Debbie Schlussel suspected VA Tech shooter might be a "Paki," part of "terrorist attack"

››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

Responding to the April 16 mass shooting at Virginia Tech, right-wing pundit Debbie Schlussel "speculat[ed]" in an April 16 weblog post that the shooter, who had been identified at that point only as a man of Asian descent, might be a "Paki" Muslim and part of "a coordinated terrorist attack." "Paki" is a disparaging term for a person of Pakistani descent.

Schlussel wrote, "The murderer has been identified by law enforcement and media reports as a young Asian male," adding, "The Virginia Tech campus has a very large Muslim community, many of which are from Pakistan." Schlussel continued: "Pakis are considered 'Asian,' " and asked, "Were there two [shooters] and was this a coordinated terrorist attack?" Schlussel asserted that the reason she was "speculating that the 'Asian' gunman is a Pakistani Muslim" was "[b]ecause law enforcement and the media strangely won't tell us more specifically who the gunman is." Schlussel claimed that "[e]ven if it does not turn out that the shooter is Muslim, this is a demonstration to Muslim jihadists all over that it is extremely easy to shoot and kill multiple American college students."

In updates to her posting, after more information became known about the shooter, Schlussel first claimed that "[t]he shooter has now been identified as a Chinese national here on a student visa," which she called "[y]et another reason to stop letting in so many foreign students." Schlussel later wrote that the killer was a "South Korean national." The killer was later identified as Cho Seung-Hui, "a South Korean who was a resident alien in the United States."

As Media Matters for America noted, in a December 18, 2006, online post headlined "Barack Hussein Obama: Once a Muslim, Always A Muslim," Schlussel argued that because Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) middle name is Hussein, his late, estranged father was of Muslim descent, and he has shown interest in his father's Kenyan heritage, Obama's "loyalties" must be called into question. As Media Matters also noted, on the June 14 edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country, Schlussel falsely claimed that "there wasn't a peep" from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) when Suha Arafat, wife of former Palestinian National Authority president Yasir Arafat, stated that Israelis "poison Palestinian water and air and cause cancer for them." In fact, according to an October 6, 2000, New York Times article, Clinton disavowed Arafat's remarks after receiving an official translation "hours later."

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