2,977 people were murdered on September 11, 2001, and SiriusXM host and frequent CNN contributor Dean Obeidallah wants you to know above all that he suffered, too. “On September 10, 2001,” he wrote at CNN on Monday, “I went to sleep a White guy. On September 11, I woke up an Arab.” This happened, you see, because after 9/11, people began to regard poor Dean as a member of a group that he says has been “demonized and hated by many of our fellow Americans — simply because we shared the same ethnic background, and in some cases religion, as the 9/11 terrorists.” The irony of his writing this for one of the world’s foremost media outlets, which frequently showcases his work, appears to have been lost on him.
Obeidallah claims that after 9/11, he “went from the reluctant minority to a proud and unapologetic one,” while experiencing “first-hand what White privilege was — because mine was revoked.” The self-styled and resoundingly unfunny “comedian,” whose father was a Palestinian Muslim and his mother a Sicilian Catholic, explains that the revocation of his alleged white privilege involved “being defined by the worst in our community and being called to answer for them — in this case, the 9/11 terrorists.” He adds: “I can’t tell you how often people, from politicians to pundits, demanded that Arab and Muslim Americans denounce these terrorists from other parts of the world who we had no personal connection to except sharing an ethnicity or faith. ‘Why are we responsible for them?’ is a question I would ask. As I traveled across the country in 2012-2013 making the comedy documentary, ‘The Muslims are Coming!,’ I learned that if we didn’t speak up, many of our fellow Americans truly thought — insultingly — that we agreed with the terrorists.”
If any of this actually happened to Dean Obeidallah, it is indeed a shame. He shouldn’t have had to answer for the jihad terrorists, or have been expected to apologize for their actions. But he is comically pathetic in taking to his massive platform on CNN to complain that some people said unkind things to him after 9/11. Obviously he didn’t suffer professionally after 9/11 in the slightest degree; nor should he have. In fact, Newsweek recently noted that “as the 20th anniversary of September 11 approaches, the recent rise of many Muslim Americans to positions of power and influence—in Washington and in statehouses, on big screens and small ones, across playing fields and news desks—is a development that few in the U.S. would have predicted two decades ago, Muslims included.” Dean Obeidallah is one of the principal beneficiaries of a post-9/11 solicitude for Muslims and desire to avoid the collective blame about which he now complains: Many Muslims rose to those positions of power and influence because of the desire of many non-Muslim authorities to avoid appearing “Islamophobic.”
And so now this member of the cosseted media elite, this CNN contributor and SiriusXM host, uses his bully pulpit to complain about how he was marginalized. The irony grows even thicker when one considers what has really happened since 9/11. We have Muslims in Congress, we have a president who promised during his campaign that he would appoint Muslims to every level of his administration, and we have an establishment media that focuses not on the continuing jihad terror threat, but on Muslims as the real victims of 9/11.
Meanwhile, opponents of jihad violence and Sharia oppression of women have genuinely experienced the marginalization that Obeidallah claims to have suffered. They have been defamed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, targeted by the social media giants’ Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, and shunned by the establishment media. Obeidallah has gleefully joined the fun: His “documentary” The Muslims Are Coming is a tedious, painfully unfunny exercise in demonization of foes of jihad terror (myself included). Can you name a similar documentary targeting, say, Muslim media figures who claim victim status while enjoying positions of power, influence, and privilege? Of course not. Such a documentary would never get made in the first place; it would be denounced and dismissed as “Islamophobic.”
Victimhood is currency in America today, and Dean Obeidallah is trying to get rich. He will fool many of the easily- and eagerly-fooled with his whiny CNN piece, but some people have caught on to his game. PJ Media’s own Kevin Downey Jr. tells me: “I know Dean Obeidallah! He is a lying dope. A comedian. He was Italian, doing Italian-Irish comedy shows until 9/11. Now he is an Arab victim.” You have to hand it to Dean: He knows what pays in America today.