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NY Times Fears Backlash Against… Bosnians

From those defenders of the faith (Islam) at the New York Times:

[New York Times photo and caption:] A Roman Catholic medal showing the Virgin Mary hung at the front gate.

Anti-Bosnian Backlash Feared in Utah

February 15, 2007

SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 14 — Most of the thousands of Bosnians living in the Salt Lake City area are refugees of war, and all of them are toughened by the experience of making new lives in a new country.

Now, state and local officials say that the rage and grief after the multiple killings here in a shopping mall Monday by an 18-year-old Bosnian immigrant threaten a backlash, and they announced plans on Wednesday for outreach meetings and candlelight vigils to head off trouble and help the city heal.

“We’re concerned, and we’re trying to take proactive steps to keep this from becoming an issue,” said Patrick Thronson, a spokesman for Mayor Rocky Anderson.

Ljubica Roth, the president of the Utah Consortium of Multicultural Groups, an organization that works with refugees and immigrants, said, “We are all stressed.”

Ms. Roth said she received six reports on Wednesday of Bosnians in Salt Lake City being accosted verbally, mostly about how they got into the country, she said, or whether they intended to commit violence.

Many people didn’t go to work today because they were worried about it,” Ms. Roth said.

The number of Bosnian refugees in the Salt Lake City area has been estimated to be 3,000 to 7,000, most of them Muslims fleeing violence by Serbs in the early 1990s.

Police investigators said they still did not know what made the killer, Sulejmen Talovic, drive to the Trolley Square mall just before 7 p.m. and open fire. Mr. Talovic worked a regular day’s shift until 5 p.m. at a company that supplies uniforms to businesses, his boss said. Then he drove to the mall, strapped on a bandoleer of shotgun shells and a backpack full of handgun ammunition and killed five people before being shot dead by police officers. Four people were seriously wounded and remain hospitalized.

In a state where the mainstream culture is white, politically conservative and Mormon, the mystery of Mr. Talovic’s motive has been compounded by questions of ethnicity, assimilation and psychology. His traumatic experiences as a child in Europe — his family arrived in the United States from Croatia in 1998 when he was 9 or 10, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement said — might have had much to do with what happened at the mall, or nothing at all. And with no apparent motive for the rampage, tensions are running high.

Mayor Anderson’s spokesman said the mayor would meet with local Bosnians and Bosnia-Herzegovina’s ambassador to the United States on Thursday at a Bosnian restaurant to hear their concerns. An outdoor vigil is scheduled for Thursday night downtown, with the mayor and Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. in attendance and Bosnians and non-Bosnians invited.

“Governor Huntsman is hopeful that residents will see this as an isolated act by one deeply deranged individual and not use it to unfairly judge an entire community,” said Michael Mower, a spokesman.

The mystery over Mr. Talovic was just as deep in Rose Park, the working class, mostly immigrant neighborhood of northwest Salt Lake City where he and his family lived. Mr. Talovic was a legal United States resident with a green card.

Few neighbors remembered him, but they described the other Talovic family members, including his younger sisters, his mother and his father — who they said was a truck driver who was often away — as quiet and respectable. The family could not be reached by telephone, and no one answered the door at their bungalow. On the front porch, someone had left a gift-wrapped potted flower. Wedged into the door jamb was a sealed envelope with one hand-written and underlined word: “Sorry.” Inside it, visible through the address window, were $20 bills.

Dr. Stevan Weine, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago who is writing a book about Bosnian teenagers in the United States, said Bosnians often had higher rates of mental problems because of their experiences in the civil war in their homeland. But he said those difficulties were generally not expressed through violence.

Some Bosnians in Utah say that all the generalizations about what Bosnians are or are not or what sort of psychological baggage they carry is irrelevant to the story of the Trolley Square killings.

“There’s bad people everywhere,” said Emir Ceho, a 23-year-old truck driver who came to Utah from Bosnia when he was 12. “My family survived war and came here with nothing, and now we’re O.K.”

Mr. Ceho, sitting at the counter at Bosna, a Bosnian restaurant, dug into cevapi, a sweetly spiced sausage sandwich that is his favorite dish. Soccer blared on the television, “What was in his head?” he asked, referring to Mr. Talovic. “I just keep wondering what he was thinking.”

Yes, it’s that anti-Bosnian backlash we have to worry about. It’s already claimed so many Bosnian lives here in the US. That’s the real problem that this incident brings to the fore. Unlike, say, Muslim terrorists.

Note that there is no mention anywhere in the article that the murderer was a Muslim. (A minor detail that has yet to be admitted by our watchdog mainstream media.)

Instead The Times gives us that photo of a Roman Catholic medallion? Are they purposefully trying to mislead their readers? Why would they do that?

Isn’t the fact that Mr. Talovic is a Bosnian Muslim significant? Why can’t that be a factor in his possible motive? Why pretend that this is such an unfathomable mystery?

Lest we forget, in the recently uncovered videotape the 9/11 hijackers made with Bin Laden they claimed they were doing what they were doing because they wanted to avenge Bosnia.

Sure, it makes no sense, given that the US went to war in Bosnia to defend the Muslims. (And we are still there ten years later.) But when have the terrorists ever made sense?

But don’t worry. The New York Times will never trouble its benighted readers with such troubling details.

It’s their duty to prevent a "backlash."

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, February 15th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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