09-11-20 Arab Radio with Ray Hanania on Sept. 11 anniversary
Host Ray Hanania discusses the Forgotten Victims of Sept. 11, 2001, Americans who "looked" Middle Eastern who were attacked and murdered by other Americans in backlash anger attacks. These victims have never been acknowledged or included in the list of victims of Sept. 11, 2001 and they should be.
The Arab street Radio is broadcast regularly on WNZK AM 690 Radio (check www.TheDailyHookah.com or www.Hanania.com for more details on show dates (the show broadcasts from 8 to 9 am EST (7 am CST Chicago and 3 PM Occupied Jerusalem time).
Live Radio Show details:
Ray Hanania, special US Correspondent for the Arab News Newspaper … and you’re listening to Radio Baladi … THE ARAB STREET Radio & Podcast broadcast from Detroit, Michigan through 690 AM WNZK Radio …
In the future, I'd like to be introduced by my Game of Thrones Title:
Ray Hanania, the first of his name, the Mayor Slayer, breaker of Political Egos, Father of Wags, the one true believer of Steppenwolf and Jim Hendrix, Spirit of Jerusalem, and Scribe of the four High Schools Bowen, Bogan, Little Flower, and Reavis …
THE ARAB STREET Radio & Podcast is a part of the US Arab Radio Network hosted by Laila Alhusini … in an effort to energize and empower Arab Americans to stand up for their rights … for more information go to my website at www.Hanania.com … and afterwards on podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or by visiting my podcast website www.TheArabStreet.org.
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Here is the list of backlash victims who have been forgotten because of the hatred that dominated the nation's lust for revenge:
At least three people were murdered as a result of the September 11 backlash. There is reason to suspect four other people may also have been murdered because of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hatred.
Balbir Singh Sodhi
Balbir Singh Sodhi, a forty-nine-year-old turbaned Sikh and father of three, was shot and killed while planting flowers at his gas station on September 15, 2002. Police officials told Human Rights Watch that hours before the crime, Sodhi's alleged killer, Frank Roque, had bragged at a local bar of his intention to "kill the ragheads responsible for September 11."90 In addition to shooting Sodhi three times before driving away, Roque also allegedly shot into the home of an Afghani American and at two Lebanese gas station clerks.91 The Maricopa County prosecutor's office was due to try Roque for Sodhi's murder on November 12, 2002.
On October 4, 2001, Mark Stroman shot and killed Vasudev Patel, a forty-nine-year old Indian and father of two, while Patel was working at his convenience store in Mesquite, Texas.92 A store video camera recorded the murder, allowing law enforcement detectives to identify Stroman as the killer. Stroman said during a television interview that anger over the September 11 attacks caused him to attack any store owner who appeared to be Muslim. He further stated during the interview: "We're at war. I did what I had to do. I did it to retaliate against those who retaliated against us."93In addition to killing Patel, Stroman also shot and killed Waquar Hassan on September 15, 2001 (see below), and also shot Rais Uddin, a gas station attendant, blinding him.94 Stroman was tried and convicted of capital murder for killing Patel and sentenced to death on April 3, 2002.95
Waquar Hassan, a forty-six-year-old Pakistani and father of four, was killed while cooking hamburgers at his grocery store near Dallas, Texas on September 15, 2001. Although no money was taken from Hassan's store, police in Dallas initially believed that he was killed during a robbery because he had been robbed twice that year.96 Hassan's family, however, believed his murder was a hate crime because nothing was stolen by the assailant and the murder had occurred so soon after September 11.97 His family also pointed out that customers visiting Hassan's store after September 11 subjected him to ethnic and religious slurs.98 The case remained unsolved until Mark Stroman admitted to killing Hassan to a fellow prison inmate in January 2002.99 Murder charges against Stroman were dropped once he was convicted and sentenced to death for Vasudev Patel's murder.100
On September 17, 2001, Ali Almansoop, a forty-four year old Yemini Arab, was shot and killed in his home in Lincoln Park, Michigan after being awoken from his sleep by Brent David Seever. At the time of his murder, Almansoop was in bed with Seever's ex-girlfriend.101 Immediately before killing Almansoop, Seever said that he was angry about the September 11 terrorist attacks. Almansoop pleaded that he did not have anything to do with the attacks.102 Seever shot Almansoop anyway. Seever acknowledged to police investigators that he killed Almansoop in part because of anger related to September 11. Prosecutors chose to prosecute the matter as a murder, rather than a bias-motivated murder, because they believe Mr. Seever's motivation for murdering Almansoop was motivated in part by jealousy over Almansoop's relationship with is ex-girlfriend. Mr. Seever had been stalking his ex-girlfriend before the murder.103
Abdo Ali Ahmed
On September 29, 2001, Abdo Ali Ahmed, a fifty-one-year-old Yemini Arab and Muslim, and father of eight, was shot and killed while working at his convenience store in Reedley, California.104Cash in two registers and rolled coins inside an open safe were left untouched. In addition, Ahmed's gun, which he kept for protection, reportedly remained in its usual spot, indicating that he may not have felt in mortal danger.105 Two days before his murder, Ahmed had found a note on his car windshield which stated, "We're going to kill all of you [expletive] Arabs."106 Instead of contacting the police, Ahmed threw the note away.107
Ahmed's family and local Muslim leaders have told the local press that they believe his killing was a hate crime.108 However, largely because no perpetrator or perpetrators have been found for whom a motive can be established, police have not classified the murder as a hate crime. California Governor Gray Davis offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of Ahmed's killers.109 At the time of this writing, the investigation into Ahmed's murder was stalled because police had run out of leads.110
On September 15, 2001, Adel Karas, a forty-eight-year-old Arab and Coptic Christian, and father of three, was shot and killed at his convenience store in San Gabriel, California. According to press reports, his wife, Randa Karas, believes he was murdered because he was mistaken for a Muslim. She points out that no money was taken from the cash register and that her husband had a thick wad of bills in his pocket. Local police told Human Rights Watch that they do not believe his murder was bias-motivated because there is no evidence to indicate anti-Arab or anti-Muslim bias. The murder remained unsolved at the time of this writing. 111
Ali W. Ali
Ali W. Ali, a sixty-six-year-old Somali Muslim, died nine days after being punched in the head while standing at a bus stop in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 15, 2002.112 According to press reports, the only known witness to the attack saw the assailant walk up to Ali, punch him, stand over him, and then walk away.113 His son and Somali community members attributed the attack against Ali to anger created against Somalis by a front page local newspaper article that appeared two days before the attack.114 The article said that Somalis in Minneapolis had given money to a Somali terrorist group with links to Osama Bin Laden.115 After originally finding that Ali had died of natural causes, the Hennepin County medical examiner's office on January 8, 2002 ruled Ali's death a homicide.116 Ali's family regards his murder as a hate crime. Both local police and the FBI have been unable to find Ali's assailant.117
Violent assaults related to September 11 were numerous and widespread. A review by the South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow (SAALT) of news articles published during the week following September 11 found reports of forty-nine September 11-related assaults.118 CAIR received 289 reports from Muslims of assaults and property damage incidents across the United States from September 11 until the second week of February.119
On the morning of September 13, 2001, Issa Qandeel, a Palestinian Muslim and an Arab, was leaving the Idriss Mosque in Seattle, Washington when he smelled gas near his jeep and saw a man, subsequently identified as Patrick Cunningham, come out from behind his jeep. Cunningham was carrying a can of gasoline and a gun. When Qandeel asked Cunningham what he was doing behind the jeep, Cunningham walked away.
When Qandeel tried to stop him, Cunningham shot at Qandeel three times, although his gun did not discharge any bullets. Cunningham then started running away and Qandeel chased him. Cunningham shot at Qandeel again and this time a bullet did discharge, although it missed Qandeel. Cunningham was apprehended when he crashed his car trying to get away. Police later discovered that Cunningham planned to burn cars in the mosque driveway because of anger at the September 11 attacks. Federal authorities prosecuted Cunningham for attacking Qandeel and attempting to deface a house of worship. He pled guilty on May 9, 2002 and was scheduled to be sentenced on October 18, 2002. He faces a minimum of five years of incarceration.120
On September 13, 2001, Raymond Isais Jr. allegedly assaulted Kulwinder Singh, a turbaned Sikh taxi worker, in SeaTac, Washington. After getting into the back seat of Singh's taxi, Isais told Singh, "You have no right to attack our country!" He then started choking Singh. After both men then got out of the taxi, Isais started punching Singh, pulled out tufts of his beard and knocked off his turban. Isais called Singh a terrorist during the assault. Local police were able to apprehend Isais Jr. the same day using a description provided by Singh. He was charged with a hate crime by local country prosecutors.121
Swaran Kaur Bhullar
On September 30, 2001, Swaran Kaur Bhullar, a Sikh woman, was attacked by two men who stabbed her in the head twice as her car was idling at a red light in San Diego. The men shouted at her, "This is what you get for what you've done to us!" and "I'm going to slash your throat," before attacking her. As another car approached the traffic light, the men sped off. Bhullar felt that she would have been killed by the men if the other car had not appeared. She was treated at a local hospital for two cuts in her scalp and released later that same day. Local police and federal law enforcement officials have been unable to identify Bhullar's attackers.122
On September 12, 2001, Faiza Ejaz, a Pakistani woman, was standing outside a mall in Huntington, New York waiting for her husband to pick her up from work. According to press reports, Adam Lang, a seventy-six-year-old man sitting in his car outside the mall, allegedly put his car in drive and started driving towards her. Ejaz was able to avoid the car by jumping out of the way and running into the mall. Lang then jumped out of his car and screamed that he was "doing this for my country" and was "going to kill her." Mall security agents seized Lang. Sergeant Robert Reecks, commander of the Suffolk County Bias Crimes Bureau, told reporters: "if she hadn't jumped out of the way, he would have run right over her."123 Lang was charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, which requires an enhanced penalty if the crime is bias-motivated.
On June 18, 2002, FK, an American Muslim woman who wears a hijab, was allegedly assaulted by a woman in a drug store near Houston, Texas. Before assaulting FK, the woman told her that she had learned about "you people" over the last ten months and doesn't trust "a single damn one of you." Before FK could get away from the woman, she slammed FK to the floor and began pulling at her headscarf, which had the effect of choking her. Though FK told the woman she could not breathe, she kept pulling at the headscarf. FK then pulled off her headscarf, in violation of her religious obligations in a desperate effort to alleviate the choking. The woman then dragged FK by her hair to the front of the store. When police arrived, the woman was holding FK by her ponytail on the front sidewalk of the store. She told police that she was making a citizen's arrest. The police told her to let FK go, at which point FK was able to put her headscarf back on. 124
Karnail Singh is a Sikh man who owns a motel in SeaTac, Washington. In mid-October, 2001, John Bethel, a local vagrant who sometimes came into Singh's motel for coffee and food, told Singh, "You better go back to your country. We're coming to kick your ass." A few days later, on October 19, Bethel entered Singh's motel and shouted, "You still here? Go back to Allah!" before hitting Singh with a metal cane while he stood behind the counter in the motel lobby. Singh, who bled profusely from the blow, spent half a day in the hospital and required ten stitches on his head. Bethel was sentenced to nearly two years in prison for assault with a deadly weapon.125
On September 19, 2001, Satpreet Singh, a turbaned Sikh, was driving in the middle lane of a two lane highway in Frederick County, Maryland. A pickup truck pulled up close behind Singh and the driver started making profane gestures towards him. The pickup truck then moved alongside Singh's car on his left and the driver took out a rifle. Singh increased his speed to get away from the pickup truck. Seconds later he heard rifle shots. No bullets hit Singh or his car. The pickup truck then turned around and started traveling in the opposite direction. Singh filed a criminal complaint with the local police. At the time of this writing, local authorities have not been able to ascertain the identity of the person who shot at Singh.126
Place of Worship Attacks
Mosques and places of worship perceived to be mosques appeared to be among the most likely places of September 11-related backlash violence. SAALT's survey of bias incidents reported in major news media found 104 bias incidents against places of worship reported during the first week after September 11.127 Of these 104 bias incidents, fifty-five were telephone threats, twenty-four involved harassment of mosque worshippers outside mosques, twenty-two involved property damage from vandalism, arson, or gun shots, and three were assaults on mosque worshipers.128 Arab churches, Sikh gurdwaras (houses of worship), and Hindu temples were also objects of backlash violence. The number of worshippers at the attacked mosques decreased for weeks following the attacks, apparently because of fear of additional violence.129
Although September 11 backlash violence against individual Arabs and Muslims decreased markedly by November 2001, attacks continued against mosques or houses of worship perceived to be Arab or Muslim. On November 19, 2001, four teenagers burned down the Gobind Sadan, a multi-faith worship center Oswego, New York, because they believed the worshippers were supporters of Osama Bin Laden.130 On March 25, 2002, a man who stated to police that he hated Muslims crashed his pickup truck into a mosque in Tallahassee, Florida thirty minutes after evening prayers.131On June 11, 2002, in Milipitas, California, vandals broke into a mosque under construction, scrawled derogatory remarks such as, "F- Arabs" and damaged the interior of a construction trailer near the mosque.132 On August 24, 2002, federal authorities announced they had discovered a plan by a doctor in Tampa Bay to bomb and destroy approximately 50 mosques and Islamic cultural centers in south Florida.133 The doctor's home contained rocket launchers, sniper rifles and twenty live bombs.134
Guru Gobind Singh Sikh Gurdwara
On the night of September 11, 2001, somebody threw three Molotov cocktails into the Guru Gobind Singh Sikh Gurdwara, a Sikh house of worship in Bedford, Ohio. The Molotov cocktails started a small fire that was quickly extinguished by the gurdwara's caretakers. Two windows were also broken. A report was filed with local police. No one has been apprehended for the crime.135
Mosque Foundation of Bridgeview
On September 12, 2001, over one hundred police officers were deployed to stop approximately three hundred protestors from marching on the mosque in Bridgeview, Illinois. The mosque is located in a neighborhood of mostly Arab and Muslim American families. Stopped two blocks from the mosque, the protestors then demonstrated for approximately three hours shouting anti-Arab and anti-Muslim insults such as "Arabs go home" and harassing passersby who looked Muslim or Arab. Similar protests, though smaller in size, were held over the next two days. Police from various jurisdictions cordoned off the area around the mosque, only allowing persons into the neighborhood who could prove they lived there. Many of the Muslim and Arab families remained in their homes for the next few days because they feared hostility once outside the police cordon. Scores of police protected the mosque during Friday prayers on September 14, 2001.136
Islamic Center of Irving, Texas
On the night of September 12, 2001, someone fired at the Islamic Center of Irving, leaving thirteen to fourteen bullet holes in the building. The shots were fired after the evening prayer had ended and the building was empty. For the first two or three days after the attack, local police provided security for the mosque. Immediately after the attack, the imam reported a noticeable decline in prayer attendance. He estimated that daily prayer attendance dropped from 150 to thirty or forty persons. Friday prayers dropped from one thousand to five hundred persons. Mosque attendance normalized after a few weeks.137
St. John's Assyrian American Church
On September 23, 2001, the St. John's Assyrian American Church was set on fire in Chicago, Illinois in the early morning, causing approximately $150,000 worth of damage. The fire was caused by someone who put a piece of paper through the church mail slot and then dropped a lit match onto it. Water from fire department fire extinguishers ruined holy pictures, carpeting, and floor tiles. According to the church's pastor, Reverend Charles Klutz, the person whom he believed set the fire had asked a local resident whether the church was a mosque. Reverend Klutz also stated that local police initially asked whether the church was a mosque when they first arrived at the church even though many crosses were located prominently on the church premises. Local police and federal authorities were investigating the cause of the fire at the time of this writing.138
Islamic Foundation of Central Ohio
Sometime during the evening of December 29, 2001, vandals broke into the Islamic Foundation of Central Ohio in Columbus, Ohio. The vandals broke a bathroom pipe and clogged the sink, forcing it to overflow for hours; tore frames encasing religious verses off a wall; destroyed a chandelier in the main prayer hall; flipped over the pulpit; cut the wires of high-mounted speakers and amplifiers and threw them to the ground; tore posters off a mosque classroom wall; pulled down curtains and drapes; and tipped over bookcases and file cabinets in a classroom and threw approximately one hundred copies of the Quran onto the floor.139 Water from the stopped-up third-floor sink seeped into the second floor main prayer hall, causing plaster pieces from the main prayer hall ceiling to fall. A torn Quran and a smashed clock from the mosque were found in the mosque parking lot.
The damage to the mosque was estimated at $379,000. The mosque was closed after the incident but planned to reopen in October 2002. Both local police and the FBI are conducting investigations.140
United Muslim Masjid
On November 16, 2001, during an evening Ramadan prayer service, rocks were thrown through two windows of the United Muslim Masjid in Waterbury, Connecticut. Approximately thirty-five to forty people were in the mosque at the time. Local police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. Dr. Magdy Adbelhady, a member of the mosque, said that local police were responsive to mosque member concerns and seemed to be taking the matter seriously. He said that immediately after the attack on the mosque, mosque attendance had dropped but was now back to normal.141
There have been press reports of more than fifteen arsons and attempted arsons that may be part of the post-September 11 backlash. 142 Local law enforcement agents believe that fires at six houses of worship were September 11-related hate crimes.143 The other press-documented cases of arson involved places of business owned or operated by Muslims, Arabs, or those perceived to be Muslim or Arab. There have been three convictions and one indictment thus far for September 11-related arsons.144
Curry in a Hurry Restaurant
On September 15, 2001, James Herrick set fire to the Curry in a Hurry restaurant in Salt Lake City, Utah, causing minimal damage. Herrick admitted to setting the fire because he was angry over the September 11 attacks and knew the restaurant owners were from Pakistan. A federal district court in Utah sentenced him on January 7, 2001 to fifty-one months in jail.145
On September 16, 2001, someone allegedly set fire to Prime Tires, a Pakistani-owned auto mechanic shop located in an enclave of Pakistani businesses in Houston, Texas. The fire destroyed the store. The store had received threats immediately after September 11. Thus far, police have been unable to ascertain who started the blaze and the motive of the perpetrator.146