Oh, the country club set. Who else can bring such proud drama to the American heritage?
An Army reservist and Iraq veteran who works as a cabdriver says a passenger he picked up early Friday at a Northern Virginia country club accused him of being a terrorist because he is Muslim, then fractured his jaw in an attack being described by Islamic activists as a hate crime.
Mohamed A. Salim says the passenger compared him to the men accused of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing 11 days earlier and threatened to kill him.
The Washington Post report from Joe Stephens and Justin Jouvenal reports that Ed Dahlberg, of Clifton, Virginia, has through his attorney released a statement asserting his innocence:
…. Dahlberg’s attorney, Demetry Pikrallidas, said Dahlberg did not assault Salim. Even so, he said, Dahlberg wanted to apologize to anyone offended by his remarks. Dahlberg was profoundly affected by the Sept. 11 attacks, Pikrallidas said, and misunderstood Salim’s response to his questions.
Dahlberg “became rather emotional as the discussion turned to jihad and 9/11, and especially heated on the subject of jihadists who want to harm America,” Pikrallidas said in a statement.
Pikrallidas described Dahlberg as a “hardworking family man and a church-going person” who had been drinking but was not intoxicated. He stressed that Salim’s video shows the ride began with six minutes of friendly conversation.
Perhaps the first thing that stands out is the starkly different claims; Dahlberg did not, according to his attorney, strike Salim. The question therefore arises: When someone asks why you are punching him, if you’re not punching him, don’t tell them that you’re punching him because, “You’re a [expletive] Muslim.”
Just, you know. Simple advice that comes to mind.
Of course, it probably helps to simply not go around beating people for being Muslim:
Salim said he was dispatched to the Country Club of Fairfax about 2 a.m. Friday to pick up Dahlberg. When he arrived, he said he told Dahlberg he could not enter the cab with an open beer, so Dahlberg finished it.
Dahlberg then began complaining about the time that had expired on the taxi’s meter, Salim said. As a precaution, Salim said, he started the video recorder on his phone. For most of the ride, it recorded audio but the camera was obscured.
Dahlberg can be heard asking where Salim is from and whether he’s Muslim. Then Dahlberg demands to know Salim’s view of jihad and the 9/11 terrorists, growing progressively louder.
“If you’re a Muslim, you are [expletive] on that same page” as the Sept. 11 terrorists, Dahlberg says at one point. “Denounce those [expletives] that flew jets into the World Trade Center. . . . Tell me that they are pieces of [expletive], or you are with them. . . .
“If you’re a [expletive] Muslim flying jets into the World Trade Center, then [expletive] you, I will slice your [expletive] throat right now.”
Salim tries to calm the situation by saying, “Okay, just peace, and sit, please. Cut off. Cut off.”
Then, about 10 minutes into the ride, Salim aims the phone over his shoulder, informs Dahlberg that he is being recorded and says he is calling the police. The camera shakes, and there are sounds of an apparent scuffle.
There really isn’t any point in denouncing the Country Club of Fairfax as a hotbed of moronic and violent hatred; we’ve known there are supremacist hatemongers in both country clubs and Virginia for generations. It’s getting to the point that the country club set are the kind of people we harbor secret fears about; you know, the kind of people we wouldn’t let within a mile of our children.
And there really isn’t any point in denouncing the hatred; the obvious point here is that this kind of excremental behavior is a god-given part of our American heritage. Give Americans an excuse to tee off on dark-skinned people and … well, okay, our society doesn’t really need an excuse, the behavior is so well conditioned.
But, oh, my goodness, hatred at a country club? Racism in Virginia? Paranoia among the privileged?
We are the United States of America. There’s nothing new here. Dahlberg is nothing more than a symptom of our cultural sickness.