Thumbs Down: Roger Ebert Helps A Terrorist
March 26, 2005

By Debbie Schlussel

Printer Friendly

Normally, it would be unfair to attack Roger Ebert for his addiction to food.

Normally, it would be in poor taste to hold the calorically-gifted film-critic’s insatiable taste-buds against him.


But now, Roger Ebert’s irresistible yen for a sandwich is literally his excuse to defend an Islamic terrorist, Ibrahim Parlak. 

Parlak, who is under deportation orders, owns a restaurant in Harbert, Michigan—a restaurant Ebert frequents, with apparently great appetite.

In a letter to the U.S. government opposing Parlak’s deportation, Ebert wrote, “[H]e offered to come to my home and prepare special foods for me.”

But haute cuisine for liberal movie critics is no justification for Ibrahim Parlak to remain in the United States. 

Parlak is a terrorist and a murderer—facts that celluloid simp Ebert conveniently ignores.  While he might make a mean tossed salad (just like Hillary Clinton), Parlak also makes a mean tossed hand grenade.

Parlak admits he was a member of the PKK, the Kurdish Islamic terrorist group on the State Department’s terrorist list.  But he deliberately hid that he was found responsible for the murder of two Turkish border police, a fact he lied about at least five times— in applications for 1) political asylum, 2) Lawful Permanent Status, 3) citizenship, 4) his restaurant, and 5) a Michigan liquor license.  Had he been truthful from the beginning, Parlak would never have been allowed to stay in the United States in the first place. 

Ebert and others want us to reward the lies of a murderous terrorist alien—hardly sound immigration policy. 

Carrying an AK-47 and pistol, Parlak threw a grenade and shot at the guards who were murdered.  He claims he accidentally “lost” the grenade but it didn't detonate, and that he “never used my gun.”  Would that line work for John Dillinger?

The murders took place upon Parlak’s return from a Syrian-run terrorist camp in Lebanon, where he spent eight months and was trained in rifle fire.  Training at those camps then and now are members of terrorist groups Hezbollah, HAMAS, Islamic Jihad, and a host others that tell a lot about the company Roger Ebert’s friend kept before he lied to obtain the benefits of U.S. citizenship.

Yet this murderer and terrorist is “not in any way a threat to the security of the United States,” according to newly-minted terrorism expert Roger Ebert.  “On the contrary, he is precisely the sort of citizen we should make welcome.”  Review a couple of terrorism movies, and suddenly you are a scholar on the topic.

Where was Roger Ebert when Parlak directed Turkish police to a cache of buried PKK munitions?

Parlak raised funds for Islamic terrorist group PKK while living in West Germany in the 1980s.  A Marxist-Leninist insurgent group of Kurds, PKK is responsible for the death of more than 30,000 innocent people, including over 5,000 civilians.  Some of these civilian victims’ “transgressions” were teaching Turkish in school or being moderate Kurdish landlords.

The PKK isn’t just any old terrorist group.  According to the Sunday Times of London, no bastion of right-wing Bush (or even Blair) Administration propaganda, PKK trained with Al-Qaeda.

Abu Mohammed, an Iraqi defector to Turkey, told the Times that he saw Bin Laden's fighters in Iraqi training camps in 1997. At the time, he was a colonel in Saddam Hussein's Fedayeen. He described an encounter at Salman Pak, the training facility southeast of Baghdad run by Iraqi intelligence, where terrorists-in-training learned to hijack planes with knives on a Boeing 707. "We were met by Colonel Jamil Kamil, the camp manager, and Major Ali Hawas. I noticed that a lot of people were queuing for food. (The major) said to me: 'You'll have nothing to do with these people. They are Osama bin Laden's group and the PKK.'"

This is the group of which Ibrahim Parlak admits he was a member.  But media portrayals, and letters by activist movie critics and liberal academics, make him out to be a hero. 

A Sunday New York Times Magazine cover sob-story on Parlak by regular contributor Alex Kotlowitz wasn’t just full of sympathetic drawings, it was replete with false statements and untruths.  Among others, Kotlowitz wrote that Turkey, which wants Parlak for questioning on terrorism, “long ago revoked Parlak’s citizenship,” implying he can’t be deported there.  Actually, Turkey NEVER revoked Parlak’s citizenship, and he should be shipped there at once.  So much for the Times’ fact-checking post-Jayson Blair.

Worse, elected officials like Senator Carl Levin and Rep. Fred Upton are equally fawning.  Attacking the Parlak deportation ruling as “unjust,” Levin called this murderer and terrorist “a peaceful citizen” and is rumored to be considering a “Private Bill” to give Parlak instant U.S. citizenship, a rare honor bestowed on heroes, like the Iraqi lawyer who led troops to Jessica Lynch.  Upton, one of the most liberal Republicans in Congress, says he’s now helping Parlak’s family.

Then, there are Parlak’s lawyers:

  • Noel Saleh—An admitted financial supporter of Hezbollah, the thrice-disciplined attorney is suing to overturn the Patriot Act.  He represented “former” PFLP terrorist Imad Hamad and Rabbih Haddad, deported for funding Al Qaeda. Saleh is President and attorney of ACCESS (Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services), which was raided for Medicaid fraud for pregnant Muslim foreigners, and which funded commercial driving lessons for alleged Al-Qaeda members.
  • Jay Marhoefer—A member of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff’s former law firm, sources say Marhoefer is on Chertoff’s schedule to lobby him for Parlak’s release from prison and obtaining citizenship.  Connections help terrorists.

It’s time for terrorists—including those loved by ignorant cinematic suck-ups and politicians—to be exported from our country.

Parlak’s restaurant, Café Gulistan—where Roger Ebert likes to eat—is named for the Kurdish word for “land of roses” or paradise.  But America is neither paradise nor rose garden with men like Parlak roaming our shores.

For Ebert and all of America, it’s time the balcony was closed on Ibrahim Parlak’s stay in the U.S.