NPR's decision to fire news analyst Juan Williams for remarks he made about Muslims on airliners was not only roundly criticized by conservatives Thursday, but also was viewed with alarm by some Muslim American activists and scholars.

Williams said Monday on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" that he worries when he sees Muslims in traditional garb on airplanes. NPR fired Williams on Wednesday, saying that his comment violated the news organization's ethics guidelines and undermined his credibility.

Some prominent Muslims expressed concern Thursday that his firing would widen a gulf between Muslims and non-Muslims in the United States.

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