Dave Weigel at Slate reported from an awards dinner Tuesday night for the leftish Arab American Instiute about the crowd's discomfort with the notion that the Boston assailants would turn out to "look like them." (That, I think, would mean Middle Eastern and Muslim, although AAI president James Zogby describes himself as a Maronite Catholic.) They tried not to say it out loud, he said, but then CNN's Christiane Amanpour, there to receive an award, said it for them.
"How many of us feel this burden of association and hope beyond hope that this doesn't turn out to be what it might be?" said Amanpour. "No conclusions yet." Weigel reported she read from a New York Times essay by Haider Javed Warraich, a medical resident in Boston who fretted that he didn't run into the action because as a young Pakistani male with stubble, "I look like Hollywood’s favorite post-Cold-War movie villain."
"There are no conclusions," said Amanpour. "Is it international? Is it domestic? But like all of you—I'm not Pakistani, and I'm not Arab, but I am part Iranian. And I do understand the burden of association. And I know when we know who did this, we will all unite in strong condemnation."
Besides Amanpour, the AAI's Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards honored a list from the hard left: Ralph Nader, longtime radio host Casey Kasem, and Marian Wright Edelman of the Children's Defense Fund. This is hardly shocking since James Zogby wrote for The Huffiington Post about his joy with the Democrats at the convention in Charlotte last year:
This week I will be in Charlotte, North Carolina where I will be participating in my eighth Democratic Convention.
I will be joining some 55 other Arab American delegates and committee members from 21 states who have been elected by Democrats to participate in this year's party gathering.
He said it wouldn't be as thrilling as 1984, when he "had the honor of delivering one of the convention speeches placing [Jesse] Jackson's name in nomination for the Presidency."
Previously: How Amanpour Covered "God's Warriors" for CNN