Urooj Rahman is an attorney, not a bartender, but she knows her cocktails. She tossed a Molotov cocktail at an NYPD cruiser during the 2020 George Floyd riots in New York City. But now, in asking for a light sentence, she is serving up a different cocktail: vodka with a dash of Islamophobia. And really, it’s the Islamophobia that gives it its flavor.According to court filings, Rahman is asking for a light sentence because, she says, she was very drunk on vodka on the night that she firebombed the police car, and making matters even worse, she is dealing with all kinds of “unprocessed trauma.” A good deal of it, her attorneys claim, stems from being taunted as a Muslim after 9/11. Vodka-and-Islamophobia is not as popular as vodka-and-tonic, but you never know, it might catch on.
Rahman’s lawyers say she was “numb, disassociated, and inebriated” back in May 2020 when she was spotted in the front passenger seat of her friend and getaway driver Colinford Mattis’ SUV, holding a Palestinian scarf over her face with one hand and a Molotov cocktail in the other. Soon after that, she threw the firebomb into a New York City police car, but don’t you see, it was all about racism: “Tossing the Molotov cocktail was a way of expressing anger at those police officers around the country for whom Black lives did not matter,” her attorneys claim. “It was an act of protest intended to avoid exposing others to harm.”
How someone can throw a bottle filled with gasoline and topped with a burning rag into someone else’s car and then claim it was done in order to “avoid exposing others to harm” is beyond me, but then again, I haven’t suffered the way Urooj Rahman has. The court filing claims that “at 11, when the World Trade Center was attacked, Urooj experienced the harassment that was all too common for Muslims living in the city. She was called names (‘ugly Indian,’ ‘hairy monkey’) and begged her mother not to wear her hijab on the street.” A clinical psychologist and “leading expert on trauma,” Dr. Leslie Lebowitz, claims that this “compendium of adversity” left the young adult Urooj Rahman “without the ability to adequately manage and regulate her feelings” as well as “subject to incapacitating depression, panic and uncontrollable obsessional thinking.”
Because of all this and more that poor Urooj has suffered, her lawyers say she should be released (she’s under house arrest, with electronic monitoring), for “her conduct that night was a marked deviation from her otherwise exemplary life.” Meanwhile, the Washington Free Beacon explains that this “request for a special dispensation builds on a sweetheart deal already reached by Justice Department prosecutors in the case. In June, Rahman and Mattis entered into a second plea agreement that broke their potential 10-year sentences down to a maximum of 5 years. Prosecutors want Judge Cogan to go even lower, arguing for just 18 to 24 months based on the ‘history and personal characteristics of the defendants.’” We’ll see just how low Judge Cogan can go.
18 to 24 months, despite the fact that “Rahman and Mattis each confessed to counts of conspiracy to commit arson and to making and possessing an unregistered destructive device, dodging a previous domestic terrorism sentencing enhancement. The two had pleaded guilty in October 2021 to one count of possessing or making a destructive device, which could have earned them each 10 years in prison.”
But don’t you see? Rahman was teased as a child. Probably every eleven-year-old on the planet can say much the same thing, and few have thrown Molotov cocktails into police cars. But since Rahman’s was taunted in an “Islamophobic” manner, and had some rough relationships on top of that (another thing that can be said about millions, if not billions, of people), we are supposed to believe that her suffering was so acute, so unique, that she deserves to suffer no penalty for her crime.
And above all, “Rahman’s attorneys also say their client’s ‘commitment to social justice’ should earn her a more lenient sentence.” Ah, yes, of course! She’s a good Leftist! Let her go! She was working on the side of the angels, and is a victim of “Islamophobia”! It’s an absurd defense, but it’s a canny one: In today’s overheated political climate, if she gets the right (that is, the Left) judge, Urooj Rahman’s new cocktail will work just fine, and she will be out on the streets and back working for “social justice” in no time.