After the disruption of a late-2009 terror plot by an Afghani Muslim, we posted on the origin of the plot – the Flushing area of Queens, N.Y. and its conversion by Afghani immigrants into Little Kabul .
More recently, in a Global Post article, author Matt Beynon Rees introduces readers to his latest work of fiction set in the Brooklyn, New York neighborhood of Bay Ridge.
Thirty-some years ago, Bay Ridge was the setting of another tale many will recall, that of Tony Manero and Saturday Night Fever. Today, as Rees and others note, Bay Ridge - an area that was once a first line of defense against the Redcoats – has been transformed into “Little Palestine.”
In “The Fourth Assassin,” Omar Yussef comes to New York for a U.N. conference. He visits the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn, which these days is becoming known as “Little Palestine” because of the steady influx of immigrants from the West Bank.
Little Palestine isn’t a community of Palestinian intellectual emigres of the kind that emerged in most major Western capitals during the 1970s. It’s a new wave of mostly young men who come to drive taxis and work several jobs, until they can afford to bring their families over to join them. Theirs is the typical American immigrant story, in fact. Except for the FBI investigations.
Except also for the, not-so-typical of other American immigrants, intolerance of non-Muslims, particularly Jews. In Bay Ridge, ‘Palestinian’ Muslims protest the existence of the state of Israel, chanting “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” A chant shouted by Muslims that calls for the elimination of Israel to be replaced with an Islamic state.
Except also that Muslim computer hackers deface Bay Ridge synagogue websites with Hamas propaganda, and that a majority of Bay Ridge Muslims believe, according to a lawyer for one of Little Palestine’s own convicted Islamic terrorist, that 9/11 was staged by the U.S. government.
In 2006 Shahawar Matin Siraj a Bay Ridge resident, was convicted and sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in a plot to bomb the Herald Square subway station in Manhattan.
Siraj’s defense maintained that his views that the United States government was involved in the 9-11 attacks were “community-based notions” held among many Bay Ridge muslims.
“In fact, in that entire Muslim community in Bay Ridge, the thought that the American government was responsible for bringing down the towers on 9-11 was common,” said one of Siraj’s attorneys, Martin Stolar. (Bay Ridge man guilty in terror bomb plot)
Ten years earlier, at a location shown in Rees’ video:
The Islamic Center of Bay Ridge spawned a killer of a young yeshiva student in Ari Halberstam in 1994.
“…On March 1, in 1994, Baz opened fire on a white van carrying rabbinical students, including Halberstam, onto the Brooklyn Bridge and that on March 5 Halberstam died from the shots. It was an act of terrorism that shocked the city as few events have.”
Ten days after the shooting,… “the Hamas movement in Gaza released a communique praising Rashid Baz’s attack on the van,” declaring him a martyr. http://www.nysun.com/article/28767?access=695821
Several years before that, another Islamic terrorist, the Blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and linked to the murder of Rabbi Meir Kahane, made Bay Ridge his home:
He first took up residence in a house in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, then settled in an apartment across the Hudson in Jersey City, New Jersey.
More recently, the message has been clear:
An anti-Semitic pamphleteer who terrorized Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill last week brought his hateful message to Bay Ridge overnight…
The objectionable offender scrawled the words “KILL JEWS” in thick black marker on dozens of fliers and dropped the slips of paper on Third Avenue between 75th and 95th streets just two days after Yom Kippur…
These hateful messages found in Bay Ridge…seem to have been scribbled on the backs of sheets of paper that contain printed information about taxi cab regulations, witnesses said.
As Jihad Watch notes:
Now what population in New York City contains a significant number of people who are cab drivers, and a significant number of people who want to see another genocide against Jews?
Despite Rees’ sympathetic tone, the FBI has good reason to be interested in Bay Ridge, as the supremacist Islamic sentiment is obvious:
On Memorial Day, patriotic residents of Senator Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues in Bay Ridge awoke to see the letters PLO painted on a garage, four trees, and a van. Only the houses on the block that displayed the American flag were attacked.
Police have charged a 12-year-old boy with a Memorial Day graffiti attack in which the acronym for the Palestinian Liberation Organization was written on the homes of some Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, residents who were displaying American flags.
A police spokesman, Detective John Sweeney, described the boy only as “male, 12-years-old, Arabic.”
MySpace, the popular social networking Web site, is also comprised of groups of like-minded members. One group, titled “PLO,” has many New Jersey and Brooklyn members.
“Dis is the Real PLO mafia No Fags All Green oLive Gangstas U kno how we do IF u aint Green U aint Mean,” the MySpace PLO introduction states (sic!).
One Brooklyn member promised to devote his life “to the holy war and crushing the Zionist pigs.”
Of course, none of these jihadi “pranks” are worthy of major media news and one has to wonder how much Hamas activity takes place in Little Palestine. But back to Rees’ fictional tale:
These days Little Palestine is dotted with basement mosques, Arab restaurants and boutiques selling slinky headscarves for religious Muslim women who want to observe the signs of their faith while also highlighting their beauty.
But the novel also takes Omar to Atlantic Avenue and Coney Island — iconic areas of Brooklyn we might be more accustomed to seeing in traditional thrillers, though they now have strong Arab presences. I put those locations into my novel so that readers would understand that the politics of the Middle East can’t be isolated. You can take the N train from Times Square and get off in Palestine.
Will anyone document Saturday Night Jihad in the 2010 version of Bay Ridge? No doubt, 2001 Odyssey, the famed discotheque featured in Saturday Night Fever, would find it tough going in Little Palestine. Especially after it was turned into a gay club years later, before shutting down for good.
Just like in Big ‘Palestine’, they are firing rockets, of a different sort, in ‘Little Palestine.’
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