Juan Williams was a longtime analyst for NPR. I always thought he was pretty liberal, but then also shows up on Fox News. When he's on Fox, it's as if he's a different person. Very odd.
He said something on Fox that caused NPR to fire him.
In the blogging world there is a rough consensus (heh) that it's better to know where someone is coming from, than pretend that they're expressing an impossible "view from nowhere." (Aside to Jay, this is one of the recurring themes on RBTN.)
NPR says there's nothing wrong with fear, but Williams should talk with his shrink about it, not air his fears in public. They rightly believe his point of view is unfair to Muslims, who are doing nothing wrong by wearing religious clothes when traveling. To see their point, imagine someone said the same thing about Catholics. Would we seriously suggest openly and publicly that a priest should not wear his religious clothes when traveling? Even if it does scare some people (no doubt it does).
My own opinion: I prefer if people express fears publicly, because this gives them a chance to be discussed. The attitudes exist, no arguing with that. As they say sunlight is the best disinfectant. The harm is in pushing it aside, not in discussing it.
Update: Wouldn't it be cool if NPR issued a mea culpa. Apologized to its listeners and to Mr. Williams and invited him to come back. It would be absolutely unprecedented, but also very very appropriate to the times we live in and the future we will live in.