Is this really a hate crime?

By August 7, 2007

As you may recall, I twice discussed the questionably anti-Semitic behavior of Pace administrators in mistreating the campus student Jewish organization, while kowtowing to demands of the student Muslim groups. After I was contacted by Pace’s flack Christopher Cory, the school’s Executive Director of Public Information, it was clear they were spinning events so fast it made me dizzy.
In the columns, I make it clear that the campus administration took radically different approaches to anti-Semitic behavior and anti-Muslim behavior.
When a Menorah was desecrated on campus and a swastika was drawn on a Holocaust memorial event poster, the University’s president David A. Caputo labeled the events as “bias incidents.”
When a paperback Koran was tossed in a toilet—resulting in minimal water damage—Caputo labeled the incident as a “hate crime” that outraged him.
To realize the great lengths to which the University mistreated both these incidents, I highly recommend you read my column from January of this year. The treatment of both incidents gives the following news greater context.
Now, police have discovered who was responsible for the Koran-toilet incident: Stanislav Shmulevich, a Russian Jewish immigrant who was a student at Pace while anti-Semitic vandalism was occurring and going unpunished. He is being charged with felony hate crimes that could land him in jail for up to four years—just for putting a book in a toilet.
Before we discuss whether or not that is a hate crime, I’d like to remind you of the following events that did not warrant being labeled hate crimes (and shouldn’t): 

  • The Brooklyn Museum of Art opened a new exhibit that included “Yo Mama’s Last Supper," “which depicts Christ as a nude woman standing with her arms outstretched and 11 black men disciples sitting or standing on either side of her and one white man as Judas.” (Catholic News). 
  • Andres Serrano’s “Piss Christ” was a piece of “art” that dipped a crucifix in a jar filled with urine (World Net Daily).
  • Northern Kentucky University professor Sally Jacobsen and some of her students removed crosses from a social commentary/protest installation on campus and threw them in the trash, because she was against the anti-abortion message it was representing. (FOX News). 

The above incidents are just a few of many where liberal causes—protecting abortion rights and criticizing Christianity—are on display. The perpetrators are seldom, if ever, punished and certainly not punished with hate crime legislation. Yet liberals are quick to condemn anything that criticizes Islam or Muslims. For example: 

  • Muslim students at Brown University successfully prevented an on-campus speech by Nonie Darwish, who criticizes the hatred preached by radical Islam. (Front Page Magazine).
  • San Francisco State University put conservative students on trial “for hosting an anti-terrorism rally at which participants stepped on makeshift Hezbollah and Hamas flags.” (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education).
  • Pace censored a screening of Obsession, a film critical of radical Islam, after Muslim students complained (Family Security Foundation).  

Now, back to the paperback Koran and its unfortunate swim in a toilet bowl. Is this really a hate crime? No one was physically hurt. The damage to the Koran was minimal. The Koran in question was a paperback copy—not a priceless religious document. There was no personal target of the demonstration—the target was a paperback book. This was a constitutionally protected act of free speech, regardless of what New York’s hate crime bill states, the same way dropping a crucifix in a jar of urine was protected speech. I suspect that eventually the law will be decided unconstitutional, and Shmulevich will be punished only for simple vandalism.
PC liberals kowtow to anything Muslim because they are both scared of Muslim groups like CAIR (which has pushed the legal troubles against Shmulevich) and they suffer from white guilt—they must do what they can to give minority groups more power because their ancestors were bigots. Unfortunately, people like Shmulevich get thrown under the bus for acting out against something the PC liberals seek to protect.

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Schools: Pace University