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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This, Unfortunately, Isn't The Start's simply a continuation of what is already germinating in America.

Talking Points Memo has more details:

According to NY1, the cabbie managed to lock the passenger in the back seat while he called 911. Then both cabbie and crazy deranged passenger were taken to Bellevue Hospital, a few blocks away. According to NY1 -- and sort of incredibly -- as of late last night, the crazy deranged passenger had not yet been charged. No word on the condition of the cabbie at this point, either. Right now, NY1 appears to be the only source for this story (and their source seems to just be the police).

Okay so: Anyone else sadly not surprised at a Muslim hate crime in New York City these days? The anger that flared up at the anti-Mosque protest on Sunday sure looked like it could have led to something scary. Anti-Muslim invective is not a new phenomenon -- Glynnis MacNicol reminded me how after 9/11, many Muslim (and Indian) cabbies put American flags in their windows, to signal their patriotism. It's not just in New York, either: In San Diego, a cabbie was attacked in May after taking a pit-stop to pray. In Chicago, cabbies are now driving around with anti-Islamic ads on them, sponsored by a group called "Stop The Islamization of America." on Open Salon, a contributer wrote about hearing the 9/11 stories of cab drivers, particularly one Muslim man.

Hate crime, or opportunity for conservatives? If you guessed both, you're right - but that's not a good thing.

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."

While both Fox"Nation" and Politico play the "friend of a friend" game with this, it's rather easy to see through this paper-thin facade.

While the reactionary Right will claim that since this man was affiliated with Intersections, that THAT is conclusive proof that he is a leftist. That's a pretty sad argument to make, as people that want to break into visual media - particularly cinematography - will take on almost any available job that would grant them access to shoots that will boost their portfolio and hopefully garner them a position where they truly desire to be. Where you work doesn't directly reflect your political outlook. I worked for almost 5 years for a hydraulics firm packed with racist, Right-wing Palin worshipers and I'm definitely not aligned with them.

But then we are most certainly to see the "but he volunteered with them" argument that will be used to paint a portrait of "lefty-sympathy". It all wreaks of the continued conservative clamour to try and prove that it's the liberals/progressives that are the violent ones.

Exit question: Michelle Malkin's already got this man's name and place of residence, so why didn't she check his voter registration status like she has done so many times before to prove a point? Could it be that she wouldn't get the answer she wanted?

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