I first encountered Aziz Poonawalla during my exchanges with the frothing psychopath Dean Esmay, as he is a contributor to his blog. Poonawalla and I have had several unpleasant exchanges, which are as tedious to reread as they were to go through, and in which I was not in every case terribly impressed with his honesty or integrity — but you can judge that for yourself if you wish to do so.
And now he has written “Terrorists attack Ohio mosque” at Beliefnet, September 29. There are many links in his opening paragraph which I am not reproducing here, including one to the hypocritical statement of Khaleel Mohammed denouncing the film, which I discussed here. Poonawalla writes:
Earlier, I mentioned the Obsession DVD that was inserted in millions of newspapers around the country. That DVD paints a rigid and extreme vision of Islam, with intent to mislead rather than inform. Now, the predictable result of that hate-mongering propaganda is beginning to manifest; on Friday, a mosque in Dayton, OH was tear-gassed, with women and children inside:
Baboucarr Njie was preparing for his prayer session Friday night, Sept. 26, when he heard children in the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton coughing. Soon, Njie himself was overcome with fits of coughing and, like the rest of those in the building, headed for the doors.
“I would stay outside for a minute, then go back in, there were a lot of kids,” Njie said. “My throat is still itchy, I need to get some milk.”
Njie was one of several affected when a suspected chemical irritant was sprayed into the mosque at 26 Josie St., bringing Dayton police, fire and hazardous material personnel to the building at 9:48 p.m.
Someone “sprayed an irritant into the mosque,” Dayton fire District Chief Vince Wiley said, noting that fire investigators believe it was a hand-held spray can.
According to fire dispatch communications, a child reported seeing two men with a white can spraying something into a window. That child was brought to the supervising firefighter at the scene.
There is more, and it all sounds terrible — but of course even if it is just as Poonawalla says, what does it really have to do with the Obsession DVD? Precisely nothing. Obsession is opposed to attacks on innocent people, and it makes a clear (and not in every sense accurate) distinction between peaceful Muslims and jihadists — so to claim that it led to an attack on innocents is just another instance of Muslims playing the victim card whenever too much unwelcome attention is shone upon jihadist or Islamic supremacist activity, in order to deflect that attention. For another example of this, see here.
Underscoring this impression is this report: “Police: No evidence of hate crime at local mosque,” by Lucas Sullivan for the Dayton Daily News, September 29 (thanks to all who sent this in):
DAYTON “” A 10-year-old girl sprayed in the face with a chemical Friday, Sept. 26, while at a local Islamic mosque was not the victim of a hate crime, police Chief Richard Biehl said.
The girl was watching children whose parents and relatives had gathered at the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, 26 Josie St., to celebrate Ramadan when she noticed two men standing outside a basement window about 9:40 p.m., according to police.
One of the men then sprayed something through the open window and into the girl’s face from a white can with a red top, according to a police report. The girl said she immediately felt burning on her face and felt “sick to her stomach,” the report stated.
Other children and a woman in the room felt affects from the chemical and the mosque was evacuated.
“The men didn’t say anything to her (before she was sprayed),” Biehl said. “There was nothing left at the scene or anything that makes us believe this is a biased crime.”
HAZMAT crews called to the scene started testing for chemicals less than 20 minutes after a member of the mosque called 911, team coordinator Denny Bristow said.
“Whatever chemical was released it dissipated too quickly for us to determine what it was,” Bristow said. “We can test for about 130 to 140 chemicals, including pepper spray, and all our tests came back negative.”
Bristow said there were no chemicals found on the 10-year-old girl.
A few of the 300 people celebrating the last 10 days of Ramadan with dinner and a prayer session were treated for eye irritation at the scene.
Mosque board member Tarek Sabagh said many people within the mosque speculated that the incident was the result of a DVD about Islamic radicalism titled “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” that was mailed to area homes by its producers and circulated as a paid advertisement with more than 70 newspapers, including the Dayton Daily News.
“We are not linking the two at all,” Sabagh said.
Will Aziz Poonawalla issue a retraction and an apology to the producers of Obsession? Let’s just say I won’t be holding my breath.