Amy Goodman interviews a close friend of stabbing victim Ahmad Sharif on Michael Enright’s attack on him. Enright asked a lot of questions, including whether Sharif was Muslim and if he was fasting. He was derogatory about the Muslim fast. Then he said, as-Salaamu `Alaykum (peace be upon you, the Muslim greeting), and proclaimed “this is a checkpoint.” And then began slashing at his arm and trying to get at his neck. This was a murder attempt. He would have slaughtered the man if he could have, would have gashed the carotid artery and watched him bleed out.
Sharif’s friend said,
‘ When I talked to Ahmed, you know, when he was still in his hospital bed, when we first saw him, you know, he couldn’t speak. When he was able to speak and I was able to talk to him, the first thing he said to me was we have to get the message out, because we can’t let this escalate, drivers need to protect themselves. He said the environment right now is very serious. There is no doubt in our minds that the fear mongering and the ignorance and the hatred that has been spewing around this Islamic cultural center—which has erroneously been called the “Ground Zero mosque”—we have no doubt that it’s that hatred that’s risen to the surface and that’s led to this violence.’
Although the Muslim-haters have tried to wriggle out of this obvious conclusion by painting stabber Michael Enright as a liberal, their argument holds no water. Enright may have been a freelancer for an organization dedicated to cross-cultural understanding, but his experience being embedded as a documentary film maker with a US military unit in Afghanistan clearly turned him into an Islamophobe.
A ‘liberal’ would not make fun of fasting Ramadan, would not mock the Muslim greeting, would not announce a ‘checkpoint.’ Those are all the discourse of the Muslim-bashing Right wing. So if Enright was ever a ‘liberal,’ he certainly is not now. He has been converted into a hateful criminal and murderer.
But why should we be surprised? Isn’t the hope of Michelle Malkin, Rick Lazio, Newt Gingrich, Bill O’Reilly et al. to convert liberals to whatever they are (I won’t insult conservatives by calling these mouth-frothers by that term).
So they succeeded. Blaming liberals for this attack is like blaming Democrats for Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Reagan had been a Democrat in the 1940s, but converted to the G.O.P. More recently, the GOP went fishing for the soul of Michael Enright,and they got it. No doubt he signed it away to them in blood, and there was the stink of sulphur in the air.
So who would want to establish checkpoints for American citizens? Could it be… Michelle Malkin?
Who makes fun of the idea that Islam is a religion of peace? Glenn Beck has done it. Most rightwingers have done it. Hence the sarcasm when saying ‘Peace be upon you.’
And who makes fun of the Ramadan fast? Try Rush Limbaugh.
‘ Rush Limbaugh Radio Program, EIB Network
August 13, 2010
RUSH: Obama will host an Iftar tonight. You know what an Iftar is? You know what an Iftar is, Dawn? Brian? Snerdley? You don’t know what an Iftar is, I-f-t-a-r? …
An Iftar is “a special evening meal observed during” — wait for it — “Ramadan”. This is happening tonight in the White House State Dining Room.
“Obama participated a similar gathering last year. “Celebrations like Iftar dinners ‘remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings’.” This is Obama in a written statement on Wednesday. Iftar celebrations “remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings… Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality,” wrote Obama, a “reminder that Islam has always been part of America and is that American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country.”
Ahem. A list of those contributions does not accompany the president’s statement. “The dinner comes amid a growing controversy over the proposed construction of Islamic cultural center in downtown Manhattan”. Meanwhile, the White House has been silent on that issue. Charles Krauthammer today has a memorable piece on the entire controversy of the mosque at Ground Zero.
Yeah, I know Bush did Ramadan dinners as well. Now, Iftar means that you’re breaking a Ramadan fast, and I don’t know if Obama has fasted. The only reason I mention this is not so much because he’s doing an Iftar dinner — I just want you to remember that he could not be bothered to go to the Boy Scouts’ 100th anniversary. But he’s got time to do an Iftar dinner out there. (interruption) Well, it’s a good question. What did the Boy Scouts contribute to America? Exactly right, H.R. Thank you for helping me to put this in further context. Just a bunch of kids, exactly right, a bunch of kids with a distorted view of America.
Iftar was also a terrible movie. Wait a minute — Iftar? Extar? Ashtar? What was it, the Warren Beatty — Ishtar! Ishtar, right, not to be confused with Iftar, the Ramadan break-your-fast dinner. We don’t know who he’s invited. I don’t know if he’s — there’s no guest list. There may be nobody. Maybe there is no dinner, it’s just a statement that’s there, who the hell knows? ‘
Oh, yeah, those were liberal sentiments expressed in that cab before the attempted murder. Very liberal.