It’s baffling, I tell you, baffling

(See follow-up coverage: the killer had given ample warning he was dangerous, speaking constantly of death and saying that he was being persecuted as a Muslim.)

Yet another act of senseless violence has occurred, having nothing to do with religion or ethnicity, or, indeed, any intelligible human motive. The murder of a Jewish professor of Islamic studies by a Muslim graduate student proves once again that the universe is inherently meaningless, just as liberals and Darwinians keep telling us it is.

The story appears in today’s New York Times

Student Held in Killing of Binghamton Professor

A 46-year-old Binghamton University graduate student from Saudi Arabia was charged on Saturday with killing a retired anthropology professor, a specialist in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies with whom he had worked, the authorities said.

The student, Abdulsalam S. al-Zahrani, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of the professor, Richard T. Antoun, who was stabbed in his office in the university’s Science I building on Friday afternoon, said Gerald F. Mollen, the district attorney in Broome County. “We believe the murder weapon was recovered,” he said. [LA notes: we learn here that Antoun was Jewish.]

Mr. Mollen said in a statement that Mr. Zahrani and Professor Antoun had known each other through Mr. Zahrani’s “work in the graduate program.” Later, in an interview, the district attorney said that “they’ve known each other for quite some time.” The extent of their contact was not immediately clear.

Mr. Zahrani, a citizen of Saudi Arabia who is a graduate student in anthropology, was being held without bail at the Broome County Sheriff’s Correctional Facility after his arraignment in Town Court in Vestal, N.Y., Mr. Mollen said.

Mr. Mollen declined to say whether Mr. Zahrani had made any statements to the authorities. He said he was unsure if the suspect had retained a lawyer.

Professor Antoun, 77, received a doctorate from Harvard in 1963 and joined the Binghamton faculty in the early 1970s. He was “a sociocultural anthropologist who has conducted research among peasants in Jordan, urbanites in Lebanon, peasant farmers in Iran and migrants in Texas and Greece,” according to the university’s Web site. He retired in 1999 as professor emeritus.

“He dedicated his life to trying to understand the people of the Middle East,” said the professor’s sister Linda Miller, of Holden, Mass. “He never said an unkind word to anyone in his life.” Ms. Miller’s husband, the Rev. David J. Miller, said that Professor Antoun had been married to his wife, Rosalyn, for 17 years and had a son, Nicholas, 40.

Professor Antoun’s work focused on religion and the social organization of tradition in Islamic law and ethics, among other things, according to the university’s Web site. He had taught at the University of Chicago, Manchester University in England and Cairo University, according to his curriculum vitae.

The killing was met with grief on the Binghamton campus, which is nearing the end of the fall semester. The university, which is part of the State University of New York system, has an enrollment of 15,000 students.

“Our entire community has been affected by this,” Gail C. Glover, a university spokeswoman, said on Saturday. “We are feeling profoundly sad. Professor Antoun was a longtime member of our campus community, and his loss is profoundly felt.”

In his statement, Mr. Mollen said there was “no indication of religious or ethnic motivation” in the killing. He said no other arrests were expected. [Emphasis added.]

Asked if the suspect had any prior contact with university officials for any reason, Ms. Glover said, “I am sure all of this will be part of the investigation.”

Campus police were called about 1:41 p.m. Friday to Professor Antoun’s office on the ground floor of the Science I building, Ms. Glover said. Students in a volunteer ambulance service known as Harpur’s Ferry also responded, she said. The professor, who had been stabbed a number of times, was taken to Wilson Regional Medical Center in Johnson City, N.Y., where he died, Mr. Mollen said.

University officials canceled some classes and events after the attack. But in an e-mail message sent within hours, they reported that a “suspect is in custody.”

It was followed by an e-mail message from Lois B. DeFleur, the university president, who called the killing, “an act of senseless violence.” [Emphasis added.]

“Our hearts go out to the Antoun family,” she added.

[end of article]

- end of initial entry -

Laura G. writes:

I can’t help noticing the immediate and de rigueur statement by the FBI that the murder was not religiously motivated. It is amazing that we STILL have law enforcement agents who are capable of making that statement without having their own throats congeal and their tongues fall out. Bending the learning curve, apparently. Downward. I might have hoped that they could by now have discovered the benefits to them of silence on this issue when data have not yet become available, but no.

Mike Berman writes:

At least the sand wiggers at VDARE aren’t so blinded by their hatred for Israel that they, too, are baffled.

LA to Mike Berman:

Sand wiggers?

Mr. Berman replies:

My definition of a wigger is any white who supported black rule for South Africa. My definition of a sand wigger is any white who sides with the Arabs over the Israelis.

LA replies:

That is powerful, really good.

Just as a wigger or “white nigger” is a white who subordinates himself to blacks, a sand wigger is a white who subordinates himself to Arabs/Muslims.

Also, your explanation of sand wigger explains to me what “sand nigger” means. Some months ago, a David Duke supporter wrote to me, putting on an act of being respectful. When I didn’t buy into it, he expressed himself as you would expect. At that point I told him where he could go, and he wrote back calling me a “sand nigger.” I had no idea what that meant. But now I realize it’s an anti-Semitic term for Jews: niggers from the Mideast, niggers who live in the desert sands.

Charles P. writes:

That’s not what “sand niggers” means. “Sand niggers” is a derogatory term for Arabs that simultaneously manages to insult blacks as well. (An invaluable website for understanding what the heck modren idiots are saying)

Charles P. continues:

Come to think of it, that’s not what “wigger” means, either. A “wigger” is a white kid, often suburban and higher-than-working class, who dresses, talks, and acts like an inner city black gangsta, as portrayed in rap videos. May I suggest “whimmi” for a white who allows himself to be mau-maued and submits to the PC hegemony.

So, Mr. Berman’s definitions are not the definitions meant by the millions of usages of these words before him. That doesn’t mean the concepts he’s speaking of don’t exist, but we’re lacking les mots justes here.

Also, is V-Dare anti Israel? Is it pro-Mohammedan (which is not necessarily the same thing)?

LA replies:

First, let’s stipulate that Mike Berman’s message was to praise Vdare for not being as anti-Israel as he feared it would be and for identifying Muslim violence as such.

Second, I think it’s fair to say that there is definite anti-Israel component at Vdare. They regularly publish America’s most influential anti-Semitic “thinker,” Kevin MacDonald; they regularly publish the insane hater Paul Craig Roberts, who above all things hates neocons and Israel, and who at Vdare has supported the charge that the 9/11 attack was an inside job. All theories that 9/11 was an inside job have involve the idea that Israel was part of the inside job.

Mr. Berman may have had other things in mind, and he can tell us.

Kevin C. writes:

Sand nigger means an Arab, not a Jew. So it is an anti-Semitic term, but not anti-Jew.

LA replies:

Thanks for the info, I had never encountered the word before.

Also, though Arabs are a Semitic people, anti-Semitic does not mean anti-Arab. It has never been used with that meaning. The word was coined with the meaning of anti-Jewish, and that’s the only meaning it has had.

William R. writes:

“Sand niggger” is an epithet directed at Arabs or non-Israeli Middle Easterners generally. You reduce it well at the end of your last comment, but I’ve never before heard the term used in reference to Jews. In fact, I’ve heard Jews here (SE Michigan) use it. Your correspondent was incompetent; it’s equivalent to calling a black man a wetback.

Ferg writes:

Laura G. writes:

I can’t help noticing the immediate and de rigueur statement by the FBI that the murder was not religiously motivated. It is amazing that we STILL have law enforcement agents who are capable of making that statement without having their own throats congeal and their tongues fall out.

Law enforcement officials speak the words that their bosses put in their mouths. Nothing more and nothing less. To do anything else is to destroy your career. Until we elect political candidates who are willing to speak the truth instead of nonsense, we will get public bureaucrats who speak nonsense. My advice to all your readers is to get an English translation of the Koran and read it all the way through (it is a struggle but worth the effort). Only by doing this can anyone begin to get a picture of what it is we face in Islam. It is also the only way to developsolid, reasonable arguments for ending Islamic immigration, and sending believers back home. Liberals will refuse to inform themselves on this, but there is no excuse for traditional conservatives to not make the effort. The Translation I read is called THE MEANING OF THE GLORIOUS KORAN and is available in paperback only. The translator is an Englishman who converted to Islam.

December 7

Rick Darby writes:

“He dedicated his life to trying to understand the people of the Middle East,” said the professor’s sister.

The latest data point was fatal.

HJB writes:

You don’t need a Ph.D. to understand the people from the Middle East.

LA replies:

Good line. It reminds me of how at Wafa Sultan’s talk last week, when I asked her what to do about Islam, her first reply was that people needed to learn Arabic! I said, then we’re finished. Fortunately, she then gave a much stronger answer.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 06, 2009 04:11 PM | Send

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