It wasn’t the 21-year-old Michael Enright who drunkenly slashed his New York city cab driver after asking ‘Are you Muslim?’
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. Gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio asked if the Sunni Kuwaiti Sufi Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is on a good will mission to the Muslim world on behalf of the US State Department and was deployed in the same way by George W. Bush, is a terrorist in the employ of Shiite Iran.
The slasher was apparently “very drunk,” but what does being drunk do to a person? Makes them suggestible, lets primal emotions come to the fore. Newt Gingrich and Rick Lazio may as well have kept Enwright in their basements in chains and whipped him into a frenzy as to spew their hatred on the airwaves.
I don’t understand why Abdul Rauf doesn’t sue for libel (that was how the early 20th century Jewish community got industrialist Henry Ford to back off his similar campaign of ethnic vilification in the 1920s; unfortunately Jewish groups like CAMERA and the David Project are now actively involved in promoting anti-Muslimism, i.e. have sided with Ford this time.)
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.
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.
P.S. Hatemonger Michelle Malkin, who also has blood on her hands, says that Enright is not a Glenn Beck type. Of course it is irrelevant what type he is. The question is who created the social and political atmosphere that makes it possible for someone to ask ‘Are you a Muslim?’ and then plunge in the knife. The answer is that people like Malkin are responsible for that atmosphere. She should be ashamed of herself.
PPS: It turns out that we don’t have the slightest idea whether Enright is a conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat. He has been making a film on soldiers deploying to Afghanistan, so doesn’t sound like a bleeding heart liberal. He may have freelanced for some internet media organization dedicated to international understanding. I suspect that particular freelancing gig is over.
I repeat that it is the Gingrich’s and Lazio’s (and Malkins) who created the atmosphere in which this kind of incident occurs.
PPPS A commenter writes:
August 25, 2010 at 9:56 pm (Edit)
I was just following the discussion of this event on TPM, and saw something interesting: someone had posted Enright’s “likes” from his FaceBook page. One of those likes—the only one that I recognized as specifically political—was his liking of Greg Ball. I live in Brewster, NY, as does Enright, and have come to loathe Ball. He’s a conservative Republican who’s run for years on a strongly anti-immigrant platform. This election cycle he’s also the Tea Party candidate.
So there’s your Right Wing hatemongering right there. Plain as day.
Someone has edited Michael Enright’s facebook page since his arrest – Greg Ball was one of his likes yesterday.
I saw it and someone has put up a screen-shot here.
Greg Ball seems to specialise in a perhaps superficially reasonable but actually deeply inciteful discourse on immigration.