Let’s not be like Juan

By Eboo Patel & Samantha Kirby As we’re sure everyone has heard by now, on Monday Juan Williams said the … Continued

By Eboo Patel & Samantha Kirby

As we’re sure everyone has heard by now, on Monday Juan Williams said the following on Fox News: “… when I get on a plane… if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think… they’re identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

When we heard this, we thought one thing: let’s not be like Juan.

Williams was given a high profile platform to say, “It’s ok to be suspicious of an entire religious group because of the actions of a handful of extremists.” This is a poisonous attitude – one that mainstream media shouldn’t validate. They wouldn’t do it about gender or racial communities, and they shouldn’t do it about religious communities.

Thankfully, there’s a different kind of conversation happening about religious diversity outside of the media limelight. It’s not about multi-million dollar contracts, but about building bridges rather than barriers, and how we should treat our fellow Americans.

At IFYC, we see that conversation most inspiringly on college campuses.

It’s a conversation about how to spread the ethic of pluralism vs. extremism instead of Christians vs. Muslims, the belief in the fact that we are better together rather than strongest if our group dominates, and the recognition that the actions of a few do not merit the broadbrushing of whole communities.

This weekend, hundreds of college students and campus allies will come to Washington, DC to be part of IFYC’s inaugural Interfaith Leadership Institute, hosted by Georgetown University with a welcome session at the White House. They will learn how, as responsible citizens, they can share an entirely different message about how to view diverse religious communities. They will learn how to speak out about how, instead of being threatened by difference, we can view our diverse citizens as partners who can improve the common good together.

By the end, they’ll be able to give Juan a few new lines on religious diversity.

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  • yasseryousufi

    Those who say Juan Williams needs to be re-instated despite making bigoted comments about muslims, should Rick Sanchez be also re-instated despite saying Jews Control media in US? I bet none of you would answer that, would ya?

  • abrahamhab1

    Willians did not say he gets nervous every time he meets a Muslim, but when he is cornered as in a plane by one who wears the Muslim garb. He knows that whoever wears that garment in the West is making a statement that he is different and rejects the dominant culture. Williams is knowledgeable enough to know that Muslims are obsessed with symbolism. A person had to be crazy not to get nervous when cornered by someone who has nothing but disrespect and disgust for him and all that he stands for. Furthermore there is precedence for cases where such characters blew themselves up in the midst of “infidels” or fired machine guns at their colleagues to win favor with their God.

  • FarnazMansouri2

    Here is what, in fact, was said. Compare this with what you wrote about America and the Shoah. You don’t come out so well, Eboo.”I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when 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. Now, I remember also that when the Times Square bomber was at court, I think this was just last week. He said the war with Muslims, America’s war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don’t think there’s any way to get away from these facts…Hold on, because if you said Timothy McVeigh, the Atlanta bomber, these people who are protesting against homosexuality at military funerals—very obnoxious—you don’t say first and foremost, “We got a problem with Christians.” That’s crazy.”Williams reminds O’Reilly that “there are good Muslims.” A short while later, O’Reilly asks: “Juan, who is posing a problem in Germany? Is it the Muslims who have come there, or the Germans?” Williams refuses to play the group blame game. “See, you did it again,” he tells O’Reilly. “It’s extremists.”

  • Carstonio

    “Rejects the dominant culture”? So Jews who wear yarmukles and Hindus who wear tilakas (the red forehead dots) are thumbing their noses at Western culture? Cultures aren’t absolutist concepts. The idea implies that it’s bad or wrong to be different.

  • rentianxiang

    Williams was given a high profile platform to say, “It’s ok to be suspicious of an entire religious group because of the actions of a handful of extremists.” If that is what you think he was saying than you really weren’t listening to what he was saying. Only someone who has some axe to grind with Williams could hear the entire conversation and think what Williams thinks it is “ok” to be suspicious about a whole group because of the actions of a few. He was voicing the internal conflict of knowing that not all were to blame while also knowing that the terrorists who have attacked and are still planning to attack are carrying out their barbarism in the name of that religion. He was talking about how he didn’t like feeling like that and explicitly that not all Muslims are responsible and trying to discuss how, in the midst of all this, we can reconcile rational fears with our knowledge that most Muslims are in this thing with us. Instead of painting Williams with the brush of bigotry, Muslims should be engaging in the conversation with some appreciation that what Williams is describing is not an irrational feeling but rather one that is informed by real world events. How can we, non-Muslims, distinguish between Muslims who are following the Islamist path and those that interpret the doctrine of jihad in a way that poses no threat to “infidels”? This is the question I think Williams was trying to address in a thoughtful way and which no Muslim group seems at all interested in considering. The question is not why does Williams feel the way he does about someone in Muslim garb, but, rather, how can we really tell if that Muslim is a good, law-abiding tolerant Muslim not engaged in jihad, or one that wants to engage in jihadist martyrdom operations. To deny that Islam is of particular concern at this point in history is to simply deny current events.

  • yasseryousufi

    Whenever someone has to paraphrase by saying, look I am not a Bigot but….. It usually means the person himself would like to believe he’s not a bigot even though his words are. I hear with his pocket heavier by 2 million extra bucks, Juan has taken over Bill O’Riley’s seat at Fox and unmasked his true face by bit#$ing about NPR for the whole duration of his show. Something smells more than rotten about this man’s character.

  • WmarkW

    I try to be fair about it — I get nervous on planes when someone is wearing the garb associated with ANY group that commits terrorist acts. I just don’t see many passengers wearing Michigan Militia uniforms.

  • AKafir

    Yasseryousufi:Nothing stinks as bad as your justifying all the time, the hatred in Islam for the Kafirs that erupts in the burning and killing of some poor non-muslim in your country, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, every month or so.

  • modemjunkie1

    Ebo, My initial response after seeing the short video clip that went viral was the same as yours. However, after giving it some thought and finally watching the complete interview, I think I was wrong. Williams was the only one who was trying to make sense on the program. Admitting that he has bigotted response to certain situations is not the same as being a bigot. He did not try to justify his fear but tried to go beyond it. O’Reilly kept cutting him off and refused to allow him to make a coherent statement.I have never cared for his commentary, feeling he was too conservative and would have liked to see him replaced long ago. But this statement did not warrant his dismissal. Instead it should make us question the snap judgments made by the news media, even our beloved NPR.

  • Jihadist

    Just put Muslims wearing “Muslim garb” in special chartered planes just for them or bar them completely from flying if they are in Muslim “garb” in the United States.Put Muslims in “Muslim garb” in seperate buses, make them eat outside restaurants, have seperate rest rooms for them, bar them from being shown on TV and in movies too.

  • ThomasBaum

    Eboo Patel & Samantha Kirby You paraphrased to say, “Williams was given a high profile platform to say, “It’s ok to be suspicious of an entire religious group because of the actions of a handful of extremists.” “The thing is, it is not just the “religious extremists” that have people having “questions” about islam but also what seems to be happening all over the world concerning the so-called moderates and their drive to have sharia law imposed on others.Even in some of the http sites that some of the Muslim posters put on here, if one looks at them, it is fairly obvious that the imposition of sharia law on all is what is advocated, do either of you have an opinion on that?If so, what is it?This is one of the tenets of islam, is it not?You went on to say, ” This is a poisonous attitude – one that mainstream media shouldn’t validate. They wouldn’t do it about gender or racial communities, and they shouldn’t do it about religious communities.”But when the “religious community” of islam is about world domination, is it wrong to point it out?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • AKafir

    Eboo writes: “When we heard this, we thought one thing: let’s not be like Juan.” Who is this ‘we’? Nearly all the polls show that overwhelmingly Americans did not think that. You and Hooper of CAIR did.”and the recognition that the actions of a few do not merit the broadbrushing of whole communities.” Eboo, is the systematic hatred and discrimination that All the muslim countries show for their non-muslim minorities the actions of a few? Islam hates the Kafirs and the Sharia laws for the last 1440 years have implemented that hate where ever Muslims have been a majority. American Kafirs should and must know this simple and basic fact. Why don’t you address why do the laws of the muslim countries show much hatred for the non-muslims? It does indicate what the overwhelming majority of muslims really think about the non-muslims, and all the lying on your part or muslim poster cannot cover that simple fact. Anyone can check what the laws are for non-muslims in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Yemen, Gambia, Bahrain, UAE, Sudan, etc. Have you ever tried to get those laws changed? Have you ever written a word against that blatant hate towards the non-muslims in the muslim countries?

  • yasseryousufi

    Kafir,I am done with your idiotic posts. You live to post 100 anti-muslim posts a day. Nothing stinks more than a bottomless person who hides his identity and keeps claiming he is a Madrassa educated former muslim from Pakistan despite being called out for his lies. I can debate with a real person anytime on any topic relating to muslims/islam, not a professional bigot who claims to be someone he isnt.

  • muhammadkutta

    9/11 was only one event carried out by Muslims. There have been numerous others and many other plots by Muslims including American Muslims. Only thing Juan Williams is guilt of is perhaps stupidity because all these Muslims were dressed in Western attire when they massacred civilians in the name of their allah and prophet.

  • muhammadkutta

    How are non-Muslims faring in Muslim majority nations? Are not they insulted by having to live under Islamic republics?Why does not Mr. Patel talk about human rights in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran…?

  • EddietheInfidel

    Let’s see here…. 15,000 attacks world-wide committed in the name of islam since 9/11, with the perpetrators freely admitting that that did so because of their religious belief that it’s perfectly acceptable to kill non-believers to advance the “cause” of islam.Faisal Shahzad calls himself a “muslim soldier” in open court and tells us that islam is at war with the West; Nidal Hasan yells “allahu akbar” before opening fire on his fellow servicemen and has “SoA” (Soldier of Allah) printed on his business cards; Zachary Chesser of Revolutionmuslim.com pleads guilty to communicating threats and soliciting crimes of violence against the producers of “South Park” for their non-portrayal of mohammed.The only thing that Juan Williams got wrong is that the muslims that you need to worry about will not be dressed in cultural garb: they’ll be clean-shaven “normal guys” that go to go-go bars the night before their crime like Mohamed Atta did.And perhaps they’ll try to portray themselves as “moderates”, while attacking people like Juan Williams for expressing honest concerns that all non-muslims feel in the face of the islamist agenda, like our friend Eboo.Muslim-Americans like Mr. Patel, and the organizations like CAIR, ISNA, and ICNA that purport to represent them would better serve their goals by instituting programs to root out the teachings and dogma that inspire the likes of Shahzad, Hasan and Chesser, rather than whining about how they’re being persecuted.

  • Jihadist

    Repeated here on “travel advisory” for overseas Muslims going to the US: – Before getting on a US airline, after you get into any point of entry in the States, change from “Muslim garb” (whatever those are) into jeans and t-shirts in a restroom. This applies for both men and women. – Muslim men are to shave all their moustaches and beards in the restroom. – Is is advisable to wear t-shirts emblazoned with Disneyland’s Mickey Mouse at least. The immigration officers can see your ears better than if you are in a hijab or a headscarf if you are a woman. – However, in doing those to make some Americans feel less paranoid, afraid and more comfortable, bear in mind that some anxious Americans seeing what you are doing to wear socially, culturally and politically correct “garb” may assume the worst about you and report you. – If reported on and detained, be prepared for questionings for hours or days or weeks, missing your onward connections, being transported elsewhere which are not your intented destination, or being send back to your point of embarkment. – Better still, just stay home and do your business in the US by phone and e-mail. – If you want to visit Disneyland CA or Disneyworld FL, go to Disneyland Europe or Disneyland Tokyo instead. After all, some Americans still want your business and money but not your presence in their homeland in whatever garbs you are wearing.

  • AKafir

    The muslim jihadist claims to be a Malaya and at times boasts about the moderation of the Malayas.Now some of the laws of Malaysia for the kafirs are:Will the muslim Jihadist ever bring herself to answer why the “garb” of the malay muslims is so ugly and harsh for the non-muslims living among the Malays in Malaysia?

  • yasseryousufi

    Insult Jews/Israel = your career in journalism and politics is over. Every right winger and most Democrats will lash out against you. Insult Muslims = get famous, get hired by Fox and paid millions more than you earned before. Every right winger will jump to defend your First Amendment Rights, the same rights that didn’t apply to those who insulted Jews or criticized Israel.

  • muhammadkutta

    Just in the past 24 hours, I have read news of Muslims blowing up a bus in Phillipines killing 10 and in Pakistan, Muslims blew up a Sufi shrine killing 6… So Eboo Patel should stop these news stories from appearing in newspapers; otherwise Americans will have a negative image of Islam and be afraid of Muslims.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    yasseryousufi You are an example of why people are afraid of Muslims. Actions speak louder than words.The reputation of Muslims blowing themselves up on airplanes is what causes disinterested third parties to be afraid of them. There is no corresponding fear of Jews. There is great deal of hysterical anti-semitism in the West, but people aren’t afraid of them; they just simply are not.You are the ugly face of Islam; you earn your reputation by actions, and not by words.

  • ThomasBaum

    JihadistAKafir wrote concerning the laws of Malaysia:Now some of the laws of Malaysia for the kafirs are:I noticed that you did not comment, do you have an opinion concerning these laws?I am not familiar with the laws over in Malasia, are these actual laws and if not is that why you did not respond?Are these laws and laws like these what would be called sharia law?If you take an honest look at these laws, can you justify them?Even tho humanity has proved time after time their inhumanity toward their fellow humans, do you or do you not think that all people are human and should treated as such?It does not matter if the laws are: religious, racial, ethnic, whatever; bigotry, prejudice, blind hatred; whatever words one may want to use, is just plain wrong, don’t you think?Since the god of islam seems intent on the imposition of such laws worldwide whether by force or ballot box or whatever, doesn’t it seem pretty obvious that this is what is referred to as a quest for world domination?Do you think that these clearly discriminatory laws are any more justfied than some of the discriminatory laws based on race rather than religion that were the law of the land over here in America?Just wondering?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    Eboo Patel & Samantha Kirby You wrote, “This is a poisonous attitude – one that mainstream media shouldn’t validate. They wouldn’t do it about gender or racial communities, and they shouldn’t do it about religious communities.”You have brought up a good point: Why is it that racial Apartheid was denounced by the world comminity but the religious Apartheid practiced by Islamic countries is not only not denounced but even the mention of it in the “media” is, shall we say, frowned upon.I think that it is rather sad, to put it mildly, that political correctness seems to be more important to some than some of the rights written about in the founding documents of this country.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • GiveMeThat

    This is simply lying. No one can have listened to Juan Williams and thought that he was saying it was OK to think that anyone in muslim garb was a terrorist because Juan Williams made it abundantly clear he was acknowledging his emotions but advocating using his mind to chose tolerance and non-bigotry.Why would Eboo Patel say something that was clearly untrue? He only proves he has no integrity.

  • GiveMeThat

    I forgot. Muhammad said it was OK to lie to non-Muslims if it advances jihad. Google “taqiyya” to find out all about it, e.g.,Bukhari (52:269) – “The Prophet said, ‘War is deceit.'” Thus, Patel must be invoking taqiyya in this outstanding example of a “moderate” muslim who actually advances radical Islam.