Stephen Schwartz, executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, echoed Fatah and Jasser. Schwartz told TheDC that he and his organization opposed NPR’s reaction to Williams’ comments.
“Mr. Williams is basically an opinion journalist and he offered an opinion based on an undeniable reality: American Muslims have so far failed in our duty to prevent negative perceptions among our non-Muslim neighbors, and many, unfortunately, have taken the existing concerns among non-Muslims as a challenge to assert Muslim identity more aggressively, through forms of dress as well as speech that are often extravagant and excessive,” Schwartz wrote in an e-mail to TheDC.
“Mr. Williams spoke to this reality in an understated, candid way. He did not express hatred or incite violence against Muslims. He should not have been dismissed.”