Abeer Kayed, who on her Twitter account (@p_kayed) identifies herself as a "Prof. of Political Science," said that the Pittsburgh synagogue attack was "strictly political" and not a hate crime, but 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." 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 October 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?
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?
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 President Trump incites this hatred, and delivers speeches that are hostile to everybody, he is definitely the reason for such crimes today.