Anti-Muslim Bigot Violently Attacks Cab Driver In Northern Virginia
In Northern Virginia, an aviation executive violently attacked a cab driver, who happens to be an American military veteran, for being a Muslim.
According to a report from the Washington Post, cab driver Mohamed Salim, a veteran of the Iraq War, picked up Ed Dahlberg, owner of Manassas-based Emerald Aviation at a local country club. When Dahlberg noticed Salim’s name, he called him a terrorist, threatened to kill him, and then broke his jaw.
Apparently, Dahlberg’s hatred of Muslims runs so deep that he believes that all of them are jihadist terrorists and he feels personally entitled to go on a violent crusade against random people.
If these allegations are proven in court, Dahlberg is truly one of the most disgusting men in America.
Nativisms, then and now
Historically, this type of resentment against certain minority groups at particular points in time is well-known in America. Think of the nineteenth century with its anti-Asian stereotype of the “Yellow Menace”, the anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic Nativism, or the Red Scares of the twentieth century. After 9/11, the violent jihadist has become the stereotype du jour for Muslims.
Feeding you fear and paranoia
Personal responsibility aside, a large portion of the blame for violent incidents like this one has to go to far-right media outlets such as Fox News, or more specifically to figures such as Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Pamela Geller, or Robert Spencer.
With their hateful rhetoric, these organizations and individuals spread fear of all Muslims among their audiences, and feed paranoid fantasies about holy wars. Whenever a member of their audience takes them by their words, of course, the above mentioned wash their hands in innocence.
Bigotry does not help in the fight against terrorism
To point out the obvious, none of this dangerous nonsense in any way helps to fight the actual threat of jihadist terrorism. If anything, the rhetorical perpetuation of a hostile climate might lead to the alienation of some American Muslims, with unintended consequences. In the long run, this sort of bigotry could lead to the radicalization of more people. Who in their right mind would want that to happen?
“Muslim cabdriver alleges assault by passenger who cited Boston Marathon bombing.” (Joe Stephens and Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post, 2013/05/01)
“Vicious Assault On Muslim Cab Driver Caught On Camera.” (Hyacinth Mascarenhas, PolicyMic, 2013/05/02)