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“Backlash” b.s.: The myth of the Muslim hate crime epidemic, again

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By Michelle Malkin  •  December 21, 2015 04:19 AM

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Here we go again.

Over the weekend, the professional grievance-mongers and apologists for jihad recycled the old myth of an “anti-Islam backlash” in the U.S. in the wake of the jihad attacks in San Bernardino.

And once again, just as they did after 9/11, lazy journalists regurgitated the propaganda without applying heightened scrutiny to the claims and the claimants.

NBC News reported:

Muslims in America appear to have a bull’s-eye on their backs.

Hate crimes targeting Muslims, their mosques and businesses, have tripled this year and the bulk of the attacks have occurred in recent weeks, according to a tally by California State University San Bernardino college professor Brian Levin.

There have been 38 anti-Muslim attacks in the U.S. since the deadly Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, Levin found.

And 18 of those happened in the wake of the Dec. 2 slaughter in San Bernardino, according to Levin, whose office is just nine miles from the government building where a radicalized Muslim couple murdered 14 people and wounded 22 more before they were killed by law enforcement.

Levin, a former staffer of the conservative-smearing Southern Poverty Law Center, is a one-man, hate crime-hyping band. Longtime readers will remember I pointed out in 2002 that he wrongly profiled the Beltway sniper jihadists as Angry White Men, a fatal error

The White House is beating the Muslim hate crime epidemic drum, too:

…In an address at the White House Thursday, Vanita Gupta, who heads the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice, also noted the reported rise in anti-Muslim incidents.

“Similar to what we saw after 9/11, in recent weeks following the terrible and tragic attacks in San Bernardino and Paris — and amidst a ratcheting up of divisive rhetoric around religious intolerance —community members and advocates have reported an uptick in hate-related incidents targeting Muslim Americans, as well as those perceived, rightly or wrongly, as being Muslim,” he said.

Vanita Gupta is the former ACLU official who blamed slavery for the rent-a-mob riots in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore.

As usual, the MSM quoted CAIR without mentioning its terror ties and long history of whitewashing jihad:

Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said the atmosphere right now reminds him of the fraught days after the 9/11 attacks when hundreds of Muslims were attacked under the guise of payback for the Al Qaeda assaults. And Hooper points the finger at Donald Trump and other Muslim-bashers.

Ibrahim Hooper is a veteran mouthpiece for hyping fake hate crimes, downplaying Islamic terrorism, and refusing to condemn known terror groups.

So Hooper wants to revisit the post-9/11 anti-Muslim backlash?

Me, too!

FACT: Much of that mythology was concocted by another Muslim grievance group, the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). In 2003, the outfit released a so-called study on the so-called “massive increase” of hate crimes targeting Arab-Americans. But as I reported at the time:

As an example of a typical post-September 11 campus hate crime, the ADC report highlights an alleged incident in Tempe, Ariz., where “a Muslim student was pelted with eggs at Arizona State University.” Where did the information about the incident come from? The ADC refers to a student op-ed piece in the Sept. 17, 2001, edition of the Arizona Daily Wildcat, which attributes the egg-pelting incident to a “National Public Radio report.”

What the ADC is not telling you: Of two egg-pelting incidents involving ASU students logged by campus police, one was a complete hoax and the other was a non-racial, non-religious juvenile prank.

As I reported in a column back in October 2001, ASU student Ahmad Saad Nasim lied to cops about being assaulted and pelted with eggs in a parking lot while assailants screamed “Die, Muslim, die!” Nasim confessed to fabricating the attack when cops interviewed him after he attempted a second hate crime hoax — in which he locked himself in a library restroom with the word “Die” written on his forehead, a plastic bag tied over his head and a racist note stuffed in his mouth.

Bill Fitzgerald, spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, told me last week that Nasim recently pled guilty to two counts of providing false information to police. His punishment? A measly one year’s probation, 50 hours of community service and an order to seek psychological counseling.

The other egg-pelting incident at ASU involved two 18-year-olds and two juveniles who threw an egg at an unidentified, 31-year-old ASU student. ASU spokeswoman Nancy Neff told me it was never classified as a hate crime by police. No racial or ethnic slurs were allegedly uttered, according to a police account. “It was a bunch of guys on a joy ride,” Neff said.

The ADC researchers’ approach to creating the myth of the Muslim hate crime epidemic is simple: throw in everything plus the kitchen sink. The ADC report trivializes a few truly heinous, violent attacks — such as the post-September 11 murder of Sikh gas station owner Balbir Singh Sodhi in Mesa, Ariz. — by mixing in unverified reports by school kids who say classmates made fun of their Arabic names, gave them “dirty looks” or pulled off their head coverings. Obnoxious behavior, for sure. But “hate crimes”?

The report cites a female student complaining that someone told her to “go back to wherever she came from.” I get one or two idiotic e-mails expressing the same sentiment every week. Small-mindedness can sting. But should it be a reportable physical offense?

To further pad the hate crimes report, the ADC decries the “hostile commentary” of Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes, terrorism expert Steven Emerson, syndicated columnists Mona Charen, Jonah Goldberg and Ann Coulter, Washington Post columnists Richard Cohen and Charles Krauthammer, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the Weekly Standard, National Review, and jewishworldreview.com, not to mention talk radio and the entertainment industry, as part of an orchestrated “campaign of racism.”

The ADC report suggests that every expression of support for law enforcement profiling, every analysis of how the Muslim terrorist network has infiltrated American universities, mosques, prisons and charities, and every condemnation of radical Islam, qualifies as “defamation” that leads to widespread anti-Muslim crimes.

Herein lies the real agenda of the ADC and other apologists for Islamic extremism: to liken outspoken critics to murderers, to equate speech with violence and to exploit victimhood status in a cynical attempt to distract attention from the true sources of terror in America.

I uncovered more of the anti-Muslim hate crime hoaxes that the rest of the media wouldn’t report:

Mazhar Tabesh, Nezar “Mike” Maad, and Aqil Yassom Al-Timimi all have something in common. They were held up by Muslim activists as innocent victims of the “post-September 11 backlash.” They milked the compassion of their communities. They won sympathy from the media and politicians.

And now it appears they were all hate crime hucksters who cried “racism” to cash in on the terrorist attacks.

Mazhar Tabesh, a naturalized American originally from Pakistan, co-owned a motel in Heber City, Utah. Last July, someone set the lodge ablaze, causing nearly $100,000 in damage.

“We are really scared because we are Muslim — probably the only Muslims in the area — and we are the target,” Tabesh declared. “It’s scary.” Tabesh complained of receiving threatening calls from anonymous hatemongers who “told us they would get us if we didn’t get out.”

Utah residents organized a benefit concert and raised $1,400 for Tabesh’s family. The national press jumped on the bandwagon: “Immigrant Family Feels Post-9-11 Rage,” blared a Los Angeles Times headline. The accompanying 1,100-word story suggested that “white supremacists and skinheads living in the area” might be to blame.

But the chief suspect turned out to be Mazhar Tabesh himself. Prosecutors say Tabesh invented a “mystery man” arsonist and lied about witnessing the non-existent lodger running from the hotel after the fire started. His motive? A Heber City police officer testified at a preliminary hearing that Tabesh was losing about $5,900 a month on the motel and still owed $450,000 on the mortgage.

Tabesh will stand trial in June on first-degree felony aggravated arson charges. Don’t count on the Los Angeles Times to cover it.

The tale of Nezar “Mike” Maad follows the same basic plot. Maad, an Arab-American businessman and “tolerance advocate,” owned a print shop in Anchorage, Alaska. On Sept. 21, 2001, someone destroyed equipment and spray-painted “We hate Arabs” inside the store. Community leaders created the “Not in Our Town” fund, a city-backed charity which raised a whopping $75,000 for Maad. A local newspaper editorial declared unequivocally that the incident “was a hate crime. It was vandalism. It was a statement against bedrock American values . . . ”

Five months after Maad was “victimized,” a jury convicted him of federal fraud charges. During the hate crime investigation, agents discovered that Maad had lied on bank loan applications and federal forms about his business finances and prior criminal convictions. Nevertheless, Maad received a reduced sentence of six months’ prison time.

The FBI dropped its hate crime investigation; Maad and his wife remain the prime suspects in the languishing property damage case.

In Nashville, Tenn., Iraqi-American Aqil Yassom Al-Timimi claimed someone set his Chevy truck on fire after the Sept. 11 attacks because he was of Arab descent. Although local TV stations ate up the hate crime angle, one keen reporter remained skeptical and raised the strong possibility of an insurance fraud scheme. Writing in the Nashville Scene, Matt Pulle reported that no notes or graffiti were left at the crime scene. Emergency personnel were immediately suspicious of Al-Timimi, who reportedly pressed them to alert the media as soon as they arrived at Al-Timimi’s home.

Sources said they suspected Al-Timimi was the perpetrator all along, but more than a year and a half after the fire, the case has languished. Al-Timimi, the supposed victim of hateful wrongdoing, hasn’t been heard from since. “If he was playing us,” Pulle told me, “he did a perfect job.”

The FBI and Justice Department have vociferously condemned and aggressively prosecuted a string of anthrax hoaxes that followed the Sept. 11 attacks. But when it comes to cracking down on hate crime hoaxes by Arabs and Muslims, the feds — too busy conducting politically correct “outreach” with Muslim leaders who pooh-pooh hate crime fraud — have been appallingly negligent. There is no way of knowing whether fake hate crimes outnumber real anti-Muslim crimes because no law enforcement agency keeps track. (Note to frustrated cops: Send me your suspected hoax cases and let’s get started.)

Hoax crimes waste precious investigative resources, exacerbate racial tension, create terror and corrode goodwill. It’s a shame so many in the media are more concerned with protecting the twisted cult of victimhood than with exposing hard truths.

The always vigilant and eagle-eyed Daniel Pipes has kept a running list of anti-Islam backlash stories that have gone bust since 2004. Here’s just a sample:

Sep. 30, 2004 update: Add another apparent fraudster, #6 in this listing, Amjad Abunar. Here is the text of an article titled “Hate-Crime Accuser Charged With Arson”:

McALLEN, Tex., Sept. 29 – The owner of a Middle Eastern meat market who had said he was the victim of a hate crime in this border town was arrested and arraigned Tuesday [Sept. 28] on a felony arson charge that he set fire to his own business. The man, Amjad Abunar, had complained that “Go Home” was twice spray-painted on a door of his Al Madinah Market before a fire on Aug. 6 that gutted the small delicatessen. Only last week, the graffiti and fire were cited as evidence by a Washington advocacy group that hate crimes against Muslims were on the rise in Texas. Bond for Mr. Abunar was set at $150,000, and he remained in jail on Wednesday. [DP: hyperlink added]

And which “Washington advocacy group” might that be? Why, CAIR of course.

…Nov. 13, 2005 update: Here is hoax #8: Shehab Ahmed and his father Shahriar fulminated on March 23, 2005, David Reinhard recounts in the Oregonian, because the former had been kicked off an airplane.

the father-son duo were the top story on KGW (8)’s 11 p.m. news. “The son of a prominent Muslim is told he can’t fly home to Portland and tonight, his family is looking for answers,” anchor Russ Lewis announced. Shehab, we were told, was coming home from UCLA for spring break when he found out he was on the FBI terror watch list. He was eventually allowed on a flight, but, said Shehab, “To know that the government puts me on the list as bin Laden and whatnot . . . that’s scary.”

But these charges were bogus, Reinhard explains.

Here’s what actually happened at LAX: Shehab Ahmed did miss one plane home to Portland, but only because he got to the airport late. When he tried to get on another flight, there was a problem—a momentary one. Shehab’s name matched a name on the terror watch list. The ticket agent asked for ID, and Shehab was allowed on the flight to Portland.

And here’s what did not happen: Ahmed wasn’t on the watch list or put on it. He was not told he couldn’t fly home; he was allowed on the flight he wanted to be on after providing ID. He wasn’t yanked out line or taken to a special room for questioning by government agents. In fact, government agents—TSA personnel—were not involved in any of this. What happened to Shehab that March day isn’t found in any TSA or FBI report; there was no incident to report.

But the incident was written up – by Shehab himself on his blog. The original posting is now gone, but google.com has helpfully cached it. Titled “Apparently I’m on the FBI Watchlist,” Shehab recounts the inconvenience he encountered that day. On telling his father what happened, he recounts, the latter responded oddly: “Instead of getting the expected response of ‘what? Seriously? Are you OK? What happened? Etc.’ My dad was like ‘great, I’ll call my contacts at Channel 8 and 6 and see what we can get.'”

When confronted with this evidence of his falsehood, the elder Ahmed for months did nothing. Finally, when approached for this story by Reinhard, he did acknowledge that he quickly learned his son was not on the watch list and said “I apologize for escalating it beyond that.” (Apparently, the television station contacted him on another matter and he took advantage of the opportunity to tell his son’s tale of woe.)

Aug. 31, 2006 update: Patrick Poole tells the tale of Musa Shteiwi and his son Essa, our hoaxers #9.

The story that developed in July [2006] was just too good to pass up: a Jordanian-born restaurant owner in Xenia, Ohio had been the apparent victim of repeated attempts to burn down his store. The day after the third attack, when a Molotov cocktail had been thrown through the front window of his business, yet another explosion rocked the store – the second attack in 24 hours – sending the owner and his son to the hospital with burns over 80-90 percent of their bodies. An employee in an adjoining store was also taken to the hospital for injuries.

Just hours before the blast, the store owner had been interviewed by a local TV station vowing that he would never give in to pressure to close the store (video of the interview can be seen here).

Problem was, this story of anti-Muslim hatred in small-town America wasn’t true.

Arson investigators have determined that the final blast that severely injured the store owner, Musa Shteiwi, and his son, Essa, was set by the pair themselves. In a performance worthy of a Darwin Award, the Shteiwis were standing in a pool of gasoline that they intended to use as an accelerant in setting their store ablaze later that night when Musa Shteiwi took a break and lit up a cigarette, igniting the gasoline prematurely and causing the blast that inflicted their injuries.

But there’s more: prosecutors claim that Shteiwi had hired a former employee, Joshua Hunter, to commit the previous attacks against his store that CAIR had insisted were hate crimes committed by non-Muslim members of the Xenia community. Hunter has been jailed and charged with arson, and similar charges against Musa and Essa Shteiwi are pending until after they have recovered from their injuries.

…July 8, 2010 update: The Associated Press nicely sums up the mosque arson case of #12, Tamsir Lucien Mendy:

Tamsir Lucien Mendy, accused of setting fire to the mosque he attends.

MARIETTA, Ga. – Officials say a 26-year-old man has been arrested and charged with setting fire to a Marietta mosque he had attended. Marietta fire marshal Scott Tucker said Thursday that Tamsir Mendy was arrested Wednesday night and charged with first degree arson at the mosque, which caught fire Monday night. Tucker says Mendy is being held without bond. Tucker says Mendy describes himself as a devout Muslim who had attended the mosque. Tucker didn’t characterize a motive but says it doesn’t appear to be a hate crime. Tucker says the arrest is “a bit of a surprise” to members of the mosque, who had expressed concern that the fire might be hate crime. Tucker said earlier that the fire did about $100,000 worth of damage.

…Nov. 9, 2012 update: Case #16 concerns the discovery of a hijab-wearing Iraqi immigrant Shaima Alawadi, 32, bludgeoned to death in her home near San Diego in March 2012. CAIR and other Islamist groups ran with the contents of a note found near her body, “This is my country/go back to yours/Terrorist.” The Investigative Project on Terrorism recalls:

Kassim Alhimidi grieving, with a picture of his wife, whom he is now accused of murdering.
A Facebook page called for “a Million Hijab March” to protest the killing. Activists likened her case to the Florida shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. … Dawud Walid, who leads the Michigan office for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), was among those who pushed the hate crime theory. “Shaima Al-Awadi’s murder, like Trayvon Martin’s, was a senseless murder based upon racial animus,” he said. “We must come together as a society to have frank discussions about the toxic rhetorical environment which we currently live in that leads to such wanton violence.”

Now we learn that Alawadi’s husband, Kassim Alhimidi, 48, was arrested and charged with first degree murder. According to Sura Alzaidy, a family friend quoted in the San Diego Union-Tribune back in March, Alhimidi and her father “worked together in San Diego as private contractors for the U.S. Army, serving as cultural advisers to train soldiers who were going to be deployed to the Middle East.” No word of apology yet from CAIR about its accusations of “racial animus.” July 25, 2013 update: Alhimidi has pleaded not guilty but video surveillance tapes establish he is lying. July 26, 2013 update: San Diego County Superior Court Judge Lantz Lewis ordered Alhimidi to stand trial for killing his wife. Apr. 17, 2014 update: A jury found Alhimidi guilty of first-degree murder. He faces 26 years to life in prison. June 23, 2014 update: The judge sentenced Alhimidi to serve 26 years before he is eligible for parole, but he gets credit for time already served since his November 2012 arrest.

FrontPage Magazine compiled the top anti-Muslim hate crime hoaxes of 2014, including:

1. The Saleh and Akbar viral video.

In October, the Muslim bloggers Adam Saleh and Sheikh Akbar released a video entitled “Racial Profiling Experiment.” It showed the duo in Western clothing, coming to blows in front of an indifferent NYPD cop. In the second part of the video, they pass by the same cop in Muslim garb, arguing mildly – only to be harassed and frisked by the same policeman.

The video went viral. The Huffington Post hysterically proclaimed that it offered a “small glimpse into the ugly world of racial profiling.” Hamas-linked CAIR called for an investigation. But then it turned out that the whole thing had been staged. The Smoking Gun called the video a “cynical and duplicitous attempt to capitalize on New York City’s documented racial profiling problems.”

…3. The burned Qur’ans in Dearborn.

Last June, after three burned Qur’ans were found in front of the Karbalaa Islamic Educational Center in Dearborn, the mosque’s imam, Sheikh Husham Al-Husainy met with lawyers to discuss his proposal for a statute criminalizing the desecration of holy books. “We want all of the religions to cooperate with us,” he declared, “to bring respect to the word of God, whether the Quran, Bible, or Torah.”

But as it turned out, the Qur’an barbecuer was none other than a Muslim named Ali Hassan Al-Assadi.

…4. The Montclair State University attack.

Combine the relentless Muslim striving for victimhood with the cult of victimhood on college campuses these days, and even non-Muslims get into the faked hate act. Last April at Montclair State University in New Jersey, a student claimed that three white men in jeans and hoodies assaulted him. They called him an “Islamic terrorist.”

MSU police began an investigation, only to find that the whole incident was a hoax: a student named Navjoat Aulakh had filed a false report. Aulakh may not even be a Muslim. His full name is Navjoat Singh Aulakh; “Singh” is a name closely associated with Sikhs.

A year ago this month, a fake mosque attack in Fresno, Calif. was exposed when the suspected turned out to be…a Muslim member of the mosque:

A vandalism attack on the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno on Christmas Day was immediately branded by Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer as a “hate crime,” and the “Islamophobia” grievance industry began to gear up in response. Now that a suspect has been arrested, the narrative is quickly collapsing…police announced today that the suspect arrested in the attack is 28-year-old Asif Mohammad Khan, who, according to news reports, is a Muslim who used to attend the mosque and did the attack in response to bullying by some in the mosque.

In response, Dyer has quickly had to walk back his knee-jerk “hate crime” talk.

But the journalist stenographers for jihad whitewashers and hoax hypers never learn. Last week, the New York Times was right back at it…quoting former SPLC-er Brian Levin claiming another catastrophic “rise” in hate crimes backed up by fellow hate crime huckster Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR:

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the tripling of hate crimes identified by the San Bernardino researchers corroborated anecdotal evidence his group had collected.

“We’re seeing so many of these things happening that it’s unbelievable,” he said in an interview. “It’s off the chart, and I don’t think we’ve seen the end of it.”

Are there real hate crimes? Yes. But as lying liar Hooper himself says, “We’re seeing so many of these things happening that it’s unbelievable.”

Literally, profoundly, fantastically unbelievable.

Too bad the supposed watchdogs in the Fourth Estate check their b.s. detectors at the door when it comes to covering “Islamaphobia!” False Alarms, Incorporated.

***

This report may be prosecutable under the anti-free speech standards of Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

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