On Monday evening in New York City, a man entered a Herald Square restaurant and proceeded to go into an anti-Muslim tirade. Robert Murino, 26, reportedly began berating workers at the restaurant, who mostly come from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. According to the New York Daily News, Murino purchased a slice of pizza, then began asking the workers if they were Muslims. When one of the employees, Tahir Mahood, tried to calm Murino down, Murino slapped him.
Mahood told the Daily News:
I’ve been here for the last two years and nothing ever happened like this before. … As a Muslim, I want to be polite, I don’t want to fight anyone.
Another employee, Lina Parvin, said:
He started yelling, ‘Why don’t you tell me your religion?’ Mahood kept saying, ‘I don’t know, I don’t know!’ The guy then starts yelling, ‘Muslim mother f——!’ He then reached over and punched him.
Murino was escorted out, but he later returned and smashed two glass partitions with a chair. Parvin said that Murino appeared to be intoxicated. He was arrested and released on $1,000 bail.
Conservatives had a minor meltdown on social media last month when it was reported that gunmen who stormed a Mali hotel released hostages who could recite verses of the Koran. “This is the beginning of a religious war!” some were shouting.
One of the few true and correct utterances from the mouth of George W. Bush was when he said that America was not at war with Islam. But now Donald Trump is telling people the exact opposite. Maybe not in so many words, but when you move to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. solely on the basis of their religion, what is the message? And people like Robert Murino appear to be hearing the message loud and clear.
The only difference between what Murino did and what some terrorists are doing is a matter of degree. Murino didn’t shoot up the restaurant, or kill anybody he believed to be Muslim, but that has already happened in other places. But just like other terrorists in other places, Murino was inspired by hate. Trump is fueling this, and the rest of his party is doing very little to stop it.
Here’s video of Robert Murino’s anti-Muslim rampage:
Image via New York Daily News screen capture