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After the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, the phrase “Je Suis Charlie” — “I am Charlie” — became the unofficial slogan of solidarity with the shooting victims. #JeSuisCharlie trended on Twitter, and people held up signs featuring the phrase at rallies all over the world.
Je Suis Charlie’s message is an important one in the wake of this horrifying crime. But now a new hashtag campaign, #JeSuisAhmed, has arisen to augment it. Its message of tolerance deserves — perhaps needs — to be heard as well.
#JeSuisAhmed honors Ahmed Merabet, the French police officer who was murdered outside the Charlie Hebdo offices by the same gunmen who went on to murder the magazine’s staffers. Merabet, in addition to being a police officer, is believed to have been part of France’s large Muslim community.
Twitter users have rallied to the hashtag to argue that Merabet, like the murdered journalists, should be honored as a defender of free speech — particularly because he died trying to protect a publication that had mocked and derided his own religion.
#JeSuisAhmed does not dispute the sentiment of Je Suis Charlie. Rather, it adds to it, by calling attention to the importance of tolerance as well as solidarity. That is important in its own right, but it’s also an elegant response to those who might respond to the attack with broad hostility towards Islam, or suspicion of Muslims as a group…
The hashtag was also a reminder that the victims of Islamist terrorists are primarily Muslim…
In an update, VOX notes that candyass [my word] sources like the NY TIMES say Merabet’s religion is unconfirmed. While the British press reports that his family says he was Muslim and will be buried in a Muslim cemetery.
Close enough for folk music, folks.
The heart that belonged to Laylah Petersen, the 5-year-old Wisconsin girl shot in the head in her living room last week, will go on beating for another child.
Laylah was killed Thursday as she sat in her grandfather’s lap when an unknown gunman sprayed their Milwaukee home with about a dozen bullets…
“Quite frankly, at this point we’re befuddled as to motive for this crime,” said Capt. Aaron Raap, commander of the Metropolitan Investigations Division. “Normally when we respond to shootings of individuals in most circumstances that victim is the intended target of that shooting.”
“In this case, at this point, we believe that this bullet read ‘to whom it may concern.’ And that concerns all of us and it should concern everybody in our community.”
Still, investigators believe the shooting was targeted because all 12 bullets they believe were fired hit just one house. Police say it’s possible the shooters had the wrong house.
The Milwaukee branch of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said there was a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
No word, yet, on a statement from the NRA. We expect something like their usual…”if she was only carrying a Smith & Wesson handgun this never would have happened.”
It’s especially important to mention one of the brands they pimp for.
Gosh – that house looks familiar
A Missouri woman found out that her $810-a-month dream home in Ferguson was actually a nightmare after seeing a documentary about serial killers on the A&E network.
After watching the show, Catrina McGhaw discovered she was living in the home that serial killer Maury Travis used as a torture chamber.
Authorities believe Travis killed between 12 and 20 women and that many of them died in the basement of the home. He hanged himself in jail in 2002.
McGhaw was freaked out by what had happened in the basement and she was even more rattled when she realized the house’s dining room table was the same one seen in crime scene photos.
Perhaps that shouldn’t have been a surprise, because as is turns out, McGhaw’s landlord is the killer’s mother.
“When she showed us the house, she said you can have this table if you want,” McGhaw told KMOV. “This whole basement was his torture chamber and it’s not okay.”
After confronting her landlord about the house’s history, McGhaw will be breaking her lease thanks to some help from the St. Louis Housing Authority.
Eeoough!. Makes for some interesting dreams, eh?
Two teenage sisters have been murdered in Pakistan after they were accused of tarnishing their family’s name by making a video of themselves dancing in the rain.
The girls, aged 15 and 16, are seen running around in traditional dress with two other younger children outside their bungalow in the town of Chilas, in the northern region of Gilgit.
The sisters, named as Noor Basra and Noor Sheza, appear to break into dance and one even flashes a smile at the camera…
Police are investigating whether the attack was arranged by the girls’ step-brother, named as Khutore, who allegedly wanted to ‘restore the family’s honour’…
The sisters’ other brother has filed a case against Khutore and the four other alleged accomplices who are now believed to be on the run.
The girls were shot alongside their mother in their home by five gunmen in the town of Chilas…
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said at least 943 women and girls were murdered in 2011 for allegedly defaming their family’s honour.
Gotta love religious fundamentalism. Yes, they vary according to degree – and point in history. Anyone with a conscience knows that most American lynchings were perpetrated by “Good Christians” – according to their peers.
Meanwhile, I don’t see a whole boatload of reasons for continuing the taxpayer dollars poured into the rathole that is Pakistan’s military and political sewer. Benefits to America’s questionable foreign policy is nil. The fraction that filters through the corrupt bureaucracy is negligible.
A trial date is set for 2nd week in May in a controversial animal cruelty case involving Bastrop pastor Rick Bartlett.
Bartlett was charged with animal cruelty last year after a neighbor’s cat named Moody was found dead on the bank of the Colorado River directly underneath the Hwy 150 bridge in Bastrop…
Bartlett trapped Moody on his property on January 15, 2012. He placed Moody in a cage in the back of his pickup truck. Bartlett later admitted that he left Moody trapped in the cage for two days without any food or water.
On January 17 Bartlett drove the caged cat to the Bastrop County Animal Control office and met with Officer Susan Keys…Bartlett told Keys that he often trapped cats in his yard that he considered feral and brought them to Animal Control…But Moody wasn’t a feral cat. Officer Keys noticed Moody’s collar and name tag and she told Bartlett to return the cat to the Bell family, Moody’s owner (and Bartlett’s neighbor)…
Later that evening Keys was told about a dead cat that was found underneath the Hwy 150 bridge…It was Moody. He had fallen some 50-feet to his death.
A veterinarian later told investigators, “Moody’s injuries were caused from a compressive force caused from falling from a high level.”
When investigators caught up with Bartlett, he stated that Moody had escaped from the cage and he didn’t know what had happened to him…
Bartlett was bounced from his former gig as pastor for the Bastrop Christian Church after his arrest. He knows a good hustle when he sees one and now has set up a new church – out of his home.
None of this helps Moody or his people. Bartlett’s unwillingness to admit any responsibility, care or concern for the pet’s death is unfortunately typical of animal cruelty cases.
Texas hasn’t moved beyond the 19th Century in dealing with animal cruelty cases – and I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise, either. We ain’t much better here next door in New Mexico. It took decades to outlaw cock fighting – just a few years ago.
Meanwhile – you can sign a petition for justice for Moody over here.
UPDATE: Bartlett found guilty.
A 31-year-old woman was arrested on Saturday and charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime in connection with the death of a man who was pushed onto the tracks of an elevated subway station in Queens and crushed by an oncoming train.
The woman, Erika Menendez, selected her victim because she believed him to be a Muslim or a Hindu, Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney, said…
In a statement, Mr. Brown quoted Ms. Menendez, “in sum and substance,” as having told the police: “I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers I’ve been beating them up.” Ms. Menendez conflated the Muslim and Hindu faiths in her comments to the police and in her target for attack, officials said.
The victim, Sunando Sen, was born in India and, according to a roommate, was raised Hindu.
Mr. Sen “was allegedly shoved from behind and had no chance to defend himself,” Mr. Brown said. “Beyond that, the hateful remarks allegedly made by the defendant and which precipitated the defendant’s actions should never be tolerated by a civilized society.”
No one ever accused Tea Party bigots of being part of a civilized society. They’re still welcomed into the Republican Party with open arms.
Four years back we all witnessed John McCain rejecting this kind of stupidity. But, don’t worry, it won’t happen, again.
Ms. Menendez is expected to be arraigned by Sunday morning. If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. By charging her with murder as a hate crime, the possible minimum sentence she faced would be extended to 20 years from 15 years, according to prosecutors…
The attack occurred around 8 p.m. on Thursday at the 40th Street-Lowery Street station in Sunnyside.
Mr. Sen, 46, was looking out over the tracks when a woman approached him from behind and shoved him onto the tracks, according to the police. Mr. Sen never saw her, the police said.
Mr. Sen, after years of saving money, had opened a small copying business on the Upper West Side this year.
Ar Suman, a Muslim, and one of three roommates who shared a small first-floor apartment with Mr. Sen in Elmhurst, said he and Mr. Sen often discussed religion.
Though they were of different faiths, Mr. Suman said, he admired the respect that Mr. Sen showed for those who saw the world differently than he did. Mr. Suman said he once asked Mr. Sen why he was not more active in his faith and it resulted in a long philosophical discussion.
“He was so gentle,” Mr. Suman said. “He said in this world a lot of people are dying, killing over religious things.”
One is serving life, one is dead, both were dealing drugs
The mother of a Cambridge man fatally shot inside a Harvard University residence hall in 2009 is suing the school and its officials, alleging that Harvard negligently allowed the mastermind of the killing to operate a “criminal enterprise’’ in the dormitory that resulted in the killing.
Denise Cosby filed the wrongful death suit in Middlesex Superior Court last week, saying that the university and its officials failed to protect her son, Justin Cosby, 21…
“She feels that it’s the university’s fault,’’ Peres said. “But for their negligence in allowing this murderer to live and operate a criminal enterprise on campus, her son would be alive today.’’
Harvard spokesman Kevin Galvin said, “We recognize that the Cosby family has suffered a heart-rending loss, but there is no basis in law or fact to hold the university accountable for Justin Cosby’s death.”
Cosby “entered Harvard property that day for the sole purpose of selling a large quantity of marijuana to people unaffiliated with the University, and one of them shot him,’’ Galvin said in a statement. “We will vigorously defend against this lawsuit.’’
The alleged mastermind of the drug robbery, Jabrai Jordan Copney, was convicted in Middlesex Superior Court in April 2011 of first-degree murder after his two codefendants, one of whom took the stand against Copney, cut deals with prosecutors. Copney is serving a life sentence without possibility of parole.
A mother’s anguish over the death of her son doesn’t diminish the fact that he was engaged in a criminal enterprise – one that carries with it the possibility of being killed over a drug deal gone wrong.
You don’t sue the businesses nearby if he’s killed on a street corner. You won’t sue yourself if he’s killed in a deal in his bedroom. You can’t justify suing Harvard because some other crook killed him inside a dorm.
Twenty three people have been found guilty of murdering Muslims, including women and children, in sectarian rioting that erupted in India’s western Gujarat state a decade ago.
An equal number of mostly Hindu defendants were acquitted for their involvement in burning 23 Muslims to death in the small Gujarati village of Ode after bolting the doors of the house where they had taken refuge from marauding mobs and then setting it alight.
Rioting erupted in Gujarat in 2002 after a suspected Muslim mob burned a trainload of 58 Hindu activists at Gujarat’s Godhra station, 100 miles from the state capital Gandhinagar…
Hindus blamed Muslims for the train fire and, seeking revenge, went on a rampage through their neighbourhoods in towns and villages across Gujarat in three days of unrelenting violence following the incident. Sporadic rioting continued in the state for at least three months in what was considered one of India’s worst outbreaks of sectarian violence in recent years and one which activists referred to as ‘ethnic cleansing’ and an ‘anti-Muslim pogrom’.
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party…was held responsible for failing to stop the violence. Many activists, backed by media reports and human rights groups accused Modi of actively encouraging the rioting…
The Ode massacre was one of 10 key incidents being probed by a Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team set up in 2008 after Modi was blamed for interfering with riot cases registered in Gujarat by obstructing investigations.
What is there to say?
Nation-states that rely on theocracy for wisdom in governance inevitably fail every historic standard of decency and lawfulness.
California police say an Iraqi-born mother of five who was beaten to death may have been the victim of a hate crime. The killer of Shaima Alawadi, 32, left a note reportedly reading: “Go back to your own country. You’re a terrorist.”
Alawadi, an immigrant, died on Saturday after the attack last Wednesday. Police said her 17-year-old daughter, Fatima, found her unconscious in the dining room of the family’s home in El Cajon, California at about 11:15am. Alawadi died soon after being taken off a hospital life support machine…
According to El Cajon police lieutenant Mark Coit, the family told the police that another threatening note had been found earlier this month outside their home. But they told police that they had not reported it after dismissing it as a prank…
The attack had been a shock to the Muslim community in the area, said Hanif Mohebi, director of the San Diego chapter of CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group. He had been speaking to the family. “The family is still numb. They are trying to figure it all out,” he said. He said there had been an outpouring of support for the family from across California and the nation…
El Cajon is a conservative city of 100,000 people 15 miles from San Diego that has become popular with Iraqi immigrants. The city is home to some 40,000 Iraqis, the second largest such community in the US after Detroit…
The family had only recently moved from Michigan to a house on a suburban street in El Cajon. A family friend, Sura Alzaidy, told a San Diego newspaper that the attack apparently happened after Kassim Al Hamidi, Alawadi’s husband, had taken the couple’s younger children to school. Alzaidy told the newspaper that Alawadi had been a “respectful, modest muhajiba,” meaning she wears the traditional hijab headscarf.
Al Himidi and Alawadi migrated from Iraq to the United States in about 1993, according to local reports. Al Himidi had worked as a defence contractor in San Diego, serving as a cultural adviser to train soldiers preparing for duty in the Middle East.
“There have been hate crimes in the past but I have not seen anything like this,” said Mohebi. “At the end of the day there are a very small number of people who act upon such ignorance. In general our neighbours are supportive of the community.”
There is no shortage of stupid people in the United States who equate the wearing of a hijab with wearing a hoodie. Simple articles of clothing popular in different communities for different reasons – strike terror in the hearts of bigots who choose violence and murder to resolve their fear.