US radio fires analyst after remarks about Muslims

Longtime news analyst Juan Williams, who has written extensively on race and civil rights in the US has been fired by National Public Radio after comments he made about Muslims on a News Channel.

Last Updated: Oct 22, 2010, 00:19 AM IST

Washington: Longtime news analyst Juan
Williams, who has written extensively on race and civil rights
in the US has been fired by National Public Radio(NPR) after
comments he made about Muslims on the Fox News Channel.

NPR, which is partially government funded, issued a
statement yesterday saying his contract as a senior news
analyst was being terminated after Williams` comments on
Monday on "The O`Reilly Factor".

Host Bill O`Reilly brought on guests to discuss his
appearance last week on ABC`s "The View" during which Joy
Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walked off the set in protest of
O`Reilly`s views on Muslims.

"Where am I going wrong here, Juan?" O`Reilly asked.
Williams, 56, responded that too much political
correctness can get in the way of reality.

"I mean, look, Bill, I`m not a bigot. You know the kind
of books I`ve written about the Civil Rights movement in this
country", Williams said. "But when I get on a 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."

A phone message left for Williams at his home in
Washington seeking comment was not immediately returned today
morning.

Before he was fired, Williams` comments drew a response
from Islamic civil rights groups.

In a statement yesterday, the Council on American-Islamic
Relations said such commentary from a journalist about other
racial, ethnic or religious minority groups would not be
tolerated.

Conservative bloggers defended Williams today, blasting
NPR`s decision.

"All Juan Williams did is say both exactly how he feels
and how many, many other Americans feel on this subject",
wrote Erick Erickson on his "Red State" blog. "The man`s body
of work makes clear he is no bigot. But we sure can`t offend
Muslims can we?"

PTI

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