(/sites/default/files/uploads/2015/05/AUB-field-265201.jpg)As Steve Kerr leads the Golden State Warriors toward the NBA finals, sportswriters are easily outpacing the old-line establishment media, and the Obama administration, on the subject of terrorism.
Kerr, a former National Basketball Association star, is the son of Malcolm Kerr, whose parents Stanley and Elsa arrived in the Middle East in 1919 to join relief efforts that followed the Armenian genocide. As Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee recalls, in the early 1980s Malcolm Kerr resigned his professorship at UCLA to become president of the American University of Beirut, “the college he attended and where he taught, despite increasing political instability within the region.” But in 1984 Malcolm Kerr “was shot to death by terrorists outside his office.” This happened in the “same building where three decades earlier he had met Steve’s mother.”
Voisin might have called the shooters “extremists” or “insurgents,” in the style of the Obama administration, but opted for accuracy with “terrorists.” John Wilner of the Daily News brought more definition. Malcolm Kerr, he wrote, “was assassinated in the winter of 1984, gunned down by Islamic terrorists at the American University of Beirut.” So the shooters weren’t Buddhist, Quaker, or Hindu terrorists.
On the morning of January 18, 1984, the Islamic terrorists used “silencer-equipped revolvers,” firing two shots into the head of Malcolm Kerr, who “crumpled to the floor.” A group calling itself the Islamic Holy War, which opposed American presence in Lebanon, claimed responsibility for the assassination.
A writer for ESPN noted that “two Islamic terrorists ambushed Malcolm outside his university office and shot him in the back of the head for the crime of being an American.” As the piece noted, “the 52-year-old educator, peacemaker and author who dedicated his everything to improving relations between the U.S. and the Arab world was murdered in the same building where he had met his wife, Ann, in 1954, and was pronounced dead in the same hospital where he had been born.”
Another sports website recalled that after the assassination, a pro-Iranian group called Agence France Presse to claim responsibility, charging that Kerr was “a victim of the American military presence in Lebanon.”
The two gunmen were members of Hezbollah, “following Iranian orders.”
The Kerr family won a wrongful-death judgment against the Islamic Republic of Iran. But as ESPN noted, “no Iranian official ever responded to the suit.” Years later, family members “continue to experience intense sorrow and anguish at the remembrance of his death.”
Like his father, Steve Kerr was also born in Lebanon and attended junior high school in Cairo. When Islamic terrorists gunned down his father, Steve was only 18 and a freshman at the University of Arizona. As John Wilner recalled, he “wept through a moment of silence for his father prior to tipoff against archrival Arizona State.”
Four years later, as Kerr and his teammates warmed up before a game with that same school, a group of 10-15 people began chanting “PLO! PLO!” The group also chanted, “Your father’s history” and “Why don’t you join the Marines and go back to Beirut?” As Kerr told Tracy Dodds of the Los Angeles Times, it was “pretty disgusting. It’s hard to believe that people would do that.” Kerr said a similar incident took place two years earlier.
Kerr was also on record that the chanters were “the scum of the earth,” and ignorant since the PLO had not been involved in the death of his father. As he told USA Today, “Who knows how the minds of fools work?”
Nobody went into the stands to throw down with the chanters. Kerr let their taunts inspire him and duly buried seven three-point shots to lead his team to victory. Arizona State officials apologized but the ignorant students evidently escaped the kind of formal censure that even then was typical on campus.
Steve Kerr excelled as a college player and went on to win five NBA championships. He could well win another as the rookie coach of the Golden State Warriors, a team whose three-point prowess recalls his own. His father won’t be there to see it, and he wasn’t present for any of his son’s college or professional career.
Malcolm Kerr was assassinated by Islamic terrorists acting on behalf of Iran, a nation still backing terrorists, still chanting “death to America,” and about to acquire nuclear weapons. The outcome of this development is very much in doubt but old-line establishment media bosses might let sportswriters cover this story. When it comes to Islamic terrorism, they seem to know the score.
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