Fired by NPR, Juan Williams Begins Bigger Role at Fox, Keeps up Criticism of Ex-employer

Juan Williams was fired Wednesday over comments he made on “The O’Reilly Factor.” “When I get on a plane,” he said, “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.” After his remarks, Fox announced it had re-signed Williams, who has been with the network since 1997, to a multi year deal that will give him an expanded role–while, NPR terminated his contract.

In an interview on Friday, Vivian Schiller, NPR’s chief executive, defended the decision to dismiss Mr. Williams and said it was not the product of political or financial pressures. “And that is the sole reason,” she added. “This is not a First Amendment issue.” The public radio organization has come under severe criticism — largely from people who are not listeners, it believes — for having fired Mr. Williams. Some have said his comment was bigoted, but others have rallied to Mr. Williams’s defense, and many conservatives have seized on his firing to resurrect their war against public broadcasting.

NPR radio stations are independently owned and operated and, like the nation’s public TV stations, receive government funding through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which got about $420 million this year from Washington. As for NPR’s headquarters operation, federal grants account for less than 2 percent — or $3.3 million — of its $166 million annual budget. It is funded primarily by its affiliates, corporate sponsors and major donors.

An overview of religion and economics in Nigeria

Whether attempted Northwest Airlines bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was radicalized in Nigeria where he was raised, or the UK where he attended university, is so far unclear. This NPR interview with West Africa corespondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton discusses Christianity, Islam, US-Nigeria relations, and radicalism in Nigeria, exploring the environment Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was brought up amidst.

Some Muslims in U.S. Quietly Engage in Polygamy

According to a report on the NPR program All Things Considered, polygamy is a rare, but quietly present practice in the United States by Muslims. In the report, Muslim women from Guinea discuss the pro’s and con’s of the practice in Islamic contexts – that the husband cannot favor one wife over another, either in love or in how he provides for her, but citing the impossibility of this dilemma. Daisy Khan, who is head of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, says that polygamy is more common among conservative, less educated immigrants largely from Africa and Asia, and more rare among middle-class Muslims from the Middle East. Khan adds that imams generally do not conduct background checks on grooms to check their marital status in their native country. While polygamy in Islam is a blessing according to some because it allows for the having of more children, Abed Awad, a family law attorney says that many men often forget the major responsibilities that go with the practice.