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When Islamophobia Isn’t Funny

marwa_sherbini1

Marwa 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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  • BWB

    Wearing a hijab deserves respect where it isn’t normal to have one.
    Not wearing a hijab where it is mandatorry deserves even more respect.

    In how many countries in the world are you prosecuted by it’s state for wearing a hijab outdoors?
    In how many countries in the world are you prosecuted or just punished by it’s state for not wearing a hijab?

    I’m just trying to make you think things thruw.

    But as far as this topic goes… I think Eric Gardner was a frustrated idiot in the verry least.
    It is clear to anyone that he felt threatend by a garment.
    A garment that represents a certain type of people to him.

    Let’s easelly call the media the first culprits… then the extremists in the world… And I mean all of them.
    Extreme in peace and war loving. they all help creating situations like these. At least as far as my personal oppinion goes.

    Still… what if didn’t get it from the media but from personal experiences… that would be a more trouble some, right?

    It’s rather difficult convincing a person that he’s acts are wrong when they are motivated from personal experiences.
    So let’s hope it isn’t the latter.

    Last but not least…
    Did the women, who was threatend, have any victim support?
    The fhew comments cited didn’t tell me that.

    btw, I’m no American so this news easally goes past me(i’m afterall humanly mortal and as such not able to follow all the things that happen in the world.)

    regards,
    BWB

  • annoyed

    women shouldnt be treated like this. just because she has hijab over her head doesnt mean that she is different from anybody else. i have a lot of respect for her and every muslim woman in america that has to go through that.

  • Palestine70

    He is a pal of Andrew Bostom, the liar, and I’ve met Kostynuik at a pro Israel rally in Canada. He also was at the Sabeel meeting, heckling and making noises at Naim Ateek.

    You can see pictures of this lowlife Brad Kostynuik here, he is with a Calgary music group called The Bownesians, he is the one on the drums, with the glasses,

    The Bownesians
    http://radio3.cbc.ca/bands/the-Bownesians

    and here, another picture with his recently released album with the Bownesians,

    The Bownesians re-created in real life.
    L to R: Doug Waite, Leah McCartney, George Iosifelis, Brad Kostynuik, Rosemary Stewart and Mike Cormier
    http://blog.calsun.canoe.ca/sixinthecity/?disp=passeport&redirect_to=http://blog.calsun.canoe.ca/sixinthecity/sixinthecity/2009/07/17/we_proudly_bring_you_the_bownesians%23comments

  • Mohammed

    He works from home, his Rock paper internet is a pop n mom job.

  • Sam,

    Yes, I see. I hate to give any hate site traffic but I couldn’t find a PDF file on this subject except from WND. You can read it here without registering at that site: http://www.wnd.com/images/dhs-rightwing-extremism.pdf

  • Sam

    “The following is particularly revealing in light of the report from Homeland Security that warned about the rise of Right-Wing Extremism.”

    the link to the report requires a log in. Any chance that can be fixed? I’d love to read it.

  • George

    I heard that Brad KOSTYNUIK who writes Islam garbage at Jihad Watch, Sultan Knish, is Hugh Fitzgerald, he writes with Robert Spencer,

    Can anyone shed light on this?

    Brandi Dickam his wife, used to be an editor at Western Standard Canada,

    Brandi Dickman
    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/brandi-dickman/5/ab9/853

    and a picture of here can be seen here.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/albertamagazines/2774462005/

    Do any American or Canadian readers here know this couple? They spend a lot of time online, spreading hate material against Muslims.

    The astonishing this is HOW DID THEY ESCAPE THE MAINSTREAM EXPOSURE like the likes of Robert Spencer, (Kostynuik’s maestro and suspected partner) Walid Shobat, Debbie Schullell,

  • George

    These Islaamophobes who spend all their time maligning, making up lies about Al Rasool, Islam, and Palestinians.

    This dude from Calgary is one another, his name is Brad Kostynuik, and he writes garbage about The Prophet on loads of far right sites, Jewish, and Christian.

    Kostynuik, calls The Prophet a peodophile, murderer, Go and read his comments here

    He desecrates the Koran by his own admission, read his comments, dehumanises Muslims, as can be seen by visiting his comments here and calls for the genocide of Muslims
    http://israelinsider.ning.com/profile/wharold?xg_source=activity

    This is Brad Kostynuik’s website, he is a webdesigner,
    http://www.rockpaperinternet.com/brad.html

    Brad Kostynuik’s (alias “Wharold”) email is bk@rockpaperinternet.com he also uses bnb@canuck.com

    resume of “Wharold” AKA Brad Kostynuik
    http://www.defrost.ca/defrosters.php?action=view&vid=1270

    He calls for the extermination of Arabs, says that Islam should be destroyed,nuked, calls for nuking of Mecca, Medina and Saudi Arabia, and thinks America should fight for Israel in expanding and stealing more territory.

    Kostynuik also writes at Jihadwatch in the comments there, and in Frontpage, and is an active proponent of smearing Islam, calling for the killing of Palestinians, denying them a state.

    This is his wife Brandi Dickman, a Jewish woman, Kostynuik is Christian Zionist

  • Trevor GH

    Thanks for the post.
    These are very under reported incidents. I dont remember hearing anything about them in the news, and that is a shame. Our country is going in the direction of moving away from such prejudices but it has a long way to go as you nicely put in this article.

  • my thoughts

    It’s a shame things have gotten this bad. Unfortunately, our sisters wearing the hijab – who should be getting nothing but respect for their modesty and devotion – are on the front lines having to face bigotry everyday. I have even more respect for these sisters who refuse to cave in to racist and Islamophobic pressure and remove the hijab. These are strong, honorable women!

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