NYC cabbie slashed after assailant asked, "Are You Muslim?"-- suspect worked for web video company

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123 Responses to “NYC cabbie slashed after assailant asked, "Are You Muslim?"-- suspect worked for web video company”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I have to disagree with a lot of the pile-on of iWood and pizelshifter here. The story that has been told is absolutely disgusting, but it also is incredibly odd and there is a lot about it that makes very little sense based on the little bit we know.

    My guess is that the the kid is mentally ill, but I don’t think it is ridiculous to think that the story might be more complicated than what is known at the moment…

  2. travtastic says:

    Can we please all get over this “Maybe they’re mentally ill?” nonsense?

    When you commit an act of unprovoked violence, you are mentally ill. You have veered away from societal norms and human decency. You are, by definition, not in a right state of mind.

    If that was some kind of factor for leniency, no one would ever be convicted of hurting anyone. Wall Street fat cats aren’t lying thieves! Maybe they’re just “greedy and misanthropic”!

    You can’t just repeat the definition of something and expect it to excuse the action. That’s semantics, not a valid argument.

    • retortyreg says:

      Actually, someone keeps definitions of what qualifies as mentally ill, and they seem to change over time. The tyranny of the majority doesn’t automatically make someone mentally ill. This man may not truly understand what is happening to him at the moment: he may feel his way of life is threatened in the same way that someone on the edge of a battle feels they are drawn into something that is life or death. He may be ill-educated, or may hold a totally rational way of thinking that doesn’t happen to jigsaw in with yours. Just because you can’t rationalise his behaviour doesn’t mean he can’t. And what makes your rationalising ‘mental wellness’ and his rationalising ‘mental illness’? Majority?

      • travtastic says:

        Wait, there are psychologists who classify mental disorders? Thank you for the info!

        We are talking about a man who by all reports, made xenophobic, racist remarks to a complete stranger, and then stabbed him about the face and neck repeatedly.

        Do you believe that he has that well-defined, run-of-the-mill mental illness that makes a person attack people who follow Islam?

        Maybe he was just rebelling against the tyranny of the majority! It’s so self-centered of me to think that hurting people is abnormal! I mean golly, who defines normal anyway?

  3. retortyreg says:

    This was wrong, and I’m glad Boing Boing brought it into my consciousness. Tensions are running high in the US at the moment – some of you need to cut each other some slack. Not all, of course, just the radical extremists who do this kind of stuff. Ironically, of course, all the extremists are doing this to get rid of extremists. Hmm… once you start regulating, who knows where you stop?

  4. clenchner says:

    Help the good guys – New York Neighbors for American Values. They are a coalition of individuals and groups opposing religious bigotry, and trying to bring people together.
    http://www.nyneighbors.org

  5. Anonymous says:

    If we weren’t all worked up about a cat lady, we might care. Too bad.

    • Anonymous says:

      i just wish that 4chan had found him first.

      islamophobic violence by a crazy with connections to the military doesn’t produce many lulz when the dude just runs away and gets caught by the cops. shit’s sad, stupid, and boring.

      if the same dude were to have his vital stats, postal address, and high school yearbook picture slathered on the internet, and then have that yearbook picture ‘shopped so he was being eaten and/or jointly sodomized by Raptor Jesus and Muhammad Rex?

      then i’d lol.

  6. GeekMan says:

    It doesn’t seem to add up. My suspicion is also mental illness + very intoxicated + wrong place and time = outcome.

  7. Daedalus says:

    Seems like a pretty decent fellow. Wonder what happened there?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Unrelated to the story, there would appear to be some professional level trolling going on here.

  9. Trotsky says:

    CABBIE: Here we are. $12.50.

    ENRIGHT: Are you Muslim?

    CABBIE: What?

    ENRIGHT: ARE. YOU. MUSLIM?!

    CABBIE: You mean Islam… the religion? No. $12.50, please.

    ENRIGHT: You LOOK Muslim.

    CABBIE: Oh. Well, I’m not.

    ENRIGHT: But you look Muslim.

    CABBIE: Okay. I’m not. Please pay the meter.

    ENRIGHT: Dang. Um… do you know any Muslim people?

    CABBIE: Not really. I mostly work.

    ENRIGHT: Hmm.

    CABBIE: So… the money.

    ENRIGHT: Hold on. Man… you really look Muslim.

    CABBIE: Listen… I got another call…

    ENRIGHT: Are you Mexican?

    CABBIE: No.

    ENRIGHT: You’re not from Mexico?

    CABBIE: I was born in Queens in 1963.

    ENRIGHT: But… you’ve eaten tacos?

    CABBIE: Yes.

    ENRIGHT: STABBING HAPPENS! DIE, TRAITOR!

  10. That Evening Sun says:

    Hopefully this isn’t another Ashley Todd type situation.

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      Again, all evidence reported so far indicates that this wasn’t a hoax. But if there’s evidence to the contrary, citation please.

      I’ve added a photograph released today by the Taxi Workers’ Association, which shows the victim’s injuries.

  11. optuser says:

    I sent the TWA a message asking if they will be setting up a benefit fund for Mr. Sharif. If this doesn’t turn out to be a hoax I’d gladly send an escrow agent a few bucks.

    • travtastic says:

      A benefit fund would be fantastic, but in what conceivable way could this be a hoax? There’s pictures of the guy bleeding in a hospital.

  12. TimDrew says:

    An odd bit of trivia: According to the Facebook profile linked above (among other more mainstream things like the movies Goodfellas and Casino), he likes

    “Rushing the person who just landed a banger”

    um, what?…? …?…

  13. bardfinn says:

    Dear Americans:

    You have a one-hundred-thousand-plus-fold better chance of winning a state lottery in a given year than correctly picking a terrorist Muslim from among all Muslim Americans.

    It’s statistically likely that fewer than ten Americans – TEN – are Muslim terrorists. And it’s a huge stretch that any one of them knows more than one other Muslim American terrorist.

    You have a ten THOUSAND fold higher chance of dying in an automobile accident than meeting one of these terrorists.

    Priorities!1!!!1!!

  14. nel says:

    Actually, it’s rare for people with mental health problems to be violent; they are far more likely to be the victims of violence. And many people with mental health problems say that prejudice against them has more of a detrimental effect on their lives than the illness itself. Inaccurate reporting and people making assumptions about that really doesn’t help.

    I work with people who’ve experienced trauma and some of whom have PTSD. This means, they have flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, depression. It doesn’t mean they’re irrational and go around stabbing people.

    Alcohol IS very much related to violence. So is hatred, and anger, or contempt.

    It’s weird that this guy acted in a way that seems to contradict his previously held views, and I can’t explain that. But immediately assuming mental illness is no more helpful than making assumptions about race or religion.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Drunken frat-boy alpha-male personality type assaults New York Muslim cabbie in fit of drunken frat-boy alpha-male Muslimophobia.

    Drunken frat-boy alpha-males everywhere whoop, holler, masturbate and proceed to immediately “rush the person who just landed a banger”.

    Welcome to the monkey-house.

  16. IWood says:

    No one in this thread knows what actually happened in that taxi.

  17. Trotsky says:

    Few people ever attempt to formally study the connection between America’s preponderance of serial killers, school shootings, sprawling prison population, and its cradle to grave fetish with militarism, weaponry, and empire.

    All of these people who are deployed to the far flung corners of our empire and who are trained to carry out unspeakable acts ultimately return to our nation. Why is it so hard to believe that many of them simply cannot turn off their inclinations for mayhem?

    But to even utter such a slander in a nation that holds soldiers on a pedestal of near sainthood is a blasphemy. Marines only kill “on the clock?” Why would we not expect that to translate over to spousal abuse, assault, murder, or just a general inclination to cause harm?

    Because… they’re Marines? And therefore disciplined to ignore normal human impulses? I’ve never bought that.

  18. Anonymous says:

    @77 “Dear Americans:

    You have a one-hundred-thousand-plus-fold better chance of winning a state lottery in a given year than correctly picking a terrorist Muslim from among all Muslim Americans.”

    Dear bardfinn: Countless millions of us Americans aren’t drooling idiots. Thanks for listening.

    • Kaden says:

      Dear Anon 78

      Would you and your countless million other non-drooling, non-idiot American compatriots please get off your hipster asses, stop this jackassery at a grassroots level and show some damned pride in your nation?

      You’re letting your country become the laughingstock of the entire world.

    • Anony Mouse says:

      We accept your claim that the dangerous elements in your society are not representative of the average citizen of your society. However, the extremists in your culture that you claim are such a minority are exerting too much influence.
      Much like the responsibility thrust upon ‘moderate muslims’, you ‘sensible Americans’ have amoral imperative to do..I dunno. SOMETHING! Or are you really terrorists?

      • Anonymous says:

        “Would you and your countless million other non-drooling, non-idiot American compatriots please get off your hipster asses, stop this jackassery at a grassroots level and show some damned pride in your nation?

        You’re letting your country become the laughingstock of the entire world.”

        How do you suggest I do this? I’m not a leader. Fuck “pride”, it’s the nationalist idiots that get us in these messes. We aren’t the greatest nation in the world.

        “Much like the responsibility thrust upon ‘moderate muslims’, you ‘sensible Americans’ have amoral imperative to do..I dunno. SOMETHING! Or are you really terrorists?”

        Who are you talking to? The “sensible Americans” you’re talking to never asked Muslims worldwide to apologize for the acts of their crazies, and we understand to some extent the negative influences the US has that invite such a backlash. Of course the Teabagging Republicans (like the stabber in the article) wouldn’t be ashamed of demanding all Islam apologize.

        Don’t be such a simpleton and conflate the teabaggers/neocons, and even the center-right neoliberal candidates with the needs and wants of the progressives.

  19. Teller says:

    As if driving a NY cab isn’t hard enough.

  20. Trotsky says:

    Here’s the other thing… a great many American NGOs who have “peace,” “mercy,” or “aid” in their names are entirely PR or espionage mechanisms for intel organizations, corporations, or the military. Anybody can take a photo of themselves standing next to a third world child.

    What does that prove?

  21. IWood says:

    Xeni–your tweet is way off base.

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      As is your comment, sir.

      • IWood says:

        No, it’s really not. It’s a fact.

        Why did you instantly assume that I’m making the claim that the guy slashed his own face? Or that I’m claiming that it’s a hoax? All I’m saying is that I wasn’t there, and neither was anyone else in the thread. Yet this is already being cast–in a press release, no less–as a particular type of political act, when it could just be “Unstable drunken man goes apeshit after traveling to a combat zone.” I don’t know. Neither do you. And in a situation as charged as this, I don’t believe it makes much sense to believe otherwise.

  22. James says:

    Semi-OT: Please add threaded comments to BoingBoing.

    So we can tell which of these 27 comment threads go to what.

    These are pretty heated conversations, yet they are *conversations*, and it would be good to be able to follow, and respond to them, more easily.

    In general, BoingBoing comment-ers appear to be a pretty intelligent lot, with interesting, engaging and varied points of view.

    And I’d very much like to be able to follow them better, and I suppose that others would too.

    Please implement threaded comments. Thank you.

  23. Noodlehead says:

    An “Ashley Todd” situation?!?

    Jebus… I give up. To even suggest that plumbs a depth of depraved human ignorance that I don’t think anyone should see. WTF is wrong with people?

    • That Evening Sun says:

      Your arm waving and hysteria is noted, and I realize that my post wasn’t clear.

      I was hoping that the slasher didn’t slash the driver to generate pro-Muslim sympathy.

      Oh, fuck it. I’ll just continue to plumb the depths of depraved human ignorance. You should weep for the future and wring your hands.

    • neward says:

      Ashley Todd situation, ha, that’s laughable, wouldn’t he have done better to select someone who volunteered for a multifaith multicultural peace group as his framed assailant? Also, Ashley Todd was smart enough to avoid her throat, but hey, interesting/disgusting thought exercise.

  24. travtastic says:

    I guess quietly inciting mob violence on a daily basis can have some consequences. Thanks, politics!

  25. bklynchris says:

    Would somebody please tell me WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON. I can’t wrap my brain around this.

    Is this John Hinkley-ish? Is he just NUTS. Unrequited love? And all of the comments sound nutty too.

    pixleshifter is suggesting that these two came together and staged an actual violent assault as a means to make the anti-Muslim COMMUNITY CENTER supporters appear nuts (if, indeed, that is what he is suggesting can’t really tell) is, well….just nuts. Indeed, that chubby blonde slasher would become an insti-hero to their cause.

    Christ, first the juggalos and now this. This is all so crazy maybe it is a conspiracy bc even chaos has more logic than this.

  26. Anonymous says:

    If this had happened in Afghanistan we’d never know about it.

  27. blueelm says:

    Deeply disturbing. To those saying he sounds mentally ill… well, yeah?

    You can be a bigot and also be mentally ill. Not a very good excuse for slashing up a random stranger though is it? Either one really.

  28. Trotsky says:

    As an American, I am of the opinion that most Americans are deeply stupid, deeply racist, and deeply superstitious. All of the above synergistically building to a critical mass of poor decision making on a daily basis. Not some. Not a few bad apples. Most. Red and blue state. Conservatives and so-called progressives.

    Americans spend more time creating an illusion of competence with title enhancements, credentials, and a network of obfuscation and denial than actually performing the hard labor of becoming educated in any real capacity. Americans will frequently respond with “But I have a PhD,” or “I make X dollars. How much do you make?” That’s how they “reason.”

    Americans should spend more time trying to inform themselves of the lives, experiences, history, culture, and desires of their fellow humans world-wide and less time spinning, ginning up PR, and just generally covering their asses.

    Notice that Americans never talk about changing their own “hearts and minds,” but always about “winning” the “hearts and minds” of others. They’re always on the sit. “These are the Glengarry leads.” Always looking to make the sale. Telemarketers to the world. Calling at dinner with depleted uranium bullets. “Are you busy, ma’am? Because I’d like to tell you the good news about America! Oh. You’re just sitting down to dinner? This won’t take but a moment.”

    That’s my call, having lived and worked all over North America for four plus decades. As you can imagine, most of my fellow Americans categorically and angrily reject this opinion.

    But fuck them.

    Two times.

    • Brainspore says:

      As an American, I am of the opinion that most Americans are deeply stupid, deeply racist, and deeply superstitious. (…) That’s my call, having lived and worked all over North America for four plus decades.

      As someone who has traveled abroad quite a few times I am of the opinion that we’re not much better or worse in those regards than any other nation. People are people the whole world round. The best we can hope for is to form social constructs that protect us from ourselves.

    • malthusan says:

      I take you don’t count yourself in the population of “most” as you described? How do you describe yourself, then? What are those qualities which set you so far above “most Americans”?

      I assume, too, you’ve found a Paradise which is not populated by these hooligans, these salesmen, these dolts and dunderheads and idiots. No, don’t tell us where it is as we’ll only ruin it with our inability to appreciate it.

      Glad you’ve put your 4+ decades on the planet to such good use by educating yourself about the lives, experiences, history, culture, and desires of your fellow humans. You are a paragon of virtue and class, a veritable pearl before swine.

    • travtastic says:

      I really think that’s doing a disservice to the vast majority of hard-working Americans. Guilty of not opening their mouths enough, to say the right thing? Most definitely. But you seem to make the assumption here that the nominal American is some white collar corner-cutter who watches too much reality TV.

      In my slightly less than 3 decades of living in this country, it’s my experience that the average working American does too much work to become your cosmopolitan ideal citizen. When your wage is stagnant, your bills are increasing exponentially, and you have to fight for the respect that should be a given, training yourself to become some well-read ubermensch tends to fly well below your priority radar.

      So I agree with your basics here, that we’re culturally lacking in many respects, and not all of it is unavoidable. But let’s hear from the single mom down the street who cleans some dumbass investor’s apartment to feed and clothe her kids. For her, having a roof over their heads is a slightly more pressing concern than familiarizing with other cultures. Unfortunate? Yes. Worthy of a blistering lifestyle and innate-worth critique? No, sir.

      • Kaden says:

        You have just succinctly portrayed the primary failing of a rapidly declining culture.

        ‘Too busy trying to survive to give a fuck’ isn’t a valid excuse… it’s an impossible to ignore symptom.

      • Trotsky says:

        I’ve talked to many other people in other nations who are under the same economic hardships, and often worse (in many cases, far, far worse), as these hardworking Americans to whom you refer. And somehow these people have found the time to master multiple languages, become better informed on American policy and actions than Americans themselves, and all while feeding and clothing their families.

        You give Americans more credit than they deserve. In fact, I will do you one better. I am of the opinion that Americans work very, very hard *NOT* to be aware of the actions of their government, and the consequences of their personal decisions as citizens. In my experience, Americans have all of the information they need, but they seek out distractions to NOT know and to forget.

        Americans don’t want to know who is “recycling” their old TVs with a hammer and flame. They just want to drop their cellphones in a box with a fucking green tree on it in front of Best Buy, then go in and buy more shit. Americans don’t want to know where their meat and vegetables come from. They don’t want to know about the global network of slave labor in places like Haiti, Ghana, Cambodia. They don’t want to know about the toxins in the delicious shrimp from the Gulf. About the real reasons we are in Iraq, Afghanistan, Columbia, Somalia, Georgia, and about two dozen other places where we are waging wars of subversion and destabilization.

        Just. Don’t. Tell. Us.

        This guy stabs a Muslim in the neck?

        “He must be crazy.”

        That’s our default for every assassination in our country. It’s either a “freak” accident or “the guy went crazy.” That’s how we roll.

        Americans have carefully, meticulously, and deliberately built a culture of denial, a shield of feigned ignorance against the damage they are causing to the rest of the world. They want to not know. And they are really, really good at it.

        • travtastic says:

          It’s not that I disagree necessarily, but with the odds specifically stacked against the average American’s knowledge base increasing, it’s quite hard to find character fault in ignorance.

          You’re neglecting to mention a lot of contributing factors. The media’s prevalence, combined with its inability to report fact-based news. The shameful state of education. Assertions and fraud offered up by those in power to fill in the gaps where real wisdom should be.

          Although not having traveled abroad extensively, I find it just about impossible to believe that a poor Ethiopian is much different than a poor American, or anyone else who has to very actively fight/work for basic necessities. If you were to make your original statement about our large mobs of free-time-having middle managers who spend it at tea party rallies, I’ll be right there with you. But please don’t take the unfortunate economic conditions most Americans feel and go on about what willfully-ignorant dumb sons of bitches they are. Gaining useful knowledge takes time, which many people really do have difficulty finding. It’s disingenuous to lump together 300+ million people as a bloc.

          • Trotsky says:

            >> Gaining useful knowledge takes time, which many people really do have difficulty finding.

            I disagree completely.

            The information regarding the state of our nation and our impact on the greater human community is readily available to those who can find even an hour to honestly devote to knowledge acquisition.

            Americans watch an average of seven hours of television a day. They have the time. They just choose to devote it to escapism. 99% of Americans own televisions. And they’re watching them too. Libraries are still open. It’s a choice. I don’t have patience for excuses.

            Americans know everything there is to know about celebrity scandal, professional sports arcana, film, and television. Where do they find the time for that?

            It further irritates me because Americans also hold it sacred that an opinion ought not be assailed because it is “just an opinion.” Americans assert a great many “opinions” from a position of astonishing ignorance. If they do so among friends, family, congregation, or community, that’s one thing. But they have the gall to suggest to the rest of the globe, from a position of carefully maintained ignorance, how those people ought to conduct their affairs.

            It’s shameful, insulting, and in many ways the human family has moved on while America is still bickering (and not just bickering, but lecturing, hectoring, and often doing so with bullets) over policy choices that have not been germane to a global audience since the 1950s.

            I mean many Americans still consider recycling newspapers and pop cans to be controversial and the spear point of socialist subversion. How do you even begin a conversation with people who think the universe is 6,000 years old and all land-based life came off a big boat?

            They certainly find the time to immerse themselves in AM radio punditry and to carefully scrutinize the tale of Habakkuk flying on the back of an angel to bring take-out morsels to Daniel in the “lion’s den.”

          • Anonymous says:

            “Americans”, “Americans”, “Americans”. Where the hell are you from? Why are the people there such loudmouths? Why are they as ignorant as the “real Americans” who don’t know how to discern one Muslim from the next?

            I agree that there are far too many people like you have mentioned. But your argument AS PRESENTED is tiring and nonconstructive.

          • Trotsky says:

            I’m sorry that my argument makes you tired.

          • mausium says:

            You may not be a Teabagger, but you certainly share some blame-patterns with them.

          • travtastic says:

            Be that as it may:

            (1) Not all Americans are insensitive idiots. A large number is not a full set.

            (2) You’re assuming that ‘these Americans’ are fully aware that they’re not properly educated, and just don’t care about it.

            You have to feel the absence of something before you try to fill it in. When you are served a prepared narrative on a platter by, for instance, talk radio, if you don’t know what you’re missing, you can’t fix it. If you’ve been raised with an inclination to trust people based on the volume of their voice, you’ll take it for granted that Glenn Beck will not lie to you. If your family never taught you the joys of reading, you won’t be inclined to read up on American murder around the world. You don’t know these things because you don’t have the narrative frame required to miss them.

            You should be blaming the variously destructive cycles of miseducation, not some false glimpse of apathy and massive cognitive withdrawal.

            (3) For the sake of emphasis, I do agree that this is a problem. I disagree that we should make sweeping generalizations about millions of lives about it. It may seem fair because you are an American, but for the sake of argument, let’s replace all your references to “Americans”, with identical references to “Chinese people”. It magically becomes an inflated over-generalization. We’re talking about the same problems here, but your arguments are destructive. I don’t doubt at all that you mean well, but it won’t help anything.

          • teapot says:

            You don’t know these things because you don’t have the narrative frame required to miss them.

            Trotsky’s entire point is exactly that. There is no excuse in this day and age (provided you have a PC and internet). The barriers to gaining knowledge today are next to nothing compared with the barriers that existed even up to 30 years ago.

            While some of us may have benefited from having parents wise enough to teach us better skills than ‘eat fast food’ & ‘watch idiot box’, exposure to such ideas is not prerequisite to figuring out what is right or wrong, better or worse.

            We need to embrace the open and public ridicule of stupidity and ignorance. Fuck being polite. Point out stupidity. It serves not only as a warning to the person who exhibiting stupidity that people are gonna call ‘em on stuff, but as a demonstration to others that ignorance=bad and consideration=good.

            In conclusion… I disagree. I think Trotsky’s comment is constructive, cause it says to insightful people “Think about it”, but it says to people who disagree “You are an idiot. This is why. You can ignore me if you want. But we’ll all know you are a fucking idiot.”

          • travtastic says:

            Remember, “provided you have a PC and internet” is a key distinction here.

            Also, there’s a difference between attacking ideas and attacking people who have come to them through ignorance. Yelling “HEY RETARDS, YOU’RE DUMB” at a rally will most definitely feel good, but accomplish nothing. Just like calling ‘Americans’ racist, superstitious and bigoted accomplishes nothing.

            There’s an enormous disconnect between the people who start these things and the people who believe them. Neither of the two are right, obviously; but the followers can be turned to the light, and the leaders can’t, being that they already know damn well what they’re doing.

            So “calling out stupidity” will accomplish something, if your goal is to make guys like us feel better. If, though, your goal is actually constructive, you need to educate.

          • teapot says:

            Remember, “provided you have a PC and internet” is a key distinction here.
            Last time I checked there was free access to the internet at libraries all across America… and probably books in that same building which can help beginners figure out how to use a PC.

            Just like calling ‘Americans’ racist, superstitious and bigoted accomplishes nothing.
            Did I do this, or are you just drawing a comparison? (honest question)

            I don’t disagree with you in terms of the importance of education, in fact it is the key to solving most problems. perhaps my terminology was not clear enough. When I say “call out stupidity”, of course this step comes after the obligatory first steps of debate have been exhausted. If people are open to at least exposure to new ideas, then it would be folly to “call out stupidity” right then and there, because you may be closing another mind forever.

            I just have a problem when lip-service is paid to both sides of an argument, even when one side is demonstrably wrong.

            Anti: I totally get you… it’s all about fueling public hysteria for some motive, but what I feel is different in this case is the identity of the supposed usurper. In the case of cold-war fears of the USSR, there was a clearly defined central power which desired, and had some capacity to inflict, change. In the case of the Sharia law paranoia, who is the “they”? I simply can’t imagine what group is supposed to have such power?

          • travtastic says:

            Did I do this, or are you just drawing a comparison? (honest question)

            Actually, that part was aimed at trotsky.

          • travtastic says:

            The whole reason it’s so insidious is that there is no central authority to cock back at.

            With no target, no one specifically to blame, it becomes impossible to disprove. It becomes impossible to dispel; with a nearly infinite number of targets for the paranoia and hatred to land on, you find yourself hating and fearing something that doesn’t exist in any objective reality. How does someone ever feel safe again, if the shifting terror could still be out there somewhere?

          • travtastic says:

            We’re also looking at this from the perspective of the tech-savvy. There are large swathes of this country that haven’t been terribly affected by the internet. Parts of the midwest are still using dial-up by infrastructural default.

        • blueelm says:

          “Americans have carefully, meticulously, and deliberately built a culture of denial, a shield of feigned ignorance against the damage they are causing to the rest of the world.”

          I think that denial of world damage is just one of the consequences. We do have a culture of denial, but it starts with the self.

          Americans tend to see themselves as harder working than everyone else. They tend to be really sensitive and need to constantly be made to feel good about themselves. Why this culture of insecurity and denial is so prevalent I don’t know, but part of it is that in a very real way Americans grow up in a country where they know they will be denigrated and very unfortunate if they don’t keep any weakness under wraps and screw over who they can before it happens to them.

          I’m not sure how careful or meticulous this is. Most people just respond to their environment. But the denial goes deeper than just “freak accidents” and there is also that obsession with balancing anything with an opposing viewpoint whether or not it has any factual relevance.

          You can have footage of some one beating their child here and probably find enough people who would stand right up and argue that the kid “wasn’t really getting hurt” and so on.

          Americans tend to think along the lines of “don’t make me feel bad about myself!” or “Gotta swim, sharks will kill you” so if you have people surrounded by that kind of environment it isn’t surprising so many people turn out to have little empathy, and an inbuilt desire to minimize the troubles faced by any and everyone else.

          • Anonymous says:

            “Americans tend to see themselves as harder working than everyone else. They tend to be really sensitive and need to constantly be made to feel good about themselves. Why this culture of insecurity and denial is so prevalent I don’t know, but part of it is that in a very real way Americans grow up in a country where they know they will be denigrated and very unfortunate if they don’t keep any weakness under wraps and screw over who they can before it happens to them.”

            See, this is just it. A combination of the worst elements of the US corporate-industrial media (and its conservative talk radio “stars”), conservative politicians (of both parties), the rantings of our dumber tourists, the bestselling conservative books propped up by thinktank welfare…

            This “America” you construct does exist, and is by its very nature deceitful, however it is our media product. It is not the beliefs of all of our people.

  29. Teller says:

    According to the NYT, he’s already been charged with attempted murder as a hate crime.

  30. silkox says:

    More should-be-required-reading: Timothy Egan’s latest NYT item.

  31. cavalaxis says:

    I see stuff like this and I think, what is wrong with this guy? How did he get like that? What did he witness that changed him so deeply to make a behaviour like this even possible? What experiences brought him to that place and time, and is there some way we can inoculate against this kind of xenophobia/hatred/paranoia/violence happening in the future?

    I used to say, the Internet. Yeah, that’ll expose people to the humanity on the other side of the equation. That’ll make them see that what they’re afraid of, what they hate isn’t an idea — it’s a Person.

    But things like this make me despair of ever seeing us as anything other than naked monkeys with cage psychosis, infected with a consensus reality that is deeply, deeply flawed. Which in turn, makes me question my belief that the Internet will be able to help us at all.

    /navel gazing ramble

  32. arikol says:

    sounds like the cabbie will recover (as much as you can from this kind of shit), at least that’s good

    Here’s hoping the attacker gets the treatment or punishment he needs/deserves.

    As for the question of the ideological motives: I know BB is not too fond of surveillance cameras, but are there no cameras in NY cabs? Would be pretty convenient right about now just to alleviate all doubt. A framing sounds unlikely, but definite proof is nice to have.

  33. Anonymous says:

    “anti-Islam ads will be removed from Chicago taxis”

    Surely this is the bigger story?? Anti-Islam ads?? America is getting worse every day it seems.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Every time someone asks me if I’m a Muslim I succinctly answer “no”. Nothing good can ever come of that question in the US these days.

  35. user23 says:

    it very well could be a case of “mass hysteria” … a term I use loosely to save a few thousand words. This fellow, like so many others across the U.S., is inundated with anti-Islamic imagery & sentimentality. This fellow, like so many others across the U.S., is probably inundated with all manner of hyper-fundamentalist Pro-Flag Waving jingoistic sentimentality.

    Ad to this mix of hyper-mediation/fundamentalism a little alcohol and/or “mental imbalance” & that he’s in New York then…is this such an incredible act?

    in regard to the cabbie “locking” or “not locking” the door. who cares? move on. Post-trauma, very few people remember events very clearly.

    zero on the lulz meter. This isn’t lulzalicious, it’s just sad.

  36. jramboz says:

    $20 says his lawyer pleads PTSD from his time in Afghanistan.

    (Not that I’m saying it’s NOT PTSD, or that his actions are any less reprehensible if they are the result of mental illness. Just betting that that’s what’ll go down.)

  37. Noodlehead says:

    I love the people suggesting that this could be a hoax or that the suspect is being framed. Do they think that Muslims have the super-seekrit power to carve the shit out of their own faces just to make honest, hard-workin’ ‘Murikans look guilty?

    I’m sure this is all part of the cabby’s nefarious plan to spread Islam until America bows toward Mecca.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Do they think that Muslims have the super-seekrit power to carve the shit out of their own faces just to make honest, hard-workin’ ‘Murikans look guilty?

      He did it with Occam’s razor. This is why we can’t have nice things.

      • Trotsky says:

        Has this Occam been taken into custody? Or questioned? I’ve heard his name mentioned a lot online and always with a razor. You’d think law enforcement might have, at the very least, added his name to the No Fly List.

  38. anharmyenone says:

    That cab driver, Mr. Sharif is a hero for capturing the scum who attacked him . The attacker was a supporter of Cordoba/Park 51, obviously trying to carry out a false flag operation, and failed. Watch it backfire now.

    • Xopher says:

      That cab driver, Mr. Sharif is a hero for capturing the scum who attacked him.

      True.

      The attacker was a supporter of Cordoba/Park 51,

      Also true.

      obviously trying to carry out a false flag operation, and failed. Watch it backfire now.

      Annnnd we’re back in Koo-Koo Kountry. How do you fit the fact that the perp was recently transferred to a mental hospital into your paranoid delusional structure? Just curious.

  39. Anonymous says:

    What a gigantic douche. Punks of all stripes, unite against hate!

  40. Eutychus says:

    I used to think trial by media was confined to websites like BBC News.

  41. mindysan33 says:

    Am I paranoid, or is this story being underreported elsewhere? The first link that came up on the Google News was this one (the total stories was about 500, I think, including both news sites and blogs). I rarely watch the TV news (CNN, MSNBC, Fox, or the Nightly News), so I don’t know if it’s being talked about there or not.

  42. Antinous / Moderator says:

    pixleshifter,

    Compose yourself. I’ll reinstate your account in a couple of hours.

  43. Jack says:

    What a mess. Sounds like PTSD or latent racism rearing it’s head. Hope the cabbie gets well. But really want to hear a statement from the organizations this “winner” Enright worked for. Can this really be the one incident of this guy freaking?

  44. Xopher says:

    My first thought on reading this was “proves you don’t have to be a soldier to have PTSD.” But that doesn’t excuse him.

    This guy could be anything from a poor unfortunate who suddenly had a psychotic break to a Muslim-hating serial killer who finally got caught. (It’s even possible he’s entirely innocent, though that seems unlikely.) No doubt more information will come out as the story develops.

    However, unless convinced otherwise I’m going to assume that the bigoted opposition to Park 51 was at minimum a contributing factor.

  45. bardfinn says:

    The cab /probably/ had a camera in it to identify fareskips and holdups. I doubt the attorney general would be charging this mofo if the AG had not seen the camera footage.

    The question is, then, Why Is This MoFo Not Being Charged With Terrorism? Why isn’t he /en route/ to Guantanamo Bay, right now?

    Because this isn’t the Bush administration, Finn.

  46. Teller says:

    And because Gitmo’s not for U.S. citizens.

  47. Trotsky says:

    This entire incident might be some sort of homosexual murder-suicide pact between Enright and Occam.

  48. teapot says:

    Here’s the thing I don’t get: How can seemingly reasonable people start to believe the utter BS created by racist biggots?

    According to reports, since Obama’s comments on the “Ground Zero Mosque” roughly 1-in-5 Americans (18%) now think Obama is Muslim. This is up from 11% in March 2009. That’s a 7% swing to “Dumbass”!
    http://people-press.org/report/645/

    People are going around claiming that Obama supports the construction of the Cordoba House project. This is totally wrong. People who believe this shit should pay attention to the words he uses, not what commentators claim he is saying.

    He clearly stated that he supports the principles of religious freedom on which America is based, including the protected right to construct places of worship. People claim he backtracked afterwards – but he didn’t. He merely added later, in an attempt to contain the shit-storm being whipped up by redneck turds, that he “wouldn’t comment on the wisdom of building a mosque” at its planned location. It’s pretty easy to read-between-the-lines with that comment.

    Finally, I’ve seen and heard assholes claiming that the next step for American Muslims is to push for “Sharia” Law in the US. First of all, it is fucking funny how most of these people can’t spell or pronounce “Sharia”. Secondly, anyone who gives a second of thought to this ridiculous claim is simply a fool. As shitty as the US justice system can sometimes be, it doesn’t bend for *anybody*. Sharia law will never happen in the US. <– see that? ITS A PERIOD!

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I grew up in a US where everybody was convinced that the Soviet Union was going to take us over and turn us into brainwashed zombie slaves. Didn’t happen. It couldn’t have happened. They can’t even run their own countries. In retrospect, it seems ridiculous that anyone actually believed it.

      And yet, the ‘ZOMG they’re going to institute Sharia in the US’ meme is exactly the same thing and people are still stupid enough to believe it.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Christ, what an asshole.

  50. sloverlord says:

    But building the Ground Zero mosque would be “insensitive”, yessiree.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Hate is a meme that infects without preference. That’s what makes it so dangerous.

  52. Charlotte Corday says:

    Right after the Fort Hood shooting, there were a slew of posts on BB to the effect that we should all reserve judgment, that the shooter was probably just a nutcase, with no ideological motives.

    I’m sure that Mr. Enright will be awarded the same benefit of the doubt.

    Yes. Yes I am.

    • neward says:

      This sounds nuts to me. Why would he work for an intercultural dialog group if he were such a bigot? Maybe something in Afghanistan rubbed him the wrong way and decided to take it out on the religion, but this sounds plain crazy.

      The whole recent round of bigotry makes this 1947 short film produced by the US government about divisive politics all the more relevant again:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0w03tJ3IkrM&feature=youtu.be

      • silkox says:

        Thanks for the link — if only there were a way to make sure everyone had a chance to see this.

      • Anon, he must says:

        Lots of people suppress their deep-seated psychoses, such as racial or religious bigotry, until dementia or alcohol lessens their inhibitions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Apparently he will, just by a different set of commenters.

    • sloverlord says:

      I may have been more eager to award benefit of the doubt if he hadn’t asked, “Are you Muslim?” right before the attack. That pretty much spells out his motivations as far as I’m concerned.

    • Anonymous says:

      been smarting to write such a quip on bb for some time now, eh?

  53. Shelby Davis says:

    /sloppy armchair analysis

    Sounds like a massive case of cognitive dissonance finally rupturing.

    /sloppy armchair analysis

  54. Anonymous says:

    Well, first the woman who dumped the cat in the rubbish bin says she actually loves cats, and now we know this guy supposedly didn’t hate Muslims until just a few hours ago. Is there some sort of invasion of the bodysnatchers going on?

    • Anonymous says:

      “Well, first the woman who dumped the cat in the rubbish bin says she actually loves cats, and now we know this guy supposedly didn’t hate Muslims until just a few hours ago. Is there some sort of invasion of the bodysnatchers going on?”

      A sociopaths will say whatever they think people want to hear.

  55. jtegnell says:

    This must be one of those acts of “asymmetrical warfare” that Muslims use as a “good PR move to draw attention”, since “they don’t value their own lives”, just like the Assistant Secretary of State said about the Guantanamo suicides.

    If you doubt that, I’ll have to ask you for a link disproving it, sir!

  56. Trotsky says:

    Occam, the homicidal, gay throat slitter is loose on American streets at this very moment and what are the authorities doing about it?

  57. Anonymous says:

    Manchurian Candidate test run

  58. Anonymous says:

    I’m not surprised this is happening. There is a wave of religious zealotry & mania sweeping the U.S. These are always dangerous times..for anyone, of any faith or belief system.

    “THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

    THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

    THEN THEY CAME for me
    and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

  59. neward says:

    He had this photo in his Flickr stream:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/msenright/4588692812/

    An embroidered US military patch with the words “infidel” on them in english and Arabic script (kāfir كافر) with two AK-47s and “Afghanistan 2010″. The presence of this photo doesn’t indicate his endorsement of it, although his actions do, but it’s disturbing that someone made that and thought it was a good idea to take to Afghanistan. I hope that this isn’t a mission patch or anything people actually wear, but if it is, it seems exactly what we should not be doing to win the “hearts and minds” of the public.

  60. Anonymous says:

    I am 86 years young. I do not much like this world anymore.I hope to enter heaven and be with Jesus. Roger Wieland

  61. eoghank says:

    Every chance he could have been having a psychotic episode- mental illness is rarely mentioned as a possible cause of random violence…

  62. oohShiny says:

    Sounds like a very mentally ill man, indeed. It does make one wonder why he chose this specific man to go apeshit on, when he had, no doubt, been in the presence of Muslims a great deal in the course of his work. Poor cabby was probably just in the wrong place at the wrong time when the loony switch finally flipped. Glad he’s okay.

    I wonder if this guy will be found guilty and end up in jail, or be found unfit to stand trial by way of mental illness and end up in a mental institution.

  63. marthanatos says:

    What is the purpose of exposing all this personal data of the suspected assailant?

  64. pixleshifter says:

    From Salon.com
    “While earlier reports claim the driver “locked” Enright in the back seat, the Post says Enright ran off and was pursued by the driver, who flagged down a patrol cop.”

    If the story’s this shaky to begin with, any religiously motivated hatred should be treated with a grain of salt until further details emerge, otherwise it seems to me that this story is being used as a ‘polarizer’ regarding the current ground-zero mosque scenario.

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      “Shaky”? Are you implying it’s a hoax, or a staged publicity stunt for “mosque supporters”? I see nothing to indicate that this is the case.

      • pixleshifter says:

        Not at all. I’m quite sure the attack took place. What I’m questioning is the perpetrator’s ideological motive.
        The actual events seem shaky initially due to the conflicting accounts of the perpetrator’s capture.
        If this is still unconfirmed, then smaller details like motive are in a very grey area and serve only to polarize, which is the last thing that is needed in the current NY situation and does more harm than good.
        Speculation breeds contempt.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          Speculation breeds contempt.

          So nobody but the people who were in the cab can actually know what happened? Think of all the money that we’ll save by dismantling the criminal justice system since trials will no longer have any purpose.

          • pixleshifter says:

            Not quite sure what you mean by that, but my point is; without all the facts, speculation is rife (referring to blog comments), and that speculation leads to unfounded accusations which in turn is divisive.

        • Xeni Jardin says:

          Presuming that the multiple reports of the suspect’s questions about the victim’s religion and the shouted Muslim greetings prior to the attack are accurate, I don’t see much that’s shaky about linking the incident to a profile of an assailant who has some serious issues regarding the Muslim faith.

          Of course, I am neither a witness nor a cop nor a lawyer, so I’ll leave that to the authorities and the courts to state as fact, or to disprove.

          I suppose I can empathize just a little with the über-skeptics and denialists in this thread, at least if you’re New Yorkers.

          You guys may still be suffering from PTBSD (Post-Tawana-Brawley-Stress-Disorder).

          • pixleshifter says:

            And all those multiple reports still haven’t ascertained whether the perpetrator was constrained in the car or made off on foot. Ergo, those multiple reports are to be taken with a grain of salt until confirmed reports are published.

          • mdh says:

            And all those multiple reports still haven’t ascertained whether the perpetrator was constrained in the car or made off on foot.

            nor have any one of your several SH**stirring comments, based on your standard of evidence. Bravo. Stop feeding this one.

  65. David Llopis says:

    When a Muslim attacks on of “ours”, instead of questioning the state of his mental health, we confirm our belief that Muslims are terrorists.
    (I use the term “we” loosely).

    • oohShiny says:

      I’m glad you use the term “we” loosely, as I’m pretty sure I make a point of questioning the mental health of anyone who attacks someone in such an unprovoked fashion.

      But I take your point — the instinctual reaction seems to be to generalize (all x’s are y) when the perpetrator is a member of an “outside” group, and to specify (well, this specific x must have been ill, because not all x’s are like this) when the perpetrator is a member of an “inside” group.

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