(October 29, 2018 / MEMRI) Abeer Kayed, who is given a platform on Arab T.V. stations to provide commentary and a former faculty member at Howard University in Washington D.C., said that the Pittsburgh synagogue attack was “strictly political” and not a hate crime, and that the media was trying to distort the motive. She said that this had to do with “the power of the Zionist lobby here” and with “the historical significance of the role of the Jews in American life.”
In the past, Kayed had been presented on other Arab T.V. channels as a current professor of political science at Howard University. An earlier version of this article repeated this false assertion without clarification. A Howard University spokesperson told JNS: “Ms. Abeer Kayed no longer works for Howard University and has not been employed here since January 2017. Ms. Kayed formerly served as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of World Languages. She was not a political science professor during her tenure at Howard University.”
It is “as if they get the credit for the existence of the United States,” she said, adding that U.S. President Trump was responsible because the “hatred and racism in his rhetoric” motivated such crimes. Her remarks were broadcast by the U.K.-based Al-Araby TV channel on Oct. 28, 2018, a day after the attack.
Following are excerpts:
Host: Why was the crime [of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack] classified as a “hate crime” and not as a crime of terror?
Professor Abeer Kayed: First of all, because the perpetrator of this crime is a white Christian American. There are specific classifications for each crime. If the perpetrator is an Arab Muslim, he is immediately considered a terrorist. If he is Latino, he is considered mentally disturbed. And so on. If he’s an African [American], they tell you that he is a drug addict or has a criminal past.
Not in this case. Here we have a white man who perpetrated a crime, and I call it a crime of domestic terrorism. Why? If we examine what motivated Robert Bowers to carry out this terrorist attack, we see that he had written on his social-media pages that he wanted to take revenge upon Jews because Jewish societies help the convoy of immigrants—Latinos and others—get to the United States. So the reason is strictly political. I don’t understand why the media is trying to distort the reason for the motive.
The motive is strictly political, so why does the media turn it into hatred? This issue has to do with American public opinion and American Jews, and it will be dealt with in a completely different manner—first of all, because of the power of the Zionist lobby here and also because of the historical significance of the role of the Jews in American life. This is why there is more sympathy towards them, as if they get the credit for the existence of the United States.
Host: You say that the problem is the distortion by the media. What is the reason for that?
Professor Abeer Kayed: The reason for the distortion is as follows: First of all, we are facing a president who needs to be held accountable by the Department of Justice. I’m responsible for what I’m saying. There are several reasons for this. Since Trump was elected, and even during his elections campaign, his slogans were: “Shut down all the mosques,” “banish Islam,” “terrorist Islam,” and so on.
His slogans were hostile right from the start, and his rhetoric of hatred was prominent from day one. This is what motivated the American populists to elect him. He was elected on a purely racist platform. Nobody denies the hatred and racism in Trump’s rhetoric, which has motivated not only Robert Bowers and his ilk, but many others. Like in any normal society, we have sleeper cells. This ideology is like the ideology of Osama Bin Laden. Osama bin Laden’s ideology has spread to the feeble-minded. The same is true of the United States.
You don’t have to be a Muslim and an Arab to be a terrorist. When U.S. President Donald Trump incites this hatred and delivers speeches that are hostile to everybody, he is definitely the reason for such crimes today.