Lonnie Scott of Progress Michigan, that’s who, when he accused Harlan of “racial profiling at its worst.” And Nadia Tonova of the National Network for Arab American Communities, that’s who, when she said Harlan’s comments were “appalling, offensive, and dangerous.” ('I Apologize,' Carmen Harlan Says About Remark Blasted as 'Dangerous').
And what were the appalling comments? Simply her common-sense observation, at the conclusion of reporter Kimberly Gill’s story on an ISIS threat that they have soldiers in Michigan, that “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.” See for yourself here.
Never mind that ISIS are the ones who assume Dearborn is fertile ground for recruiting. And never mind that the FBI boss had just said in Gill’s report that the biggest issue they’re facing is “the ability of terrorists and terrorist organizations, around the world, to reach out, and to radicalize individuals toward violence and to recruit individuals to become terrorists or join terrorist organizations.” Possibly recruit them in Dearborn, you see, or else it wouldn’t have been a story. So why not go after Feeb boss Paul Abate?
And never mind that as soon as Harlan finished uttering her appalling and dangerous remarks reporter Kimberly Gill said, “You are exactly right.” So why not go after Gill?
Because Carmen Harlan is a much better target, as she is an institution in Detroit media. Her public image is as harmless as can be. And the point of all this is to reinforce speech discipline along lines set down by the Ikhwan: thou shalt not equate Islamic jihad with the Muslim community. If you can make Detroit’s favorite news anchor jump, you can do it to almost anybody.
And remember, the object of this was not the attack on Harlan, but getting her to apologize – proof of control.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen Harlan disgusted in my life until that last, fleeting purse of her lips after she utters the words “I apologize.”
Clearly she felt she was being forced. And so she was.