[SPECIAL JANUARY PROMOTION: Spend $50+ In The FPM Store And Receive A Free Copy Of “Final Battle” By David Horowitz.]
When three Arab Muslim students were shot and wounded in Burlington, Vermont, politicians and the media immediately hyped it as the ‘Islamophobic Crime of the Century’.
President Biden issued a statement declaring that “there is absolutely no place for violence or hate in America.” Vice President Kamala Harris’ statement bemoaned that “far too many people live with the fear that they could be targeted and attacked based on their beliefs or who they are”. The three Muslim men identified as ‘Palestinian’, two of them were wearing keffiyehs and Kamala, like many other leftists, was implying that the shooter was ‘anti-Palestinian’.
“The idea that three young men walking down the street get shot, perhaps because of no other reason than they are Palestinian, is unspeakable,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said. ”But I gotta tell you, this is not just a local phenomenon, this is happening all over the country.”
Then he blasted Israel.
“I’m heartbroken by yesterday’s senseless shooting of three Palestinian-American students visiting Burlington. We do not tolerate hate or Islamophobia in Vermont,” Sen Peter Welch tweeted.
“I do want to be clear that there is no question this was a hateful act,” Sarah George, the local State’s Attorney, claimed without evidence.
“In this charged moment, no one can look at this incident and not suspect that it may have been a hate-motivated crime,” Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad argued.
Anti-Israel groups convened a rally calling for the destruction of Israel.
“I stand here to stand with oppressed people who now fear for their lives just walking down the street here in Burlington,” Vermont Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman told the hateful mob.
A speaker at the hate rally with the antisemitic University of Vermont affiliate of Students for Justice in Palestine blamed the shootings on Jews, calling them the “shameless monsters who enabled this” and denouncing “a crime of unspeakable racist hatred, a crime borne out of white supremacy, out of fascist, genocidal malice, a crime borne out of Zionism.”
All of these claims, along with many others around the shootings, were based on lies.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee falsely claimed that “a man shouted and harassed the victims, then proceeded to shoot them. We have reason to believe this shooting occurred because the victims are Arab.”
In reality, they had been shot by a local resident outside his house who did not say a word.
The three Muslim men were returning home from a party on Saturday night when James J. Eaton, a local resident with a history of mental instability, stumbled out of a white clapboard house on the residential street and without a word fired four shots at the three men.
Eaton had been described as “that hippie guy” and “progressive”, an organic farmer who had posted a meme with a definition of “Amerika” that called it “the worst sense of the United States, ie imperialism, corruption and the global exportation of American culture.”
He appeared to be a Biden supporter
Media outlets, anti-Israel activists and politicians attributed the shootings to the Hamas war. Everyone from Biden and Kamala on down emphasized the “Palestinian” identities of those shot and implied that Eaton had attacked them because he was opposed to the ‘Palestinian’ cause.
In reality, Eaton supported Hamas.
On December 6, Seven Days, a local news outlet known for breaking stories about local politics, revealed that Eaton had tweeted, “the notion that Hamas is ‘evil’ for defending their state from occupation is absurd. They are owed a state. Pay up.”
Responding to an article about a proposed ceasefire, he wrote, “What if someone occupied your country? Wouldn’t you fight them?”
Local politicians were aware of this which is why in December a Burlington City Council resolution from Councilman Ali Dieng, an African Muslim immigrant currently running for mayor, trying to tie the shootings to an attack on Israel failed, and so did a resolution pushing the false claim that the students had been targeted because of their identity.
The latest Islamophobia hoax had fallen apart in Vermont, but still lingered nationally.
Media outlets which had rushed to spread the false claims never retracted or modified them. After a month of pushing the lie that the shootings were a response to Israel’s campaign against Hamas or to the ‘Muslim’ or ‘Palestinian’ identities of the three men, the new information was not reported, acknowledged or in any way addressed by politicians and media reporters.
NBC News, which had run an entire ‘live blog’ about the shootings, pushing anti-Israel and Islamophobia narratives, did not provide an update that would have contradicted its narrative.
Even in December, NBC News still continued running articles falsely linking the shootings to the Hamas war and attacking Israel. A Dec 5 article quoted one of the men shot as spreading anti-Israel propaganda and claiming that “this is happening to Palestinians across the country and, more importantly, in Gaza. We’re mad at the system that’s allowing not three of us to be injured but thousands and thousands and millions of us to be displaced and injured and killed.”
PBS ran a similar article in December quoting an uncle of one of the men as contending that “even in this country, even in this town — that many of the risks that exist for my nephew and his friends in Palestine exist for them here.”
This torrent of anti-Israel and pro-terrorist propaganda was based on absolutely nothing.
There was never a single shred of evidence that the men had been targeted. And the only basis for this claim that was ever cited was that two of the men were wearing ‘keffiyehs’ and speaking English and Arabic when they were shot. This entirely circumstantial information was amplified with feverish claims and rushed statements by elected officials, prosecutors and police.
The reality that has emerged is that Eaton was mentally unstable, left-leaning, opposed to America and supportive of Islamic terrorists. He was neither Jewish nor pro-Israel.
He had actually publicly stated his support for Hamas.
Eaton could not have known that the three Muslim men were going to walk past the house where he was living and it’s implausible that he would have had the time to plan such an attack.
The Muslim men were walking down the middle of a small narrow residential street with no street lights at night and Eaton would not have had enough time to realize the men passing by were Muslims, grab a gun, run out and shoot them. That’s even assuming that he had spent the whole evening by the window watching for incoming Muslims in an 87% white Vermont city.
Most likely, Eaton, suffering from an episode, stumbled out and opened fire.
Shooting four rounds at three men suggests this was not a planned mass shooting. He might have just as easily shot at anybody on the street or at nobody except the voices in his head. According to his mother and an ex-girlfriend, he had a history of violence and mental illness.
All of this was well known, yet the media instead chose to push a false anti-Israel narrative.
The Burlington shootings were far from the first Islamophobia hoax to gain a national platform.
The killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque were initially billed as Islamophobia. Biden even issued a statement declaring that “my administration stands strongly with the Muslim community” and warned that “these hateful attacks have no place in America.” The attacks were Islamophobic, but the perpetrator was a Sunni Muslim Afghan refugee who hated Shiites.
Hasan Minhaj, the Netflix Muslim comedian, was recently exposed as having made up the stories of discrimination that he had built his high-profile career around. During the campaign against Hamas, CAIR promoted a false claim that a Muslim man had been hit by a Jewish driver shouting “Kill all Palestinians,”and “Long live Israel”. Before Biden and other elected officials could issue statements, the actual perpetrator turned out to be the victim’s own brother.
And then there was the rash of Hijab snatching hate crime hoaxes across the country which included Yasmin Seweid, an 18-year-old college student in NYC, falsely claiming that three Trump supporters had tried to tear off her hijab while shouting, “take that rag off your head”.
The Burlington shootings were similar to a different category of hate crime hoaxes in which a crime did occur, but the motive was misattributed to ‘Islamophobia’. One was the rape and murder of Nabra Hassanen: a 17-year-old Muslim girl in Virginia by a low-IQ illegal alien MS-13 member from El Salvador after a fight with her friends. Another was a parking dispute in Chapel Hill that had nothing to do with Islam and where the shooter was a Rachel Maddow fan.
(As in Burlington, leftists and Muslims seem to shoot far more Muslims than conservatives do.)
Despite the facts of the cases, sustained pressure by Islamist groups led the authorities to brand these crimes as being ‘Islamophobic’ which then allowed groups, many of them with terror ties, to claim that any criticism of Islam or Islamic terrorism would get Muslims killed.
The Burlington shootings were blatantly exploited to attack Israel and promote terrorism.
Vigils in front of City Hall and at Brown University called for the destruction of the Jewish State.
One of the men, Hisham Awartani, told the hateful mob at Brown that his shooting “did not happen in a vacuum” but that he was only “one casualty in a much wider conflict” and “had I been shot in the West Bank” and “the medical services which saved my life here would have likely been withheld by the Israeli army.”
While the Burlington story has fallen apart, like the previous ‘Islamophobic’ hoaxes the damage was already done. The larger purpose of Islamophobia hoaxes, like that of Islamic terrorism, is to reframe the perpetrators as the victims and to justify Islamic violence against non-Muslims.
That is why the truth matters. Islamophobia lies kill, the truth exposes the killers.