A woman, going through a bad day, was waiting for a train at the Queen’s Station, New York, when she saw a man run up the stairs in a hurry. In an instant, she got up and tried to push the man right into the way of the oncoming train. Flustered, the man tried to avoid getting shoved but could not save himself and lost his ground, falling right in front of the train. He was killed, as the woman stood there, laughing.
This isn’t a summary out of some old English literature story based upon deception and revenge. This is a true story from today’s time, the apparent age of liberation, where such incidents are becoming an everyday sight. And the irony doesn’t get any lesser when one learns that the two characters involved in this scene were, actually, complete strangers to one another.
Erika Menendez is the woman who, somehow, saw that innocent man as a piece of insignificant flesh that she could throw away to satisfy her frustration, just like one would throw away a pillow or a book or a chair, break it out of anger, or agitation; this man was of a lesser value than a human being to her. You could ask; why so? Because he was helpless regarding his Asian appearance; thousands of miles away from home, this man, fell victim to the menace of hate-crime that has been breeding amongst Americans for centuries now.
According to the FBI, ‘Hate Crime’ is defined as a “criminal offense against a person or property, motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.”
To this day, the American government has veiled numerous incidents of hate crimes that qualify their very definition of the term. From the infamous Charles Lynch, who gave birth to the expression lynching through his inhumane acts against black people, to the Ku Klux Klan, the extremist group that believes in either submission or elimination in terms of religion, (origin: the United States of America), it would not be wrong to associate hate crimes to America itself.
And today, no one is there to speak up against Erika Menendez, the woman who killed another human being only because he looked like a Muslim. She claims to have done this on purpose, and yet, this blatant war crime fails to gather enough media attention. She is said to be a mental patient undergoing therapy, and her own spite filled words against Muslims are not given a second mention.
And the Media that hides this hideous face of America’s hate crimes, simultaneously plants false notions of Islamophobia in the minds of the people, through fake stories and incorrect information, not to mention the linking of almost every bit of incident of crimes to Islam and religious terrorism.
Before the 9/11 incidents, the general view about Islam was positive, and in spite of the Afghan war that stretched from 1979 to 1989, Muslims were not feared for their looks, be it the beard or the Hijab. Afghanistan, despite of facing war for a decade, was still not considered a terrorist country, nor were any other Muslim nations ever tagged under that term.
In the post 9/11 scenario, the catastrophe hit, not only on the level of casualties, but also the first blame that fell upon Muslims changed the perception about Islam overnight.
Time and again, terrorist activities have been forcefully linked to Islam, and the motive behind a so-called Muslim terrorist is always based upon his faith and belief, and never upon his own twisted perception.
What is more frustrating is the obvious war declared against Muslims, in their own countries as well as non Muslim countries, where innocent lives are lost in great numbers. The media deliberately chooses to conceal the gross picture of these hate crimes carried out by people of the West, while, on the other hand, giving air to the fire of Islamophobia through misinterpreted versions of the laws of Islam and their implementation.
From a head covering, being criticized to being completely banned, is a stark example of the extent that Islamophobia has reached today; such that a piece of cloth is now feared and attempted to be removed from the society. (Obviously referring to the one worn by apparent Muslim women, not referring to the absolutely bizarre head gear one would associate with the likes of Lady Gaga).
This fear of Muslim practices is no less a fever that has failed to diminish. In its attempts to demonise the actual picture of Islam, the biased media clearly promotes activities that would mock at and ridicule Muslims, such as the widespread activities of the Quran burning (which, by the way, meets the definition of ‘hate crime’ and should not be shrugged off as a ‘freedom-of-speech’ activity).
In the wake of the recent Boston bombings incident, the corporate media found special pleasure in bashing Islam further, as the evidences found their arrows pointing to “typical Islamist attitude”. Ironically, the several hundred Islamic scholars who condemned these attacks, and time and again expressed their solidarity with the victims, were – for some reason – unsuccessful in getting the message of Peace across to the media’s understanding. Even though both the brothers hardly looked Muslims by appearance, the reports forcefully endorsed their act to be an outcome of too much loyalty to their religion.
The particularly painful aspect arose when the three people who died in the Boston bombings had more media attention than the hundreds of children being killed through drone attacks in Pakistan and Yemen at the same time. The hashtag #Pray4Boston topped worldwide and trended for several days; an open picture of how the world values the life of a Westerner over the life of a Muslim.
The rather infuriating part of the following reports was when one of the Tsarnev brothers was said to be influenced by Islam, and his ‘retweet’ of an Islamic scholar, Mufti Ismail Menk, was used as evidence. Meanwhile, his other tweets, quoting Eminem and Jay Z, were not even questioned.
As a result of that ridiculous report, Mufti Ismail Menk had to explain himself to avoid any blame.
And following that, the beheading of a British soldier in broad daylight in Woolwich was caught on camera, as the beheader came up with bloody hands and said these words:[quote style=”1″]We swear by Almighty Allah, we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone. The only reason we killed this man is because Muslims are dying daily. This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. We apologize that woman had to see this today, but in our lands, our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government. They don’t care about you.[/quote]
The government doesn’t care, and the media cares even less. The only words that made any sense to these reporters were the number of times he said Allahu Akbar, and how he justified the killing in the name of Islam.
What followed, about his people dying daily, and his women being subjected to this horror as well, was not given a second thought. Within minutes, the incident was being broadcasted as bulk doses of Islamophobia, and BBC’s Nick Robinson was actually quoted to have said that the Woolwich murderers (dark-skinned, clean shaven) had a “Muslim appearance”.
Even though he apologized later, but this irresponsible use of words by a journalist of his caliber was a blow to the Muslim community. Over and again, the Islamic scholars condemned these acts, which, as always, failed to cause any impression.
It was also reported that a similar incident of racial hate took place in Birmingham, took place a few weeks before the Woolwich murder. A 75 years old Muslim man, named Muhammad Saleem, was stabbed and murdered on his way back home from the local mosque.
Muhammad Saleem was a Muslim, hence his death was of as little importance as the weather forecast of the day.
This shameful side of the picture, painted through lies, smeared over the canvas of information, has not only concealed the truth, but also speaks out the despicable lengths that the corporate media would go to feed this Islamophobia further.
No matter how many Muslims are openly slaughtered in war and hate crimes (Rohingya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen), their deaths would never muster up enough value as that of a white skinned man.
Today, Erika Menendez is free, and will not be known for her hate against Muslims; and even then her faith would never even get a mention, unlike the Woolwich murderers, with their bloodied hands now a stark examples of Muslims the world over; because that is what everyone is being told to perceive.