UPDATE: MSNBC host Joy Reid devoted an extended segment of her show on Wednesday to media stereotypes about Muslims, after several groups called on her to apologize for a question she posed earlier in the week.
Reid acknowledged that the way she framed the question “obviously did not work.”
On Monday, in a segment on President Donald Trump’s response to violence among his supporters in Portland and Kenosha, Reid asked a panel, “When leaders, let’s say in the Muslim world, talk a lot of violent talk, and encourage their supporters to be willing to commit violence … in order to win against whoever they decide is the enemy, we in the U.S. media describe that as they are ‘radicalizing’ those people, particularly when they’re radicalizing young people, that’s how we talk about the way that Muslims act. When you see what Donald Trump is doing, is that any different from what we describe as radicalizing people?”
Groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and figures such as Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) said that the question fed into stereotypes about Muslims and terrorism.
Reid said that some of the reaction to her comments “was frankly not in good faith,” but some of the other reactions “reflected the genuine feelings of people who’ve been subjected to the kind of stereotyping that I just described, and who take matters like this to heart because of it. And we should all be sensitive to that, and I certainly should have been sensitive to that.”
She then was joined by Naveed Jamali, a national security commentator who had been on the Monday segment, and Dalia Mogahed of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.
Jamali said that what he took Reid’s question was that it was about “this double standard that exists when we talk about brown and Muslim people in this country, and how we hold us to a monolithic standard. As you said, when there’s a terrorist act within our community, we are all expected to apologize, to condemn it, which we do, because it is the right thing to do. And that same standard is not often applied to other communities, and it should be a standard that should be applied universally.”
Mogahed praised Reid for giving Muslim voices a “fair shake.” But she said that the “way that I heard your statement was intended to make the analogy, which was a fair one, between radicalization of Muslim extremists and the radicalization of young white men in this country. The way that it landed, and the way that it was heard by some people, and many people in fact, was unintentionally saying that Muslims are inherently violent, or by the way that Muslims act is violent. Although that was not your intention, it is important to correct that notion for your millions of viewers.”
She said that “the facts are that while Muslims receive the vast majority of media coverage when it comes to ideologically motivated violence, they are by no means the majority of, they are not the ones committing the most terrorism in America. The vast majority of terrorist casualties are at the hands of white supremacists and far rights extremists in the United States. Most people don’t know that.”
PREVIOUSLY: MSNBC host Joy Reid said that she plans to address the anger over comments she made earlier this week that made comparisons to radicalized Muslims and extreme supporters of President Donald Trump.
“There’s been some thoughtful commentary but also some willful distortion of the points I tried to make yesterday. We’ll discuss in more depth tomorrow on the show!” Reid wrote on Twitter.
On Monday’s The ReidOut, Reid was talking about Trump’s refusal to condemn violence committed by some of his supporters during protests in Portland, OR and Kenosha, WI.
Reid said to a panel on her show, “When leaders, let’s say in the Muslim world, talk a lot of violent talk, and encourage their supporters to be willing to commit violence … in order to win against whoever they decide is the enemy, we in the U.S. media describe that as they are ‘radicalizing’ those people, particularly when they’re radicalizing young people, that’s how we talk about the way that Muslims act. When you see what Donald Trump is doing, is that any different from what we describe as radicalizing people?”
That drew criticism that Reid was using a stereotype about Muslims, particularly her reference to “the way that Muslims act.”
Groups such as Muslim Advocates and the Arab American Institute have called on Reid to apologize, while the Council for Islamic American Relations flagged the remarks and reactions to it on social media. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) called it “casual Islamophobia.”
On Wednesday, the Southern Poverty Law Center praised Reid for what she has said about confronting racism, police misconduct and white supremacy, but SPLC’s Margaret Huang said that “especially because we admire Reid, we call on her to recognize the impact of her comments and make an on-air apology for her words, which repeated painful anti-Muslim stereotypes.”
One of the guests during the segment, Naveed Jamali, defended Reid. “If you are for equality, elevating black and brown voices, and giving a platform to women, and yet, you are attacking @JoyAnnReid — then maybe you aren’t really for those things,” he wrote.
He told Newsweek, “We live in a country that is full of double standards, why is it not a fair question to ask why when it comes to extremism, we don’t point out that there’s a double standard between brown extremists and white extremists, in terms of how law enforcement approaches them?”
Another commentator, Reza Aslan, wrote that Reid “obviously meant right wing white kids are being radicalized by Trumpism the same way young Muslims have been radicalized by jihadism. That is a fact.”
An MSNBC spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
Trump also weighed in on Wednesday, falsely claiming that Reid used the phrase “Muslim terrorists” and accusing the network of “such xenophobia and racism.” But among other things, during his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the country, and more recently, he has praised Laura Loomer’s congressional campaign. Loomer has described Islam as a “cancer on humanity’ and described herself as a “proud Islamaphobe.”