by Akbar Ahmed from the Washington Post’s On Faith:
We need to see Juan Williams’ remarks in the context of the heated political environment within which Muslims live today.
This heat has been further intensified because of the November elections. And it is in this context that the recent events over the last couple of weeks and months can be understood: from the Ground Zero mosque crisis, to Pastor Terry Jones wanting to burn the Koran, to the fact that about 20 percent of Americans believe that President Barack Hussein Obama is a Muslim.
The attacks on Muslims also play into the critics of Obama. We now see that he has been pushed into a corner with the news that he will decline to visit holiest of holy sites of the Sikh faith during his trip to India because it was suggested that an image of him wearing the Sikh headdress would [inaccurately] play into conspiracy theories that he is a Muslim. The fact that it is a Sikh temple and not a Muslim center is not even relevant. This debate is no longer rational.
This crossing of the border of rationality is why Williams remarks were, to me, were disappointing. He says he is “worried and “nervous” on being on a plane Muslims. This smacks of profiling. It is especially disappointing because Williams is known for his work on the 1960s civil rights movement and is sensitive of the need to give dignity to minorities. So how can a member of the minority community then single out another minority community and label it as he did?