By Jack Minor
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is defending four Michigan high-school football players who ignored a referee and allegedly assaulted the opposing team’s quarterback, saying the resulting charges against the four are based solely on their race.
It was during an Oct. 21 football game between Star Academy and Westland Lutheran High School in Dearborn Heights when the quarterback for Westland planned to take a knee to end the game with a 48-6 victory.
Referees reportedly instructed players not to have contact after the snap. While the quarterback, P.J. Kruse, was taking his knee, Star players burst through the unprepared offensive line and threw him to the ground.
He suffered a concussion in the melee.
Following a three-month investigation, the Wayne County prosecutor filed aggravated assault charges against Star Academy seniors Mohamed Ahmed, Fanar Al-Alsady, Hadee Attia and Ali Bajjey.
But the attorney for the players, Nabih Ayad, said the charges were based solely on the players’ race. CAIR-Michigan, the Arab Civil Rights League and the NAACP have sent the prosecutors a letter asking for all of the charges to be dismissed.
In a recent news conference, CAIR said there was new video that showed the incident was “greatly exaggerated: and that no charges would have been filed if the players had been any other religion.” But the video has not been released.
CAIR spokesman Dawud Walid said, “We believe that from the very beginning that, if these young men may have been of a different ethnicity, of a different religion, different skin color, that Dearborn Heights police officer most likely would not have been so aggressive in the means in which he carried out his investigation.”
Ayad said, “Had their names been John or Bill, Randy or Jason, I don’t think these charges would be standing here today. Because of the Arab ethnicity, I think these charges were brought with the racial animus behind it.”
He went on to describe the events that resulted in the opposing quarterback’s concussion simply as a post-play “skirmish” that frequently happens in football games.
But Kym Worthy, the Wayne County prosecutor, said neither race nor ethnicity played any role in the charges.
“Our investigation in this case includes a videotape which captured the incident. After a review of the evidence, we have charged the people involved in this incident with the appropriate charges,” Worthy said.
Robert Spencer with Jihad Watch said Ayad’s statement trivializing what happened was incredible.
“Really? Players commonly give their opponents concussions in non-game situations?”
Spencer pointed out that if non-Muslims had assaulted a Muslim, CAIR would be demanding the players face hate crime charges.
“In this case, they’re trying to portray some thuggish Muslim footballers as victims, both to advance their Muslim victimhood narrative, and to try to intimidate law enforcement officials into being afraid to charge Muslims with anything, for fear of being charged with racial or ethnic or religious bias,” he said.
CAIR’s reaction to the incident follows on the heels of similar incidents where the group has tried to play the victim card.
During a recent series of firebombings in Queens, New York, CAIR quickly claimed that the attacks were caused by Islamophobia.
While a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the door of the Al-Khoei Islamic Foundation, which houses one of the most prominent Shi’ite mosques in New York, the assailant also firebombed a house of a black Christian couple as well as another house which served as a Hindu place of worship.
Following the attacks CAIR called for police to increase patrols around mosques. However, leaders did not call for similar patrols around houses of worship for other faiths.
Spencer said CAIR’s reaction reveals that the group will not hesitate to use any event to their advantage to portray Muslims as victims in this country.
“CAIR did not mention anything about the Hindus or Christians when they issued their release. This just shows how self-serving their claims of victimhood really are,” Spencer said. “They called for increased police patrols against mosques, but they didn’t say anything about calling for protection for Hindu or Christian places of worship.”
The charges against the four players are even more noteworthy when one considers the location. Dearborn Heights is located just outside of Dearborn, which was recently featured in the television series “All-American Muslim.”
The show, which suffered from low ratings, had more than 65 sponsors stop advertising during its run on TLC. During the show’s run, Lowe’s was singled out by CAIR and others for choosing to stop advertising on the show.
CAIR called the move by Lowe’s to pull advertising “anti-Muslim bigotry.”
California state Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, went further by threatening Lowe’s with legal action if the company did not reinstate the ads and apologize to Muslims.
In a letter sent to Lowe’s chief executive officer, Robert Niblock, Lieu said, “Lowe’s action is bigoted, shameful, and un-American. I call on Lowe’s to rescind its action and apologize to Americans who are Muslim. If Lowe’s continues its religious bigotry, I will encourage boycotts of Lowe’s and look into legislative remedies.”
CAIR did not respond to WND requests for comment.
But in 2010, police arrested David Wood, Nabeel Qureshi, Paul Rezkalla and 18-year-old Negeen Mayel for talking to Muslims at the annual Dearborn Arab international Festival in Dearborn.
The four Christians were talking to people who approached and engaged them in conversation. Police arrested the Christians for disturbing the peace but they eventually were acquitted of charges.
The year before, George Saieg, a Sudanese Christian pastor, was threatened with arrest by Dearborn police if he handed out information on Christianity near the festival.
WND recently reported how the city was ordered to pay over $100,000 in legal fees over its handling of the incident.