Three weeks ago, I met one of my best friends for a beer in Manhattan. She arrived a few minutes late, sweaty and anxious. I asked her why. She told me that, on her way to the bar, two white men in baseball caps had chased her. One held a lighter to her and said, “Hope you burn, Arab.”
This friend of mine, the beautiful Faiqa, is a Pakistani-Muslim woman and a public high school teacher in New York City. She is one of the warmest and most compassionate people I have ever met in my life. It is not an uncommon occurrence for strange men to chase her with lighters and tell her to burn in broad daylight.The Armstrongite 1% often vilify Muslims but they seem to have little if any awareness that such talk leads to appalling and threatening behavior such as that described above.