October 26, 2010

One last thing on Muslims wearing their garb

Our never-ending ‘news’ cycle aided and abetted Juan Williams in his desire to no longer be employed by NPR, and led to the ridiculous firings of former Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod and CNN’s Rick Sanchez, the ‘retirement’ of Helen Thomas, and the perpetual circling of countless other recitations of stupidity uttered by both the famous and the infamous, the well-known and the unknown. 

Imagine how hard it would have been for Howard Cosell (remember the ‘little monkey’? ) or Jesse Jackson (painfully realizing he’d be relieved if the people who were following him were white), if we’d had this heightened sense of urgency about everything -  good or bad, important or inconsequential -  back in the day when their comments were misunderstood, taken out of context and repeated without nuance. 

But one cool thing has come from the Juan Williams flap – and could only really have come in our current highly creative technological age - a great new blog on Tumblr, called Pictures of Muslims Wearing Things.  This website in only a few short days has amassed pages and pages of pictures of Muslims wearing all kinds of garb, from athletic uniforms and tutus to kilts and tuxedos.  Some of the folks pictured are well-known Muslims; some are famous people you may not have known are Muslim; and some are just your everyday, garden variety Muslims. And yes, Muslims, like the rest of us, come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and varying degrees of sartorial splendor.  Some are even wearing ‘traditional garb’ such as the kind that occasionally make Juan Williams nervous. 

So thanks, Juan Williams - had you not said what you did, we wouldn't be seeing these great pictures. I encourage you to check them out!

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