I’ve thought a lot about why NPR firing Juan Williams bothers me so much

October 23rd, 2010

And I’ve concluded that it’s because after a decade of stuff like this:

…the folks at NPR still think admitting that seeing people in Muslim garb makes you a little bit “nervous” is a fireable offense.

Entry Filed under: Observations

18 Comments Add your own

  • 1. John Foust  |  October 23rd, 2010 at 9:18 am

    If you were a malevolent Muslim hell-bent on disrupting an airline flight in the USA, would you dress in traditional garb and act nervous as to better stand out? Or would you try to blend in? If everyone on the plane is wearing Muslim garb because you’re in a Muslim country, do you worry as much? Which bad movie is running through your head?

    Think the Iraqis, Afghanis or Pakistanis get a little nervous when they see a Humvee or a USA soldier coming down the street? Or are we greeted as liberators? If we’ve killed a hundred for every one of ours they’ve killed, whose next generation will be inspired to be more “nervous” a decade from now?

  • 2. Rustmeister  |  October 23rd, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Not to mention the instances of “dry run” attacks, with the terrorists playing musical chairs on planes.

  • 3. Patrick Dorwin  |  October 23rd, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Oh My God… You made a post longer than a Tweet! Stop The Presses!

  • 4. John Foust  |  October 23rd, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Don’t get too excited, Patrick. It was a copy-paste from Wikipedia, as you can tell from the multiple broken links.

  • 5. TerryN  |  October 23rd, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    That’s quite an impressive list of reasons to be, “a little nervous” of Muslims, even if it was cut ‘n pasted.

  • 6. Elliot  |  October 23rd, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Like John said. Mostly cut and paste. ;)

    Of course, I don’t know why they didn’t include the Fort Hood attack.

  • 7. Tim  |  October 23rd, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    I bet most of the people who many Americans consider to be wearing “Muslim garb” are not even Muslims. Most are probably from other groups such as Sikhs who are the only group that wear turbans as part of their religion. People who defend Williams should also be more specific about what they consider “Muslim garb” and how many terrorists in the list of attacks were wearing this “Muslim garb”.

  • 8. John Foust  |  October 23rd, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Go ahead, look at the map. It shows 109,032 deaths: 66,081 civilians, 23,984 insurgents and 15,196 Iraqi security forces. Tell me if you think the Iraqi population feels scared or nervous.

  • 9. Debunked  |  October 25th, 2010 at 11:02 am

    I’d be curious in a list showing every single act of terrorism over the past ten years done by any given self-proclaimed Christian, next.

    I wonder how many Christians are in the U.S. Military and how many civilians have died in Iraq alone from their actions compared to the number of people who died from the acts in the above list.

    Oh, right. “They’re not truly Christian if they act that way.” Or… “It’s a war zone [albeit, defined by America], so it doesn’t count.”

    Hypocrites, much?

  • 10. Elliot  |  October 25th, 2010 at 11:14 am

    I’m an agnostic, so I don’t have a horse in the Christian race, but you’re not seriously claiming there have been as many terrorist incidents perpetrated in the name of Christianity as there has been in the name of Islam in the last decade are you?

    And I’m not talking about imposing an equivalency on it like America is a Christian nation therefore…. I’m talking about acts actually committed and claimed in the name of Christianity and Islam.

  • 11. Debunked  |  October 25th, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Yes, I am seriously claiming that.

    Why don’t we look at *just* anti-abortion acts of violence (simply because I can find a list quickly and easily for that):

    Murders
    * March 10, 1993: Dr. David Gunn of Pensacola, Florida was fatally shot during a protest. He had been the subject of wanted-style posters distributed by Operation Rescue in the summer of 1992. Michael F. Griffin was found guilty of Dr. Gunn’s murder and was sentenced to life in prison.
    * August 21, 1993 Dr. George Patterson, was shot and killed in Mobile, Alabama, but it is uncertain whether his death was the direct result of his profession or rather a robbery.[6][7]
    * July 29, 1994: Dr. John Britton and James Barrett, a clinic escort, were both shot to death outside another facility in Pensacola. Rev. Paul Jennings Hill was charged with the killings. Hill received a death sentence and was executed on September 3, 2003.
    * December 30, 1994: Two receptionists, Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols, were killed in two clinic attacks in Brookline, Massachusetts. John Salvi, who prior to his arrest was distributing pamphlets from Human Life International,[8] was arrested and confessed to the killings. He died in prison and guards found his body under his bed with a plastic garbage bag tied around his head. Salvi had also confessed to a non-lethal attack in Norfolk, Virginia days before the Brookline killings.
    * January 29, 1998: Robert Sanderson, an off-duty police officer who worked as a security guard at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, was killed when his workplace was bombed. Eric Robert Rudolph, who was also responsible for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing, was charged with the crime and received two life sentences as a result.
    * October 23, 1998: Dr. Barnett Slepian was shot to death at his home in Amherst, New York. His was the last in a series of similar shootings against providers in Canada and northern New York state which were all likely committed by James Kopp. Kopp was convicted of Dr. Slepian’s murder after finally being apprehended in France in 2001.
    * May 31, 2009: Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed as he served as an usher at his church in Wichita, Kansas.[9]

    Attempted murder, assault, and threats
    * August 19, 1993: Dr. George Tiller was shot outside of an abortion facility in Wichita, Kansas. Shelley Shannon was charged with the crime and received an 11-year prison sentence (20 years were later added for arson and acid attacks on clinics).
    * July 29, 1994: June Barret was shot in the same attack which claimed the lives of James Barrett, her husband, and Dr. John Britton.
    * December 30, 1994: Five individuals were wounded in the shootings which killed Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols.
    * October 28, 1997: Dr. David Gandell of Rochester, New York was injured by flying glass when a shot was fired through the window of his home.[13]
    * January 29, 1998: Emily Lyons, a nurse, was severely injured, and lost an eye, in the bombing which also killed Robert Sanderson.
    * May 21, 1998: Three people were injured when acid was poured at the entrances of five abortion clinics in Miami, Florida.[14]

    Arson, bombing, and property crime
    * December 25, 1984: An abortion clinic and two physicians’ offices in Pensacola, Florida were bombed in the early morning of Christmas Day by a quartet of young people (Matt Goldsby, Jimmy Simmons, Kathy Simmons, Kaye Wiggins) who later called the bombings “a gift to Jesus on his birthday.”[17][18][19]
    * October 1999: Martin Uphoff set fire to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, causing US$100 worth of damage. He was later sentenced to 60 months in prison.[20]
    * May 28, 2000: An arson at a clinic in Concord, New Hampshire on resulted in damage estimated at US$20,000. The case remains unsolved.[21]
    * September 30, 2000: John Earl, a Catholic priest, drove his car into the Northern Illinois Health Clinic after learning that the FDA had approved the drug RU-486. He pulled out an ax before being forced to the ground by the owner of the building who fired two warning shots from a shotgun.[22]
    * June 11, 2001: An unsolved bombing at a clinic in Tacoma, Washington destroyed a wall, resulting in US$6000 in damages.[20]
    * July 4, 2005: A clinic Palm Beach, Florida was the target of an arson. The case remains open.[20]
    * December 12, 2005: Patricia Hughes and Jeremy Dunahoe threw a Molotov cocktail at a clinic in Shreveport, Louisiana. The device missed the building and no damage was caused. In August 2006, Hughes was sentenced to six years in prison, and Dunahoe to one year. Hughes claimed the bomb was a “memorial lamp” for an abortion she had had there.[23]
    * September 13, 2006 David McMenemy of Rochester Hills, Michigan crashed his car into the Edgerton Women’s Care Center in Davenport, Iowa. He then doused the lobby in gasoline and then started a fire. McMenemy committed these acts in the belief that the center was performing abortions, however Edgerton is not an abortion clinic.[24]
    * April 25, 2007: A package left at a women’s health clinic in Austin, Texas contained an explosive device capable of inflicting serious injury or death. A bomb squad detonated the device after evacuating the building. Paul Ross Evans (who had a criminal record for armed robbery and theft) was found guilty of the crime.[25]
    * May 9, 2007: An unidentified person deliberately set fire to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Virginia Beach, Virginia.[26]
    * December 6, 2007: Chad Altman and Sergio Baca were arrested for the arson of Dr. Curtis Boyd’s clinic in Albuquerque. Altman’s girlfriend had scheduled an appointment for an abortion at the clinic.[27]
    * January 22, 2009 Matthew L. Derosia, 32, who was reported to have had a history of mental illness [28] rammed a SUV into the front entrance of a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Paul, Minnesota.[29]

    * July 16, 2001: Steven Rogers, a security guard at a clinic in Melbourne, Australia was shot in the chest and killed by Peter James Knight. Knight was charged and was sentenced to life in prison on November 19, 2002.[30]
    * January 6, 2009: A firebombing using Molotov cocktails was attempted at a medical clinic in Mosman Park, Western Australia. Faulty construction of the bombs limited damage to a single external burnt area, though if successful damage would have been severe. It is believed that the inviduals who made the attack were responsible for graffiti “baby killers” on the site, indicating a pro-life reason for the attack. The site turned out to in fact not be an abortion clinic, though the attackers most likely were not aware of this

    * November 8, 1994: Dr. Garson Romalis of Vancouver, British Columbia was shot.
    * November 10, 1995: Dr. Hugh Short of Ancaster, Ontario was shot.
    * November 11, 1997: Dr. Jack Fainman of Winnipeg, Manitoba was shot.
    * July 11, 2000: Dr. Romalis was stabbed by an unidentified assailant in the lobby of his clinic.[32]

    * February 25, 1990: Two men broke into a clinic in Vancouver and destroyed $C30,000 worth of medical equipment with crowbars.[33]
    * May 18, 1992: A Toronto clinic operated by Henry Morgentaler was firebombed, causing the entire front wall of the building to collapse.[34]

  • 12. Debunked  |  October 25th, 2010 at 11:32 am

    If you’re going to limit it to “acts claimed in the name of Christianity” then It’ll require a bit more effort to create a list of acts specifically done by Christian terrorist organizations.

    That said, are you so sure that every bullet point in your list is an act directly overseen and carried out by members if Islamic terrorist organizations? Or is it simply a list of high profile terrorist acts performed by Muslims?

  • 13. Elliot  |  October 25th, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Good point…but…you went back more than 20 years and found 9 murders related to abortion and you contend that balances the more than 5,694 murders reflected in my post carried out in just 10 years in the name of Islam?

  • 14. Debunked  |  October 25th, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    I was making a point that Christians have carried out numerous attacks that could be construed as terrorism. I wasn’t adding up the death toll.

    I felt John had already taken care of that anyway – “Christians” seem to be winning in the kill count if you really want to start looking at those numbers. Obviously the U.S. military isn’t a Christian organization. But from a Muslim extremists perspective, the U.S. is a Christian nation. Thus the point is valid if you shift your perspective away from a U.S. centric one.

    The difference is we are largely a Christian nation. So we aren’t afraid of other Christians by and large. Muslims, however, seem to always be portrayed as terrorists. Either in the media or in the movies. We are conditioned to be afraid of them. And so we are.

  • 15. John Foust  |  October 25th, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Really? Tell it to the Air Force Academy, a hot-bed of government-pushed Christianity.

  • 16. TerryN  |  October 25th, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    According to the National Counterterrorism Center’s WITS tracking system. Attacks grouped by perpetrator from 1/1/2000 to 10/25/2010.

    Christian extremist victims – 6,357
    Islamic extremists victims – 143,456

    Victim = Dead, Wounded, and Hostage.

    So I understand where Juan is coming from.

    “Either in the media or in the movies. We are conditioned to be afraid of them. And so we are.”

    Conditioning by the media is a side effect of reporting current events. As for the movies, art follows life.

  • 17. Debunked  |  October 25th, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Yes, Terry. It’s no shocker that Islamic terrorist organizations have directly caused more deaths than Christian terrorist organizations. I said as much above that I wasn’t counting the death tolls of Christian acts of terrorist.

    However, now let’s get a death count of how many innocent and peaceful Muslim’s have died due to actions of western nations compared to how many Christians have died due to actions of Islamic nations.

  • 18. John Foust  |  October 26th, 2010 at 9:33 am

    I hit him because I had to! Then he hit me back! So I had to hit him back ten times as hard!

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Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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