Now that we’ve resolved that, we can talk about what happened to the New York cabbie Ahmed Sharif. Sharif’s throat was slashed by a drunken 21-year-old passenger Tuesday night, after Sharif answered yes to the passenger’s question, “Are you a Muslim?” (“Ahmed Sharif, Muslim cab driver stabbed by bigot, says he was targeted because of his religion”).
The attacker, Michael Enright, now faces “charges of attempted murder and assault as hate crimes, and weapons possession.” On Thursday night he was transferred from Rikers Island to Bellevue Hospital’s psychiatric ward following a medical evaluation.
People are still trying to figure out who Enright is, and why he did what he did. The media is dying to blame this on the tea party. But Enright was a volunteer for a liberal peace group that supports the Ground Zero mosque. Michelle Malkin puts it this way, “there is zero evidence that he is a Fox News fan, Glenn Beck listener, Republican voter, or conservative blog reader.”
But some pro-Islam advocates have flown right past all that, blaming it on opposition to the Ground Zero mosque.
According to the Daily News:
The head of the taxi workers union, which is 50% Muslim, said the political rhetoric over the proposed Park 51 mosque had reached such a fever pitch that "some sort of violence felt inevitable."(But Cabbie Sharif said himself that he and Enright never discussed the mosque.)
For his part, the University of Michigan’s anti-Zionist scholar, Juan Cole, has no problem discounting Enright’s individual responsibility for his actions and laying it all on the real attackers:
It was the Republican National Committee. From August of 2006, the RNC decided to demonize Muslims and Islam as a campaign ploy, to scare apparently easily spooked white Christians. In recent weeks, Newt Gingrich sharpened the blade by comparing Muslims to Nazis. . . .I realize I should know this, what with living in Dearborn all these years where it’s reported we’ve had them regularly since 2001, but is this what a pogrom looks like? Does it start with cabbies being attacked by drunk passengers? I wonder if Mayor Bloomberg holds a press conference with every cabbie in New York who gets attacked?
I have said for some time that the American Right’s scapegoating of ordinary American Muslims– Muslims who serve in the US military, die for our country, invest in our cities, find cures for diseases, save our children’s lives in hospitals– would eventually cause pogroms and get people killed. A New York cabbie came close to dying for the sake of the G.O.P. Tuesday night. (“Republican National Committee Slashes New York Muslim Cabbie”).
Perhaps Cole’s really just singing from the same hymnbook as many others on the Left, like the people who created this nasty ad.
What gets me is how the 9/11 families and everyone else opposed to placing a triumphalist mosque near Ground Zero (like 70% of Americans) are denounced as blaming the WTC attacks on “all Muslims” (which we don’t), and criticized for the audacity of linking the 9/11 attacks to the Muslim religion (which is beyond question).
The point of all those denunciations is that, regardless of hundreds, or thousands, or even tens of thousands of documented acts of terrorism committed by violent jihadists who kill with “Allahu Akhbar!” on their lips, the only reason anyone could ever conclude 9/11 had “anything to do with Islam” is by bigotry and a fallacious resort to collective guilt.
Like this lady:
“It’s simply wrong, for Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin, public figures who frequently reference their Christian values, to malign all Muslims by comparing this cultural center and mosque with a radical ideology that led to the horrific attacks of 9-11,” said Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK, a national lobbying group that advocates Catholic social justice.I never was aware that comparing religious ideas with actions and then drawing inferences was a violation of Christian values. Maybe the depth of Sister Simone’s wisdom only becomes clear when she can impart it in person to you or me or Newt or Sarah with just as many well-swung blows with a standard-issue chalkboard pointer as it takes:
“Comparisons. (whack!, whack!, whack!)
“A peaceful religion. (whack!, whack!)
“Allahu Akhbar! (whack!, whack!)
“CENTER! (whack!, whack!, whack!, whack!, crack!, splat!).”
Yet, when a single Muslim cab driver is attacked by an individual acting in response to his own private demons, then the collective blame for that somehow gets heaped on every person who has ever stood up to anything Muslim, ever, and to the Ground Zero mosque in particular.
Juan Cole says, “Shame on you, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Lazio, and Sarah Palin, and all the other hatemongers. You have blood on your hands, and will have more if you go on this way.”
Go on what way?
And how does all this compare (sorry, Sister, I’m doing it again), with the strange case of Elias Abuelazam, the Arab Israeli who went on a multi-state stabbing spree, racking up at least 20 victims, five of whom he killed.
As we noted previously, when investigators first figured out the assailant was targeting black men for stabbing attacks, the unidentified criminal was described in the media as a rampaging serial race-murderer. The media fully anticipated he was going to be found to be connected with the tea party movement. Or perhaps the Republican National Committee. Or at the absolute minimum be a friend on Sarah Palin’s Facebook page.
As soon as Abuelazam was captured and discovered not to be a representative of any hate group, (at least as authoritatively defined by Newsweek magazine or Keith Olbermann), and consequently ill-suited to symbolize the religious right's bigotry, hatemongering, and racism, the seriousness of his homicidal status was promptly downgraded. In one day he went from outraged serial racist killer to “stabbing suspect.” Oh, and I’m really supposed to mention he’s an Israeli citizen, and I’m really not supposed to mention that he’s what is generally identified in the MSM as a “Palestinian.”
Or do you think anyone’s going to compare the two “stabbing suspects” and ask if there’s possibly anything in contemporary Arab culture that encourages violent, bigoted outbursts?
Shhh! Here comes Sister! And she’s got her pointer!!