Proving the stupidity and downright nastiness of bigots (did we need proof?), an apparently drunk man named Omar Rivera decided to pee on prayer rugs at the Al-Iman Mosque in Astoria last night. Beer bottle in hand, he also allegedly shouted anti-Muslim slurs, called the worshippers terrorists, and gave the bird, you know, just for good measure.
There are so many things going through our heads with this. What’s wrong with people, to start, but also, can we round up these assholes and put them in a cell somewhere where they will eventually turn on each other and leave the rest of us to live in peace? And: What is wrong with people?
As hate crimes go, peeing on something is better than stabbing someone, we suppose, but that should never be a choice we have to make. Ugh.
Rivera was arrested and taken to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation.
In related news, Mayor Bloomberg will meet with Ahmed Sharif, the cabbie stabbed by a very drunk Michael Enright yesterday allegedly for being Muslim, today. According to EMTs, if Sharif’s wounds were any deeper, he would have died at the scene. Enright faces 8 to 25 years in prison if convicted.
The incident may have caused Governor Paterson to change his tune a bit. Appearing on the John Gambling show (via the Daily News), he said, “This is the terrorists getting a yield on their investment when they attacked this country and blew up the World Trade Center, that we’re now fighting each other. This is making their day.”
Basically, if people go around behaving like intolerant, racist idiots, the terrorists have won. In fact, the pee-ers and slashers are doing their jobs for them. Is that what we want?
Paterson also acknowledged that the developers of Park51 (the mosque near Ground Zero) are not interested in an alternative site because it “suggests that they have to take some responsibility for what people who look like them or are the same religion as them, or came from the same geographic area as them did.”
Meanwhile, a group of 9/11 victims’ families and civic groups called New York Neighbors for American Values held a rally yesterday near Ground Zero in support of the mosque. “We feel pain, too, we just feel it differently,” mosque supporter Donna Marsh O’Connor said. “We’re not opposed on every issue, but on this one we really are. And I’m sorry, but I can’t let this one go.”
Are people starting to understand why, yet?