Sunday, April 3, 2016

EXCLUSIVE: "Anti-Islam Far-Right Activists" Who Mowed Down Muslim Pedestrian Were Actually (Surprise!) Muslims From Molenbeek

Brussels witnessed a number of political demonstrations yesterday. Anti-Islam protesters defied bans on protests while "anti-fascist" (read left-wing fascist) and Muslim counter-demonstrators came out to oppose them. At one point Muslim youths ran through the streets of the heavily Muslim Molenbeek neighborhood, yelling, "let's kill the Nazis!"

In the middle of one of the protests a horrific incident occurred. A white Audi ran a police cordon and then hit an unsuspecting woman crossing the street, throwing her over the hood and running over her legs. The woman, a Muslim who was presumably a resident of the area was severely injured but remained conscious throughout the ordeal.

The tragedy had its surreal side. As the car went through the blockade, a smiling man in the passenger seat took selfies with his phone as police trained their guns on the car. One video even seemed to show the police shooting at the car as it was speeding through. A few seconds later there were gasps and screams from the crowd as the car plowed into the woman.

Here is one video of the incident (yes, that's the song Imagine playing faintly in the background):

WARNING: the next video is quite graphic:

Who were the occupants of the car? Some in the media were quick to explicitly blame the anti-Islam protesters, though there was no evidence that they were part of that group.
TVNZ (New Zealand): Muslim woman run down by anti-Islam protester in Brussels 
Daily Mail: Horrific moment Muslim woman is mown down by grinning far-right activist who then stops to take a PICTURE during anti-Islam rally in the troubled Brussels district of Molenbeek 
Independent: Muslim woman run down by far-right activist during anti-Islamic rally in Brussels 
Others ran headlines that while technically correct, carried a certain implication:  
Evening Standard: Muslim woman 'mown down' by car during far-right protest in Molenbeek 
Huffington Post: Muslim Woman Mown Down At Brussels Anti-Islam Rally In Shocking Incident Caught On Video
The men were arrested and Belgian media soon reported that they were both residents of Molenbeek. A few hours ago, their names were released--or at least their partial names:   

Redouane D

Mohamed B

Mohamed was the man taking the selfie.

We're calling this an "exclusive" for English posts, though the Belgian media is obviously up on it. As yet I have seen no retractions or clarifications from other media.

UPDATE (April 3, 9:00 PM CST): English media are continuing to report the story with misleading headlines. This recent article from the New York Post reports everything about the driver and the passenger except for the fact that they had Muslim names.

Muslim woman run down during ‘far-right’ protest in Belgium 
Two 20-year-old men later walked into the police station while reeking of alcohol in order to turn themselves in for the violent hit-and-run, according to Belgian news outlet La Libre. 
Police said the men were under the influence of alcohol and drugs, in possession of smoke bombs, and claimed they had no recollection of the incident. 
Both men, who are from Molenbeek, were charged with armed rebellion and hit and run, the outlet said.
UPDATE (april 4, 12:00 Noon CST): The Daily Mail just amended its headline, changing "grinning far-right activist" to "grinning driver." So the full headline reads:
Horrific moment Muslim woman is mown down by grinning driver who then stops to take a PICTURE during anti-Islam rally in the troubled Brussels district of Molenbeek

This carries with it the implication that the woman was hit by someone who was part of the "anti-Islam rally." However, the text of the article now states that the first names of the occupants were "Redouane" and "Mohamed."

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