North Olmsted, Ohio: Did a Crime Really Happen?
A Muslim man living in North Olmsted, Ohio was arrested and hit with multiple misdemeanor charges after he faked a hate crime and claimed he was injured by a driver who screamed “kill all Palestinians!” This disturbing incident took place last month when 20-year-old Hesham Ayyad was taken to the hospital after telling police an Israeli man ran over him while screaming “kill all Palestinians!” “long live Israel!” and “Die!”. This incident was a fabrication. A review of surveillance video led the police to conclude that Hesham Ayyad was never struck by a car and the entire story of a hate crime was a lie. The true reason for Hesham Ayyad’s injuries turned out to be a fight with his younger brother 19-year-old Khalil A. Ayyad. The two brothers were subsequently arrested on domestic violence and assault charges, and Hesham Ayyad was also charged with faking the hate crime.
This event, however, was widely disseminated on social media by influential Muslim figures such as Sulaiman Ahmed and Dr. Omar Suleiman, as well as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), who went as far as to issue an article spreading the hate hoax. It is of concern that these individuals and organizations, known as a United States Department of Justice unindicted co-conspirator for racketeering, terrorism, and fraud in the Holy Land Foundation trial, were so quick to amplify and propagate an unsubstantiated claim of a hate crime without verifying the facts.
The fake hate crime story was not only spread by notable figures but also by reputable news sites and organizations such as The Gateway Pundit. The Gateway Pundit published an article with mere 320 words which propagated this story without any investigation to confirm the truthfulness of the matter. It is nevertheless important to note that spreading false news can not only cause harm to the reputation of innocent individuals and communities but may also fuel hate and violence among different groups.
The consequences of these hate hoax stories may not be limited to the individuals involved in fabricating the crime. By spreading unverified information about a sensitive subject such as hate crimes, this narrative may potentially contribute to the escalation of tensions and animosity among different communities. This could further exacerbate any existing divides within the community and lead to more instances of hate and mistrust.
In a time when tensions are high and communities are on edge, it is crucial that any claims of hate crimes are thoroughly investigated before they are amplified and disseminated. This applies not only to news organizations but to prominent figures on social media and advocacy groups as well. By taking the time to verify the facts before spreading news stories, we can all contribute to a more peaceful and harmonious coexistence in our society.