14 January 2012

People doing the right thing

The story is told at the Lowell Sun:
An area veterans group pledged to fill every seat in Babylon, a downtown Iraqi restaurant where owners feared hatred drove a man to throw a 20-pound rock through a window last Wednesday. Instead, those veterans filled every seat twice...

The veterans, joined by the likes of Lowell Mayor Patrick Murphy, held flags and signs in front of the restaurant as they took turns sitting down inside to eat meals.

Owner Leyla Al-Zubaydi and her father Ahmed Al-Zubaidi said their family was terrified the vandalism was fueled by hate. Ahmed Al-Zubaidi said the incident drove his wife to tears, and prompted her to question whether the family should close the restaurant.

The show of support from veterans and the community drove her to tears of joy last night, he said. "This solidarity gives us the courage to stand," said Al-Zubaidi. "There is no more fear in my heart because there are such nice people behind us." 
 I note one of the participants is the "coordinator of Chapter 9 Smedley Butler Brigade of Veterans for Peace."


  1. To adapt Freud, "Sometimes a rock is just a rock". Vandals do their stupid things for reasons that are rarely connected with anything much beyond just plain stupidity.

    That said, it's an impressive display of solidarity and to be applauded on all fronts.

  2. Echoing Skipweasel, I have seen this story several places on the net now and have yet to read a single scrap of evidence that this is "hate" related. If someone really was targeting them because they were Iraqi you would suspect they would leave some hateful graffiti or other middle eastern establishments would be targeted.

    The Lowell Sun article is pretty straight forward but a lot of other accounts really spun this up as a "hate crime" of which there is no evidence at all.

    All that being said and again echoing Skipweasel I think it is wonderful that so many people have rallied around them.

  3. lol @ that idea that it was completely random. Whether it was foolish vandalism or extremely calculated hatred, we can't know for sure, but doubtful it wasn't picked because of its name. Sometimes looking in a mirror is painful...

  4. Whatever the 'reason' this was a hateful act. I assume 'hate crime' is some kind of euphemism for 'racially or culturally motivated crime'?
    Either way, it is reassuring to see such support from the local community, particularly the veterans, which speaks volumes.

  5. Perhaps the rock had nothing to do with race. Unless someone owns up, we'll never know. But this story is still awesome even if it was simple vandalism. It just becomes proactive instead of reactive. These vets just did more to combat the "war on terror" than years of fighting ever will. Want to feel safe around Muslims? Go eat at an Iraqi restaurant. Talk to a lady in a scarf. Smile at someone in the street. You will soon find that most of them hate violence as much as you do.


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