Piro Kolvani Accused Of Terrorism
Sarker Haque is doing what Republicans say we all ought to do. He’s an entrepreneur, owning a store in Queens, New York. According to police reports, Haque was in that store when a man named Piro Kolvani walked into the store, demanded to be given merchandise for free, then started shouting about killing Muslims, and attacked Haque, causing cuts, bruises and a dislocated hand.
If these reports are true, that makes Piro Kolvani a terrorist. Terrorism, after all, is defined as the use of violence for political purposes. Kolvani’s attack, as alleged, was a political act intended to intimidate American Muslims.
So, is Piro Kolvani a terrorist?
The police haven’t charged Kolvani with terrorism. Instead, they charged him with assault and criminal mischief, giving him a desk appearance ticket and allowing him to go free for a week. This leniency was shown even though Kolvani has a history of violence. In 2009, he was charged with menacing, resisting arrest and criminal possession of a weapon when he threatened to throw a piece of concrete at a police officer at the corner of 31st Street and Hoyt Avenue in New York City.
Whether Piro Kolvani is a terrorist is for the courts to decide. Muslims accused of terrorism, of course, have been denied access to those courts. Regardless of Piro Kolvani’s guilt, our nation is guilty of allowing the standards of justice guaranteed in the Constitution to degrade from legal rights to mere privileges accorded only to members of groups held in favor by the federal government.