Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum that focuses on Middle East studies. I was a political columnist for SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, The Jewish Policy Center, J-The Jewish News Weekly of N. CA, Intellectual Conservative and many others. More info at CinnamonStillwell.com.

Friday, March 02, 2007

No Evidence of Hate Crime in Alia Ansari Murder

As predicted several months ago at this blog, the Oct. 9, 2006 murder of Fremont Aghan-American woman Alia Ansari turns out not to be a hate crime after all. According to Alameda County Senior Deputy District Attorney Colton Carmine, parolee Manuel Urango, who has a long criminal record, was charged with Ansari's murder. As Carmine put it:

"The investigation is ongoing, and we're really not prepared to talk about motive. At this time, it's not charged as a hate crime and there's no evidence that prosecutors have that qualifies it as a hate crime."
This after community and Muslim groups used the occasion of the alleged "hate crime" to organize a "Wear a Hijab/Turban Day" and attendant rally in which non-Muslims (particularly women) were urged to don the respective head covering. Indeed, as of this writing, the main organizing group, the Foundation for Self-Reliance, is still playing up the hate crime angle.

But the story was fishy from day one and truth be told, it's still rather strange. Urango and Ansari apparently didn't know each other and apart from a random shooting, one has to wonder about the motive?

It's not beyond the pale to imagine that Urango might have been a hired gun. As I pointed out earlier, Fremont's Afghan community has been beset by internal violence, not to mention the sort of domestic violence against women found in many Muslim communities. And in 2002, one member of the Ansari family was shot and killed and another wounded by a fellow community member.

We may never know what motivated Urango, but isn't it time for all those who immediately cried "hate crime" and blamed the murder on "racism" and "white privilege" to retract their initial statements?

Instead, something tells me this false claim will be yet another in the pantheon of greatly exaggerated and in some cases, mythical, allegations of hate crimes against Muslims in post-9/11 America.

Cross-posted at Kesher Talk.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Hollywood's Ho-Hum

For a satirical take on that orgy of liberal self-congratulation, the Academy Awards - my new column at The American Thinker:

Hollywood's Ho-Hum

Monday, February 26, 2007

Lawrence of Arabia Was a Zionist

Watching Peter O'Toole at the Academy Awards on Sunday night, one couldn't help but hearken back to that David Lean film classic, "Lawrence of Arabia." O'Toole's T.E. Lawrence was the archetype British Arabist, but, according to historian Sir Martin Gilbert, Lawrence was in reality a staunch Zionist.

Sir Martin plans to expand upon this thesis in his forthcoming book, "Churchill and the Jews" and for now, it can be read about further in The Jerusalem Post and The Independent. According to the latter:

Sir Martin revealed last night that a series of minutes written by Lawrence, which he uncovered in the National Archive, demonstrated his sympathy with the Zionist cause. Working for Churchill in 1921, for example, he clearly identified "the area of Palestine from the Mediterranean to Jordan" as the "Jewish National Home".
It will be interesting to see how today's Arabist historical revisionists try to spin this one. Something tells me the fact that Sir Martin is Jewish will be the clincher. These days, that's all it takes to invalidate facts.

I remember several years ago at one of the San Francisco pro-Israel counter-protests I used to attend regularly, trying to talk to a young Arab-American man about the chaos and violence taking place at the time (and still today) among the Palestinians. "The Jews Wrote the News!" he chanted back at me, completely ignoring my words in the process.

Hopefully, Sir Martin won't run into the same roadblock.

Cross-posted at Kesher Talk.