Washington Navy Yard Tragedy Shamelessly Exploited by Islamophobes
by Sheila Musaji
This morning there was another mass shooting tragedy in America. This time it was at the Washington Navy Yard, and the most current information says that the shooter killed at least 12 people and injured several more. The shooter may or may not have had an accomplice. The investigation is ongoing, and at this point no one knows the motive for this act of terror.
There are innocent people who have been murdered. They all have family and friends who are mourning their loss. We can only pray for the victims and all those who loved them, and trust in law enforcement to carry out a complete investigation. Those who are close to D.C. can give blood if it is needed for the injured. The FBI is asking that any citizens who have any information about the shooter contact them to help in their investigation.
This is a time of mourning for the entire country for a crime we have seen repeated too many times in too many locations. The Washington Post has put together information about the victims here.
The LA Times reports
Washington, D.C., police say they are no longer looking for one of two “potential” suspects in the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard this morning, indicating that the 11 victims of the attack were all killed by a single shooter.
Federal officials have identified the shooter as Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old government civilian contractor from Fort Worth, Texas, who was new to the Washington, D.C., area, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the investigation. He may have used the identification badge of another person to gain access to the base.
Federal officials say Alexis was arrested in Fort Worth Sept 5, 2010 for discharging a weapon. The Tarrant County District Attorney did not prosecute. ...
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported “... Alexis had been in the Navy from 2007 to 2011 and was most recently stationed at Naval Air Station Fort Worth, according to Lt. Cmdr. Sarah Blansett, a Navy spokeswoman in McLean, Va. He worked as an aviation electrician’s mate, 3rd class, in the Navy Reserve’s Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 46, according to the Navy. ... A friend said Alexis loved Buddhism. “He loved to go to temple, go to meditate in Thai and English,” the friend said. “He could do both of them.” The Washington Post reported “He lived until recently in Fort Worth, where he was seen frequently at a Buddhist temple, meditating and helping out.”. The Washington Post also reported:
... In Fort Worth, Alexis had become a familiar, if unusual, figure at a Buddhist temple. At the Wat Busayadhammavanaram Meditation Center there, Alexis came to meditate twice a week. But he still seemed so tightly wound that at least one worker there sought to avoid him. “He would help people if they came in carrying heavy things,” said J. Sirun, an assistant to the monks at the center. “From the outside, he was a quiet person. But on the inside, I think he was very aggressive. He did not like to be close with anybody, like a soldier who has been at war.”
Alexis spoke Thai, the language of many other temple worshippers, and also worked as a waiter at a Thai restaurant. One acquaintance said Alexis had recently traveled to Thailand for a month. “He understood about 75 percent of the language,” Sirun said. ...
At this time, that is all that anyone knows about this terrible tragedy. Nevertheless, some despicable individuals are already attempting to shamelessly exploit this tragedy to promote an Islamophobic agenda. They do not even have the decency to first express sorrow for the victims, or concern for the families before speculating and making baseless claims. Here are some of the most egregious of these hateful screeds published within hours of the tragedy, and before all the facts are in:
Sheik Yer’Mami published We can’t risk our diversity over jihad attack on Washington Naval Yard….
Debbie Schlussel wrote Navy Yard Massacre Jihad? in which she says ”... This isn’t about race or lone wolf craziness, since three men of various races are involved. This is coordinated and engages a tactic frequently used by Islamic terrorists: wearing the clothing of our Armed Forces to blend in and gain entry and access. ... “
Pamela Geller published an article expressing her outrage that Carol Costello, a CNN reporter made this comment “I used to work in Washington, live in Washington. This seems so unusual to me that a gunman could create this kind of havoc at a U.S. military facility,” Costello stated. “Have you ever heard of it happening before, Brian?” Geller was outraged because the newscaster didn’t immediately make a connection with this tragedy and the Fort Hood shooting. Geller commented: “Yes, of course. According to the dhimmedia muppets at CNN, there is no jihad. So if there is no jihad, then Fort Hood never happened. And those 14 victims of jihad were not slaughtered in cold blood. CNN is a good example of the low state of news organizations in this country. Anyone who mentions Fort Hood is an islamophobe. Just for the record, the Fort Hood jihad was the worst attack on a military base on the US mainland in history.
Yes, Fort Hood was a terrible tragedy, and was the worst attack on a military base in the U.S., and the perpetrator was a Muslim. He was tried and convicted for his crimes and will face the death penalty. See Fort Hood Tragedy, Islam, and America for information about American Muslim community responses to this tragedy.
The massacre of soldiers at Fort Bragg by Sgt. William J. Kreutzer, Jr. who killed one officer and wounded 17 other soldiers when he opened fire on a formation at Fort Bragg, NC. was also a terrible tragedy, and the perpetrator was not a Muslim. The shooting of five soldiers at the Camp Liberty Combat Stress Center by Sgt. John Russell was a terrible tragedy, and Russell was not a Muslim. The fatal shooting of four people and injuring of 23 others at Fairchild Air Force Base hospital by Dean Mellberg was a terrible tragedy, and Mellberg was not Muslim.
Why is it that Geller and other Islamophobes don’t mention any of these incidents? Why is it that Islamophobes like Pamela Geller are only concerned about such crimes when the perpetrators are Muslims, especially since most of the perpetrators are not Muslims. Why is it that no matter what the circumstances of any act of terrorism or violence, Islamophobes need to find a way to remind her readers of Muslim criminals? Statements about the Hutaree Christian Militia and their shameless attack on the memory of Anders Breivek’s Norway terror victims are previous examples of this selective concern.
Every act of terrorism, workplace violence, mass murder is a tragedy, and the perpetrators are all criminals, no matter what their religion, race, political motivation, etc.
Pamela Geller, her partner in hate, Robert Spencer, and their fellows in the Islamophobia echo chamber consistently involve themselves in such distortions of reality to further their agenda. Here are just a few examples of previous forays into this fetid swamp of paranoid fear-mongering they have engaged in:
The supposed bomb threat made by an Arizona student that led to an evacuation of the school was a hoax by non-Muslim students. — Muslims are not more likely to support terrorism and violence than Christians or Jews. — The University of Oklahoma bombing had no connection with Islam.— The Virginia Tech massacre had no connection with Islam. — The story that Iran was going to attack the U.S. and/or Israel with nuclear weapons on August 22, 2006 was a lie. — There were no Muslims acting suspiciously on Air Tran flight 297. — 17,000 “Islamic terrorist” attacks exist only in fevered Islamophobic brains — Muslims did not paint graffiti on Southwest jets as a “jihadist” or “Islamic threat” — The tragic Belgian massacre by Nordine Amrani was not a “jihad” attack and Amrani wasn’t a Muslim — The Hollywood shooter, Tyler Brehm was not a Muslim — There was no assassination attempt on an EDL leader in Britain. — Muslims are not more likely than non-Muslims to approve of violence against civilians (PEW poll). —The Holocaust museum shooting had nothing to do with Islam. — Anders Breivik’s terrible massacre in Norway was not “a jihad” or even commited by a Muslim — The “Muslim plot” to kill the Pope never happened — Five American Muslim soldiers never plotted to poison their fellow soldiers. — There was no Muslim cat crucifixion in Nigeria to protest an anti-Muslim film. A UK teen was not “brutally beaten” by 15 (Note: click on the links to see responses to particular claims or incidents)
When Islamophobes are caught in the act of making up lies or distorting claims they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence. Since, if they had only waited an hour or so they would have known that the perpetrator of this crime seems to have been a practicing Buddhist, not a Muslim, it will be interesting to see how they react.
See TAM Resources for dealing with Islamophobes & Islamophobia for thousands of examples of this fear mongering, and responses to false claims.