The deputy director of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation tells residents that complaining about water quality could be considered an “act of terrorism.”
next up: breathing will be considered terrorism as well
Are you shitting me??
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up amid hundreds of worshippers at a historic church in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday, killing 78 people in the deadliest-ever attack against the country’s Christian minority.
“As of today, I’ve spent more than 11 years in Guantánamo Bay. To be precise, it’s been 4,084 long days and nights. I’ve never been charged with any crime. I’ve never been allowed to see the evidence that the US once pretended they had against me. It’s all secret, even the statements they tortured out of me.” - Shaker Aamer, held in Guantánamo prison since 2002, cleared for release six years ago. Aamer has been on hunger strike for 70 days. Read his op-ed.
This hunger strike has been going on since February 6th and there’s a category of detainees designated by the U.S. government, which includes 46 people, who will never be tried for their alleged crimes or released from Guantanamo Bay. Since Sunday (April 21st), 84 of the remaining 166 prisoners have joined the strike and 16 of them are being force-fed through tubes.
WASHINGTON — Hours after the Boston Marathon bombing, there was alreadyInternet chatter that a “Saudi national” was the suspect. Police raided the apartment of Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi, a 22-year-old student from Saudi Arabia, as he was recovering from the blasts in a Boston hospital.
Next, CNN’s John King raised the alarm about a more elusive “dark-skinned male” who the TV reporter said was in custody on Wednesday.
The following day, the New York Post got more specific. It slapped pictures of two young men on its front page, calling them “Bag Men” and identifying them as persons of interest to federal authorities. One was Salah Barhoum, 17, a Moroccan American middle-distance runner.
And then there was news that a man in Bronx, N.Y., who was born in Bangladesh was beaten up for supposedly being “a f*cking Arab” by a group of men who wanted retribution for the marathon bombing.
A Palestinian woman near Boston also reported being the victim of a hateful assault on Wednesday, when a man hit her and yelled, “F*ck you Muslims! You are terrorists! I hate you! You are involved in the Boston explosions.”
What all of these people have in common is that they’re innocent of the bombing. They also happen not to be white.
For the most part, the response to the marathon bombing has brought out humanity’s better angels. Deserved attention has been shed on the heroic efforts of bystanders like Carlos Arredondo and the many first responders who rushed to help the injured.
But it has also served as a depressing reminder that the racial profiling that increased against men of Middle Eastern, Arab and South Asian descent after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks continues to infect the public response to terrorism.
It may turn out that the Boston Marathon bombers are Arab. But they could also be white, black, Native American, Asian or Hispanic. While CBS News tweeted Wednesday that a “white male” was a possible suspect, most people subjected to the speculation grinder have been non-white — all before the FBI on Thursday released photos of two racially ambiguous suspects.
The consequences have been brutal for some of the innocent people caught in the frenzy.
Alharbi had “every inch” of his apartment searched by law enforcement, with authorities seen lugging away bags of items from his home. Residents in his building called it “a startling show of force.” His roommate was questioned for five hours.
“I was scared,” the roommate, Mohammed Hassan Bada, 20, of Saudi Arabia, told the Boston Herald.
Meanwhile, Alharbi was recovering from shrapnel wounds in a hospital. News outlets later reported that he was a witness, not a suspect, and “was apparently in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
CNN’s “dark-skinned male” never materialized, as it quickly became clear that its report of an arrest was wrong. PBS journalist Gwen Ifill said she found it “disturbing” that a television network was allowed to characterize a supposed bombing suspect in such a way.
Barhoum had his world turned upside-down when he saw himself on the cover of the New York Post.
“It’s the worst feeling that I can possibly feel. … I’m only 17,” he said. His mother, meanwhile, felt “sick and upset.”
Barhoum went to the police on Wednesday to clear his name, after he noticed photos of himself getting tagged on social media. He was unable to compete in the marathon, but decided to go and watch. Federal authorities told ABC News that they were passing around his picture to find more information — as they no doubt were doing with pictures of many of the people photographed on Monday.
Later Thursday, after a public outcry over its cover image, the New York Post ran a follow-up story clarifying that authorities said the two “bag men” had “neither had any information or role in Monday’s attacks at the Boston Marathon.”
The rush for indictment and revenge has also taken a toll on Abdullah Faruque, 30, the Bronx man who was beaten up for having brown skin and looking “Arab.” He was assaulted by three or four men outside an Applebee’s on Monday, just hours after the bombing.
“One of the guys asked if I was Arab. I just shook my head, said like, ‘Yeah, whatever.’ I didn’t even know that [the] Boston [bombing] happened because I had a busy day,” Faruque explained to the New York Post.
“Yeah, he’s a f*cking Arab,” responded one of the men, before the group jumped him. They dislocated his shoulder and left him semiconscious.
Heba Abolaban, who lives near Boston, was assaulted and harassed on Wednesday. Abolaban told Malden Patch that while she and her friend, who were both wearing hijabs, were walking with their children, a man came up and punched her shoulder and accused them of being involved in the Boston Marathon bombing.
“I did not say anything to him,” Abolaban said. “Not even that we aren’t terrorists. … He was so aggressive.”
… Talal Alyan, an Arab American student, launched an online campaign on Thursday demanding that the New York Post apologize for its coverage.
“We demand an apology from the New York Post for identifying a Saudi Arabian national as a suspect for the Boston Marathon bombing despite having no evidence,” read the petition, which had more than 6,600 signatures as of Thursday evening. “The New York Post based their conclusion that the wounded marathon runner was a suspect only on the fact that he was an Arab. The New York Post needs to apologize to the falsely accused and the broader Arab and Muslim community.”
Still, Barhoum was uneasy at being targeted, while others around him in the marathon crowd weren’t.
“The only thing they look at is my skin color and since I’m Moroccan, I’m kind of dark,” said Barhoum. “Last night I couldn’t sleep. Just thinking about the consequences. What are people going to say and what the result is going to be.”
Following the New York Post’s lead, a belief is affirmed: The Boston explosions must have been done by Muslims
Should we even be surprised that after an event like the bombing of the Boston Marathon today, immediate suspicion would turn to Muslims? Muslims themselves were not. “The thought of every Muslim right now,” tweeted Dubai-based Al-Aan TV journalist Jenan Moussa: “Please don’t be a ‘Muslim.’”
It’s easiest to explain unexplainable — or yet unknown — things by forcing them into an existing worldview, so when a shred of evidence came along, such as an unsubstantiated New York Post report that police had detained a Saudi national, many on the right immediately took it and ran with it.
Of course, the Post’s report — which Fox News picked up — has zero named sources, zero quotes, and was contradicted by the Boston commissioner, who said authorities have no suspects in custody yet, but why let that get in the way of what you’re sure is true.
As if to anticipate such a meme spreading, every major Muslim group in America sent out press releases condemning the attacks and offering their sympathy, something no other racial or religious group is expected to do after such events (though many do). “American Muslims, like Americans of all backgrounds, condemn in the strongest possible terms today’s cowardly bomb attack on participants and spectators of the Boston Marathon,” CAIR executive director Nihad Awad said in a statement.
But that didn’t stop the speculation, and not just from people like Pamela Geller or Fox News regular Erik Rush. Or Bryan Fischer, who said on Twitter, “NBC: suspect a student who was here on a student visa. Anybody want to rethink Muslim immigration?” These people have made careers peddling inflammatory rhetoric. If Pam Geller didn’t immediately blame Muslims, it might be a good idea to send someone over to make sure she’s feeling OK.
But what’s notable were the people just beyond the committed fringe who were quick to jump in at the first provocation. “Muslim” is now trending on Twitter, for instance. Then there’s Daily Caller White Correspondent Neil Munro, who played out the fantasy. Under a picture of the 9/11 hijackers, he noted that “the United States has had tragic experience with Saudi jihadists” and helpfully explained that “Saudi Arabia’s population is entirely Muslim.” He even explored the potential policy fallout, writing it could lead to action on the U.S. travel policy toward that country, which was recently relaxed.
This isn’t new by any means. After the Oklahoma City bombing (which happened on the same holiday, Patriots’ Day, almost two decades ago), CNN identified four Arab Americans in connection with the bombing, who later all turned out to be innocent, of course. CBS interviewed Steven Emerson, a controversial self-styled Islam expert who throws in the Gellers of the world. And that should be a note of caution to anyone trying to jump to conclusions now.
On the left, a theory of its own was hatched, with more than a few whispering about the possibility of right-wing extremists (as was the case with the Oklahoma City bombing). Monday, after all, is Patriots’ Day, an important day on the fringe right, as well as Tax Day. But few liberals would actually articulate this notion, knowing that if they did, they’d get pilloried for it. A CNN correspondent incurred the wrath of the right-wing blogosphere for even mentioning it as a possibility along with other possible perpetrators.
But while the Alex Joneses of the world will be mocked, and anyone who even mentions the possibility of right-wing terrorism will be run out of town, the people who are ready to blame the Muslims yet again seem to see little incentive to stop.
After Ever After - DISNEY Parody
What happens after “Happily Ever After”
Not only is it amazing social commentary, and story telling he has a wonderful singing voice.
A rescuer carried an injured boy through the rubble in Beirut, where the attack stirred memories of sectarian violence from Lebanon’s long civil war. Photography by; Hussein Malla