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When Islamophobia Isn’t Funny

30 July 2009 No Comment Email This Post Email This Post
marwa_sherbini1Marwa Sherbini being Attacked

We have had commenters, usually from Jihad Watch and other hate sites who come on here and minimize Islamophobia and in fact deny that it even exists. We usually have fun with such commenters and their ideologies, satirizing or poking fun at the truly wide-eyed conspiratorial and selective arguments they and their heroes peddle.

However, there are times when anti-Muslimism and Islamophobia aren’t so funny, and that is when it leads to violence and heinous criminality. This was the case in the 90’s when thousands of Bosnians were massacred in the worst genocide in Europe since World War II for no other reason than being Muslim.

Today, in the West we have also had a barrage of scenarios which highlight the danger of the rhetoric of anti-Muslims. In Germany, we had the brutal murder of Marwa Sherbini and her child in a courtroom by a man who was convicted of verbally abusing her, calling her a “terrorist.” Marwa Sherbini, now referred to as the Hijab Martyr was stabbed 18 times.

The following is particularly revealing in light of the report from Homeland Security that warned about the rise of Right-Wing Extremism. In early July, Eric Gardner was arrested in Seattle for assault and felony harassment of a Muslim woman wearing the hijab. According to the SeattlePi,

Police have arrested a man accused of threatening a local woman and her baby because of their race and religion.

The incident took place on July 1 when the 25-year-old woman and her 6-month-old baby visited the Seattle Indian Health Board at 611 12th Ave. South, according to the statement of probable cause.

Investigators said Eric Gardner reportedly made derogatory comments such as,”You Muslim people scare people when you wear that clothing,” and “When I see a black woman, it makes me want to throw up.”

The alarmed mother said she asked him what was wrong, to which he responded, “I’m talking to you (expletive), Muslim people,” the document said.

When the woman said, “What I wear does not make me a bad person,” Gardner told her, “You scare people,” and cursed at her, the woman told detectives.

The woman tried to move away from the aggressive man, but he followed her. He then pulled out a sheath knife with an 8- to 10-inch blade, held it in front of her face and said, “I’m going to cut you and your baby with this knife,” the statement said.

Gardner slammed the knife on the counter, struggling to get it out of the sheath, detectives said. A staff member of the health clinic reached over and took the knife away from the suspect.

“I just heard a big slam on the counter and I looked over and it was a knife,” said employee Alissa Stewart. “My first instinct was to grab it and get it out of reach.”

Gardner then lunged over the counter, grabbed the knife out of Stewart’s hand and fled, investigators said.

Another clinic employee who had dealt with the boisterous man earlier in the day identified him as Eric Garner.

Police found Gardner walking in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood the following night. They said Gardner, who was carrying a knife, admitted he had “pulled a knife on a Muslim woman earlier in the day because he was ‘doing his part to defend America,’” according to the statement.

One of the points made by the Homeland Security report is that White supremacist groups and lone wolves would be on the rise because of the election of Barack Obama. As we have noted here on Loonwatch, the connection between racism and anti-Muslimism is very strong and when you have one you usually have the other.

In this case, Eric Gardner clearly exemplified the prototype of hate. He hated black people and he hated Muslims. In what seems like a close call, he was scared away when the receptionist snatched the knife off of the counter after he laid it down, he grabbed it out of her hand and in panic ran away. What is even more troubling about this incident is Gardner’s response to the police when he was questioned as to why he did what he did: “doing his part to defend America.”

What’s the psychology that goes into someone’s development to believe that they are defending America by brandishing a weapon at a woman and threatening her and her child? How much influence and inspiration do serious Loons such as Gardner get from the likes of right-wingers such as Michael Savage and Robert Spencer? Individuals who proclaim that America/Western Civilization is under threat by Islam and women who wear a piece of cloth over their heads? These very talking heads and leaders of the Islam-bashing industry proclaim day in and day out that we must “defend America” from the Muslims and Islam, that the barbarian Muslim hordes are out to get you.

Will we hear apologies from these self-appointed “defenders of America” who in effect create an enviornment that heightens such unfortunate incidents as the one in Seattle? At the very least will we hear a condemnation? Most likely, per their track record we wont even see a recognition of such incidents — and that isn’t funny.

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