Multiple Enthusiasms

Infinite jest. Excellent fancy. Flashes of merriment.

Something is rotten in Dayton

Caught this on Sunday at the Bruceblog. I’m not sure who Bruce is besides an ostensibly democratic voter who supports Obama (warning: lots of McCain derision at the site. Follow at your own risk).

That post in particular, though, refers to something far greater. On Friday afternoon, during Ramadan prayers, someone sprayed a chemical irritant through a window and into a nursery in a mosque in Dayton, Ohio. Bruce got the info, apparently, from this post at the Daily Kos. If you follow their links, though, both links on both blogs seem to point to this page, which notes that the Dayton police have determined there is no evidence the gassing of the mosque was a hate crime. They don’t mention if any other buildings were gassed, though; just the mosque and a 10-year-old girl.

Here’s the problem: that article is dated just yesterday, but both blogs went up over the weekend, on Sunday. One is dated 5 p.m., the other 7 p.m.

So either Bruce and Chris Rodda at Kos are psychic, or something more fishy is going on.

(I wouldn’t be writing about this if it were the former)

It seems it’s the Dayton Daily News. It seems they removed an article from their online database. Here’s their mention of it on Friday, which seems to be the ‘breaking news’ article and is attributed merely to a ‘staff writer’ and which notes “Report of chemical irritant empties church.” Sidenote: there is a difference between a church and a mosque, isn’t there? I know both are places of worship, but I’ve only ever heard of ‘church’ referring to Christianity/Catholicism, whereas I thought “mosque” referred specifically to places of worship for Islam. I could be wrong.

So, on Friday, a mosque in Dayton had an experience with, and I quote, a “chemical irritant.”

This seems to be a Saturday article, by Kelli Wynn, noting that a probe into the incident is ‘continuing.'”

Here’s where things get fishy, though, because I read those posts on Sunday and clicked through to the Dayton Daily News link. I had planned to write about it when I found more information.

I have not. I’m writing about it now because rather than information being revealed, it seems it’s actually actively disappearing. I went to their site this morning to see if anything new had occurred, and I couldn’t find the article I distinctly remembered reading.

But I figured I must have done so on Sunday, so I went to the Dayton search function, which can filter based on the day, and I ran a search for Saturday.

Here’s a screenshot of what came up:

Curious, I thought. Especially looking at the dates. That “Police: No evidence of hate crime” article is 9/30. Which was yesterday. Not Saturday. And it was certainly not the article I read.

But then, I know I caught the article via those two blogs. Which were posted on Sunday. So I thought okay, perhaps the article was from Sunday.

So I filtered the search to all headlines from Sunday.

Here’s a screenshot of what came up:

But again, the only article pertaining to the weekend is dated Monday. And I know that article is not the one I read over the weekend. And don’t get me wrong; I’m glad the police have ruled out that it might have been a hate crime (although I’d like to know how they did so).

But still, where’s that other article?

So I did what anyone might do: I Googled it. And it came up right away.


And I was sure it was the article I read. That name that opens the article had stuck out, and I knew that was the right article. So I clicked on it.

To discover that the police were claiming there was no evidence of a hate crime.

Again, not the article. Apparently, the article I remembered was no longer on the Dayton Daily News site. If it’s not just plain odd, I think it’s kind of scary. Especially considering the article as I remembered it.

If only . . .

And then I remembered Google Cache. Google takes a snapshot of the pages and saves them, at least temporarily.

Here are the snapshots Google took of that article:

(With the heading/Google text, which I’ll return to in just a moment)

(I like that this one highlights the “mosque” story under latest headlines, which I’ll also return to in just another moment)

And finally:

So, I note the Google text because Google goes out of its way to post the link to the original content but note that it may have changed.

And it has. Clicking on that link takes you to the “Police: no evidence of hate crime” article.

As does the link concerning the chemical irritant at the mosque under the latest news and headlines: goes to the “Police: no evidence of hate crime” article.

This seems to me unethical. It’s not even consistent: not all links or relics of the article have been erased to link to the “Police: no evidence of hate crime” article; it’s like it’s been selectively scrubbed. There’s the breaking news, and then the probe (which, oddly, I now realize I can’t remember how I found, and it doesn’t come up under Saturday’s headlines), and then that police are saying it’s not a hate crime. The latter of which is literally backdated across the entire weekend.

But the other odd thing I noticed, under Saturday’s headlines: apparently, the community met on Saturday to discuss a DVD called Obsession, which was inserted into several community’s newspapers (giving it rather wide distribution). Quoting the article:

Members of several Dayton religious organizations will meet at 3 p.m. today, Sept. 28, to view and discuss a DVD about Islamic radicalism that was mailed to some area homes and circulated with newspapers here and around the country.

The DVD, “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West,” appeared as a paid advertising insert in the Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun, Hamilton JournalNews and Middletown Journal, all owned by Cox Ohio Publishing, on Monday, Sept. 22. More than 70 other newspapers nationwide have also carried the advertisement.

Which really makes things odd, doesn’t it? On Monday, more than 70 nationwide newspapers (only 70? Who decided what newspapers got them? [according to the article, the Clarion group paid to have the DVD inserted into newspapers in swing states]) carry a DVD. According to this site:

The DVD is a 60-minute expose of militant Islam called “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” and is ideologically slanted toward painting Muslims as evil and bent on the destruction of the United States. It was nationally premiered on Fox News during the 2006 mid-term elections. Labeled highly divisive by many mainstream religious groups, “Obsession” shows Islam as a radically dangerous religion bent on the destruction of Western civilization, interspersing incendiary commentary with images of Nazis and suicide bombing indoctrination.

Four days after this DVD is released, someone sprays a chemical irritant through a window and into a childcare room at a mosque in a community whose inhabitants were concerned enough about the rhetoric in the DVD to call a meeting about it. It’s not clear whether they scheduled the DVD discussion before or after the mosque someone sprayed the chemical irritant through the mosque window, or at least I can’t tell.

But according to the police, there’s “no evidence of a hate crime.”

Is it just me, or doth they protest too much? Someone sprayed a chemical irritant into a mosque and into the face of a little girl.

I mean, if it looks like a terrorist attack committed using chemical warfare, and it sounds like a terrorist attack committed using chemical warfare, do you think that the Dayton police would call it a hate crime and the Dayton Daily News would call it a terrorist attack committed using chemical warfare if said act had chemical irritant had been sprayed into the window of a church, rather than a mosque?


  1. I saw that same article here –

    Seems like a blame game to me. I’ve seen the film and it’s hardly propaganda, it’s actually extremely even-handed and fair. Plus, it’s an important issue that should be part of the debate. Jumping to conclusions has never served anyone well; here’s another example of that.

  2. @Hank: I don’t think I jumped to any conclusions; in fact, I tried extra hard to avoid any conclusions whatsoever. It’s worth noting, however, that the link you just posted goes to the “Police: no evidence of hate crime” article, and not the one of which I took screenshots.

  3. @Hank: I tend to criticize Will when I feel it’s necessary. Particularity when he blogs about McCain or women, but in this case I find it hard to believe this was not a hate crime. A chemical agent in a Muslim church. Statistically speaking, people who hate a a certain religion attack it’s churches. Now could be in order to be considered a hate crime the police have to prove the chemical agent was meant to kill some one but I doubt it.

    @Will: I suggest wring to this paper and perhaps to the Muslim church about this.

  4. This mosque keeps a low profile, no sign indicating that’s what it is (its in an old church building).

    It was in the news a bit this year due to trying to move to a suburban location (it’s in an in-town neighborhood now) and recently recieved zoning approval for the new site this month.

    So I figure some pranksters knew about the place so decided to do this pepper spray thing. There are a lot of yahoos in Dayton neighborhoods just to the east of the mosque, so I’d see this as a possibilty.

    The connection to Obsession is probably tangental.

  5. @Gotham: that’s a good idea.

    @Jeffrey: I can’t decide if its low profile is a point in one direction or the other. As you note, some prankster might have known the place to do pepper spray. So perhaps it is tangential to the DVD, but they might well still have targeted it because it’s a mosque…

  6. From someone who unfortunately lives in Dayton, this is typical of local media. Unfortunately, local citizens accept living in a city that ignores cultural and racial issues. No one here treats the issues first hand. Instead, everything is pushed under the rug. If you don’t live in a prominent suburb, then forget about your safety and welfare ever being a concern. (Note, I was not born and bred in Dayton)

  7. So, I check my mail box and what do I find? Something addressed to me called Obsession. My first thought was, “Perfume?”, but it turned out to be the DVD so mentioned above.

    So I watch it to see if it’s as bad as I thought it would be. It wasn’t in the sense that it wasn’t one sided and designed to portray “Muslims as evil and bent on the destruction of the United States.” I think the history channel could have done a better job with what they did but they can do a better job with a lot of things.

    The DVD starts out by saying that most Muslims who are of the Islamic faith aren’t terrorist and don’t want to kill people but that this documentary isn’t about them. Through out the DVD you here things like, “I feel like the terrorist have hijacked my religion.” They also explain how readily Muslims who don’t agree that this is a Jihad are seen as the enemy and just as bad as the Americans and British. At the end they talk about how people need to speak up and speak out against this perverted form of Islam. I did find it some what informational and I thought some of the comparisons they made between the Nazis and radical Islam to be rather frightening. Pictures the Nazis made depicting Jews in the world were identical if not out right stolen to pictures radical Islam had made. They even showed a clip of “Evil Jewish” men killing a christian boy. This is some of the propaganda they show over there and I was not aware of how bad it was.

    But, and you had to know it was comin, this is not a DVD for idiots. There is a reason you watch videos of Hitler speaking in a class room or on the History Chanel. It allows for a teacher, professor, historian or other expert to put it in the proper context for people who don’t know enough about the subject to draw the right conclusions. I don’t think they had enough experts explaining key differences. They show videos of the clear differences but I don’t think it was enough.

    Okay, so through out the video they show Radical Islamist saying stuff like, “Death to The UK” and “Bomb USA”. Then they show regular Islamic leaders talking about how the radical Islamics are twisting and perverting their religion and how they are evil. The show cute little Islamic children playing. They show how these people are walking around like we do. Then they show a clip of some of them chanting. What are they chanting? “Death to Terrorists!” Over and Over. You see how that might not be a good clip to include with your “how regular Islams are not like the radicals” part of the documentary?

    So, it was a okay documentary and it could have been a lot better. It does get people talking and looking into the subject more then they would have with out the documentary which is kinda the point, but I have a bad feeling about it. A while back a judge through out a Jury recommendation for this big case. They were deciding the fate of guilty man and the death penalty was on the table. The judge through out there decision because they had used the bible to aid them. My thought was that they had decided not to sentence him to death because the bible teaches us to love our enemies and to forgive. Why would the judge rule against that? The Jury had decided to push for the Death penalty and had based their decision on such passages as “an eye for a eye.” I was shocked. I’m guessing so was the judge because he sentenced the guy to life. Some people will view this and say “Oh my God! Radical Islam is attacking me and anyone who believes in a different form of Islam.” Others will say, “Oh my God! All Islamics are bad!” That’s not the fault of the documentarion. The idiots who gassed the Mosque would have done something with or without the availability of this DVD.

    Here’s a link, they don’t seem to be promoting negative action but it seems like some of there suggestions ask for trouble if not done properly.

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