From The Star-Ledger, March 2, 2006:
An Arab-American civil rights group yesterday accused Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) of making racist comments about Arabs during a New Jersey rally this week when he condemned the takeover of U.S. port operations by a United Arab Emirates-owned company.
"We wouldn't transfer the title to the devil; we're not going to transfer it to Dubai," Lautenberg said.
From The Daily Dubaian, March 3, 2006:
What a sad and shameful day it is when racism is used to block the honest, hardworking firms of the United Arab Emirates from competing for U.S. port-security contracts. In evaluating the obscene comments of one Sen. Frank Lautenberg — speaking, he apparently believes, on behalf of the voters of his entire state — this newspaper advises the senator to abandon his obviously ingrained prejudices against our gentle people, and to take a long, hard look in the mirror. The UAE is not on a moral and spiritual plane with "the devil," Sen. Lautenberg; Dubai, as your regrettable statement would seem to imply, is not hell. As all diligent students of the Koran well know, the seat of damnation is unequivocally and unmistakably New Jersey.
In writing this editorial, we seek to reaffirm the innocent right of UAE companies to guard America's borders — a right routinely granted to nations like Great Britain and Japan without the whiff of protest. But mostly, we wish to point out that New Jersey is the lice-infested crotch of the Northeast.
The words do not come easy to us. Sen. Lautenberg and his tragically misguided constituents would do well to remember that the vast majority of our countrymen — like most Muslims around the globe — are modest, peaceful individuals dedicated to serving their God and providing a happy way of life for their families. These are concepts not keenly understood in Edison or Paramus, where the focus is instead on fixing comptrollers' races and settling lingering neighborhood disputes with violent rubouts performed outside greasy-spoon diners at 3 a.m. on a cold Wednesday.
There is integrity in New Jersey, of this you may be sure; but it is buried somewhere within the Meadowlands, alongside the decaying corpses of several top union officials. We hold the citizens of the state to no especial blame for their dissipation, knowing as we do that they are only playing a role pushed on them by the currents of history — much as the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah did centuries ago. The New Jerseyans are locked in a dance of depravity and despair, with only their second-place bowling trophies and beauty-school degrees to provide them comfort. Not for nothing has their sad little locality earned its unofficial slogan: "All the attitude of New York, but none of the opportunity."
That well-founded fatalism may be why they so brazenly flaunt their image as a place where virtue withers on the vine and sin gets to go backstage at Springsteen. Ask yourself: What other principality would be so bold as to name one of its sports teams "The Jersey Devils"? Nor should such gestures be taken as merely symbolic. Satan worship is as popular throughout the Garbage State as Skee-ball, and for a very good reason. Our most trusted clerics confirm that the gates of hell are located squarely in Bergen County, making the devil as easy to locate as a White Castle. His GED-bearing minions are in no way absolved by reports that the Evil One occasionally leaves Tenafly and "goes down to Georgia" for some unspecified reason. Some say he makes these infrequent trips when he is looking for a soul to steal, but it is equally probable that he just needs a respite from living in a state where the largest growth industries are furniture liquidation and lung cancer.
And why is this extended experiment in unholy degradation allowed to continue? Because Allah wills it so. Consider the divine prophecies, which promise us, "And lo, a great chaos will descend over Route 22, and the skies will become unto a blazing inferno fit to fry the retinas of guys named Sal and Carmine. And also their sisters and second cousins, as soon as they get back from their lip waxings."
Sen. Lautenberg should fixate on warnings like these the next time he feels the urge to demonize the helpless citizens of Dubai. There is a great disaster coming, Senator, and it is why we so yearn to be awarded guardianship of your ports and borders. It's you and your people we're thinking of when we argue for our right to operate as your legitimately contracted gatekeepers. We merely differ on the matter of direction. As we take our rightful place at the turnstiles, we're not serving any agenda as petty as keeping the terrorists out. We're trying to keep you in.