Jewish World Review July 10, 2002/ 1 Menachem-Av, 5762
is a river in Egypt!
Suppose it was Judy Garland's birthday and I went to my local gay bathhouse and opened fire on the fetching young men handing out the towels. How many minutes would tick by before the word "homophobia" was heard?
Or suppose it was the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and me and my semi-automatic swung by the abortion clinic ...
Well, you get the idea. On the Fourth of July (hint) a guy went to the airport in Los Angeles, sauntered up to the ticket counter of El Al (hint) and fatally shot two people and wounded three. How many folks hearing the news on a quickie radio update honestly expected it to be anyone other than a Muslim male of Middle Eastern origin? Obviously, Underperformin' Norman Mineta, the scrupulously sensitivity-trained U.S. Transportation Secretary, would have been wary of jumping to conclusions. Were he running the LAPD, he'd have pulled in a couple of elderly nuns and Kelli-Sue, a trainee hairdresser from Des Moines.
But, fortunately for the final death toll, El Al has its own security and so the suspect, after firing 10 rounds, was himself killed. And whaddaya know? He wasn't an elderly nun but a 41-year-old Egyptian male! His name wasn't Kellie-Sue, it was Hesham Mohamed Hadayet!
This stunning development seems to have completely disoriented the FBI. I quote from The New York Times headline: "Officials Puzzled About Motive Of Airport Gunman."
Hmm. Egyptian Muslim kills Jews on American national holiday. Best not to jump to conclusions. Denial really is a river in Egypt. "It appears he went there with the intention of killing people," said Richard Garcia, the Bureau's agent in charge. "Why he did that we are still trying to determine."
CNN and The Associated Press all but stampeded to report a "witness" who described the shooter as a fat white guy in a ponytail who kept yelling "Artie took my job." But, alas, this promising account proved to be a prank. Saudi Arabia's popular Arab News suggested that Mr. Hadayet had made the mistake of doing business with El Al and that "the Israeli airline had been late in paying for two limousine rentals from the Egyptian immigrant's company." If a couple of late cheques were a motive for murder, Izzy's and Conrad's heads would now be stuffed and mounted in my trophy room. But, sadly, this cautionary tale about the Jew bloodsucker's commercial wiles proved also to be false.
That left the police with no leads. Nothing to go on. The trail's stone cold. All the FBI has is an Egyptian male, who'd complained to his apartment managers after his neighbours post-9/11 began displaying the American flag; who'd posted a banner saying "READ KORAN" on his own front door; who told his employees that he hated Israel, that the two biggest drug dealers in New York were Israelis, and that Israel was trying to wipe out the Egyptian population by flooding the country with AIDS-infected Jewess prostitutes.
Could even the most expert psychological profiler make sense of such confusing and contradictory signs? Beats me, Sherlock. But, as Agent Garcia says, there's no indication of "anti-Israel views or any other type of racial views." Orange County's Muslim Public Affairs Council has praised Agent Garcia for his exceptionally advanced levels of sensitivity. Any moment now, they'll be demanding to know why Governor Gray Davis has failed to visit a mosque to reassure Muslims.
Meanwhile, a London newspaper says that Mr. Hadayet may have met with Osama bin Laden's deputy on at least two occasions in Cairo. If last Thursday's shooting is the spectacular Fourth of July massacre al-Qaeda have been promising for months, then they're to be congratulated for a bloody slaughter on an epic scale never before seen in America except from incompetent grade-school psychos who steal Uncle Bud's hunting rifle but forget to take any extra ammo.
In a story headlined "Bin Laden Plans Fresh Terror For September," Britain's Observer reported yesterday that "terrorists are planning a series of spectacular attacks on American, British and Israeli targets to coincide with the anniversary of the destruction of the World Trade Center on 11 September last year." As spectacular as Thursday? Well, let's not get too ambitious ... Oh, speaking of the late Mr. bin Laden, whatever happened to that new video we were promised any day now? Well, apparently, that's been pushed back to the new fall season, too, and should be premiering the same week as the new romantic comedy in which I star as the world's most eligible bachelor unable to choose between Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz and so forced to make love to both repeatedly. I offered Osama a small part, but he said, "I've got one already."
Credit where it's due. Between September 11th and July 4th, there were no terrorist attacks on American soil. That's a longer period of peace than the British ever managed in the 30 years it took them to surrender to the IRA. Much of this 10-month calm is due to increased vigilance but some of it is also due to al-Qaeda's preference for hiring morons. If their glorious Fourth was really the follow-up to 9/11, then I'd say that's the worst-performing sequel since Dudley Moore made Arthur II.
But let's take the Feds at their word when they insist there's "no connection" between the LAX killer and any terrorist organizations. In its way, that's even more disturbing. Mr. Hadayet doesn't fit the poverty-breeds-desperation-breeds-resentment routine: He lived in a prosperous L.A. suburb and ran his own business. America had been good to him, at least when compared with the economic basket-case he emigrated from. On July 4th, he had plenty of reasons to get out the bunting and firecrackers. Instead, he went Jew-killing.
Osama and al-Qaeda are a small problem, which since September 11th has been managed about as well as can be expected. But the broader culture of "intolerance" in certain unassimilated communities is a potentially much bigger problem. You win wars not just by bombing but by argument, too: Churchill understood this; he characterized the enemy as evil, because they were and because it was important for the British people to understand this if they were to muster the will to see the war through. In Vietnam, the U.S. lost the rhetorical ground to Jane Fonda and co., and wound up losing the war, too.
It's critical that the same thing does not happen here. The organizations that purport to represent Muslims in North America and Europe have their own excuses for turning a blind eye to the torrent of hate from respectable sources within the Muslim world -- mosques, media, government. There's no reason why the FBI and other U.S. agencies should sign on to their fictions.
In the meantime, spare a thought for Thursday's victims, Victoria Hen, 25, and Yaakov Aminov, 46. Mr. Hadayet successfully orphaned eight children -- and a ninth on the way. Congratulations to another heroic Islamist martyr!
But, in the midst of so much regrettably predictable behaviour, this column is pleased to inaugurate the David Atkin Muslim Balls Award. As readers may recall, the other week, David Atkin of Windsor, Ont., wrote to say that I "don't have the balls to write anything positive about Muslims."
So let me salute those Muslim
Pakistani police currently searching for three men wanted for
carrying out the gang-rape to which an 18-year-old girl was
sentenced by a Punjabi tribal council. Let me also salute the many
Muslim Pakistanis said to be "outraged" by the girl's treatment:
She was punished by the council because her brother had been
seen unchaperoned with a woman from a higher social class; her
father was made to witness the multiple rape. Let me salute, too,
Muslim strongman General Musharraf who is ordering
compensation of US$8,000 to be paid. It's not a lot -- indeed, it
would be insulting in a Western court -- but at least he recognizes
something's wrong. That's a start. Returning his country to English
Common Law would be even better.
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JWR contributor Mark Steyn is Senior Contributing Editor of The National Post. Comment by clicking here.
06/20/02: A fight to the finish