The director of social media outreach for a university, Ms. [Heba] Macksoud was shopping on the Friday morning of Sept. 25, and as usual she was wearing her head scarf, her hijab. She was about 90 minutes into the two-hour trawl, working her way down the detergent aisle, thinking ahead to the adjacent corridor of frozen foods, a working parent’s ever-important source of ready-to-heat pizza and French fries.So a woman wearing a hijab runs into a couple of bigots at a local store in September and this is the first time she experienced anti-Muslim bigotry in this country in 14 years. (And the NYT blames Republicans, naturally.)
At the end of the aisle, Ms. Macksoud noticed a couple of middle-age white men talking. One in particular caught her eye with his beer belly, tattooed forearms and large golden cross. As she neared him, she heard the word “Bible.” When she passed him, he said in a raised voice: “not like the Quran those Muslims read.” He included an obscenity to describe Ms. Macksoud and 1.6 billion coreligionists.
Ms. Macksoud grew up on Staten Island, competing in soccer and track, and liked to think that she had that outer-boroughs bravado. Instead of firing back, though, she answered with forced calm: “You didn’t have to say that.”
Surface composure aside, she was shaken. Her flesh felt as if it were quivering. Her mind went so blank she made a wrong turn, and instead of heading into frozen foods, she was adrift and searching for Ms. Yu. “She was shocked and angry,” Ms. Yu recalled the other day. “More in a kind of disbelief that something like this could happen to her.”
Indeed, nothing before ever had. Even after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, when Ms. Macksoud began wearing the hijab as her personal way of reclaiming Islam from jihadists, nobody had ever said a word to her. No one objected even when she was working for MTV in Times Square and her building was evacuated during a failed car bombing by a militant Muslim in May 2010.
But in the United States of 2015 — weeks before the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif. — someone had insulted and implicitly threatened her in her favorite ShopRite. It felt to her as if all the toxic language of the Republican presidential campaign, with its various forms of Islamophobia, had infiltrated even a store she cherished for its commitment to diversity.
Now, between the incident at the Shop-Rite and the New York Times' long description of this example of Islamophobia, something else happened in the New York metropolitan area. In Manhattan, in fact, and only a week ago, as the local CBS station reported:
Hate crime detectives are investigating after a menorah was knocked over two nights in a row at an Upper East Side park.How did the New York Times cover these two cases of blatant antisemitism in New York City?
Police believe the menorah at Carl Schurz Park was toppled on purpose both Saturday and Sunday nights.
The menorah is in a section of the park near the water and it didn’t appear that there were security cameras nearby, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.
“There’s no way it came down by accident, it kind of sat on a platform and clearly somebody pushed it over,” Alex Goldstein, who lives in the area, told 1010 WINS.
Over 20 paragraphs were dedicated to the case of bigotry against a Muslim, and not one for a hate crime against an entire Jewish community in New York City.
I can imagine that American Jewish readers of this blog have experienced antisemitic incidents that are at least as bad as the one that happened to Ms. Macksoud. Antisemitic hate crimes far outnumber anti-Muslim hate crimes.
As I was growing up, Gentile neighbors stole my kipah and they threw pennies at me and my friends ("cheap Jew.") The Sukkah I put up on my college campus was destroyed. A car salesman told me he wasn't trying to "Jew me down." It never even occurred to me to report these incidents to authorities or newspapers. It happened, I regarded the antisemites as idiots, and I moved on.
But if this is newsworthy, then certainly American readers of this blog have experienced other incidents of antisemitism.
Feel free to put your personal experiences of antisemitism in America in the comments - things that were never in the news. I'll make a post about it.
And then we can see if the New York Times considers them as newsworthy as the story of Ms. Macksoud.
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