Quote of the day
3.28.2012 Leave a comment
Trespassers will be dealt with roughly and thoroughly. This is one theme of an article written by John Feffer, a Co-Director of Foreign Policy in Focus, a section of the Institute for Policy Studies. Feffer begins by briefly recounting three acts of witless bloodshed:
The note left next to the bloodied body of Shaima Alawadi read “go back to your country, you terrorist.” Alawadi, who died on Saturday after being taken off life support, was an Iraqi-born mother of five living outside of San Diego. Someone had delivered a similar note to the family earlier in the month. It was likely the same person who returned with a tire iron and struck her repeatedly on the head. Alawadi had lived in the United States for 17 years. Several family members reportedly provided cultural training to U.S. soldiers deployed to the Middle East. In a very sad coda, Alawadi is indeed going back to her country — to be buried.
There were no notes that accompanied Trayvon Martin’s death at the end of February. But he was also killed for a perceived trespassing. An African-American teenager, Martin was guilty of “walking while black” as he carried iced tea and Skittles through the Florida community of Sanford. The self-appointed head of the community’s neighborhood watch, George Zimmerman, identified Martin as a threat. Zimmerman didn’t wait for the police to arrive. He chased after the young man and, in circumstances still very murky, shot him dead. Because of the “stand your ground” law that permits shooting in self-defense, the police did not arrest Zimmerman.
In the middle of March, Mohamed Merah went on a killing spree in Toulouse, France that left seven people dead. The victims were a rabbi, three Jewish children, and three French soldiers. Two of the soldiers were Muslim. Merah, who identified with Islamic extremism, specifically targeted Muslim soldiers for being “traitors.” The French-born Merah better fit the profile of a serial killer than a political extremist. But his Muslim victims are an important reminder that ordinary, everyday Muslims, even more so than Jews or Americans, figure as the most potent threats to the worldview promoted by al Qaeda and its ilk. The overwhelming majority of al Qaeda and Taliban victims are Muslims.
These deaths are, on the face of it, quite different: a hate crime, a serial killing, and an act of vigilantism. But underlying these three tragedies is a notion of violated borders, of trespass. The message behind all three is this: you should not be here, you are not one of us, and your death shall serve as a warning.
After recalling the bloodshed during the enclosure movement in early modern England, Feffer concludes with the following observations:
The European Union was supposed to be a borderless space. But the old dream of an ever more prosperous and economically equitable regional arrangement has come up hard against economic downturn and polarization. The United States was supposed to be a country without the class barriers of feudal Europe. But the old dream of a growing middle class and the relatively stable politics that accompany it cannot survive in the austerity liberalism and anti-government conservatism of the 21st century. When our notion of the common good, of commonwealth, begins to disintegrate, all that is left are tribes defending their turf, standing their ground, enclosing their land.
We are living now in a new world of enclosures. We are building our fences ever higher. We are patrolling our borders with ever more sophisticated weaponry. And we are punishing any and all who trespass. The victims of these recent killings are the collateral damage of these border wars.
Welcome one and all to the Balkans….
- Widower addresses Iraqi’s death near San Diego (kansascity.com)
- Al-Jazeera receives video of Muslim gunman’s deadly attack at Jewish school (nj.com)
- Chief: No conclusions in Iraqi-American death case (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- French teacher urges ‘minute’s silence for jihadist’ who slaughtered Jews and French Soldiers (atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com)
- Woman Who Fled Iraq Suffers Brutal End (myfoxny.com)
- The Death of Shaima Al-Awadi: A Social Media Case Study (jazarah.net)
- Remembering Shaima Alawadi & Trayvon Martin (makinghealthmatter.wordpress.com)
- Iraqi Woman’s Death Sparks Online Movement (mashable.com)
- The thug-ification of Trayvon Martin: Smear campaign distracts from the case (thegrio.com)
- Off The Top Of My Head…Trayvon Martin (christopheraharper.wordpress.com)
- Trayvon Martin : If Obama Had A Boy This Is What He Would Look Like (theroycroftreport.com)
- News Framing & Xenophobia: How Can a Hijab be a Threat? (sutradharsmarket.wordpress.com)
- Muslim Mother Shaima Alawadi Brutally Beaten To Death (thefrisky.com)
- Trayvon Martin Family Attorney Tells Bill O’Reilly: ‘We Are Not Seeking An Eye For An Eye Here’ (mediaite.com)
- Trayvon’s Mom Trademarks Teen’s Name, Slogans (newser.com)
- How the street failed Trayvon Martin (mnn.com)
- Smear campaign against Trayvon Martin continues in the press and by Zimmerman’s crooked Lawyers and friends (bonjupatten.com)
- Trayvon Martin Dead: Can Justice Be Served? (omnipotentpoobah.com)
- Of Michelle Goldberg Part 10: To Her Justice For Trayvon Martin Means Ignoring Facts, Inventing Myths – And Stirring Racism (neosecularist.com)
- Lead Cop Wanted Zimmerman Arrested (newser.com)