July 12, 2007, - 12:31 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
On September 18, 2003, The New York Post ran my column about a planned FBI award to Imad Hamad.
Hamad was identified by the U.S. government as a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and called TV programs which teach children to become homicide bombers “patriotic.” FBI officials disclosed that he was the source of over a dozen terrorist- and immigration-related investigations. The FBI planned to honor Hamad along with a flight attendant who died on 9/11. (As a result of the column, the FBI revoked the award.)
Three days after the column appeared, I received an e-mail from Robert Mustaq John, a Brooklyn resident and Muslim from the Caribbean. The e-mail contained photos of journalist Daniel Pearl in mid-beheading, along with “KILL ALL KIKES” in giant, blood-red capital letters. The subject line, addressed to me, was: “JEWgirl, u might be next. LOL.”
I immediately contacted the FBI, and yet, almost four years later, Mr. John–a foreign alien who is trying to obtain U.S. citizenship–is only being sentenced today. Why? The U.S. Department of Justice maintains a double standard regarding Muslim and non-Muslim victims of hate crimes. And, almost six years, since 9/11, we still do not take Muslim extremists seriously as a national security threat.
During the years since Mr. John first threatened my life, I repeatedly pleaded with the FBI, the Justice Department, and the Detroit-area U.S. Attorney’s office to do something about Mr. John. I was met with excuses and silence. I was told by an FBI supervisor, Bill Edwards, that Mr. John didn’t really mean and that I should just forget about it. He told me that it would be too much trouble for Mr. John if the government pursued a case against him. This Muslim extremist who threatened my life would have to pay to fly from New York to Detroit to face charges, and the FBI didn’t want to trouble him. (Looking back on it, the FBI’s reluctance is curious, since Muslims from the same part of the world residing in the New York area planned to blow up JFK airport. )
Meanwhile, I watched as FBI agents and federal prosecutors immediately indicted two New York men who sent e-mails to pro-Hezbollah Muslim imam in Dearborn, just after videos of Nicholas Berg’s beheading were released. The e-mails, sent a full year after I received mine, were immediately investigated, and both senders–non-Muslims–were indicted for multiple felonies within a few months of sending them. One of the men, Michael Bratisax, a quadriplegic U.S. Veteran in a wheelchair, wrote only, “I pray to get the opportunity to kill a Muslim.” FBI agents raided his New York home at 6:00 a.m. and arrested him. He has since pleaded guilty and prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit demanded a year of prison for him. He was ordered to produce a website preaching tolerance and understanding. While both of those men were prosecuted for felonies, Mr. John was only indicted and allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor. That means that he will not be disqualified from further pursuing U.S. citizenship. (And unlike the non-Muslims who were prosecuted for e-mailing Muslims, I had to fly to New York to speak at his sentencing. The Justice Department didn’t want to trouble him.)
I asked why my case was not being thusly pursued, while FBI agents from two offices and Justice Department lawyers from Detroit and Washington were involved in the case against the Muslim imam. I learned that, after 9/11, the Justice Department established a special section of its civil rights office concentrating a lot of manpower only on hate crimes against Muslims, Arabs, and Asians. They get a separate, more swift version of justice than the rest of us. There is even a Justice Department “Special Counsel on the Post-9/11 Discriminatory Backlash”–Joseph Zogby. If his name sounds familiar, that’s because his father is James Zogby, head the Arab American Institute, which openly supports HAMAS and Hezbollah.
Then, there is the issue of U.S. Attorneys who don’t want to politically valuable Muslim communities by prosecuting any of their members.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in Detroit recused itself from handling any cases concerning me because I have criticized the office in columns in the New York Post. Headed by U.S. Attorney Stephen Murphy III, the office has declined to prosecute a single Muslim hate crime perpetrator since 9/11. In the heart of Islamic America, a Syracuse University study found that Murphy has the worst record in America for prosecuting terrorists. Among all U.S. Attorneys, he declines the highest percentage of terrorist cases referred to him for prosecution by the FBI. That jibes with his 2005 comment at an extremist mosque, joking that he doesn’t understand why Hezbollah is on the State Department terrorist list when all the group does is provide hospitals and take care of orphanages.
President Bush nominated Murphy to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the politically ambitious Murphy doesn’t want to upset the Muslim political base he’s courted. He’s very tight with FBI-award revokee Hamad. And despite multiple threats from two Detroit area Muslims, promising to rape, torture, and kill me and my family, Murphy refuses to prosecute them, as does the Justice Department. One of the two, Lola Elzein, was an officer in the Muslim-dominated Arab American PAC and prominent member of another Muslim group with which Murphy frequently breaks bread.
I am glad that Robert Mustaq John was finally prosecuted. But the fact that justice takes so long for hate crimes committed by Muslims is illuminating. Almost 6 years after 9/11, America is not serious about fighting terrorism and Islamist hate on our shores.
The only thing we are serious about is fighting FOR the enemies on our shores.
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