Now They’re Attacking Muslims Over Park 51: Queens Cab Driver Stabbed in The Neck by Passenger Because He Said He Was Muslim

Ahmed H. Sharif, a Bangladeshi cab driver who is Muslim, barely escaped with his life when he was attacked by college student Michael Enright Tuesday night (Courtesy: WSJ)

Notice that people who always perpetrate these kinds of violent, vile crimes always look like dweebs? This was thoroughly uncalled for. Throw the book at him.

The victim was Ahmed H. Sharif, a 43-year-old Bangladeshi immigrant who has driven a cab for 15 years. Naturally, the attack has left him shaken and upset. The Bellevue Hospital photo above shows him a bit cleaned up, but there are other, more garish photos that show him bleeding and cut, especially from that stab wound in the neck, and from his nose.

“I feel very sad,” he said. With the tension over the mosque, he added, “All drivers should be more careful.”

Sharif accepted an invitation from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a staunch of the supporter of the mosque, to visit City Hall on Thursday.

“This attack runs counter to everything that New Yorkers believe no matter what god we pray to,” the mayor said in a statement.

Yesterday, Bloomberg made yet another strong public statement in support of the Cordoba House/Park 51 project. Unlike other politicians who want to make hay or stay mum over this non-issue, the mayor said:

“But if we say that a mosque or a community center should not be built near the perimeter of the World Trade Center site, we would compromise our commitment to fighting terror with freedom.

“We would undercut the values and principles that so many heroes died protecting. We would feed the false impressions that some Americans have about Muslims. We would send a signal around the world that Muslim Americans may be equal in the eyes of the law, but separate in the eyes of their countrymen. And we would hand a valuable propaganda tool to terrorist recruiters, who spread the fallacy that America is at war with Islam.

And now this.

The Muslim street must be a pressure cooker tonight. Do you think that all of them are looking at this incident calmly?

This guy was an admirer of Tea Party adherent Greg Ball, for starters.

He was identified as Michael Enright, a college student at the School of Visual Arts, and who lives in Brewster, Putnam County, New York.

A criminal complaint alleged that Michael Enright uttered an Arabic greeting and told the victim, “Consider this a checkpoint,” before the brutal bias attack occurred Tuesday night inside the yellow cab on Manhattan’s East Side. Police say Enright was drunk at the time.

A judge ordered Enright, 21, held without bail on charges of attempted murder and assault as a hate crime and weapon possession. The handcuffed defendant, wearing a polo shirt and cargo shorts, did not enter a plea during the brief court appearance.

In addition to a serious neck wound, Ahmed H. Sharif suffered cuts to forearms, face and one hand while trying to fend off Enright, prosecutor James Zeleta said while arguing against bail.

Defense attorney Jason Martin told the judge his client was an honors student at the School of Visual Arts who lives with his parents in suburban Brewster, N.Y.

To deny bail, given his background, “I don’t think is warranted,” Martin argued. The lawyer declined to comment outside court.

Enright volunteered for Intersections International, a group that promotes interfaith dialogue and has supported a controversial proposed mosque near ground zero.

Bulltacos. This kid needs the slammer. Furthermore, in vino veritas. This guy clearly wanted to do someone who was Muslim, and probably had swallowed some Dutch courage to pull off the deed.

Could it be that this guy was a sleeper in Intersections International? The left-leaning organization had just come out in favor of the Cordoba House/Park 51 project. An early evening update from HuffPo/AP says that Enright was in Afghanistan working on a non-partisan documentary on a Marine unit that his high school friend served with.

Too impressionable youth?

Intersections International has also issued a statement at the same time:

We have learned about an incident wherein one of our volunteers may have been charged with a hate crime in a stabbing incident that involved a New York City cab driver on Tuesday evening.

The alleged perpetrator is not an employee and has never been an employee of Intersections. There is a person who fits the description of the alleged perpetrator who has worked with us as a volunteer, but until we get further confirmation of the details in this incident, we cannot comment.

Our hearts go out to the cab driver, his family and any person who has dealt with such unacceptable violence.

Intersections is on record, explicitly and consistently, as promoting interfaith dialogue and cross cultural cooperation, specifically with our Muslim brothers and sisters. We deplore violence and any act that may be categorized as a hate crime.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all parties in this tragic incident.

Or did Michael Enright mainline too much Faux Noise?

If he wasn’t a sleeping troublemaker or spying on the organization, he probably didn’t know who he really was, or where he was.

What happened?

About 6 p.m. Tuesday, Enright hailed the cab at East 24th Street and Second Avenue, said Deputy Inspector Kim Royster, a New York Police Department spokeswoman.

Sharif told authorities that during the trip, Enright asked him whether he was Muslim. When he said yes, Enright pulled out a weapon – believed to be a tool called a Leatherman – and attacked the driver, Royster said.

After the assault, the driver tried to lock Enright inside the cab and drive to a police station, police said. The suspect jumped out a rear window at East 40th Street and Third Avenue.

An officer there noticed the commotion, found Enright slumped on the sidewalk and arrested him.

A case for the tool was found inside the cab, but the tool itself was missing, police said.

Tried to drive Sharif to a police station? Probably not for first aid.

I looked up a Leatherman. In the wrong hands, it isn’t a tool, but a murder weapon.

The cops keep saying that this whole thing is unrelated to the Islamic culture center controversy. Frankly, I don’t think so. The only other reason for the incident would have been robbery. It wasn’t robbery. There is something wrong here.

More later. There is bound to be more later.

~ by blksista on August 25, 2010.

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