Did Ohio State faculty unhinge the Somali slasher?
The Somali student responsible for causing so much bloodshed at Ohio State University on Monday morning lived in a city where the consensus was unanimous: everybody hated him because he was a Muslim.
He heard this narrative at Ohio State University, where President Michael Drake and other prominent faculty drafted an open letter condemning what they perceived as instances of Muslim hatred in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election.
President Drake wrote: “Over these past few days, we have heard deeply disturbing reports of verbal assaults on students and others at a wide range of institutions, from middle schools to universities across the country, including our own campus.”
Statements made by Drake and nine other university faculty may have contributed to the anger that compelled Somali student Abdul Razak Ali Artan to wound 11 students and staff in a religiously motivated assault. But university staff were not the only party responsible for awakening the hatred deep within Abdul Artan.
Similarly, students at Ohio State made it clear that the university was unsafe for Muslims and anyone “with different identities than ours” by drafting their own letter to the student body — of which Abdul Artan was a part.
The message begins, “The Undergraduate Student Government at The Ohio State University would like to extend our support and solidarity to all students who have felt unsafe and unsupported on campus in the days following the recent election.”
The pitiful irony is that this analysis was so far off; not since pre-election pollsters gave the presidency to Hillary Clinton by five percentage points has a prediction been so obtusely counterfactual. The Muslim victim in the minds of Ohio State staff and students was actually the perpetrator, and their imagined perpetrator (white people) would become the victim.
But Ohio State is not alone in letting local Muslims know just how much they are despised. Just before Election Day, the Columbus city council drafted a resolution that condemned “Islamophobia,” in what the Columbus Dispatch described as a rare political move by any city’s lawmakers.
The Somali slasher’s neighbors also contributed to his stunted world-view by embracing the Islamophobia narrative. Abdulkadir Aden, owner of the African Food Warehouse on the north side of Columbus, believes that the government actively targets Somali people. He says that, “They only come around when they think something bad has happened.” Aden is referring to the crackdown by the federal government after it was learned that some money being sent to Somalia under the guise of remittances for poverty-stricken relatives was, in truth, intended for Al-Qaeda in Somalia, or Al-Shabaab.
Many of the 500 Somali-owned businesses in Columbus received startup money from the Economic and Community Development Institute, a nonprofit that funds immigrants that otherwise do not qualify for traditional lending. Despite this, Aden is distrusting of the government. “In the eyes of the U.S. government, we’re all Al-Shabaab,” he says.
If the combined objections of Abdul Artan’s university, the local government, and community were not enough to radicalize him based upon the assurance that he was universally despised, the Council on American-Islamic Relations certainly ensured that the young refugee felt disenfranchised. CAIR’s primary mission in Columbus is no different from what it is across the nation: to aggressively seek out any allegations of Islamophobia, generate publicity for these allegations, initiate civil action against anyone who stands in their way, and lobby the government to provide special privileges to Muslims.
CAIR actively solicits Muslims to report hate crimes from its chapters in more than 20 U.S. states, infiltrating local and federal government offices to ally with politicians sympathetic to their imagined grievances. Liberal institutions like the Columbus City Hall, dominated by Democrats from the Mayor to every member of city council, and the Ohio State University become willing players in a game meant to discredit conservatives and paint leaders like Trump as hateful bigots and xenophobes.
CAIR even enjoys attention from the most powerful administration in the world. According to Fox News, CAIR, “had held hundred of meetings with White House officials on a wide variety of community issues…”
Therefore, even President Barack Obama, through his partnership with CAIR, assured the Somali terrorist from Ohio State: you are hated.
The end result is a nation afraid to hold its Muslim population accountable for violent extremism. This lack of accountability was apparent in the hours following Abdul Artan’s rampage, when CAIR-Ohio and other prominent Muslim groups held a press conference to publicly remark on the tragedy. Of course, CAIR speakers made obligatory attempts to sympathize with the victims and thank local emergency assets, but the true purpose of the press conference was to highlight the very lies that radicalized Abdul Artan in the first place.
National board chair of CAIR Roula Allouch spent the majority of her speech concerned with the safety of local Muslims: “We as yet know nothing about the motivation of the attacker but we do know of his Somali heritage and that will be enough for some people to falsely link this tragic incident to the faith of Islam and to the Somali and Muslim communities. We must not jump to conclusions, it is important to let investigators do their jobs.”
Other speakers present at the conference echoed the same sentiments, focusing primarily on the backlash against Muslims. Absent from the discussion were any calls for religious leaders to better engage their communities with messages of peace, or calls for Somali leaders to speak with local youth in order to prevent radicalization.
“We are living in times where there’s been increased violence against members of the American Muslim community and we want to ensure that as Americans we stand drawn together, united and we don’t allow the act of one individual to cause a backlash against others,” Allouch said.
Even though multiple news outlets were already reporting Abdul Artan’s Facebook rant, in which the Somali student cited his disgust with the treatment of Muslims around the world, professed support for an extremist Muslim cleric, and even ended his post with, “By Allah, I am willing to kill a billion infidels,” each and every Muslim speaker present at the press conference insisted that there was no connection between Islam and the stabbings that occurred on OSU campus earlier that day.
When Somali professor of African Studies Mohammed Omer returned to his classroom at Ohio State the day after the attack, he found his students “terrified” and uncertain of their safety. He reassured them not by having a frank discussion about religiously-inspired terrorism, but by defending the local Somali community.
“That doesn’t represent our community, who we are,” Omer told his classroom.
Are the concerted efforts of Ohio State staff and students, city council members, local Somalis, and the President of the United States genuinely meant to right a situation that is untenable for area Muslims? Or were these allegations of hate crimes designed to achieve a political end?
It is important to remember that the city council resolution was passed in the crucial weeks before the election. Council president Zach Klein hints that the purpose of the resolution and alliance with CAIR may have been politically motivated. “There’s a lot of national rhetoric driven out of our political scene that we adamantly disagree with-we reject,” he said in regards to a question about the purpose of the resolution.
Ohio State’s message was also driven by politics. Drake’s letter was titled “moving forward together.” This implies that the official stance of the Ohio State University is that Trump’s election was a step backwards for America. The bias of university officials could not be more transparent.
Students at Ohio State are directed by Drake to report any instances of discrimination against Muslims not to local area law enforcement, but to the Office of Student Life. This student-run organization is a de facto Black Lives Matter chapter.
CAIR is also clearly motivated by a political agenda. CAIR-Ohio speaker Roman Iqbal proudly claims as evidence of Islamophobia that there are 60 ongoing civil actions pending within the city of Columbus. Closer scrutiny of these cases, though, reveals a political angle to their frivolous lawsuits.
After learning that CAIR was involved in funding international terrorism, as well as learning of CAIR’s financial support of convicted cop-killer Jamil Al-Amin, the Columbus Police Department cut ties with the Islamist group. Previously, CAIR personnel taught diversity training at the CPD academy.
CAIR responded by filing an employment discrimination suit against the CPD in 2015 for its policy prohibiting the wearing of headscarves while police officers are on duty. Besides presenting a strangling risk to officers, Deputy Chief Michael Woods argues that the wearing of religious garb compromises police officer’s impartiality. “What I know is that our goal is to display neutrality in our uniform.”
Other cases of supposed Muslim hate prosecuted under CAIR’s sponsorship in Ohio are so draconian in nature the Islamic State’s bloodthirsty Caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was less tyrannical in his administration of war-torn Mosul. When a sixth-grade social studies teacher made historical claims about Muslims with which CAIR disagreed, the teacher was forced to undergo indoctrination training in order to teach CAIR’s approved lesson plan.
CAIR-Ohio writes about the case on a web page they have titled “recent successes:” “The teacher was grateful to receive accurate information for his lessons on Islam and promised to use them and to do a better job of accurately portraying Muslims in his lessons.”
Welcomed with Open Arms
In central Ohio, the idea that Muslims are universally despised, second-class citizens is so strong among Somalis that it is believed despite everyday reminders of the contrary. In fact, Abdul Artan’s treatment as a refugee destroys the claims made by CAIR and believed by Ohio State staff and students.
As a refugee, Abdul Artan was welcomed to America with an open, compassionate reception. A Dallas area Catholic charity admits to helping the future terrorist settle, providing basic services, housing and accommodations for the refugee and his family.
The State Department then paid Abdul Artan and every member of his family $1,850 each. He could continue receiving cash assistance for eight months through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. The list of social programs available to refugees is too exhaustive to list, but include programs for which ordinary Americans would be unqualified.
A volunteer for Columbus Charity Newsies told The Geller Report that Somali immigrants have been the chief recipient of charity operations within the city since they started coming to Columbus in the 1990s. This organization provides clothing for needy children.
The Geller Report asked Columbus State Community College media relations coordinator David Wayne if Abdul Artan received any scholarships or grants during the two years he attended, but Wayne cited laws that prevent him from sharing this information. However, there are numerous scholarships listed online available specifically to refugees in the U.S., and a Columbus facility known as Somalican is known to connecting Somalis with college assistance programs. Refugees are permitted access to the same federal student aid as citizens, and their economic status would likely award them with grants and subsidized loans.
It is difficult to understand how Abdul Artan could be duped into believing that the same people that welcomed and integrated his family so selflessly could also hate him to his core. This speaks to the awesome persuasive power that CAIR and their allies hold over Muslims and apologists across America.
Pamela Geller best summarizes the feeling of most Americans after learning that a Somali refugee committed such horrible acts. “Kindness is repaid with murder,” she says.
The focus leading up to the Ohio State tragedy seemed to be more on hate crimes against Muslims that were about to occur, rather than any significant number of recorded instances of assaults on Muslims. The anti-hate letter from OSU staffers came, at least in part, as a result of concerns voiced by students who predicted hate crimes would increase with the election of Trump.
Council member Michael Stinziano was hard pressed to find any verifiable instances of Trump-inspired Muslim hatred. He does not rely on facts in his evaluation.
On his blog, Stinziano relies on shaky evidence. “So it’s [attacks against Muslims] somewhat ebbed and flowed this year, but, and you know, just in our conversations or community meetings with either friends that are Muslim or Muslim leaders, there’s definitely been a concern, just a general recognition that maybe they don’t feel safe or they feel like there’s some confusion about what the Muslim faith entails. And I know some mosques have done some outreach to try and dispel the misinformation.” There’s definitely a concern that maybe there’s some confusion about Islam, in other words.
Stinziano is likely referring to CAIR when he says that “friends that are Muslims” have reported increases in hate crimes. The Islamist group relies upon a steady influx of complaints of hate crimes from Muslim Americans in order to remain a viable entity. As such, their statistics cannot be relied upon to accurately portray the reality of sectarian relations in America.
The way that data has been collected to report hate crimes is weak and unscientific. A mythical post-Trump rise in hate crimes is reported by the Southern Poverty Law Center but has not been independently verified. Still, the information was credible enough for CAIR, Ohio State, the mainstream media, and Columbus area lawmakers to initiate a campaign to convince Somali Muslims that an anti-Muslim movement had started from the encouragement of President-elect Trump.
CAIR is not just negligent in reporting questionable hate crimes against Muslims, though. They also publicize and defend dozens of cases that are later proven to be outright fabricated. In many cases, these hate crime are learned to be Muslim on Muslim crime, or brazenly invented by Muslims to bring publicity to a mosque or business. An exhaustive, ten page list of faked hate is available right here on The Geller Report.
Faked hate crimes are the fuel that feed liberal institutions and people, providing them with the legitimacy needed to censor any public debate on Islamization projects, and allowing them to enter key positions of power and prestige. But more than this, allegations of xenophobia also penetrate the psyche of already sensitive jihadists, pushing them ever closer to their own religiously celebrated deaths. Abdul Artan spent every day since the election of Donald Trump hearing that Americans hated him, that the future was to be feared. Some have estimated that his radicalization may have been caused by a failure to assimilate. Ironically, he assimilated all too well into the liberal, irresponsible dead-weight society that is Columbus, Ohio. This allowed Abdul Artan to live two impossibly contradictory roles: the perpetually despised refugee who was welcomed by racist Americans with their most lavish welfare programs and expensive charities.
You can read more from Pamela Geller’s number one fan at Crusade of Truth.
Benjamin Baird is a veteran infantryman of Iraq and Afghanistan with over 1000 days in combat settings. He graduated with honors from the American Military University, studying Middle Eastern affairs with a concentration on Iraq. Ben is a freelance journalist, a proven military leader, and conservative super hero, responding to liberal villainy wherever it rears its ugly head.