|Bigotry and incitement, Osama style|
Osama Siblani validates “fear and loathing”:
Posting and liking sectarian bigotry, hatred and incitement
Fear of the “arrogant bully”
I interviewed a number of people who raised important issues as to the 19th district court primary election. The people I interviewed, from different national and faith groups, did not want to be named. They were concerned that Osama would use his paper to attack them. I was surprised at the level of fear and loathing directed towards Osama and his paper. My interviewees did not need the headache of an open fight with Osama and his paper. I thought their fear was exaggerated. He is, after all, a publisher of a paper not the leader of a gang.
Sectarianism is the last refuge of the scoundrel
Osama’s response to my column appearing on my blog and in the Forum and Link was having one of his sectarian writers attack me in his paper. Osama’s writer, who has very limited English language skills, falsely claimed that I wrote that Sunnis do not like Osama because he is a Shiite. This is obviously an outrageous lie but is consistent with the sectarian line of the Arabic-language section of Osama’s paper. This is what I had actually written http://ihsanalkhatib.blogspot.com/2016/08/understanding-19th-district-court.html
When the lie appeared in Osama’s paper, I wrote a response on my blog exposing the lie. This is what I wrote http://ihsanalkhatib.blogspot.com/2016/08/intellectual-dishonesty-and-sectarian.html
Osama goes ape sectarian on me
In response to my blog exposing the lies, in a Facebook entry, that same writer in Osama’s paper imported the worst feature of Middle Eastern politics and journalism today. He unleashed a full- fledged sectarian attack on me that violated all rules of ethics, morality and the law. He called me “Ihsan ISIS Alkhatib” and accused me of being a member of the “Ashraf Rifi and Naim Abbas group.” Ashraf Rifi is a Sunni Lebanese retired general from the Internal Security and a minister in the cabinet of Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam. Minister Rifi is a vocal critic of the Shiite group Hizbullah and is hated by the supporters of the group. Naim Abbas is a man accused of terror attacks in Lebanon. Osama’s writer also called me a name- ‘whore”- the same vulgar word that Osama himself used to attack journalist Afaf Ahmad. Afaf Ahmad is a Lebanese Shiite Muslim, just like Osama and his writer who attacked me. Ms Ahmad received a pile of abuses, even threats, for criticizing Osama and his paper.
A well- founded fear:
Fear of a bully and his thugs, not of a publisher and his writers
Osama’s writer who attacked me claimed that I had made up the interviews because I did not name the interviewed. The people I interviewed wanted to stay anonymous and I respected their wishes. I thought that their fear of Osama and his paper was excessive. Now that I have been the subject of a vile sectarian attack that violates al norms of decency and the law as well, I completely understand their concerns.
Publish, post, like
Osama Siblani claims that he is not responsible for the sectarianism of his writers since only the editorial represents the position of the paper. But he chooses the writers and he publishes what they write. And, as to the vile attack on me, it was posted on his Facebook page, he kept it and he liked it. He endorsed and approved the immoral, unethical and illegal attack.
Osama Siblani: Unfit to play the Arab community interlocutor role
What is troubling about the fading Osama phenomenon is that the US government and other governments deal with him as if he were an honest interlocutor who represents all Arab Americans of all backgrounds. The government allows him to choose who participates in meetings of importance to all community members. His parochialism and his sectarianism make him unfit to play that role.