In the ongoing tussle over Donald Trump’s insistence that there were celebrations in the Muslim community of New Jersey on 9/11, reader and talk show host Edward Woodson calls attention to this article in the September 14, 2001 edition of the New York Post. It is an opinion column written by columnist Fred Siegel titled “The Issue is Radical Islam.”
Deep in the column Siegel writes this (bold print for emphasis mine):
Here in New York, it was easy to get angry listening to Egyptians, Palestinians and the Arabs of nearby Paterson, N.J., celebrate as they received word of the murderous attacks in New York and Washington. But Mayor Giuliani (who has been tireless and magnificent in this crisis) rightly warned New Yorkers that it would be wrong to take their anger out on the city’s Arab and Muslim residents. Attacks on Arab-Americans in Paterson or elsewhere are utterly indefensible.
Not to repeat, but since this has become such a controversy due to The Donald, let’s point out the obvious here. A mere three days after 9/11, columnist Siegel — in the pages of the New York Post — is saying flatly that “the Arabs of nearby Paterson, N.J.” were out there celebrating “as they received word of the murderous attacks in New York and Washington.” Siegel, then teaching history at New York’s Cooper Union and today a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, does not say “thousands” as Trump says, but he unambiguously says it as fact that Paterson’s “Arabs” were celebrating the attacks. And not to put too fine a point on it, the Post did not run a retraction.