June 27, 2003

Mistaken for a Muslim

"It's probably one of the most vicious robberies I've ever seen" said Fairhaven Police Chief Gary F. Souza.

Delivery man beaten, burned and stabbed for less than $40 (Via SouthCoast Today)

An internal email from the UMass Dartmouth chancellor alerted me to this story. The victim was a graduate student at my university. He was beaten, burned with cigarettes, stuffed in the trunk of a car, robbed and stabbed. Why? He was of Indian ancestry. His assailants thought he belonged to the Muslim faith. Is this the sort of thing I can look forward to with my family, who are middle-eastern and my daughters, who also inherited the ancestry.

And what about people who really are Muslims? I'll bet more than a few out there reading this story are thinking that the attackers only mistake was their stupidity in finding a non-Muslim. Some are likely thinking, "Well, close enough for government work."

It saddens me that this is how I get to hear about my "hometown" area in international news.

The men initially wanted to rob Bhalerao, but started assaulting him thinking he was a Muslim. They continued to beat him even as he tried to explain that he was a Hindu. “They were telling him he should go back to Iraq,” Mr Souza said.

At the moment, I am at a loss for further words on this subject.

Posted by James at June 27, 2003 5:12 PM
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Anger and ignorance, a dangerous combination.

A trait the rest of the world sees as almost exclusively American these days.

Posted by: Mike at June 27, 2003 5:27 PM

Isn't there a parallel here with what our government is doing? In anger, fear and ignorance we have killed people simply because they happened to be born citizens of Iraq. The Iraqi people never attacked us, yet for more than a decade we have waged a vicious and continuous campaign against them all in the name of stopping one brutal man.

At the same time this beauting has been in the papers, there has been a running story about our attack on a "convoy" near or in Syria. We thought Saddam Hussein was in it. We intended to kill him, scrape up some body parts, and get DNA proof that we were successful. Far be it from us to make sure we know who we are shooting at. It's shoot first, then find the DNA - bomb first, then find the weapons of mass destruction. With friends like us you don;t need enemies.

Hussein wasn't in the convoy. So who did we kill? Last I saw, no one seems to know - or even care. They weren't Americans.

I in no way defend the idiots who beat up this graduate student. There is no excuse for what they did. But it bothers me more that our government is using my tax dollars to kill innocent people and the "intelligence" they are apparently relying on isn't much better than what these thugs exhibited.

in a weird sense, the local event was a "copy cat crime." Monkey see, monkey do.

Posted by: Greg at June 27, 2003 7:05 PM

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