What a coincidence! Of all the many, many people wearing traditional Muslim attire in Washington, DC, the one that this greasy Islamophobe decided to punch randomly in the throat was a longtime Muslim activist, an employee of the pro-Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar-funded Brookings Institution, previously active at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with the Muslim Students Association, a Muslim Brotherhood organization.
I myself met Rashid Dar when I spoke at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in October 2008, and described him in my post at the time as an “arrogant and self-righteous lout” who “tried to shout me down — lest the crowd hear some inconvenient facts.” I wrote about him again in February 2010, when he was whining about Ayaan Hirsi Ali speaking at the same university.
And now he says he was punched in the throat, and he and Ibrahim Hooper of Hamas-linked CAIR are sure it was “Islamophobia,” and that it was Donald Trump’s fault. Mr. Dar, Washington, D.C. isn’t Madison, Wisconsin, so perhaps you’re not aware that big cities are full of violent people who lash out at or victimize random passersby. One night in the late 1980s, the bad old days of New York City, as I was heading back to my apartment in the small hours of the morning, I was relieved at gunpoint of the three dollars I still had on me after a fine evening in Manhattan, and soon afterward encountered a second group of muggers; I had to explain to them that they were too late, I had already been cleaned out. That’s life in the city. It would have been premature of me to blame CAIR and the Southern Poverty Law Center for creating a climate of hate against me, but even if that happened again tonight, I would not do so. Cities can be dangerous.
Rashid Dar may have been attacked for “Islamophobia,” although it’s a mighty coincidence for a committed Muslim-victimhood-monger to be singled out in this way. He may also have just had the misfortune of encountering a violent psychotic; there is, unfortunately, no shortage of those on Washington streets (and no, I’m not talking about federal employees). The attacker said nothing, but Dar is nonetheless convinced that it was “Islamophobia,” which reveals more about Rashid Dar than it does about this incident. Hamas-linked CAIR and other Muslims have on many occasions not hesitated to stoop even to fabricating “hate crimes,” including attacks on mosques. A New Jersey Muslim was found guilty of murder that he tried to portray as an “Islamophobic” attack, and in 2014 in California, a Muslim was found guilty of killing his wife, after first blaming her murder on “Islamophobia.”
This kind of thing happens quite frequently. The New York Daily News reported that “a woman who told cops she was called a terrorist and slashed on her cheek in lower Manhattan on Thursday later admitted she made up the story, police said early Friday. The woman, who wore a headscarf, told authorities a blade-wielding wacko sliced open her face as she left a Manhattan cosmetology school, police sources said.”
And recently in Britain, the murder of a popular imam was spread far and wide as another “Islamophobic hate crime” – until his killer also was found to be a Muslim. The Mirror reported that the imam “was targeted because he had made efforts to turn youngsters away from radical Islam.”
According to The Detroit News, a Muslim woman, Saida Chatti, was “charged with making a false police report after she allegedly fabricated a plot to blow up Dearborn Fordson High School to retaliate against the November terrorist attacks in Paris….Police say Chatti called Dearborn investigators Nov. 19, six days after Islamic extremists killed 130 people in Paris.”
And similarly in Britain, a Muslim woman was “fined for lying to police about being attacked for wearing a hijab. The 18-year-old student, known only as Miss Choudhury, said she was violently shoved from behind and punched in the face by a man in Birmingham city centre 10 days after the atrocities in the French capital on November 13.”
Now Rashid Dar says he has been punched in the throat. The next time you read a mainstream media story about how “anti-Muslim hate crimes” have “increased by 153%” or some such, remember that incidents like this one are used to arrive at such statistics.
“Man Wearing Traditional Muslim Attire Punched Near Dupont Metro,” by Rachel Kurzius, dcist, September 30, 2016:
This afternoon, Rashid Dar was walking with his brother in Dupont when a man he didn’t know approached him and punched him in the throat, all without saying a word.
Dar, a researcher at Brookings and a Muslim man, was about to finish up a sermon he was set to give downtown. “I believe I was attacked for the way I was dressed,” he says.
As is his tradition on Friday afternoons, he was clad in a black overcoat often worn by imams and a taqiyah, a hat worn to pray. “It is generally my habit to wear overtly Muslim clothing on my way to Friday prayer,” Dar says. “I’m a proud Muslim. I don’t feel the need to apologize for it.”
Dar’s brother went after the man, Dar says, and the two were circling one another for a moment, before the alleged attacker ran away.
Dar reported the incident to the police and says a detective has been assigned to the case. D.C. Police does not comment on ongoing investigations, but confirmed they received a call about an unprovoked assault in the 1200 block of 19th Street NW.
“Given the unprecedented rise in anti-Muslim sentiment, we’re concerned about a possible bias motive,” says Ibrahim Hooper, the communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “We don’t know what the motive is now, but we’re looking into it. The fact that he was dressed in quote Islamic attire is one of the things, just as headscarves seem to be.”
Dar says this is the first time that he has faced harassment in D.C., but his wife, who wears a headscarf, has dealt with Islamophobia on a more consistent basis. “Muslim women go through a hell of a lot more than Muslim men,” he says. A Muslim woman was attacked by a self-proclaimed Donald Trump supporter in Chevy Chase this May.
Both Dar and Hooper mention the Republican nominee as contributing to a more hostile environment for Muslims in America. “He has mainstreamed Islamophobia and anti-Muslim beliefs,” Hooper says.
Dar says that, in his experience, Muslims are facing more discrimination now than after September 11. “Things that were previously kept in the shadows and not within polite company could now happen in broad daylight,” he says. “This happened in broad daylight.”
All in all, he says he’s lucky. He points to the outpouring of support he’s received from colleagues and even strangers. “Aside from getting punched in the throat, I think I had a pretty good day. This incident hasn’t decreased my faith in the kind of people I am surrounded by, even on the streets.”
Physically speaking, he’s doing fine. “I’m okay, I’m speaking to you right now,” he says. “I’d like to use this incident to raise awareness about what happens when someone dares to be proudly Muslim. I’m just a guy who happened to have a Twitter account and an online presence, but there are so many other Muslims who are facing victimization on a daily basis.”
Dar still gave his sermon about the mercy of God. “I went on to give a fine sermon, if I do say so myself,” he says. “I made a joke about how I came here to give a sermon to you about the fundamentally merciful nature of God and he sent someone to punch me in the throat on the way here.”