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Lyle
08-26-2010, 12:11 AM
http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2010/08/25/cops-man-stabbed-cabbie-after-asking-if-he-was-muslim/

Ahmed Sharif picked up a college student on Tuesday night — and it nearly cost him his life.

Police said the clean-cut 21-year-old flew into a rage after asking his driver if he was a Muslim.


The attack happened around 6:15 p.m. Tuesday in a busy commercial area on 40th Street and Third Avenue. The passenger, police said, was 21-year-old Michael Enright, an honor student from Putnam County who has spent time overseas in Afghanistan working as a reporter. Sharif said the young man began ridiculing the Muslim holiday of Ramadan and then started a bizarre, belligerent rant.

“This is checkpoint [expletive]. I have to put you down. You have to bring Abdullah to this checkpoint, I have to bring him down, too,” Sharif said.
He said Enright lunged through the cab partition with a knife, and the men struggled as the cab rolled for a block and a half.

“The knife came here and when he knife like this in his right hand then I back up like this, then it come here,” Sharif said, showing the wound on his arm.
Enright was arrested at the scene and charged with attempted murder as a hate crime. His father had nothing to say as he rushed to his son’s arraignment on Wednesday afternoon.

News of the attack has swept through the Muslim community like a shockwave. People were gathered outside Sharif’s Queens home on Wednesday night denouncing the incident as un-American.

Strange... guy spent time in Afghanistan as a journalist last spring and is a member of a group that supports the Cordoba Center.

http://cbsnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/enright2.jpg

Yet, he slashes a Bangladeshi Muslim cab driver?

So odd. Wonder what the truth is. Dude is getting charged with attempted murder.

Glad he didn't go full throttle Jack the Ripper on the man. Ahmed will get to celebrate Ramadan after all. Yay, a happy ending!

graz
08-26-2010, 12:54 AM
Thanks Lyle. Your public service is appreciated. None of us have any other media in our lives and would be shortchanged the opportunity of knowing that a NYC cabbie was attacked. Please keep us updated.

Lyle
08-26-2010, 01:01 AM
Curtsy. :)

TwinSwords
08-26-2010, 08:09 AM
Thanks Lyle. Your public service is appreciated. None of us have any other media in our lives and would be shortchanged the opportunity of knowing that a NYC cabbie was attacked. Please keep us updated.

Note how Lyle refers to the cab driver with the same mocking name, Abdullah, that the attacker did.

Always classy.

Lyle
08-26-2010, 08:48 AM
Actually, I thought that was his name. My mistake. I'm illiterate. So cut me some slack Twins. :(

Why do you think he slashed Ahmed, Twins?

Lyle
08-26-2010, 09:39 AM
http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0810/AntiMuslim_attacker_works_at_proPark51_group.html

the apparent anti-Muslim assault on a New York city cabbie by a man shouting “Assalamu Alaikum. Consider this a checkpoint" produced an immediate round of recriminations over its connection to opposition to a New York Islamic Center and an apparent rising tide of Islamophobia.

But as often at the intersection of politics and violent crime, the story doesn't appear to fit any easy stereotype: The alleged assailant, Michael Enright, is — according to his Facebook profile and the website of the left-leaning media organization Intersections International — a student at the School of Visual Arts and a volunteer for Intersections, which recently produced a statement of support for the Park51 project and is funded by the mainstream, liberal Collegiate Church of New York.

Intersections did not respond to two messages, and the group does not appear to be picking up the phone. Enright did not respond to a message through his Facebook account.

But this appears to be the same man: Police described Enright as a resident of Brewster, 21 years old, and an employee of an "Internet media company who had recently spent time with a combat unit in Afghanistan filming military exercises until this past May."

His Facebook picture, above, appears to show him in Afghanistan. The page describes him as a cinematographer and photographer for Intersections.

Charles Johnson turns up a description of his work:

Michael Enright, a student at the School of Visual Arts and volunteer for Intersections’ Veteran-Civilian Dialogue program, was featured in The Journal News. Enright is working on his thesis film project about war’s effects on the soul, which includes excerpts of the Veteran-Civilian Dialogue. Enright’s film follows his former classmate Cpl. Alex Eckner, and Eckner’s army unit through basic training in Hawaii, deployment to Afghanistan and their return home.

The Village Voice first reported the connection.

Oddness.

Fox News to blame (http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/muslim_group_cabbie_slashing_a_warning_on_anti-mus.php)?

"If there's blood on anyone's hands, I think part of that blood goes on Fox News' hands, and, you know, the kind of round-the-clock news cycle that is just amplifying the hysteria rather than having an intelligent conversation about matters where, you know, people have differences of opinion," Lekovic said. A Fox News spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

TwinSwords
08-26-2010, 09:53 AM
Actually, I thought that was his name. My mistake. I'm illiterate. So cut me some slack Twins. :(

Why do you think he slashed Ahmed, Twins?

Fair enough. It was an easy mistake to make.

I have no idea why he attacked the guy. I'm guessing he's suffering from some kind of severe mental disorder. I would bet, though, there is some connection to the GOP's Summer of Hate (http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-08-22/republicans-long-hot-racist-summer/) -- but that's just a guess, and obviously reflects my own biases.

Whatfur
08-26-2010, 10:08 AM
Fair enough. It was an easy mistake to make.

I have no idea why he attacked the guy. I'm guessing he's suffering from some kind of severe mental disorder. I would bet, though, there is some connection to the GOP's Summer of Hate (http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-08-22/republicans-long-hot-racist-summer/) -- but that's just a guess, and obviously reflects my own biases.

Actually all the reports I have heard is he is connected to a film crew that supports the mosque.

You were not the first left wing propagandist to try and take advantage of this, however.

nikkibong
08-26-2010, 10:47 AM
Fair enough. It was an easy mistake to make.

I have no idea why he attacked the guy. I'm guessing he's suffering from some kind of severe mental disorder. I would bet, though, there is some connection to the GOP's Summer of Hate (http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-08-22/republicans-long-hot-racist-summer/) -- but that's just a guess, and obviously reflects my own biases.

that'll be an interesting defense -- the son of sarah killer? "my republican dog told me to do it!!"

TwinSwords
08-26-2010, 12:03 PM
that'll be an interesting defense -- the son of sarah killer? "my republican dog told me to do it!!"

LOL!

TwinSwords
08-26-2010, 01:26 PM
that'll be an interesting defense -- the son of sarah killer? "my republican dog told me to do it!!"

But to respond seriously if I may. I'm obviously unqualified to say why this guy slashed the cab driver, and more precisely whether it was the result of mental illness, drunkenness, or anti-Muslim sentiment. To me it seems likely that all three were factors: I don't think you get to the result we saw in this case without at least two of those -- mental instability and hatred of Muslims -- being factors. The two go hand in hand, and that's why the hateful rhetoric from the GOP is dangerous: they're probably not going to make violence towards Muslims into a new social norm, but they are taking a chance of pushing a few desperate lunatics over the edge.

It seems that there are a couple of ways to explain violence that occurs in a political context: you can say the person was out of their mind (insane), or you can say they were acting in a cold, rational expression of their ideology. Sometimes we consider acts of violence to be clearly the result of insanity. Other times we consider acts of violence to be perfectly sane and even justified. Where do you draw the line? How do you figure out in a given case whether the person committing the violence was a rational actor or an insane person who snapped?

I wonder if it has something to do with social norms: Is there a point in a society when certain kinds of violence are considered acceptable, past which violence is no long exclusively committed by insane people or people with bad impulse control?

Take a couple of examples: Lynchings in the South through the mid-20th century, and Palestinian suicide bombers.

In both cases, violence was at least somewhat normalized within the cultures where it occured. In the American South, there was broad social toleration for lynching black people. And in the occupied territories, suicide bombing is widely tolerated. (And vice versa, of course, with Israelis broadly agreeing that killing Palestinians is okay.) There has also been some discussion in the forum recently about honor killing. Sadly, honor killing is a socially accepted cultural practice in some parts of the world. According to Wikipedia, "[a] July 2008 Turkish study by a team from Dicle University on honor killings in the Southeastern Anatolia Region (the predominantly Kurdish area of Turkey) has so far shown that little if any social stigma is attached to the act." And from Amnesty International, we learn "[t]he regime of honor is unforgiving: women on whom suspicion has fallen are not given an opportunity to defend themselves, and family members have no socially acceptable alternative but to remove the stain on their honor by attacking the woman."

If the state executes a killer, would you consider the executioner insane? If a police officer shoots a criminal, is the cop only pulling the trigger because he is mentally unstable? What about US armed forces in Iraq or Afghanistan? I think the answer to all of those questions is "no." Most of us would probably agree that sane people like cops and soldiers can use lethal force under certain conditions.

So how do you evaluate random acts of political violence like we see in the case of the cab driver?

There have been several episodes of political violence since Obama was elected: the Holocaust Museum killer, the guy in Pittsburg who killed 3 or 4 police, the guy in Austin, TX, who flew his plane into the IRS building, the abortion murderer in Iowa, the Times Square bomber, the guy at Fort Hood, and a few others. Judging from news reports (FWIW), most or all of the perpetrators were suffering from some kind of mental disorder before they committed their crimes. But in the case of Maj. Hasan (the killer at Fort Hood), conservatives were collectively outraged at the suggestion that he might have committed the crime because he was crazy. They considered this to be making excuses for his behavior, which they regarded as cold, calculating, and completely sane. (It was debated in this forum.)

So, to answer Lyle's question: I have no idea why the guy slashed the cab driver, but my guess is that he is mentally deranged, that he harbors anti-Muslim feelings, and that was probably responding to the atmosphere of pure, intense anti-Muslim hatred that has permeated our society for the last few months.

This is not to say Republicans are directly responsible for the actions of this one knife-wielding individual -- obviously they are not; only one person is responsible for the crime: the perpetrator. But I do think that when Republicans start up their national campaigns of hate against yet another of their countless target groups, they take a risk of setting off the truly deranged members of society. I think it's fairly predictable, especially given the intensity, virulence, and non-stop, wall to wall nature of the Republicans' current campaign of hatred for Muslims.

But here's what I'm really curious about: When do we cross that line where anti-Muslim violence is only committed by crazy people and it starts being committed by "normal," "sane" people, the way violence can be performed by sane people when that violence is broadly considered acceptable within the culture? The same question applies to anti-government violence. Ever since Obama was elected, a mainstream Republican talking point has been that violence is justified (or will soon be justified, if relief cannot be obtained through the next elections or the courts) in response to Democratic government. With, according to some polls, over 50% of whites in the US South believe that Obama is an illegal alien (a "usurper" illegally occupying the White House), is there any danger that we will reach a point when political violence is, once again, normalized in the US South?

Speaking of the US South and political violence, when John Brown went down to Harper's Ferry and started shooting people in cold blood, was his the act of a deranged lunatic? I think most people thought he was crazy at the time; moral opposition to slavery did not justify cold blooded murder.

But two years later, were regular soldiers in the Union Army crazy to be marching through Virginia killing Southerners? Were Southern boys in the Confederate Army crazy to be invading the north? Or had, by this point, the killing become normalized to such an extent that you didn't have to be crazy to commit it?

Whatfur
08-26-2010, 01:52 PM
....and that's why the hateful rhetoric from the GOP is dangerous: ...

Enough said, Mr. Credibility.

handle
08-26-2010, 01:55 PM
that'll be an interesting defense -- the son of sarah killer? "my republican dog told me to do it!!"

"Pile on" while LOL!

TwinSwords
08-26-2010, 05:14 PM
Suspect in Cabbie Stabbing Was Carrying Journal Full of "Anti-Muslim Comments"

When Michael Enright was arrested for allegedly stabbing a New York City cab driver in a hate crime Wednesday, he was carrying an empty bottle of scotch and a "personal diary filled with pages of 'pretty strong anti-Muslim comments.'" A police source told the New York Daily News Enright described Muslims as "killers, ungrateful for the help they were being offered, filthy murderers without a conscience." His friends and family members continue to express amazement that the 21-year-old filmmaker who volunteered for an interfaith organization that promotes "peace and tolerance" is now being held without bail on second-degree murder charges. Talking Points Memo continues to express amazement that someone who likes the Beatles tried to kill someone. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said the attack "runs counter to everything that New Yorkers believe, no matter what God we pray to." But New York Gov. David Paterson has earned the ire of critics with his response to the attack, which was "the potential for this kind of violence is one of the reasons why I have called publicly for a respectful and unifying conversation about the Park51 project." Ben Smith is not impressed. "The argument here: The mosque must be moved because its opponents are crazed, violent bigots who need to be appeased," Smith writes. "Sounds like a good compromise."

Source (http://slatest.slate.com/id/2265275/entry/6/). Many links in the original.

TwinSwords
08-26-2010, 05:25 PM
Note the text in bold:

Law enforcement sources say that Enright was carrying a personal diary with him during the attack, though the exact nature of its contents are a source of dispute. One police source described them to the New York Daily News as "filled with pages of 'pretty strong anti-Muslim comments.'" That source added that the diary "equated Muslims with 'killers, ungrateful for the help they were being offered, filthy murderers without a conscience.'" Another law enforcement source disputed that characterization, suggesting instead to the AP that they were mere journals of Enright's time in Afghanistan -- and that they were found with an empty bottle of Scotch.


(Source (http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/enright_different_upon_return_from_afghanistan.php ?ref=fpa))

Whatfur
08-26-2010, 10:21 PM
Enough said, Mr. Credibility.

Similar heartbreak for lefties getting out front of a story. (http://hotair.com/archives/2010/08/26/suspect-in-carnahan-office-attack-not-a-tea-party-activist-after-all/)