Muslim groups in Michigan are irate after a Detroit news anchor suggested there could be a connection between alleged Islamic State threats and the state’s large Arab population.
Following an on-air report about unconfirmed threats against U.S. targets on Wednesday, WDIV-TV anchor Carmen Harlan brought attention to Michigan’s large Muslim population.
“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,” the anchor said.
Several activist groups, including the Michigan American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Progress Michigan, and National Network for Arab American Communities, quickly condemned Harlan’s comment.
Progress Michigan Executive Director Lonnie Scott called the remark an “example of racial profiling at its worst” and said the anchor “should apologize immediately.”
The NNAAC requested WDIV-TV “immediately address this racially charged comment.”
The groups got their apology on 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,” Harlan said.
It should be emphasized that, while the FBI is investigating, the reports about the alleged Islamic State threats have not been confirmed.