A news anchor in Detroit has been forced to apologize after making a comment in which she connected Michigan’s large Muslim population with a recent threat by ISIS to carry out attacks in the U.S.
Following the attempted attack on the Muhammad cartoon-drawing contest, ISIS issued a threat in which it identified Michigan, along with four states, as specific targets. In part, it said:
“We have 71 trained soldiers in 15 different states ready at our word to attack any target we desire. Out of the 71 trained soldiers 23 have signed up for missions like Sunday.
Of the 15 states, 5 we will name… Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, California, and Michigan. The disbelievers who shot our brothers think that you killed someone untrained, nay, they gave you their bodies in plain view because we were watching.”
WDIV-TV anchor Carmen Harlan wasn’t surprised that Michigan was identified as a target:
“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.”
Fellow reporter Kimberly Gill agreed with the assessment on air as “you’re exactly right.”
The Michigan American-Arab and Anti-Discrimination Committee (NNAAC), among others, condemned Harlan’s comment and demanded an apology, with the NNAAC calling it an “example of racial profiling at its worst.”
Harlan was forced to apologize Thursday:
“In no way did I mean to imply that because of our community’s make up, there was a higher risk of ISIS threats.”
Given that ISIS specifically identified Michigan as a target, was Harlan engaging in “racial profiling,” or merely pointing out that the Islamic State would likely recruit Arabs and Muslims in Michigan among the pool of American residents to engage in acts of terrorism?