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Iraqi poet in St. Louis victim of alleged hate crime

By Harriet Staff

According to this article on the KMOV website, and this one on The Blaze, Iraqi poet Alaa Alsaegh was the victim of an alleged hate crime in St. Louis. Two assailants allegedly carved the Star of David into his back. The attack, which took place on August 14, was, again allegedly, in response to a poem Alsaegh wrote in support of Jewish people in Israel.

From the KMOV article:

An on-line political magazine, FrontPage Magazine, published a photo of a man with a Star of David, carved into his back. News 4 interviewed the man, who says he was attacked on Compton Avenue, just south of downtown on August 14th.

Alaa Alsaegh says that two cars followed him as he drove on Compton. The drivers cut him off and Alsaegh says he pulled over. That’s when two men got out of a car, armed with a handgun. They got into Alsaegh’s car and attacked him with a knife.

Alsaegh showed us a photo that his friend took at the hospital. More than a month later, Alsaegh still has scars. News 4’s camera captured the outline of the Star of David, visible on Alsaegh’s back.

Alsaegh is a Muslim from Iraq. He says he recently posted a poem, online, expressing support for Jewish people in Israel. Alsaegh says that his attackers told him not to publish any more poems.

St Louis Police confirm that officers responded to a call for help around 10:45 a.m. on August 14th. The department referred News 4 to the local FBI office. Spokeswoman Rebecca Wu responded via email saying, “The FBI cannot comment”.

The Front Page article, mentioned in both of the above, can be found here.

Posted in Poetry News on Friday, September 30th, 2011 by Harriet Staff.