This is the story of the boy who cried "Muslim." It's a story about the obscene exploitation of tragedy, the selfish abuse of public sympathy, and the trashing of truth and honor under the guise of promoting tolerance.

But this is no fable. It's a true-life, hoax-crime caper:

Meet Ahmad Saad Nasim. This 23-year-old Muslim, originally from Saudi Arabia, has zealously promoted his religion and ethnic identity at the University of Arizona (UA) and Arizona State University (ASU) for the past four years. Among the subjects of Nasim's campus rants: opposing sanctions on Iraq ("I don't give a damn if Iraq has weapons or not"); lambasting Catholic flyers in dorm halls; pushing "diversity training"; and demanding "respect" for Muslim victims of alleged discrimination.

In the fall of 1999, Nasim discussed the issue of racial bias in UA's campus newspaper when the FBI detained two Saudi Arabian students at an Ohio airport. According to news reports, an America West pilot said that one of the two suspects "jiggled the cockpit door handle and asked suspicious questions during the flight." The FBI interrogated the men, who both attended schools in Arizona, and released them without pressing charges. Instead of crediting the pilot and agents for taking responsible precautions against suspicious behavior, Nasim (then president of UA's Muslim Student Association) pulled out his well-worn bigotry card.

"Whenever there's a plane crash or terrorist act," Nasim was quoted on Nov. 22, 1999, in UA's campus newspaper, "Arabics (sic) are always held suspicious."

Intentionally or not, Arab-American agitators like Nasim gave cover to bloodthirsty foreign jihadists who lay in wait on our soil. Frequent harangues about alleged anti-Muslim bias hampered the ability of law enforcement to monitor scheming Islamic fundamentalists. In the wake of the 9-11 terrorist attacks on America by cockpit-crashing Arab Muslims (at least two of whom reportedly took flying lessons in Arizona), Nasim's protestations about racial profiling now seem more eerily nefarious than simply naive.

And here we come to the ugly climax of our tale.

After 9-11, Nasim continued diverting attention away from the real victims of violence and toward his radical pro-Muslim agenda. He took matters into his own hands -- literally -- by faking not one, but two hate crimes. On Sept. 13, Nasim told ASU campus police he was assaulted and pelted with eggs in a parking lot while assailants screamed "Die, Muslim, die!" Administration officials and classmates earnestly condemned the attack, which received national media coverage. Over 50 Muslim students left the ASU campus as a result of Nasim's claim.

Nasim basked in attention. On Sept. 18, he publicly described "being slapped and punched on my back." He outrageously equated himself with the dead victims of terrorism at the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and he linked himself to recent "hate crime" incidents involving Middle Eastern victims: "A Pakistani man was shot in Texas, a Sikh Indian and an Arab were shot in Mesa, and I was beaten in Tempe ... I might get shot at some gas station, too! It all depends on fate!"

Nasim confessed to fabricating the assault when cops interviewed him last week after another admittedly staged performance. On Sept. 27, a custodian found Nasim in a library bathroom stall. He had the word "Die" written on his forehead, a plastic bag tied over his head, and a racist note stuffed in his mouth. But, as Lt. John Sutton of the ASU campus police told me, "Something was not right." The bathroom door was locked from the inside, Nasim's hands were free, and he suffered no symptoms of suffocation.

Tom McDermott, a UA law graduate student, wondered whether Nasim's treachery was "a pathetic grab for attention or a means to advance a political agenda by dividing campuses along racial lines, which is a favorite tool of the radical Left? Probably a bit of both." Exactly. This perverted ideological stunt came straight from the Tawana Brawley/Al Sharpton Self-Help Guide to Racial Hoax Crimes.

If we react to claims of post 9-11 anti-Muslim hate crimes with suspicion and cynicism, the manipulative boy who cried "Muslim" has no one to blame but himself. Neither Nasim nor his attorney returned my calls, but a man who identified himself as Nasim's father told me in a brief phone interview: "Things are not what they seem."

Indeed. The deadly deceit of extremist Muslim pleas for "respect" and "understanding" has been fully exposed.

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