Ohio jihad attack victim: “I didn’t come to America to have the president preach about Islam”
Hany Baransi’s restaurant in Columbus, Ohio was the site of a jihad terror attack. In the aftermath of that attack, however, government officials did not reach out to him. Perhaps they feared that doing so would make them appear “Islamophobic.”
Meanwhile, Baransi has no patience for Obama’s Islamofantasies. As an Israeli, and now with his experience in Columbus, he knows what Islamic jihad terrorism is. A courageous and realistic man.
“Terror attack turns Arab Ohio restaurant owner into fighter for Israel,” by Renee Ghert-Zand, Times of Israel, May 7, 2016 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):
After not visiting Israel for nine years, Hany Baransi, the owner of the Nazareth Restaurant and Deli in Columbus, Ohio, needed to be home in Haifa surrounded by family who would understand what he’s been going through lately — terrorism.
On February 11, Baransi’s popular restuarant [sic] was attacked by a machete-wielding assailant. The attacker, 30-year-old Mohamed Bary, was chased and killed by police after he allegedly lunged at them with a weapon. According to news reports, Bary, a Muslim from Guinea in West Africa, had previously come to the FBI’s attention with his radical Islamist statements.
Four were injured in the attack; one victim, musician Bill Foley, was critically hurt. Foley and the other victims have now recovered and he is even back performing at the Nazareth Restaurant.
While in northern Israel this week, Baransi told The Times of Israel by phone that he is sure the attack was a targeted assassination, although he was not at the restaurant at the time of the attack and had not received any threats. He said his staff told him that about half an hour before the attack, Bary had entered the restaurant asking about the owner’s national background. After staff members told Bary that Baransi was from Israel, he left. He soon returned wielding a machete and began hacking at customers and staff.
“I am sure it was an assassination attempt. I was the target. Why else would the Nazareth have been targeted? It wasn’t a random attack. Mine is the only restaurant in Columbus that displays an Israeli flag,” said Baransi.
Baransi, a 50-year-old Christian Arab who has lived in the United States since 1983, has always been proudly open about his Israeli nationality.
“I’m an American Israeli Christian Arab. My being Israeli comes first,” he said.
Baransi told The Times of Israel he is frustrated with law enforcement authorities and local leaders. He said that while the FBI questioned him immediately after the attack, the bureau has more recently refused to respond to his requests for information about its ongoing investigation. He is also dismayed by the refusal of authorities to label the attack as Islamic terrorism, which he is certain it was.
“There is a problem in the US to mention terrorism or Islamic extremism. Obama talks about how Muslims are peace-loving. I didn’t come to America to have the president preach about Islam,” Baransi asserted.
The loquacious restaurateur was buoyed by the outpouring of post-attack support he received from Columbus residents, as well as from Israelis and Jews from across the US. He was especially touched by Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer’s offer to attend the Nazareth’s reopening on March 14. (In the end, Dermer was unable to come due to a scheduling conflict, but he sent Baransi a large Israeli flag to display).
Baransi was far less charitable when he spoke of local politicians’ response to the attack.
“I have a real problem with how the government is handling things. I haven’t received any financial or moral support from any political figures. For the first weeks after the attack, not one government representative came to check on us. A city council member reached out to me shortly before we reopened the restaurant on March 14. Then the mayor called the day before the reopening and asked to come, but I told him he wasn’t welcome at that point,” Baransi said.
In the past, Baransi weathered thefts, robberies and lawsuits against his business on his own.
“I never took a penny from anyone. There were times I had to sleep in my car and eat Cheerios for breakfast, lunch and dinner to get by,” he recalled.
However, he believes this situation is different and that he deserves some official assistance.
“I’ve had to pay for the $100,000 clean up expenses on my own, which I don’t think I should have had to. And I continued to pay my employees while we were closed. It was the right thing to do, and I was sure that we would get financial help later. But we haven’t,” he said.
Baransi, who was raised as a Catholic
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