Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mr. Haroon Khan

I met Mr. Haroon Khan today, but I wish under better circumstances.

I was beginning a walk with my 21-month old, her brother andd sister and our dog this afternoon when I spotted our neighbors, the Siddikis, in their driveway. Amir and Aysha are two of the nicest neighbors one could after ask for (the entire neighborhood is great, too). Their three kids are absolutely precious.

Anyway, I went over to say hello and noticed they seemed very somber, almost distracted -- quite unlike the usual greeting which is always accompanied with smiles. I asked what was up and Amir told me they had just returned from the funeral of Haroon Khan.

Oh my. I was at a loss for words. What could I say other than I was sorry?

I knew that Mr. Khan, the son of a physician and a UWM student as I had been, had been murdered by a young man from Watertown, apparently as the end act in the theft of Khan's car. I had seen the news on TV and had been shocked. I suppose I should have known that the local Muslim community isn't that large and it was likely that the Siddickis would have know the Khan family.

It was obvious they were both still in shock and deeply affected by Mr. Khan's death. Amir asked if I knew anything about the incident. I replied only what I had seen on television. Amir told me that Khan's murder was a brutal affair. Amir said Khan begged for his life. Khan apparently said he had a family and promised not to say anything about the theft. However, the young man had already determined that this theft would end in murder it was later determined. Khan was stabbed, Amir told me, 25 times and his throat was cut. His body was then dumped into a shallow hole.

As Amir told me this he shook and nearly broke into tears. He couldn't believe this had happened for a car. Why, he asked. It made no sense.

I don't know the young man who so viciously took Khan's life, but I can tell you why I think some of the brutality went beyond simple burglary. I think that a desensitizing effect has come over much of American society as a result of 9-11. I blame those who claim to be right-wingers, conservatives, Republican and many so-called Christians. That includes not only those who have been the most forward about spreading vicious lies and slanders about Muslims, helping to whip ignorant Americans into a fever-pitch frenzy toward anyone who looks or sounds different -- Muslim. I blame those, too, on the right who have not said anything. Those who have remained quiet but could have spoken out.

Being Muslim has become the new four-letter word and anti-Muslim hysteria has been fanned throughout the nation. Even though no other candidate uses his or her middle name formally, the right thinks it somehow funny to use the given middle name of Barack Obama, not out of any sign of respect, but as a crude tie to Saddam Hussein. Muslims are routinely called ragheads and terrorists. Their religion is slandered and their people targeted with hate mail.

Even today I was told by a local small businessman that he wasn't voting for that A-rab Hussein Obama. And then he said, when I mentioned I would be voting for him that he heard A-rab News had said they'd soon have a way in to the United States through the White House.

Yes, A-rab News.

I do know this -- I feel incredibly sorry for my wonderful neighbors. They have adopted this country as their own, their home. They are the best neighbors anyone could ever ask for. And I saw them today in such pain and sorrow. It's not right.

My condolences to the Khan family. I am so sorry for your loss.

UPDATE:
Update: You can't go to McCain/Palin rallies now without hearing the hate-driven people who have been whipped to a frenzy and a blind rage. These same resentlul people are yelling that Obama is a terrorist, a Muslim, (as though that would be wrong) a socialist and that his supporters are commuists. And, of course, the racist crap is just starting to appear publicly along with threats to his life (which Palin enables).

According to Glenn Greenwald, there is a billboard (at least one) of Obama wearing a turban and even the little kids are being twisted by the lizards on the right. A neighbor kid suggested I take down our Obama sign because he wants to kill children.

There is nothing at Obama rallies that approaches the invective being delivered at McCain/Palin rallies. The right should be ashamed.

UPDATED AGAIN: Friday at a McCain rally in Minnesota a woman said, "I don't trust Obama. I have read about him. He's an Arab."

Yep, no one unhinged here.

26 comments:

Dad29 said...

Without a doubt the most intellectuallly-disordered screed I've read in a long time.

Your rant would be much better-founded if you linked the "Desensitizing effect" to Roe v. Wade, which, after all, informed the country that some humans are not human.

Other Side said...

Nice try. Deflect all you want, daddio. But you are implicit.

You know, it has been all right for you clowns to blame the left for the ills of the country for years. What comes around goes around, eh?

Other Side said...

Additionally ... On the contrary regarding Roe v Wade, it gave women, finally, the ability to break away from so-called men like you and establish that they were free to determine their destiny.

Dad29 said...

We're done.

Other Side said...

Don't like the truth, eh?

Thurmlee said...

First, let me offer my condolences to the Khan family. No one should have to endure what they have gone through.

Second, to somehow suggest that McCain/Palin supporters are impicitly to blame for this tragedy is misguided at best.

Third, I respectfully must disagree with your conclusion on Roe v Wade. The culture of death that we have today is in large part due to the fact that our supposed civilized nation allows the murder of our own children.

Finally, regarding your uncalled for personal attack on Dad29, the next time you want to accuse someone of being hate-driven, take a look in the mirror and see how you like THAT truth.

Thurmlee said...

Oh, and one more thing. I am not delusional enough to suggest that Obama wants to kill children. He does however claim that there is such a thing as a 'right' to kill children, and would like to codify such a 'right' into our legal system. I thought that one individual's rights ended when they intruded on the rights of another. Guess all that constitutional stuff is old and needs to be replaced.

Patrick said...

invective indeed.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2008/10/mccains_chilling_dance_with_th.html

Other Side said...

Hi Tony:

Of course not ... I did not say that. I wondered whether the culture of hate that has been propogated by the unhinged on the right was not somehow partly responsible for the excess brutality of this crime. And, I stand by what I said regarding those on the right not speaking out about this behavior.

I respectfully disagree with you regarding abortion. 'Nuff said. And besides, it had nothing to do with this discussion.

Regarding dad29, you obviously don't know him. He has called women bitches. He has stated that it was the woman's fault for joining the service if one were raped or molested. He calls himself nasty and is in the business of making personal attacks on a regular basis. I have had it with him, especially his superior than thou attitude.

And, he is supremely unapologetic about using racist code and is a misogynist. I don't really give a damn.

I thought that one individual's rights ended when they intruded on the rights of another.

They do -- that's what choice is all about -- keeping your nose out of deciding what a woman wishes to do with her body. It's her right, not yours or anyone elses.

Other Side said...

@Patrick

Indeed.

Thurmlee said...

They do -- that's what choice is all about -- keeping your nose out of deciding what a woman wishes to do with her body. It's her right, not yours or anyone elses.

And what of the rights of the child? Your beautiful 21 month old did not have any rights 22 months ago? What happened in between that she suddenly was bestowed with rights 21 months ago that she did not have 22 months ago? She was surely alive 22 months ago.

Thurmlee said...

And, I stand by what I said regarding those on the right not speaking out about this behavior.

And I am still waiting to hear those in the Muslim community speak out about the behavior of those who committed those acts of terror on 9-11, in the name of allah.

Other Side said...

Hi Tony: Great choice we made, eh.

And -- Quite a few did. You must not have been listening.

Thurmlee said...

And while we are on the subject of hate, let me tell you about the hate that was thrown my way by your pro-death pals while I was peacefully standing vigil at the baby killing mill on Saturday. I was not there for more than 5 minutes when someone drove by, beeped his horn and flashed us the finger. Over the course of two hours I heard all sorts of obsceneties screamed at me by passing cars. I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for someone from the other side to speak out against such hate mongering.

Other Side said...

It shouldn't be done. The next time I find the time to be engaged in a counter-protest against the anti-choice crowd and I see someone act as you say they did, I'll make sure to tell them their actions are inappropriate and to cease and desist.

Now, I won't go into depth about the murders of doctors by your side, but I'm curious to see what your response to that was.

But truthfully, your point is minor, and kind of whiny. Sorry, Tony.

Thurmlee said...

My point, Tim, is that if you actually put your head up and look around once in a while, you will find that there are plenty of extremists on both sides who say or do things that are inappropriate, illegal or immoral. All I ever see here is how evil, hateful and intolerant the wing nuts are and how perfectly peaceful and tolerant liberals are. Thats not the world we live in.

And don't try to play that game with me. Anyone who knowingly and wantonly takes a life, from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death, is in violation of the most basic right we have...the right that was granted to us by our creator and which is affirmed in our constitution...the right to LIFE.

Other Side said...

Tony, no one I know has ever said the left is made up of angels and the right is pure evil.

But this is my blog and I use it to express my opinions (and allow comments). I have made it a point to chastise those on the left who take it too far. However, it is my opinion that those on the right go farther more often. And, it is my opinion that there has been a definite movement within the Republican party and by conservatives in general to sharpen the divide in this country purely as a means for gaining power.

A couple other things: One, I don't believe in your creator. I believe it is an outdated superstition that continues to do more harm to the human race than any supposed good its followers claim (btw: all religions). Two, I don't agree with you regarding abortion. Period. I think you are dead wrong on both counts and my right to believe that is also protected by the Constitution (big C).

I'm not playing games with you. You brought up the point about obscenities flying about knowing full well that everyone does it. So it's somehow more serious when it's directed at you? That's patronizing.

Other Side said...

One other thing, Tony. I'v been present a couple times when anti-choice people were protesting and I've heard from others who experienced what I did -- the tactics used by some, not all, of the protesters are fairly reprehensible. So please, don't bother me with a few fingers waving and a few obscenities being shouted.

Just a little sanctimonious, don't you think?

Thurmlee said...

Tim, I accept the fact that you do not believe in a creator, and I acknowledge that you have a right to post what you choose on your blog. I am not trying to deny you either thing. My point, again, is that I disagree with your impression that "those on the right go farther and more often". For every unhinged wing nut who says or does something reprehensible (and there are plenty I admit), I can display something equally reprehensible spewed forth from an equally unhinged moonbat. Such things just muddy the water and make it harder to have meaningful discussions regarding our differences. Because despite our differences, we still have much in common. Go Brewers.

Other Side said...

And we compete together in the BRASS League where our teams split their most recent four game series.

Thx, Tony. I was speaking with Kelly tonight and said I hoped that we/I had not gone too far. I value our friendship.

Thurmlee said...

Don't go all squishy on me now!

While we certainly can agree to disagree, I hope that we can continue to exchange ideas, while trying not to muddy the waters too much.

Other Side said...

You bring up the Brewers and you then tell me not to get all squishy. ;)

Anonymous said...

What i find amazing is that all the right wing blogs in Milwaukee are silent over this issue. If this tragedy took place in inner city, they would have all jumped over this tragedy to say that inner city people don't parent their kids. They would have also talked about the value of life in inner city and the point to this tragedy as the reason they would not go into inner city.

Other Side said...

Righto! They're not talking because the murderer was white and the victim was Muslim.

But they're not racist.

MJ said...

I totally agree with you. Things would have been different if the victim was white and the murderer was a Muslim.

MJ said...

Just wanted to add this to my last comment. When a white person commits a crime, his/her act is considered only as an "act of an individual". When a Muslim commits a crime, all the Muslims suddenly become "terrorists". Here are some examples. The act of the guy who bombed Oklahoma City was considered just "an act of an individual". All the Christians never became "terrorists" because of only one person's act. When the tragedy of 9/11 happened, all the Muslims were branded as "terrorists". No one said that those were only the acts of the few individuals. I am sure there are many other examples in which the Muslims are labeled as "terrorists" but Christians are not when one or few persons commit a crime against humanity. Indeed, this is very unfortunate for the Muslim community. The kind of venom that is being spitted out against the Muslims needs to be stopped.