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:
Ed Dahlberg of Clifton, who has been charged with misdemeanor assault, denied hitting Salim in a statement released by his attorney ….
…. 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.