- Feb 8, 2009
- Reaction score
Since the terrorists who attack us ARE Muslim is it not "natural" for people to then be looking at Muslims as potential attackers?
Fear is natural and reasonable.
Acting on that fear is another subject. While fear is an appropriate feeling to have, actions should be based upon knowledge and not simply fears.
Is that not what Mr. Williams was implying? It seems like natural human preservationist instinct.
What Juan Williams was stating was quite reasonable. I thought NPR was way out of line to dismiss him for those statements.
Juan Williams did not, however, advocate that Muslims be prohibited from dressing in traditional garb, that they be denied seats on airplanes, or that we should dislike Muslims because the sight of things which remind us of the terrorists who attacked us makes us afraid. Fear is normal. What is important is what we do when we feel fear.
Let's try a hypothetical. Say you're walking away from a crowd of people and you get hit on the head with a thrown rock. You turn towards the crowd and demand to know who threw it. No one answers. So you get some pals together and you attack the crowd with violence. After all, if they are innocent, they should turn over the guilty party, otherwise it's clear they sympathize with the guilty party.
The problem, of course, is that very few in the crowd may know who threw the rock. The rest may not even know a rock was thrown, let alone who threw it. By holding them all responsible and attacking them, you may force them to defend themselves. To you, this 'proves' that they are guilty. But any reasonable person would defend themselves when attacked, especially if they are innocent. As well, the innocent people in the crowd may find themselves on the side of the guilty parties, just to avoid being attacked by you and your friends. Not only that, but you may not catch the guilty parties; they may slink away and leave you fighting with the people in the crowd who had nothing to do with the rock-throwing. You and your friends may even lose; in which case the rock-throwers have managed to leverage their low-risk / high-reward hidden strategy into the complete destruction of you and your friends. In other words, you did their work for them.
Does this sound at all familiar? Sure, I'd be looking with fear at that crowd. After all, a rock came from someone in that crowd, and it hurt me. There could be another rock thrown at me at any moment. I doubt I'd turn my back on them, that's for sure. But I would think it advantageous to try to find out who threw the rock by other means. Who is standing near rocks on the ground? Who has dirty hands? Who has a criminal history of throwing rocks or being members of groups who throw rocks? Once I found out who threw the rock, I'd take steps to remove them as a threat to me ever again. Fear of the entire crowd? Yes. Advocate attacking - or even hating - the entire crowd just because I didn't know who specifically threw the rock? Counter-productive at best, dangerous at worst. Certainly not an intelligent response, natural or not.