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TERRORISM OR HATE CRIME?

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  • ummyakoub
    TERRORISM OR HATE CRIME? Eric Boehlert, Salon.com, 4/17/03 http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2003/04/17/terrorist_act/index_np.ht ml On Independence Day last
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 18, 2003
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      TERRORISM OR HATE CRIME?
      Eric Boehlert, Salon.com, 4/17/03
      http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2003/04/17/terrorist_act/index_np.ht
      ml

      On Independence Day last summer, a depressed 41-year-old Muslim
      immigrant by the name of Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, whose views on the
      Arab-Israeli conflict had become increasingly extreme, approached the
      ticket counter of the Israeli-run El Al airline at Los Angeles
      International Airport. Loaded down with a recently purchased .45-
      caliber semiautomatic Glock pistol, a 9 mm handgun and a 6-inch
      knife, he opened fire. During a 30-second rampage, Hadayet emptied
      the 10-round revolver, killing two people and injuring scores more,
      before an El Al security guard shot him dead.

      Six weeks later, in Tampa, Fla., a depressed Jewish podiatrist by the
      name of Dr. Robert Goldstein, 38, who wanted to send a message on
      behalf of "his people" following the attacks of Sept. 11, and to
      express his anger over the continuing Arab-Israeli conflict, was
      arrested after police raided his home. There they discovered a
      detailed plan to blow up 50 local mosques and Islamic centers, "kill
      all 'rags,'" and "liquidate" Muslims during the attacks if
      necessary...

      Ultimately, law enforcement authorities would label one man a
      terrorist, and the other a dangerous but deluded perpetrator of hate
      crimes. How do two crimes with similarities that seem highly relevant
      in the midst of a war on terrorism come to be defined so
      differently?...

      "There's a political will to charge terrorism on certain cases and
      not on others," says Khurrum Wahid, a criminal defense attorney and
      legal advisor to CAIR, the nation's largest Arab-American advocacy
      group. "And it's being used against anyone that's consistent with who
      we're going after for the 9/11 attacks..."

      Adds Cannistraro, "The government seemed to be giving in to political
      pressure. It's unfortunate, but everything connected to terrorism is
      politicized these days."

      SEE ALSO:

      HATE CRIMES TARGET ARABS & MUSLIMS
      Albor Ruiz, New York Daily News, 4/17/03
      http://www.nydailynews.com/04-16-2003/boroughs/story/75758p-
      69977c.html

      Zakir H., a young Muslim immigrant, was walking home in Midwood in
      January when five men assaulted and stabbed him. The reason? His
      Middle Eastern looks.

      Some Pakistani friends took him to the hospital, but mindful that
      police could report to immigration that his visa had expired, Zakir
      did not tell the truth. He said that his wound was self-inflicted
      and, to this day, has not filed a crime report.

      Zakir's case is not unique. Violence against Arab and Muslim
      immigrants increased after 9/11, and the war on Iraq seems to have
      exacerbated it.

      Besides, many immigrants believe the NYPD is now more involved in
      immigration enforcement. Consequently, they think twice about going
      to the police for help or to report a crime.

      The Council on American-Islamic Relations reports more than a dozen
      serious new incidents in March alone. Because victims do not dare go
      to the authorities, most of the crimes go unpunished.

      That's why a group of diverse immigrant community leaders and civil
      rights advocates have come together to condemn violence and find ways
      to end it.

      They cite the case of Larme Price. This is the deranged Brooklyn man
      who, blinded by ethnic hatred, allegedly killed four immigrant
      merchants in Queens and Brooklyn, in a six-week killing spree that
      ended with his March 28 arrest. It was one of the worst series of
      hate crimes against immigrants in recent history.

      "This is not about a single deranged killer. This is about a climate
      of hatred against Arabs and Muslims," said Patrick Young, a lawyer
      with the Central American Refugee Center and board chairman of the
      New York Immigration Coalition...

      *********************************************************************

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