9-11 Collective Guilt Watch: Muslim American NYC Cab Driver Stabbed for Being Muslim

This today at TPM:

According to Detective Marc Nell, at 6:14 pm last night, the driver picked up Michael Enright, 21, of Brewster, NY, at the intersection of 24th Street and 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. The cab proceeded to drive north, and Enright asked the driver, who Nell identified as a 43-year-old Asian male, if he was Muslim. After the driver responded that he was, Enright allegedly stabbed him repeatedly with a Leatherman tool, according to police.

“[Enright] stabbed the driver in the throat, right arm, left forearm, right thumb and upper lip,” Nell said.

Is this the word made flesh? In other words, is the Herderite, anti-Jeffersonian collective guilt rhetoric being directed toward Muslim Americans for 9-11 morphing into physical violence?

Fortunately, the cabbie survived, and he said this about the incident:

I feel very sad. I have been here more than 25 years. I have been driving a taxi more than 15 years. All my four kids were born here. I never feel this hopeless and insecure before. Right now, the public sentiment is very serious (because of the Ground Zero Mosque debate.) All drivers should be more careful.

Indeed, they should. Here’s a list of the politicians who, by their demagoguery on the so-called ground zero mosque, have made so many Muslim Americans feel like second class citizens in their own country, “hopeless and insecure”:

  • Sarah Palin
  • Newt Gingrich
  • Tim Pawlenty
  • Mitt Romney
  • Mike Huckabee

And they’re all running for president, aren’t they? Below Politico summarizes some of their key ground zero mosque comments. Collectively, the comments constitute a rather nice sampling of contemporary Herderite political sentiment:

The GOP’s likely presidential candidates drew a spectrum of shades of opposition but not a single one-sided with Bloomberg in backing the mosque on the grounds of private property and religious freedom.

“Ground zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts,” wrote Palin on July 18, calling on “peaceful Muslims” to “refudiate” it.

“There should be no mosque near ground zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia,” wrote former House Speaker Newt Gingrich a day later.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, though he represents a relatively heavily Muslim state, rebuffed pleas from local Muslim leaders to back off his suggestion that the mosque would “degrade and disrespect” the Trade Center site. A spokesman for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney cited both “the wishes of the families of the deceased and the potential for extremists to use the mosque for global recruiting and propaganda” in opposing it.

But it was former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee who seemed to fit the issue most clearly into a recognizable political category of culture war.

“Is it just that we can offend Americans and Christians, but not foreigners and Muslims?” he asked.

Don’t you wish we had a Jeffersonian politician committed to the Enlightenment as president?

Oh, wait.

We do.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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9 Responses to 9-11 Collective Guilt Watch: Muslim American NYC Cab Driver Stabbed for Being Muslim

  1. rantadillo says:

    Great post. The republicans are so desperate to find a common enemy to regain power, they ultimately have settled on ‘the innocent.’ Shameful.

  2. concerned christian says:

    Anecdotes don’t prove a point. How about the number of Christians killed by Muslim terrorists here in America in the last year. How about one recruiter killed in Arkansas on June ’09, and the thirteen killed in Fort Hood on November ’09, and a University Professor in Binghamton NY on December ’09. How about the failed attempts in an airplane and in Time square. I am not even talking about the world wide attacks by Muslims in the name of their religion. And you want to tell me that the world will be just fine if we silenced Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee?

    • santitafarella says:


      I don’t favor the silencing of Palin et. al.

      Their free speech is informative: it helps me realize that I’m dealing with a bunch of anti-Jeffersonians in the Republican Party, and I needn’t be fooled when they refer to the Constitution (since they obviously haven’t read it).

      Just curious: do the one million Iraqi Muslims who have died as a direct result of our invasion of Iraq count as casualties generated from the side of the West?

      And when Baghdad flared up in explosions of night vision green back in 2003, were you sobered for the fate of your fellow men, or did you feel that it was time for some patriotic flag waving at the “shock and awe” laid down on the city?

      Might it be just a teensy-weensy bit possible that Muslims who get radicalized do so, not just from reading the Quran, but from reading the papers?

      Islam, like Christianity or Hinduism, is not practiced in a vacuum.


      • concerned christian says:

        The war in Iraq was flawed for two reasons; First, the misjudgment about WMD which was due to poor intelligence gathering by the West. Second the unrealistic dream about establishing a democracy after toppling Saddam’s regime. I believed that we should have invested more effort in forming a benign dictatorship there which would have made Iraq a more peaceful nation for all of its citizens. This lead to my response about the one million Iraqi’s casualties, sadly most of these casualties were Iraqis killed by Iraqis. I doubt that all of our firework spectacular show have killed more than few thousands, mostly military. But America is still responsible for interfering in Iraq without having any meaningful goals for post Saddam’s Iraq beyond establishing a democratic government through wishful thinking.

  3. K says:

    Might it be just a teensy-weensy bit possible that Muslims who get radicalized do so, not just from reading the Quran, but from reading the papers?
    I think it’s more than just a teensy-weensy bit possible.

  4. concerned christian says:


    Can we check this one out to find who is really to blame for the attack on the Muslim Taxi Driver.

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