“Let my building burn, Justice needs to be served, put those officers in jail.”
—-Ruhel Islam, owner of the restaurant Gandhi Mahal, in Minneapolis, quoted by his daughter in the Facebook post above.
Is it my imagination, or has the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis generated even more idiotic quotes and responses than these events usually do?
The quote from Ruehl Islam sets some kind of a record: dumbest quote ever to be praised by someone who isn’t a closed-head injury victim, perhaps? The now completely ideologically-deranged New York Magazine, wrote of it,
Published on the restaurant’s Facebook page and since widely shared, Hafsa’s post asks people not to worry, and ends the update with a message of support for their neighbors. Hundreds have responded with messages of support and pride, with one person writing “thank you for living your public life with such integrity and continual love for your community.” Many others have shared similar comments about Ruhel, an immigrant from Bahar Mordan, Bangladesh….Ruhel’s words have been shared across social media by everyone from San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic Soleil Ho, a former Minneapolis resident, to television host and chef Andrew Zimmern and activist DeRay Mckesson, as a powerful expression of the value of human life over property.
Well, maybe if your goal is to engage in cynical grandstanding and signal warped virtues to a community gone nuts, such a quote isn’t so dumb. Surely regarding it as “a powerful expression of the value of human life over property” is, however. How, exactly, does shrugging off the illegal destruction of private property in a mass tantrum benefit human life? Let’s see: according to a local listing, these are the businesses damaged by the riots, or as CNN calls them, “mostly peaceful protests”:
– Walgreens Central and Lowry in Northeast: Property damage.
– Wells Fargo Lake Street: Fire and property damage.
– J-Klips Lake Street: Property damage.
– Hennepin County Human Service Center: Property damage.
– ICC Wireless Lake Street: Property damage.
– Jackson Hewitt Tax Service: Property damage.
– Little Caesars Lake Street: Fire and property damage.
– Teppanyaki Grill Lake Street: Fire and property damage.
– Home Choice Lake Street: Fire and property damage.
– Dollar General Lake Street: Extensive fire damage.
– Twin Lake Dental: Fire and property damage.
– HD Laundry Lake Street: Fire and property damage.
– Citi Trends Lake Street: Fire and property damage.
– Total Wireless Lake Street: Fire and property damage.
– Pineda Tacos Lake Street: Property damage.
– Subway Lake Street: Property damage.
– 7 Mile Fashion Express East Lake Street: Destroyed by fire
– The Fremont Bar Uptown: Property damage, looting.
– O’Reilly Auto Parts West Broadway: Extensive fire damage.
– Broadway Liquor Outlet West Broadway: Property damage, looting.
– Quality Tobacco Lake and 1st: Extensive fire damage.
– Skol Liquor Store 27th Avenue: Property damage, looting.
– Max-It Pawn Shop Cedar Avenue: Extensive fire damage.
– Minnehaha Liquor Lake Street: Property damage, looting, extensive fire damage.
– Hexagon Bar at E 26th and 27th: Extensive fire damage.
– Target Lake Street: Looting, graffiti, property damage, fire damage.
– Wendy’s Lake Street: Fire, destroyed.
– Autozone Lake Street: Fire, destroyed.
– Cub Foods Lake Street: Looting, property damage, fire damage.
– Under construction affordable housing development at 26th and 29th: Fire, destroyed.
– 7-Sigma building, 26th and 29th: Fire, extensive damage.
– Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct: Property damage, graffiti.
– Dollar Tree off Lake Street: Property damage, looting.
– Metro by T-Mobile Lake Street: Fire, extensive damage.
– Hi Lake Liquor: Property damage, looting.
– Speedway East Lake Street: Property damage.
– East Lake Library: Windows smashed, graffiti.
– Precision Tune Auto Care Lake Street: Property damage.
– U.S. Bank Lake Street: Property damage, graffiti.
– Dairy Queen East Lake Street: Property damage.
– Papa Murphy’s Pizza East Lake Street: Property damage.
– Planet Fitness on Lake: Property damage.
– Domino’s Pizza 26th and 28th: Property damage.
– Urban Forage Winery and Cider House, Lake and 29th: Property damage, looting.
– Gandhi Mahal Restaurant, 27th and Lake: Window smashed.
– Car-X Tire & Auto East Lake Street: Property damage, vehicle smashed through windows.
– Frattelone’s Ace Hardware East Lake Street: Property damage.
– MN Transitions Charter School: Property damage.
– Laundro Max East Lake Street: Window smashed.
In one of her most ridiculous comments ever, Ann Althouse, who tracked down the account of Islam’s idiocy (Ann reads the Atlantic and New York Magazine so I don’t have to), wrote:
“This is good PR for his restaurant, so it’s the best he can do in a bad situation.”
Oh, wow. Maybe he should advocate cop-killing too: I bet that would be popular. Might get him some catering jobs. He should hang an effigy of a Minneapolis cop in his front window. Good PR, right, Professor?
The duty of citizens is to advocate and model responsible civic conduct. Rationalizing criminal activity, especially completely destructive and pointless criminal activity, is not “the best” anyone can do. Althouse should, in the immortal words of the late Justice Scalia, hide her head under a bag.
The burning of Ruehl Islam’s establishment, like all of the rioting, didn’t advance the interests of human life one atom. It did not assist justice; it did not make anyone, of any color, more safe in Minneapolis or anywhere else. Anyone, whether it is this sniveling businessman or BLM cheerleaders in the news media, who attempst to put any kind of positive spin on the insane response to George Floyd’s death is ethically inert, and a human toxic virus in our society.