A Detroit news anchor angered a large part of Michigan’s Muslim community on Wednesday after suggesting the state could be vulnerable to terror attacks due to its sizable Arab population.
WDIV-TV anchor Carmen Harlan’s politically incorrect comment was in response to a local report about unconfirmed threats against the U.S. by ISIS and other extremists groups.
“Given the fact that we have the largest Arab population outside of the Middle East, I guess this should not come as a real surprise,” Harlan said.
Numerous Arab organizations reacted to Harlan’s comment and demanded an apology.
“This shocking lapse of professional conduct was directed against law-abiding citizens who strive to create vibrant, diverse communities wherever they live,” said Fatina Abdrabboh, director of the Michigan American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the Lebanese Examiner reported.
Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan weighed in and said, “Comments like these are an example of racial profiling at its worst and Carmen Harlan should apologize immediately.”
Nadia Tonova, director of the National Network for Arab American Communities joined a growing chorus urging an on-air apology. Tonova called Harlan’s comment “appalling, offensive and dangerous.”
Harlan did issue the inevitable apology on Thursday stating, “In no way did I mean to imply that because of our community’s make up, there was a higher risk of ISIS threats.”
WDIV-TV did emphasize that the terror threats had not been authenticated.
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