by Keith Johnson
How do you wink at a Muslim? According to one Tennessee politician, you bring the butt of your 12-gauge shotgun to your shoulder and close one eye as you use the other to zero-in on the head of “them there” turban-headed jihadists. Apparently it helps if you’re a middle-aged white man with a five o’clock shadow and a cowboy hat. I personally take umbrage to that, because I’m a middle-aged Tennessean with a five o’clock shadow and a cowboy hat that doesn’t want to kill “them there” Mooslims.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Coffee County commissioner’s Facebook post suggesting Muslims are best greeted from behind a rifle barrel is prompting demands for an apology. Commissioner Barry West’s post follows a string of anti-Muslim acts throughout Middle Tennessee in recent years, including at least four incidents of mosque vandalism. Opposition to a new mosque in Rutherford County was so strong it took federal Justice Department intervention to open it last year. West played no active role in any of those incidents. He just put an image on his Facebook page, which shows a man aiming a shotgun under the phrase “How to wink at a Muslim.” But even that put a chill through Muslims in Middle Tennessee…The Boston Marathon bombing prompted a nationwide uptick in invitations to violence against Muslims, said Hatem Bazian, director of the Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project at the University of California Berkeley.
Unfortunately, the Boston Marathon bombing has re-ignited fading tensions between Muslims and the rest of American society.
A 39-year-old Muslim cab driver who served in the Iraq war says that an executive from an aviation company accused him of being a jihadist and broke his jaw in what activists are calling a hate crime. Mohamed A. Salim told The Washington Post that Emerald Aviation President Ed Dahlberg attacked him after he picked him up at Country Club of Fairfax in Northern Virginia at around 2 a.m. on Friday. Dahlberg had been drinking and was told that he would have to finish his open beer before getting into the cab. Salim recorded audio of the encounter on his cell phone. Dahlberg can be heard asking Salim, who emigrated from Somalia, to define “jihad” and then lumping him in with “radical fucking Muslims blowing people up all over the world.” “Denounce those motherfuckers now!” Dahlberg demands. “If you’re a fucking Muslim flying jets into the fucking World Trade Center then fuck you. I will slice your fucking throat right now.”
Just being identified as a Muslim is enough to put you in harms way. On April 27, state bomb investigators responded to a report of a suspicious backpack left at the home of a Muslim resident in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
From the Providence Journal (abridged):
Nimer Ead, a 55-year-year-old design engineer, lives on the bottom floor of a three-family house with his wife and a stepson. He said a neighbor spotted a tan-and-black backpack in Ead’s back yard and called police. The backpack said “USA Bomb” on it, Ead said.
Colorlines did a great story about anti-Muslim crimes in the immediate aftermath of the Boston bombings:
On April 17, a white man harassed and punched a Palestinian woman in Medford, Massachusetts, calling her a “terrorist” and blaming her for the deadly bombing attack at the Boston Marathon. Hema Abolaban, a physician, was walking down the street with a friend when they were approached. Malden Patch reported:
“He was screaming ‘F_ you Muslims! You are terrorists! I hate you! You are involved in the Boston explosions! F_ you!’” Abolaban remembered. “Oh my lord, I was extremely shocked.” She said the man – described as a white male in his thirties wearing dark sunglasses – kept shouting and walking toward her as she backed away. “I did not say anything to him,” she said. “Not even that we aren’t terrorists…he was so aggressive.”
Abolaban is not alone. The New York Post reports that a Bangladeshi man was beaten up by Latino men outside a Bronx Applebee’s restaurant. He, too, was blamed for the Boston bombing.
On Tuesday, an airplane leaving Boston’s Logan Airport was grounded this week after passengers reported that two men were speaking Arabic on the plane, Boston’s Fox 25 reported. We have been here before. Fueled by a hysterical demagoguery which has saturated the political climate, Islamophobic hate crimes have been a defining feature of life for South Asian, Arab, Middle Eastern and Muslim communities since Sept. 11.
Guess who’s helping fuel the flames against the Muslim world? You guessed it–Faux FUCKIN’ News. SUPRISE! SUPRISE!
Check this out “patriots”:
Former Fox News contributor Jane Hall says that her ex-colleagues at the conservative network have been “waging a campaign” to link the words “radical” and “Islam” following the bombings at the Boston Marathon earlier this month.
In a Sunday discussion on CNN, host Howard Kurtz noted that after briefly coming together in the aftermath of the tragedy in Boston, the media had returned to its “ideological sniping.”
Current TV host Cenk Uygur told Kurtz that Fox News had led the charge in making the airwaves more vitriolic by “talking about Muslims, which is ironic because this is the same Bill O’Reilly who kept calling Dr. Tiller, “Dr. Tiller The Baby Killer,” until Scott Roeder shot him.”
“So here’s a fundamentalist who’s Christian worrying about fundamentalists who are Muslims, and driving people to violence,” Uygur said.
Kurtz argued that “it’s not entirely just on one side” because MSNBC’s Alex Wagner had accused two Fox News personalities of being on the verge of suggesting that President Barack Obama was a secret Muslim.
“It’s a funny way of balancing things out, Howard,” Uygur disagreed. “I mean, on the one side you have a guy who keeps saying, ‘Muslim! Terrorist! Muslim! Terrorist!’ Trying to equate the two. On the other side, you have someone saying, ‘Hey, maybe that’s not that wise, and maybe they’re implying something here that they shouldn’t be implying.’”
“So, I don’t equate those two as equal,” he insisted. “Just to say that one side does something 1 percent or 10 percent may be wrong doesn’t justify the other side doing something 100 percent wrong.”
“I think that Fox is practically waging a campaign to link the words ‘radical’ and ‘Islam’,” Hall agreed. “I don’t think radical Islam is a religion. I think what happens can be a perversion, from what I understand, of religion. I don’t think the media should shy away from looking at how these young men got radicalized, what [dead bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev] learned when he went back to Russia… But I think there is a difference endlessly linking this and saying, you know, helpfully having visuals that say radical Islam with these young men’s pictures.”