Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
When Tanveer Hussain and Abid Khan weren’t allowed into the United States, they blamed President Trump. So did the media outlets that covered the story. The controversial Democrat mayor of Saranac Lake reached out to fellow New York party members Senator Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. They leaned on the local embassy and Hussain and Khan were waved through.
“Still a country that welcomes athletes from across the globe,” Senator Schumer’s statement read. The statement, shared on Hussain’s Facebook page, declared, “So proud of the town of Saranac Lake for their efforts and their open hearts.”
Below it was a photo of Tanveer Hussain surrounded by Saranac Lake Middle School students. The seventh graders had been drafted to write letters to Schumer and Gillibrand on Hussain’s behalf.
“We came in and talked to a small group of kids. I said, ‘This is bothering me. Is it bothering anyone else?’” Amy Jones, their teacher, had insisted.
There’s no way to know if it bothered the children, but it bothered Amy Jones. And before long the children were enlisted in the campaign to bring Hussain to America. The campaign worked. And now here he was. Mayor Clyde Rabideau moderated the session with the children and the accused abuser.
Abid Khan, Hussain’s coach, talked to them about Kashmir. He told them that Kashmir was just like Saranac Lake. “Pack your bags. Next year, you are coming to Kashmir,” he said.
Later Hussain’s brother would explain one difference between Saranac Lake and Kashmir. “In Kashmir, we have a tradition of showing love to children,” he said.
Kashmir’s idea of showing love to children was very different than that of Saranac Lake. Tanveer Hussain would be charged with molesting a 12-year-old girl who was a student at the school. Based on her age there is a high probability that she had been one of the children writing letters on his behalf to Schumer and Gillibrand. One of the children smiling cheerfully in the photos with the alleged Muslim abuser.
The adults who led her community should have protected her. Instead they betrayed her.
When Abid told Mayor Clyde Rabideau that his visa had been denied, he was furious. “This will not stand. Do not give up! We will do all we can,” he assured Khan.
The transcript appeared on the Facebook page of Saranac Lake Trustee Rich Shapiro. Mayor Clyde Rabideau created a GoFundMe campaign that raised $1,625 for Hussain and Khan’s travel expenses and had provided regular updates and encouragement for the fundraiser. Now all mentions of Hussain have vanished from the mayor’s page. But Hussain’s page still shows him with his arm around his benefactor.
After Hussain was arrested for abusing a little girl, Shapiro bailed him out and hosted him at his house.
Shapiro is a vocal opponent of President Trump. President Trump had tried to keep the likes of Hussain out of America. The president had tried to protect a little girl in Saranac Lake from being molested.
Rich Shapiro instead tried to protect Hussain from being photographed by putting his hands in front of the camera. And that too is the choice we all face. Some of us protect little girls. Others protect the likes of Hussain.
"I think it could have provided an opportunity for cultural enrichment for our local community," Jim Tucker of Paul Smith's College had objected when Hussain’s visa was denied.
Tucker was one of those thanked for their help in getting Hussain into this country. And Tucker would go on defending Hussain even after everything that happened.
It’s hard to give up on your cultural enrichment.
The welcome wagon for Hussain’s brand of cultural enrichment had been rolled out as soon as he arrived. Fred Mazzeo, the owner of the Porcupine, a local inn, picked them up at the airport and hosted them. He took a selfie with them in the car on the way from the airport.
"That's SL mojo and that is the kind of mojo that makes SL special," Mayor Clyde Rabideau cheered.
The inn was where the Muslim guest allegedly repaid the generosity of the people of Saranac Lake by molesting one of their daughters. It takes a special kind of mojo to do that.
A special reception was held by the mayor. Restaurants offered them free meals. The locals of Saranac Lake were eager to get their picture taken with him. Even after Hussain was arrested, some continued to defend him and to blame the little girl.
Abid Khan, Hussain’s coach, has been the loudest in smearing the victim. He described the little girl as a “nutcase”. He claimed that “there was no contact at all” and that since Hussain didn’t speak English, he couldn’t be expected to know that the 12-year-old girl was a minor.
The Adirondack Daily Enterprise ran Khan’s attack on a young victim of child abuse. Then it penned an editorial in support of having brought Hussain to this country.
“We urge our friends, neighbors and other readers to return to holding their heads high and setting a good example for their children, as Saranac Lakers did with the kindness and generosity they showed to Hussain and countryman.”
What better way could there be of setting a good example for our children than by bringing foreigners over to molest them? And then running their smears against the victim?
The excuses are all too familiar from Rotherham where the authorities also took the side of the abusers over the victimized girls until the outrage at the atrocities could not be suppressed any longer.
In New York, there were excuses, but no apologies from the offices of Schumer or Gillibrand. Nor were there any from the local authorities.
“We have a compassionate community that understood the importance of allowing Tanveer the opportunity to race here, and a great local effort allowed that to happen and it was the right thing to do at the time,” Mayor Clyde Rabideau said.
How can the right thing be the thing that leads to the sexual abuse of a little girl? Such are the inscrutable mysteries of allowing people into the country who were meant to be kept out.
But you can’t make a social justice omelet without destroying some children.
Bringing Hussain and Khan to America made some people feel good about themselves. Their narcissistic do-goodery led to the alleged abuse of a little girl, traumatizing her, her parents and her family members. It led to a criminal matter that will cost the locals a significant amount of money.
That’s the price we pay when we ignore common sense and let the wolf into the henhouse.
“It’s a tumultuous time for people traveling to the U.S., particularly from countries that are Muslim,” Rabideau had complained.
“A blanket ban is wrong,” Abid Khan had groused. “We are peace loving persons and want to spend our life playing, enjoying and in harmony.”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand whined in her memoir that she had been called “chubby”. What happened to that little girl because of her intervention was far worse than a wealthy and powerful politician being called a mean name at the gym.
Senator Schumer wept when he denounced President Trump’s plan to keep America safe. He had no tears to spare for the little girl molested because of his intervention on behalf of her Muslim abuser.
"Tears are running down the cheeks of the Statue of Liberty tonight,” he intoned. There were no tears running down the green copper façade of the statue overlooking Manhattan. There were real tears running down the face of a little girl in a village west of Lake Placid.
The left thrives on its moral narcissism. It parades around its false spectacles of victimhood. But its policies leave behind real victims. When the left fought against President Trump’s common sense immigration security reforms, a little girl in a village in New York became one of its many victims.