via Niqab Nightmare – Taki’s Magazine
…Niqab defenders will dismiss as “paranoid racist fantasy” all scenarios about the bad things that can result from normalizing the niqab and training public officials to be “sensitized” to it. The defenders are wrong; bad things have happened, right here in the U.S.
I’ll give you the best example I can. What’s astonishing about this horrific incident of niqab sensitivity leading to the prolonged rape and torture of a young girl is that it’s a significant detail from a news story that, in all its other details, received probably as much media attention in the U.S. as any crime story of the past thirteen years. Everything was reported wall-to-wall except the “Muslim” angle. This story may be a worst-case scenario about niqab political correctness, but it happened, and Canadian voters deserve to be able to consider it along with all the rosy scenarios the proponents of “diversity” love to put forward.
Most Americans, and probably a good many Canadians, remember the case of Elizabeth Smart, the beautiful 14-year-old Utah girl abducted from her bedroom in June 2002. The story was huge enough when it was just a missing-persons case, but when Smart was found alive in March 2003, it became a full-on sensation. Revelations that Smart had been subjected to nine months of rape, torture, and brutality at the hands of her kidnapper, self-styled “prophet” Brian David Mitchell (and his female accomplice Wanda Barzee), fed the media firestorm.
In 2010, I covered Mitchell’s trial for the now-defunct Breitbart offshoot YesButHowever.com. One of the most shocking revelations to come out during the trial was that merely two months into her ordeal, Smart was nearly saved by a Good Samaritan in a Salt Lake City library who became suspicious upon seeing a girl in a niqab in the company of an odd-looking bearded man (Mitchell) and an older woman (Barzee). The tipster, who called 911, claimed that the girl’s eyes were remarkably similar to Smart’s (the eyes were the only visible part of the young girl’s covered face). Salt Lake City detective Jon Richey, who arrived to investigate, asked Mitchell if he could look under the girl’s niqab. Mitchell vigorously claimed that to expose the girl’s face to a stranger would violate his religious beliefs. No matter how many times Richey asked to see the girl’s face, Mitchell stood fast, claiming there would be “serious religious consequences” should the girl’s face be exposed to anyone but her husband. Smart, traumatized with fear and with Barzee grasping her tightly, was too petrified to speak up.
Detective Richey admitted on the stand that he was concerned about violating Mitchell’s “civil rights” and offending his “religious beliefs,” so he backed down. He retreated from the library, giving in to Mitchell’s claim that the niqab was sacred and that lifting it would be a gross civil rights violation. Mitchell and Barzee ushered Smart out of the library, and she would be forced to endure seven more months of rape, torture, and physical and mental abuse before being rescued. Smart testified that as Detective Richey abandoned her, “I felt like hope was walking out the door…. I felt terrible that the detective could just walk away.” The detective concluded his testimony by stating, “There’s nothing I would have done differently.” Just think about that sentence for a moment. Even knowing now what his inaction led to, he still stands by what he did. There’s no acknowledgment of error because he doesn’t believe he was in error. Respecting the “sanctity” of the niqab seems more important to him than protecting a 14-year-old girl from rape and torture.
The media did, to an extent, report Detective Richey’s testimony. But here are the things that never made it to the national press. In July 2002, one month before Detective Richey encountered Mitchell and Smart, a state law called HB 101 went into effect. The law, rammed through by Utah Democrats (specifically Rep. Duane Bordeaux, at the time Utah’s only black state legislator), created a master database of the race and ethnicity of every Utah law enforcement officer, and the race and ethnicity of every person he or she stopped in the course of an investigation. Officers would be monitored to ensure that they were not acting in a “racist” or “insensitive” manner when conducting “discretionary stops” (i.e., stops in which the officer has the option to walk away).
Officers would risk disciplinary action if their discretionary stops demonstrated “bias” or “racial profiling.” So here was Detective Richey, conducting the very definition of a discretionary stop on a man who claimed it would violate his religion to lift his companion’s niqab. Knowing that any complaint against him would be put into the HB 101 database, Detective Richey chose to walk away (side note: Utah Republicans made sure HB 101 was not renewed when it expired in 2007).
Although Mitchell is not Muslim (he isn’t anything, technically, beyond a violent narcissist with a messiah complex), he did, in fact, exploit state-enforced “sensitivity” toward Muslims. This is something that no media outlet other than The Salt Lake Tribune
ever made public. In her closing argument to the jury, Assistant U.S. Attorney Diana Hagen blasted Mitchell: “In the Salt Lake City Library, he played the Muslim card for all that it was worth.” It’s a damning quote, and the media ignored it completely.
Mitchell did indeed play the “Muslim card,” but the truth is, it was the state that gave him a Muslim card to play in the first place. Mitchell was enabled by legislators mandating “sensitivity,” a police department enforcing the mandate, and a random cop so obsessed with not offending a (perceived) Muslim that years later he still stands by his decision, even knowing the cruel, barbaric cost, physically and psychologically, to that young girl.
My message to Canada is, the more you normalize the niqab, the more you put sensitivity before common sense, the more likely you’ll be to see travesties like the Smart case. Simply put: The more you deal the “Muslim card,” the more it will be played. I could have done an entire piece on examples of other types of crimes in which burqas or niqabs were factors, but I preferred to focus solely on the Smart case, because sometimes it helps to put a human face on the terrible toll of ill-considered government “diversity” and “sensitivity” policies.
At the very least, my Canadian neighbors, however you vote on Oct. 19, reflect for just a moment about Elizabeth Smart. See her face in your mind, and think about that frightened little girl from 2002. Think of the brutal rapist who played the “Muslim card,” the cop who let him, and the lawmakers who engineered the situation. And ask yourself this question: If your vote sends a message that normalizing the niqab and enforcing “sensitivity” toward it is a worthy goal, and if you get your own version of the Elizabeth Smart case as a result, will you be able to look at yourself in the mirror and say, as Detective Richey did, “There’s nothing I would have done differently”?
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