anti-arab police violence in hamtramck?

My friends Steve and Hillary buy their meat at a little place near their home, in Hamtramck. Yesterday, when they walked into the shop (the Jerusalem Meat Market), they noticed that the owner of the shop, a butcher named Hani, had two black eyes. When asked what had happened, he then told them a story that involved being tasered three times by the police, beaten, and denied access to an attorney, as well as being called a “fucking Arab.” Of course, what Steve and Hillary are sharing on their blog is only one side of the story, but I suspect that more will be coming out shortly, especially if they file a Freedom of Information Act request for any video footage that might have been shot that evening within the police station… Stay tuned for further developments.

And this, in case you’re wondering, is why blogs are great.

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  1. Teddy Glass
    Posted July 25, 2005 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    So far, there doesn’t appear to be much of an increase in (“confirmed”) anti-Muslim violence in England, but how long will they be able to keep a lid on it? –,1,7480249.story?coll=bal-home-headlines

    Muslim organizations and publications have reported at least half a dozen incidents of vandalism against mosques, none of which could be confirmed.

    The Association of Chief Police Officers, an umbrella organization that advises police departments in the United Kingdom, said it has not detected a measurable increase in violence against Muslims, but it noted that “the Muslim community is feeling increasingly vulnerable and concerned.”

  2. chris
    Posted July 25, 2005 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    This is so heartbreaking. Esp, after hearing that the man shot in the Tube was not a Terrorist. A few crazy things have been happening here in the city having to do w/ anti-terrorist maneuvers.

    The lizard part of my brain says, well it says lizard things. Then the other part-let’s call it the Christian part for kicks-has stomach churning sympathy/shame when witnessing the humility experienced by Arabic appearing men being frisked in a general sweep.

    Today on the subway I saw a middle eastern looking guy w/ a back pack. That sent my hackles up, as I glared at him w/ utter agression, he turned. It was only then that I saw he was wearing a yarmulke.

    Wherever the fuck this country and the whole world has gone it seems to have taken me with it. I fear we’ll never get back to the peace where all we had to fight about was whether or not he got a blow job.

  3. john galt
    Posted July 25, 2005 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been thinking about this topic alot lately, I think much of the problem can be laid at the feet of the multi-cultis who think it is wrong to ask immigrants to assimilate. In the early 1900’s in this country (and in europe) if you moved to the country you were expected to assimilate with the native population (you had left your old ways and were expected to adopt the mores of the new society that had taken you in).. THese days in Europe and the US it is distictly non-pc to ask an immigrant to take on the values of their new home.. some do (as I would if I moved to a new country) but others live in tight communities that are virtual mirrors of the places they left.. In the town I live there are areas I can go where I cant even read the signs. You even have some who want to convert their new home to a theocracy that they left (I’d cut and paste, but too lazy).. So as has happened in Europe and here.. you get ghettos filled with dissafected people who then lash out at the foriegn culture around them. Within one society you actually enforce cutural hostilities.. All this is done in the name of multi-culturalism.. Even far back in history cosmopolitan cities such as Alexandria (thanks HC) were aware that a diverse population needed a common social experience, without assimilation you have a situation that is akin to warring nations living next door to each other.. If history tells us anything its that when two opposed communities live close to each other there is eventually war and at some point the losing community is either assimilated (greek) or destroyed outright (pogroms)

  4. chris
    Posted July 25, 2005 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    But so often, isn’t that hostility uni-directional? So any suggestions for forced assimilation? We can’t wait to hear. And w/ a name like Ball, when have you been forced to assimilate? And, how would you define assimilation?

  5. mark
    Posted July 25, 2005 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know that you can argue, at least in the case of the recent bombings in London, that they were the result of an immigrant population that refused to assimilate. The bombers, from what I hear, went white water rafting prior to the attacks, and the day before some of them were seen playing cricket. They were, at least it seems to me, pretty well integrated into British life… Unrelated to all of this, however, I do believe that people living in this country should make an effort to at least reach some base-line level of integration. And, while I

  6. Doug Skinner
    Posted July 25, 2005 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    People who come here should learn English; Americans should learn more languages, too. In many parts of the world, people routinely speak several. It makes you more social, and it’s good mental exercise.

    Unfortunately, race is often a barrier to complete assimilation. That’s just the way homo sapiens is; that’s the lizard brain for you. Would Menezes have been shot if he looked Swedish?

  7. mark
    Posted July 26, 2005 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    You’re right about our learning foreign languages, Doug… And, I suspect that you’re also right when you sugest that a Nordic-looking fellow wouldn’t have been shot five times in the head on his way to work… So, where does this leave us?

  8. Posted July 26, 2005 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Thanks for posting this, Mark. The local news doesn’t appear to be interested. Maybe they will be at the city council meeting tomorrow night.

    Hani has lived in Michigan over 15 years, and I didn’t have any trouble understanding his account of events. He has a wife and a little boy. One of his relatives owns a market in Ann Arbor.

    One of the things I like about living in Hamtramck is that you can’t assume anything about people based on the way they look. Some of our Bosnian, Bangladeshi, and Arab neighbors are Muslims. Some are Catholics. Some of our “white” neighbors only speak Polish. Totally blew my mind the first time I heard our Yemeni grocer talking to a man in Ukranian.

  9. Dick Cheney's Extending Taint
    Posted July 26, 2005 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    As long as the multi-cultis are in charge, you’re going to have your Furies, Boppers, High Hats, Lizzies, and Riffs. And someone’s going to get caught behind enemy lines!

    Maybe gov’t $$ for ESL programs are something we could all agree on. I suggest we borrow some PR from the Dutch:

  10. Dick Cheney\'s Extending Taint
    Posted July 26, 2005 at 2:53 am | Permalink

    URLs, email, AIM and ICQs will be converted automatically.

    My ass. What kind of site you running here Maynard?

  11. Doug Skinner
    Posted July 26, 2005 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Mark — I think where it leaves us is more skeptical about the limits of assimilation. To a scared cop trying to save lives, an innocent Brazilian who lived in the same building as a Pakistani terrorist looked Pakistani.

    And for those who blame “multi-cultis” — hey, the human race is multi-culti; there’s not much you can do about it.

    And are “the multi-cultis in charge”? I thought we had a neo-conservative

    A shared language is practical, though. I was always lost in Brussels, where the streets and maps are labeled in French and/or Flemish. Confusing, especially after a generous mug of that fine Belgian beer.

  12. Tony Buttons
    Posted July 26, 2005 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Maybe it would be useful if we made up a race of imaginary beings that we could all join together in hating.

  13. Doug Skinner
    Posted July 26, 2005 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    I was hoping the little gray aliens would fulfill that function. Get busy, everyone; hate them!

  14. Posted July 26, 2005 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    There’s nothing like a little racism to nudge people toward “assimilating”.

    When a Bangladeshi businessman introduced himself to me as “Moe” I instantly thought of my ancestors who changed our family name.

    It’s sad to think of a family forsaking it’s culture and heritage.

    I perfer “mosiac” to “melting pot”.

  15. Posted July 26, 2005 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    The Amish seem to do allright.

  16. chris
    Posted July 26, 2005 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Doug, you are so right. There really seems to have been a run on alien grey sightings during and around the civil rights movement. As immigration from countries whose citizens are more apparently different than the dominant settlers of good ole’ Plymouth Rock, increase so to the sightings have continued to increase.

    Where is HG Wells when you need him?

  17. Doug Skinner
    Posted July 26, 2005 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Chris — On movie screens now, cashing in on American fear. Why do you think that story was dredged up again?

  18. mark
    Posted July 26, 2005 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think Steve would mind my sharing this, but he and Hillary have filed a FOIA request with the police department for their logs, videos, etc. And, they’ve also been in touch with the local media. The latter, however, hasn’t yielded much success so far… I’ll keep you posted.

  19. Posted July 27, 2005 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    FOIA will get there tomorrow. There’s interest in the officer’s opinions and the police reports ought to provide exactly that.

    Though video ought to exist, I’m pessimistic that we’ll lay our hands on any. Thanks.

  20. chris
    Posted July 27, 2005 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    Oh yeah…that’s right! How ’bout that.

  21. mark
    Posted August 25, 2005 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Steve and Hillary’s FOIA was rejected, due to fact that the city claims it

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