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07/27/09 - A San Francisco Reader Wonders If The Ninth Circuit Court Considers Immigrant "Isolation" As Excuse For Kidnapping And Murder
From: Alice Ferguson (e-mail her)
Re: Today's Letter: A San Francisco Reader Wonders If The Ninth Circuit Court Considers Immigrant "Isolation" An Excuse For Kidnapping And Murder
Last night's letter writer, J.J. Rappatoni, bemoaned our immigration policy that allowed Fiji Indian Mohammed Haroon Ali into the U.S. Ali, a drug addict, kidnapped one of his girlfriends and killed another.
Hard to believe as it may be, today's news is even worse. Four Liberian youths ages 9,10, 13 and 14 lured an eight-year old girl into a shed where they sexually assaulted her.
All admit that they planned to kidnap and rape her. The 14-year-old Liberian, Steven Tuopeh, is charged as an adult.
Because the victim lost her virginity in the attack, as per Liberian practice she has been scorned by her family for supposedly having brought it shame.
According to police reports, investigators are having difficulty determining the names, ages, and birth dates of these children because, as West African resettled refugees, some of their paperwork may not be accurate. [Kids Accused of Sexually Assaulting Eight-Year Old Girl in Phoenix, by Ray Stern, Phoenix New Times, July 27, 2009]
As shocking as this incident is, it is not that unusual. Even the New York Times admits that rape may be the norm among some Liberian men.
Wrote Nicolas D. Kristof: "The war seems to have shattered norms and trained some men to think that when they want sex, they need simply to overpower a girl." [After Wars, Mass Rapes Persist, by Nicolas D. Kristof, New York Times, May 20, 2009]
Remind me again what multicultural benefits from Liberia we are supposed to be embracing.
Ferguson is a freelance writer whose work focuses on environmental issues.