Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, May 2017
Warmongering Islamophobia in the US Is Not Working as Designed:
A Portland Islamophobe Stabs to Death Two Brave Americans, Injures a Third, for Stopping him From Attacking a Teenage Muslim Girl
May 27, 2017
The following sad news story is evidence to the success of Islamophobia campaigns in the US by some politicians and media outlets to recruit misguided individuals, who are willing to commit horrendous acts of terrorism against their fellow Americans, just because they are Muslims.
However, it is also evidence that these continuous Islamophobia campaigns are rejected by majority of Americans. The racist, anti-Muslim perpetrator stabbed to death two non-Muslim fellow Americans and seriously injured a third, just because they stood in defense of two teenage girls he was ranting against, for no other reason than thinking that they were Muslims, as one of them was wearing a headscarf.
Islamphobia (exaggerated and baseless fear of Muslims) has been perpetrated and perpetuated to justify the continuous US wars and invasions of the Muslim World since 1990, in order for the war industry beneficiaries to justify the enormous and unprecedented US national debt, which has reached more than $19 trillion, as a result of the permanent-war military spending.
Tens of thousands of Americans are killed by non-Muslim other Americans every year, in gun violence (see http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/). However, Islamophobes ignore that fact and focus on an incident or two perpetrated by Muslims in an entire year.
For example, in 2016, there were 58,241shooting incidents, including 385 mass shooting, resulting in the killing of 15,060 Americans and injuring 30,607. Of these, there was only one incident perpetrated by a Muslim and resulting in the killing of 49 people in an Orlando, Florida night club.
The Zionist media, together with the war industry agents and the Zionist-controlled politicians, kept mentioning this incident as a terrorist attack, just because the perpetrator was a Muslim, while totally ignoring the other 58,240 incidents, which resulted in the killing of 15,011 Americans!
In 2015, there were 53,228 shooting incidents, resulting in the killing of 13,415 Americans. Of these, there were only two incidents perpetrated by Muslims and resulting in the killing of 18 Americans.
The Zionist media, together with the war industry agents and Zionist-controlled politicians, kept mentioning these two incidents while totally ignoring the other 53,226 incidents, which resulted in the killing of 13,398 Americans!
The end outcome is that the American people are indeed actual victims of a continuous warmongering campaign, Islamophobia, and a daily holocaust, perpetrated against them by the war industry beneficiaries and their agents in the media and politics.
For a background, read:
Portland stabbing victim’s last words: ‘Tell everyone on this train I love them’ -
The Washington Post, By Amy B Wang May 30, 2017
2 men killed after trying to stop anti-Muslim rant
Two men were stabbed to death in Portland, Ore., on Friday when they tried to stop their attacker from harassing two women because they appeared to be Muslim, according to police. Two men were stabbed to death in Portland, Ore., on Friday when they tried to stop their attacker from harassing two women because they appeared to be Muslim. (Reuters) Two men were stabbed to death in Portland, Ore., on Friday when they tried to stop their attacker from harassing two women because they appeared to be Muslim, according to police. (Reuters)
More than three days have passed since a stabbing on a Portland, Ore., light-rail train left two dead and one seriously injured, and the city’s residents remain “in shock and mourning” over the apparent randomness of the attack and the hate-fueled, extremist tirade that reportedly led up to it.
Since the incident, thousands of people have gathered at candlelight vigils and contributed to makeshift memorials to Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, and Ricky John Best, 53.
At first, details were scant. The two men had been killed, police said, after they tried to calm down a MAX train passenger who had been yelling anti-Muslim slurs at two teenage girls on an otherwise typical Friday afternoon commute.
A third man, 21-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher, had been wounded as well when the ranting passenger “viciously attacked them,” police said.
As further details emerged, so, too, did a portrait of “selflessness and heroism,” according to Portland Mayor Tom Wheeler.
Not only had Namkai Meche and Best actively sought to de-escalate what had been the angry passenger’s increasingly unhinged and frightening tirade, witnesses told local media, but it appeared that they did so to protect the two girls who had been the target of the rants.
In an emotional interview with KPTV News, 16-year-old Destinee Mangum said she had been riding the train with a Muslim friend, who was wearing a hijab, when a man approached them and suddenly began yelling at them “to get out of his country” and “that we basically weren’t anything and that we should kill ourselves.”
Choking back tears, Mangum expressed gratitude for the strangers who had intervened.
“I just want to say thank you to people who put their life on the line for me, ’cause they didn’t even know me, and they lost their lives because of me and my friend and the way we looked,” Mangum told the news station. “And I just want to say thank you to them and their family, and that I appreciate them because, without them, we probably would be dead right now.”
Rachel Macy, a passenger on the train Friday, told the Oregonian that despite the attempts of Best, Namkai Meche and Fletcher to stop the ranting man, he brandished a knife and began attacking them; Macy added that she didn’t know when or in what order the stabbings occurred, only that they happened swiftly — and were “a nightmare.”
Best died at the scene, police said.
Macy tried to come to Namkai Meche’s aid, removing her tank top to help stanch the bleeding from his neck, according to the Oregonian.
“I just kept telling him, ‘You’re not alone. We’re here,”’ Macy told the newspaper. “‘What you did was total kindness. You’re such a beautiful man. I’m sorry the world is so cruel.”’
His last words to her before being taken away on a stretcher were “Tell everyone on this train I love them,” Macy added.
Namkai Meche was pronounced dead at a hospital Friday, police said. His grieving mother, Asha Deliverance, posted a widely shared tribute to her son on Facebook.
“He was a hero and will remain a hero on the other side of the veil,” she wrote. “Shining bright star I love you forever.”
Fletcher, the injured victim, was released from the hospital Monday night, KGW News reported. Images showed that he had a long gash on his neck where the knife had been “millimeters away from his jugular,” Fletcher’s girlfriend, Miranda Helm, told the Oregonian.
Fletcher told KGW News that he was focused on healing “as much as I can, in whatever way I can.”
“I’m having a hard time just going outside,” he told the news station Tuesday, his voice breaking. “I got stabbed in the neck on my way to work, randomly, by a stranger I don’t know, for trying to just be a nice person. Like, I don’t know what to do after that, you know?”
Over the weekend, several online crowdfunding accounts raised tens of thousands of dollars for the victims and their families. On Monday, Namkai Meche’s family drafted a letter to President Trump, pleading with him to condemn the train attack as an act of violence stemming from hate speech and hate groups.
“You have said that you will be President for all Americans. So, I ask you Mr. President to take action at this time. Your words and actions are meaningful, here in America and throughout the world,” Namkai Meche’s mother wrote. “Please encourage all Americans to protect and watch out for one another.”
Trump had been criticized for remaining silent about the incident over the weekend — despite returning from his international trip on Saturday and launching into a Twitter tirade about a variety of other topics. On Monday morning, Trump finally acknowledged in a tweet that the attack was “unacceptable.” A representative of Namkai Meche’s family told The Washington Post that they were dismayed it had taken him so long and that the message came from Trump’s less-followed @POTUS account rather than @realDonaldTrump.
Meanwhile, disturbing details about the suspect’s past also emerged over the weekend.
On Friday, police arrested 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian, a north Portland resident described by local media and the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “known white supremacist.” Christian’s Facebook page showed a long history of posting racist and extremist beliefs, including support for creating a “White homeland” in the Pacific Northwest and praising Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
Police also confirmed that Christian was the man in a video taken aboard Portland public transportation the night before the attack, according to KOIN News. In that video, Christian can be seen going on a racist tirade.
“When I heard about the circumstances around it, that was the first thing that popped into my head, ‘I wonder if it’s the same guy from the night before,’ ” the woman who shot that video told the news station. “I felt that he was definitely looking for a fight of some sort that evening.”
Christian was scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday afternoon. He is expected to be arraigned on two counts of aggravated murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of intimidation in the second degree and one count of a felon in possession of a restricted weapon. A Multnomah County grand jury will consider additional charges this week, police said.
Portland police said Monday that they are aware of Christian’s “extremist ideology” and examining his background as part of the investigation of “the circumstances leading to the violent attack.”
Portland stabbing victims include Army vet, recent college graduate
Posted 3:15 pm, May 28, 2017, by CNN Wire, Updated at 03:21PM, May 28, 2017
PORTLAND, Ore. —
Dozens of people gathered on Saturday around a circle of flowers and photos to honor a recent college graduate and an Army veteran who were fatally stabbed on a Portland, Ore., commuter train. The two men were killed after they intervened when a man allegedly yelled what “would best be characterized as hate speech toward a variety of ethnicities and religions” at two women on a Metropolitan Area Express light rail train, Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson said.
A third victim, a poet, survived the attack, but is receiving medical treatment for serious injuries. A suspect, Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, has been arrested on aggravated murder charges.
Federal authorities are trying to determine whether Christian will face hate crimes as a memorial with flowers and notes for the victims grows across from the train station where one of the men died. The victims’ families, friends and Portland residents gathered Saturday at a nearby grassy area. They shared a few words about their loved ones while others praised their courage.
Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche will be remembered as a hero by his family and many in Portland. The 23-year-old was just starting his career. He was a compassionate young man with many plans, his sister said at Saturday’s vigil. After graduating from Portland’s Reed College with a degree in economics last year, he began working at an environmental consulting agency. He had just bought a house and dreamed of getting married and having children in the future.
“He was a hero and will remain a hero on the other side of the veil. Shining bright star I love you forever,” his mother, Asha Deliverance, posted on Facebook. His professors at Reed College described him as a man with a bright future. “I still remember where he sat in conference and the types of probing, intelligent questions I could anticipate him asking,” Kambiz GhaneaBassiri said in a statement sent to students by the college. “He was a wonderful human being. As good as they come. And now he is a hero to me.”
On Friday, Namkai Meche was on the phone with his aunt, who told him to videotape the incident so he could send it to police, her aunt told KATU. “I didn’t mean for him to try to be a hero and get himself killed but he was trying to protect those two teenage girls,” she said in a statement. “He had his whole life in front of him.” Rick Best always worked hard, tried to help those around him and seemed to have a heart for public service.
After 23 years with the military, he joined his family in Portland’s suburb of Happy Valley. First, he became an electronics repairman and loved it because he could spend time with his children. Within a couple of years, he ran for a seat as county commissioner of Clackamas County.
“I can’t stand by and do nothing,” Best said in a 2014 interview with The Oregonian. He wasn’t elected that time, but months later, he began working as a technician with the city of Portland. “He was a devoted husband who talked often of his family. He was a model public servant,” said David Austin, spokesman for Portland commissioner Chloe Eudaly.
He was as a dedicated employee and the first person his colleagues would go to for help, his supervisor told The Oregonian. Micah Fletcher, 21, is being treated in a hospital with serious injuries. His mother, Margie Fletcher, told KATU that the knife missed his jugular by 1 millimeter. “He’s in really bad condition,” his mother said. “I’m proud of him for standing up. I’m grateful that he’s here. It’s hard for me to say I want people to stand up, but two girls might be alive because of them.”
She said her son has intervened for others before. “Micah’s always done that,” Margie Fletcher said. “I’ve always worried about it.” The Oregonian reported Micah Fletcher was taking the train to his job at a pizza shop. He won a 2013 poetry competition with a poem against anti-Muslim prejudice, the newspaper said.
Oregon Man Accused of Deadly Anti-Muslim Tirade Continues Rant in Court
By PHOEBE FLANIGAN and MATT STEVENS
New York Times, MAY 30, 2017
PORTLAND, Ore. —
An Oregon man charged with murdering two people who had tried to intercede during the man’s anti-Muslim tirade spoke out at an arraignment on Tuesday, calling for “death to the enemies of America” while apparently defending his actions as a form of “patriotism.” The man, Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, of North Portland, Ore., is accused of fatally stabbing two men and injuring a third on Friday evening while inside a train car on Portland’s light-rail system.
On Tuesday, Mr. Christian appeared in court here at the Multnomah County Justice Center and was arraigned on nine charges, including two counts of aggravated murder. As soon as he stepped into the courtroom, he launched into a rant. “Free speech or die, Portland,” he shouted. “You got no safe place. This is America, get out if you don’t like free speech.”
Mr. Christian stood silently while the judge spoke. Then he consulted briefly with his court-appointed lawyer. Before leaving the courtroom, he shouted: “Death to the enemies of America. Leave this country if you hate our freedom. “You call it terrorism, I call it patriotism,” he said. “You hear me? Die.”
On Monday, Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland, a Democrat, reacted to the killings by saying that the city would not issue permits for what he called “alt-right” events scheduled for June 4 and June 10. He also called on the federal government to revoke any permits it had already issued. The term alt-right typically refers to a far-right, white nationalist movement.
He also called on organizers of the events to cancel them. “Our city is in mourning, our community’s anger is very real and the timing and subject of these events can only exacerbate what is already a very difficult situation,” he said. “ There is never a place for bigotry or hated in our community, and especially not right now.”
The mayor’s request comes amid a national debate about free speech that has created a deep schism mostly along partisan lines. The University of California, Berkeley took heavy criticism from both liberals and conservatives when school officials decided to cancel a planned speech by right-wing firebrand Ann Coulter. And similar controversies have arisen on other college campuses across the nation.
After Mr. Christian’s brief arraignment on Tuesday, a group of people outside the courtroom could be heard shouting at him through the doors as he was led away. Members of the news media were prohibited from leaving the courtroom for the next several minutes until the situation de-escalated. The surviving victim of the attack, Micah David-Cole Fletcher, attended the arraignment. Ricky John Best, 53, was killed in the train car when he tried to intervene. Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, died at a Portland hospital.
Mr. Fletcher, 21, was hospitalized for serious injuries over the weekend, but told a local television station on Tuesday that he was healing. Civil-rights advocates have said Mr. Christian has a history of making extremist statements on social media.
Friday’s episode on the light rail unfolded around 5 p.m. when the police said Mr. Christian began ranting and talking disparagingly about two women; one was wearing a hijab. When the men tried to intervene, Mr. Christian pulled out a knife and slashed them, the police said. The attacker fled the train car but was soon arrested and booked into the Multnomah County Jail.
The two women, who were not injured, left the scene and were later identified and contacted by investigators. In court documents released Tuesday, prosecutors said video feeds in the back of a patrol car captured Mr. Christian confessing that he had stabbed people in the neck. The documents also mentioned a fourth man who was the first to intervene and was not attacked. The district attorney will soon present the case to a grand jury, a spokesman for Metropolitan Public Defender Services in Portland said in an email on Tuesday.
Phoebe Flanigan reported from Portland, and Matt Stevens from New York.
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