Earlier this week Erika Menendez pushed a Hindu commuter, Sunando Sen, to his death because she had grown to hate all Muslims (and Hindus) following 9/11.
“I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers I’ve been beating them up.” Ms. Menendez conflated the Muslim and Hindu faiths in her comments to the police and in her target for attack, officials said.
His Muslim flatmate described Sen’s views on religious extremism:
Though they were of different faiths, Mr. Suman said, he admired the respect that Mr. Sen showed for those who saw the world differently than he did. Mr. Suman said he once asked Mr. Sen why he was not more active in his faith and it resulted in a long philosophical discussion.
“He was so gentle,” Mr. Suman said. “He said in this world a lot of people are dying, killing over religious things.”
Pamela Geller’s response? “RIP Sen, the latest victim of 911 jihad”. Robert Spencer takes the same line. ‘Blood of Sen is on hands of those who perpetrated 911.’ A little earlier he ranted ‘you pro-jihad liars ignore fact that murderess blamed not ads but 911.’
That tweet was directed at Qasim Rashid, an American Ahmadi lawyer. Now, I suppose technically he might be termed pro-jihad in the sense that he often refers to the ‘jihad of the pen’. He has recently drawn attention to the (re)arrest of Pastor Nadarkhani in Iran and to the attacks on Christians in Indonesia.
In any case, whoever it was addressed to, Spencer’s argument about the motive for Hernandez’ crime is disingenuous – if some crazed person decided to target Jews in response to Israel’s actions s/he wouldn’t blame this on David Duke, DeLiberation or any of the many subtler vectors of antisemitism – s/he’d blame evil Zionist Israel.
Although I assume Robert Spencer is correct to assert that the latest batch of anti-jihad posters is not yet up in New York, and so should not be invoked in the context of this crime, it isn’t long since this widely condemned poster campaign hit the city.
Update: It seems Robert Spencer has been caught out in – to use a word he is fond of - a misunderstanding. He stated clearly that the subway ads were not up at the time of the murder. Now, even if they had covered every available hoarding, one couldn’t assert categorically that they were a trigger for a disturbed woman’s actions. And clearly any speculation about such a link would be weakened if it was indeed true that the campaign had not yet got underway at the time of the murder. But it seems that at least one ad was up – and this news was publicised on the blog of Robert Spencer’s close associate Pamela Geller.