With good reason, the increasing incidences of African Americans murdered by law enforcement are starting to get the national attention it deserves. Of course, the main stream media has done its due diligence on behalf of conservative racists portraying African Americans, murder victims and protestors alike, as dirty criminal thugs as an excuse for what can only be labeled open season on African Americans. However, African Americans are not the only victims of media incitement to murder as was borne out on Thursday in Missouri as a sign of the success of Republican media’s successful 13-year fear mongering campaign.
The victim was a 15-year-old child who was intentionally struck with an automobile driven by a man in his 30s who hates Muslims. The child, Abdisamad Sheikh-Hussein, was leaving the Somalia Center of Kansas City with a classmate when the driver slammed his car into the boys because of their adherence to the Muslim faith. When the car struck the boys getting into a parked vehicle it severed both of the victims’ legs and despite being rushed to a hospital, the child perished from massive blood loss. The second boy was not as seriously injured in the attack, and the victim was reportedly the son of the current head of the Somalia Center.
A spokesman for the Kansas City Police Department said, “It became pretty clear that this was not an accidental crash, there is a considerable amount of evidence that it was intentional. He tried to leave the scene but couldn’t get anywhere in the vehicle, so he bailed out of it, started running eastbound and was apprehended by officers.” The man has been charged with murder, but that is no consolation to the boy’s family or the Muslim community.
The victim’s aunt, Khadra Diri, said “Our family is very destroyed at what happened. He’s a sweet, loving kid. He doesn’t deserve this. I’m pretty sure it’s a hate crime from things I’ve been hearing. I hope that someone brings him to justice. He can exercise his First Amendment, but him actually come and try to run over kids, that’s just ridiculous. Like who does that?” Seriously? In America? Who does that? Only every non-Muslim who has heard from Republicans, Fox News, and Christian fanatics from Rick Perry to Louis Gohmert to Duck Dynasty’s patriarch warning for years that Muslims are monsters and the only solution is convert them or kill them. Obviously the driver of the car has been paying close attention to anti-Muslim hate mongers and was convinced that after months of threats and no conversion, killing them was the only solution.
The boy’s family and several others with the Somali Center reported that the suspect has been issuing violent threats at them for months, going so far as waving a gun at some of the Muslims attending the Center and warning them he was going to kill them for being Muslim. According to a man who knew the deceased child, “a month or two ago he (the assailant) came to the Somali mall, two blocks from here. Things got bad and he pulled a gun.” A spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations confirmed that the murderer has been threatening the boy’s family and Somali Muslims for months, even writing an anti-Islamic message, “the Quran is worse than Ebola” on his SUV.
Zulfiqar Malik of the Heartland Muslim Council says he is shocked and saddened by the crime and related that, “Most of the Somali community are immigrants. They have arrived in Kansas City to escape hatred and now they are here in Kansas City facing hate and that is bad. With hate mongering we say usually it’s just words and they can’t hurt us, but sometimes it gets violent. If we cannot love each other we can at least try not to hate each other.” No; not in America, and for that Muslims, like unarmed African Americans, can thank racist and religious conservatives and their hate-mongering Republican media enablers. And, for Muslims, after 13 years of anti-Muslim rhetoric from the religious extremists and conservative media, religious-motivated murder is likely not going away.
Even though there is outrage among a significant segment of the population at acts of violence toward “minority groups,” whether they are Somali or any other Muslims, or unarmed African American boys and men, there is just as significant number of Americans cheering the acts of violence. No American should wonder why, for example, conservative media refers to unarmed victims of police violence as “thugs;” a term that has been extended to any African American speaking out against the spate of innocent Black boys and men being murdered by racist cops. In fact, the five St. Louis Ram football players, the Rams’ organization, and the National Football League were all labeled thugs or thug supporters, as were demonstrators around the country, for either being African American or protesting their murders by exercising their First Amendment rights.
President Obama has been accused for years of inviting “thugs” into the White House by the likes of Republican Karl Rove on Fox News, and so-called follower of Christ Mike Huckabee; among many, many others. It is exactly the same situation with Muslims across America who are all portrayed as terrorists seeking to impose Sharia Law or more recently, to destroy America for the impending ISIS invasion and conquest. Most of the anti-Muslim fear mongering and hate originates with some iteration of fundamentalist Christians, and it really highlights the groups’ rejection of their namesake, Jesus Christ’s primary commandment to “love your neighbor.”
In answer to the Somali Muslim that wondered aloud, “If we cannot love each other we can at least try not to hate each other?” The answer is still a resounding no because conservatives, particularly religious conservatives, and their Republican-media have absolutely no intention to stop inspiring hatred towards African Americans and non-Christians. All Americans should just get used to cops killing unarmed African Americans and Muslim children being targeted for murder. This is, after all, what Republicans, teabaggers, and conservatives have promised when they said they want to take their country back; back to the Dark Age with 21st Century media empowering their crusade.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.