Police have yet to confirm that the most recent attack on two Muslim men was a hate crime, but it does seem to fit the pattern. During what is now the third attack around Los Angeles in the past few days, 17 year old Muslim Karam Jarrah was stabbed while enjoying the day at Huntington Beach with his brother-in-law Asem Dghem.
Racially motivated attacks against Muslims are on the rise, tripling since last year. There was an upsurge shortly after Donald Trump insisted the borders be closed to Muslims.
Jarrah states they were approached by three adults as they spoke Arabic to each other. Yet, he is not quite sure if it was their language or their appearance that attracted the attention of the two men and a woman.
Jarrah says the three accosted them verbally calling him “Obamabam.” While he wasn’t sure what the comment meant, Jarrah noted their tone seemed aggressive. Soon after, one of the men drew out a knife and stabbed Jarrah.
Jarrah says that because he had experienced other racially motivated encounters recently, he and his brother-in-law tried to be polite and remain calm. The suspects remained hostile, and Jarrah was stabbed twice. As blood pooled around him, the attackers ran off.
In a strange twist one of the suspects turned out to be Arthur Roman, an Illinois police officer. Roman was with his brother, Martin, and Martin’s wife Jessica. Martin Roman was identified as the person who stabbed Jarrah.
All three of the attackers were apprehended and arrested a short time after. Fortunately, Jarrah was able to get medical attention quickly.
Karem Jarrah will make a full recovery. However, it will take him and him family much longer to understand why this senseless act happened. Jarrah may never come to understand how a police officer, who takes an oath to serve and protect, could have taken part in such a violent crime.