Since the release of the top-grossing film 'American Sniper', some trigger-happy Americans have gone gung ho in their targeted murder of and terrorist acts against Muslims living in the USA. The hatred is also fueled by hatemongers working for the Fox News. One of her female anchors was heard openly calling for taking out Muslims who practice Islam.
Ahmed Al-Jumaili, 36, was shot about 12:30 a.m. last Thursday night outside their Walnut Bend Apartments near Walnut Street and Audelia Road in north-east Dallas, Texas. He was an immigrant from Iraq. Just minutes before he was shot, he and his wife stepped out of their apartment in a suburb of Dallas to photograph the first snowfall he'd ever seen.
Al-Jumaili had hesitated to leave his home in Iraq, but his wife had urged him to come to the US, where he'd be safer. She'd gone ahead to Dallas not long after their 2013 marriage, but he stayed in Iraq to work and save for their new life. Finally, last month, he followed her to Texas, where she had family, and left behind the chaos of Iraq.
On Thursday, the last night of his life, three and a half inches of snow fell on Dallas, the most since 1942. It was almost midnight when he and his wife stood outside to take photos of this new sight, in the country that was to be his new home. As they lingered, what residents would later describe to police as two to four men, moving on foot, entered the small complex. One or more of the men raised a rifle and shot Al-Jumaili. Police would later find bullets lodged in nearby cars as well. He died a few hours later at Texas Health Presbyterian hospital of Dallas. He was 36 years old and had been in the US for just three weeks.
Al-Jumaili's relatives fled to their apartment after the shooting. When interviewed, neighbors Asad Obaid and Omar Khattab said they plan to move out of the complex because of the shooting. Obaid said he heard about seven gunshots - a few that sounded close, then a couple that were more distant. He said his roommate, who moved to Dallas from Egypt and loves to take pictures, could just as easily have been the victim. "That could have been anyone," Khattab said. "Maybe he had never seen snow before."
According to a Muslim activist, in recent days at least 9 Muslims have been murdered by American snipers and racists. In all these cases, as usual, the popular media have tried to hide such incidents, never mind that the single common denominator for the motive of such targeted murders is hate crime.
The victims include:
Three killed in North Carolina: which is presented as a parking dispute;
One killed in Kansas city: which was called a car accident
One killed in Ottawa: was blamed for identity confusion
Two killed in New York, New Jersey area: was called homicide/suicide
One killed in Louisville, Kentucky: was called a Road rage
One (Ahmed Al-Jumaili mentioned above) killed in Dallas: random shooting is blamed.
If any of these crimes against Muslims was committed by a Muslim against non-Muslims, such crimes would have been depicted as terrorist acts. But when Muslims are victims of hate crimes, the same media is deliberately silent, as if these incidents never happened or are not news worthy.
How many people are aware that a few weeks earlier, in a suburb of Dallas, thousands of local residents had gathered to protest a Muslim community conference held at a local event center that was trying to raise money to build a center dedicated to promoting tolerance? Even I did not know myself until I read Max Fisher's report today in Vox.com.
There these white racist protesters waved anti-Muslim signs and American flags for hours, surrounding roads and sidewalks leading to the conference and forcing local Muslim families who attended to endure a gauntlet of hate. "Go home and take Obama with you," one sign read. (Why Obama? Well, you probably guessed it right: his father was a Muslim and that in spite of his repeated denials, he is still considered by many hatemongering bigots as a secret Muslim.) Many referenced the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.
"We don't want them here," a woman at the protests told a local TV reporter. One man explained, "We're here to stand up for the American way of life from a faction of people who are trying to destroy us."
What's wrong with America - the country that touts itself as the model of inclusiveness where immigrants are welcome and can live a freer and safer life? Where are these racists getting their cues from: Fox TV or Franklin Graham or John Hagee or the Christian Zionists within the Republican Party?
Like other such cases of targeted murder of Muslims, Al-Jumaili's killing has received strikingly little attention, other than a few mostly brief media reports. CNN's Israeli agent Wolf Blitzer never mentioned him.
Are we surprised with the double standards practiced in the western media? Nope. Many of the media pundits are in the business of bringing about a civilizational war against the Muslims. Many are paid agents of the Holocaust industry, Armageddon industry or military industrial complex. Many are overtly promoting Islamophobia stating that Muslims are a threat who want to impose the Shariah Law and need to be taken out (i.e., exterminated). Hateful stereotypes are treated as fair games.
As I stated earlier, to hype up Islamophobia many in the media and Republican Party continue to present President Obama as a secret Muslim. Interestingly, the same (NY city's former mayor) Giuliani who sought several draft deferments to duck military service during the Vietnam War has the audacity to say, "I do not believe that the president loves America." He continued, "He (Obama) was not brought up the way you (white guys) were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country." What a joke coming from an adulterer and draft dodger! Lest we forget three months after 9/11 Giuliani cashed in on that tragedy by getting the city to allow him to form a security consulting firm as he was leaving office. As noted by the Nation magazine in 2006, "The most valuable commodity the new company had to sell was not management expertise but the aura of America's Mayor (Giuliani)." So, when Giuliani is raising the flag of America and questioning the president's patriotism we surely ought to be concerned with his arrogance!
In the light of these targeted killings of Muslims, what bothers me most is: how could the so-called free press here in the USA be so blithe and nonchalant about these vicious hate crimes against a minority group when yet another member of that group has been murdered for no apparent reason, in his third week in this country, while photographing snow with his wife?
As noted by Max Fisher in Vox.com when Ahmed Al-Jumaili arrived in America from Iraq, in February, his wife Zahara greeted him with a homemade sign: "I've waited 460 days, 11,040 hour, 662,440 minutes for this moment. Welcome home." The English that was to be their new language was imperfect, but the expression on Zahara's face was all too familiar.
There is no hiding these days that the Republican Party - the party of Abraham Lincoln - has been hijacked by a group of hateful, anti-Muslim bigots, who are more Israeli than American in heart, and are unabashedly proud to be so. They don't mind lying, as was seen with Bobby Jindal (Governor, Louisiana, who is born to Indian immigrants) in his speech in the UK. They don't mind sacrificing America's interest at the altar of Israel, demeaning president Obama, if required to please the Likudniks. The Fox TV has become their mouthpiece to vent hatred and intolerance against Muslims.
Violence against Muslims is not new in the USA. In November last year, someone opened fire on a California mosque as several worshippers prayed inside. In December, a man in Kansas City wrote on his SUV that the Qur'an was a "disease worse than Ebola," then drove it into a 15-year-old Muslim boy in front of a local mosque, severing his legs and killing him. In late January, shortly before Al-Jumaili arrived in Dallas, a state legislator from a different part of Texas protested the state capital's Muslim Capitol Day, meant to promote tolerance, by demanding that any Muslim should "publicly announce allegiance to America and our laws" before entering her office. "We will see how long they stay in my office," she said. What bigotry displayed by an elected representative!
It is no accident that with the release of the film - American Sniper (where in one scene, the film's protagonist and namesake shoots an Iraqi woman and child to death) we see now Muslims being killed by hateful bigots here inside America. Their hero in the film has given them enough ammunition to justify such crimes against unarmed civilian Muslims. They are savages and nothing else. And so was their hero who did not mind killing unarmed civilians.
Like it or not, the recently published pictures of burned victims in Iraq once again confirm such a harsh judgment. And we need not revisit or recount the abuses in Abu Ghraib to make our points heard by low-lives.
It would be dangerous to treat all these recent murders as arising from small/ parking disputes. America is failing and needs to stop hate crimes fast. That process can start with the confession that the recently killed Muslims here in the USA are victims of hate crimes.
Dr. Habib Siddiqui has authored nine books. His book: "Democracy, Politics and Terrorism - America's Quest for Security in the Age of Insecurity" is available at Amazon.com.