The rise of white supremacist Christian terrorism under the Trump administration continues to run unabated with The Baton Rouge Advocate reporting the story of an ex-sheriff’s deputy who rammed his pick-up truck through the front window of a mini-mart in Livingston Parish, Louisiana last weekend because he thought that the owners were Muslim.
Chad Horsley, the 27-year-old ex-marine and former East Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputy who allegedly committed the crime, didn’t think his crime through very well, since he drove his white pick-up truck through the front of a Best Stop shop that was actually owned by members of the Sikh faith, a completely different religion with roots in India that some uneducated Americans often confuse with Islam, perhaps because of the turbans and beards that religious Sikh men customarily wear.
Horsley reportedly told police that he drove into the store because of his belief that the owners were Islamic.
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“He blamed Muslims for killing his fellow service members overseas,” Sheriff Jason Ard said in a news release Monday. “He was also upset that Muslims, in his mind, were having an easier time prospering than he was despite his time in the service.”
Harjot Singh, a nephew of the owner, commented on the attack, saying:
“We never thought anything like that [would happen], because everybody comes in, and they are nice. This was the first ever incident to happen like that. Even if it was Muslims, he shouldn’t have done that thing,” said Singh, an Indian immigrant who has lived in the U.S. for two years. “We’re just trying to make a living out of here, that’s all we’re doing.”
The nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations released a statement Tuesday condemning the attack and thanking law enforcement for handling the incident as a hate crime.
“We thank local law enforcement officials for their prompt and professional response to this disturbing incident, which is apparently another example of the growing Islamophobia targeting American Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
Horsley was arrested Monday by the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office on one count each of hate crimes, simple criminal damage to property, criminal mischief, and two counts of false impersonation of a peace officer. He was released on $56,000 bond. Initial reports that Horsley stole an ATM and pulled a gun on a witness to the crime were dismissed as erroneous.
With anti-Muslim whites increasingly resorting to violence to express their misplaced resentment about their own economic situation, it’s distressing to see that they blame immigrants and people who worship their deity through other faiths as the enemy rather than the true perpetrators of their financial misery, the oligarchs and corporations who control the government through their political contributions that ensure it is their agenda, and not any agenda that would advance the common good, that representatives enact into law.
If you wonder why education budgets are being cut by Republican politicians, it’s to keep the populace dumb enough not to see what they are really doing and to instead blame innocent immigrants just trying to make a living like they are.