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Juan, I Know Just How You Feel
by Steven Emerson
I've been overwhelmed by a sense of déjà vu since hearing that National Public Radio fired news analyst Juan Williams for comments he made about his anxiety when he sees Muslim travelers in airports.
It has been well chronicled that Williams spoke only of a personal and emotional response, and was quick to say he didn't believe all Muslims are extremists and that he didn't want people's rights violated by reactions to such emotions.
But NPR showed him the door anyway.
It's uncannily reminiscent of my experience getting blacklisted by NPR 12 years ago. I was interviewed by an NPR reporter in June of 1998 about a Hamas supporter named Mohammad Salah. Unbeknownst to me, a radical Palestinian activist and critic of mine wrote to NPR, expressing his horror that I was an NPR source. He did not take issue with what I said but asked if NPR didn't know what a bigot I was?
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