Thursday, February 15, 2007

Salt Lake City Mall Shooter Was Muslim Refugee

The Trolley Square Mall in SLC, Utah is a place I know well. It's in an old trolley warehouse, and the stores there can be funky, classy, cosmopolitan and folksy, sometimes all at the same time. It's a place of fond memories.

The boy who shot and killed a bunch of shoppers was Sulejman Talovic, a refugee from Bosnia, which would mean he was a young boy when some of the heaviest fighting and "ethnic cleansing" was going on in his city or village. He lived in a normal house in Salt Lake City.

As to the Republican mantra-meme that terrorists are going to follow us home? No, they're not. We're going to invite them here. They're going to be regular people who come here as refugees, people who carry terrible things inside them, and some of them are going to snap when they're subjected to a steady diet of entities like Ann Coulter suggesting America "should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." From Coulter, Malkin, Limbaugh and a snootful of other snot-blowers they'll hear people advocating a "mass deportation" of Muslims from America. That's odd, because 59% of school-age Muslims go to college and get a degree, and the rest of America graduates at less than half that rate. The numbers indicate American muslims believe it's better to spend time on studying and earning know-how than on hate.

Nobody forced that young man to pull the trigger. What he did was desperate and despicable, but we should seek to understand why he might've done it. I'm willing to speculate that the hatred and intolerance he heard here, openly spouted on TV, internet, and radio, felt very familiar to him, and he remembered hatred like that claiming the lives of his loved ones back in Yugoslavia, where intolerance of the sort peddled by our media ghouls morphed into snipers shooting women and children carrying shopping bags. Or maybe a neurotic Mormon girl broke up with him. Either way, it should give us pause that ten years later, a little bit of Sarajevo just repeated itself here.

Muslims who flee to America for protection are subjected to racist insults, religious xenophobia, ignorant comments and hate crimes all over again. I was at the coffee shop this morning and saw this scroll by on the CNN ticker, "US to admit 7,000 Iraqi refugees in 2007." They'll come with gratitude and expecting a safe and welcoming place, which America is, but I doubt they're prepared for what else they'll have to face.

When people snap in America, they aren't allowed to go riot, turn over cars, and spray grafitti on walls. Somehow, they're allowed to walk into malls and open fire with guns. Personally, I prefer the property damage philosophy. I sure hope the Coulter Dynamic which is allowed to exist on American airwaves is soon recognized for what it is. A hundred years ago, Jews from the East were demonized just like Muslims are being demonized now, they were anarcho-terrorists, communist and socialist agitators. Now they pretty much run Hollywood, amongst other things, despite the best efforts of people Ann Coulter's vitriolic forebears.

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