The story was eerily familiar. A minority female assaulted at or near a college campus. Protests are held and charges are made before all the facts are in. And the result was the same: hoax.
In the latest case the hoax was a supposed assault on a Muslim student at Elmhurst college in Illinois. First the initial report of this "assault" in the Chicago Sun-Times with this breathless sub-head: "HATE CRIME: Slur, Swastikas scrawled in her locker." Now the October 11 report without the slightest bit of skepticism entering reporter Dan Rozek's account:
A Muslim student attacked at Elmhurst College in what school officials described as a hate crime had found anti-Islamic slurs and a swastika scrawled in her locker a week earlier, police and students said Friday.
The 19-year-old sophomore told police a masked, male attacker struck her in the head with a handgun about 8:30 p.m. Thursday after she entered a restroom in the school's Schaible Science Center. She suffered a concussion.
Threatening graffiti -- "Kill the Muslims" -- was written on a mirror in the restroom, students and police said.
How convenient of the attacker to leave a hate message on the mirror. Of course, ace reporter Rozek is swallowing this completely despite a rash of similar hate crimes that turn out to be hoaxes that have sprung up on college campuses around the country.
Earlier Thursday, the victim had spoken at a demonstration called to denounce the anti-Islamic slurs and swastika she had discovered on Oct. 2 in her locker, school officials and students said. Among the slurs was the phrase "Die Muslims."
That really is a convenient coincidence. The very same "victim" who had spoken at a demonstration to denounce anti-Islamic slurs and swastika she "discovered," gets attacked hours later along with the requisite anti-Muslim slur. The clues already scream "HOAX!" but clueless Dan plows along with his "hate crime" story like a loyal little soldier in the battle of political correctness:
Both cases are being investigated as hate crimes, Elmhurst College spokesman Charley Henderson said.
"They have some common threads," Henderson said.
Common threads that say "hoax" to any slightly aware rational being which leaves Rozek out as he continues:
The victim -- who wears an Islamic head scarf -- and two other Muslim students had been verbally harassed and taunted on Sept. 18 during a campus protest calling for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention center, friends said.
Oh, yet another "incident" reported by the "victim." Dan Rozek is being hit over the head with the hoax hammer yet he continues cluelessly winding down his report to the conclusion without even a brief moment of mental clarity.
So what is a hate crime without a protest rally? And true to PC form, a rally soon emerged as reported in The Doings of Elmhurst:
What originally was conceived as a silent sit-in to protest Thursday's assault on campus turned into a massive rally Friday afternoon on the Elmhurst College Mall, with students calling on others to stand up against hate.
"I still feel unsafe on the campus I call my home. I've called myself an American since the day I was born in Chicago," said 21-year-old junior Soofia Ahmed, a Muslim student who is good friends with the victim.
"I thank you for your support right not, but I do feel scared," she told the crowd as she fought back tears. "I'm terrified out of my wits to stand up here right now and tell you how I feel."
Word of the sit-in spread Friday morning as students sent each other text messages and posted bulletins on social networking Web sites telling each other to wear black and show up on the College Mall at noon.
Did any of the students have the smarts to send or post the word "Duke" anywhere. Or are all Elmhurst college students this gullible? You wouldn't know by reading this story. And now for the typical PC protest outrage over this supposed assault:
The lawn behind the Frick Center filled with students, who sat among rows of rainbow-striped flags that had been planted the day before to symbolize National Coming Out Day.
Other students took turns on the megaphone delivering passionate calls to stand up against the person who committed Thursday night's violent attack on a Muslim student in the bathroom of the Schaible Science Center.
Some non-Muslim female students even wore headscarves to show their support for the victim, who Ahmed identified as Elmhurst College junior Safia Jilani.
New college President S. Alan Ray addressed the crowd, too, thanking everyone for attending.
Perhaps President Ray should have called the president of Duke for some much needed advice on this matter before opening his trap:
"What happened last night was despicable," he said. "We are a campus community that is too strong, too great to allow such an incident to happen in pattern."
Well, I guess President Ray is so clueless as to not be aware of the rash of fake hate crimes on college campuses across the land.
Ray said Elmhurst police have increased their presence around the school on foot and in patrol cars, and low-use buildings were to be locked early Friday night. The school's Crisis Care Team was offering group counseling in the Frick Center and residence halls, and campus security was in touch with Muslim students to offer escorts around the campus. Students who did not feel safe were excused from classes Friday.
Most likely the Elmhust police knew this was a fake attack from the get-go but had to go through the motions to humor the PC President Ray. And I bet a lot of students claimed they did not feel safe to score that nice three-day weekend. Four days if they had off for Columbus Day.
Okay, so a week goes by since the "assault" took place and then (surprise, surprise) we find out what any slightly aware person probably already figured out right away---it was a hoax. Here is the "sad" report yesterday in the Sun-Times sans Dan Rozek who is probably busy purchasing a "I'm Wif Stoopid" T-shirt:
A Muslim student who claimed she was attacked at Elmhurst College in what school officials described as a hate crime has now been charged with making up the story.
Safia Z. Jilani, 19, of Oak Brook, told police that on Oct. 9, a masked, male attacker struck her in the head with a handgun after she entered a restroom in the Schaible Science Center on campus, according to a release from Elmhurst police.
Police found threatening graffiti -- "Kill the Muslims" -- written on a mirror in the restroom, students and police said. Earlier Thursday, the victim had spoken at a demonstration called to denounce anti-Islamic slurs and a swastika she had discovered Oct. 2 on her locker, school officials said.
But late Friday afternoon, Elmhurst police announced that a weeklong investigation determined the assault never occurred; there was no gunman; and Jilani was arrested on a warrant for filing a false police report, a Class 4 felony punishable by up to 3 years in prison.
Bond was set at $10,000 for Jilani, who posted $1,000 and was released, according to DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office spokesman Paul Darrah. Her next court hearing is Nov. 17 at 8:30 a.m. before Judge Kathryn Creswell.
The initial report of the attack triggered a lockdown at the college while police searched the campus and prompted hundreds of students to rally again the following day to protest the incident.
Officials at the 3,300-student private college -- which has about 30 Muslim students -- denounced the attack and promised to increase security on campus, including offers of rides for Muslim students to and from classes.
And where is Elmhurst college President Ray? Why he's probably standing next to reporter Dan who is now wearing his newly purchased "I'm Wif Stoopid" T-shirt.