It is fairly obvious that Ohio State terrorist Abdul Razak Ali Artan was taking a page out of the Palestinian playbook. The Palestinians invented and have perfected the practice of using automobiles as weapons against civilians and the police, coupled with knife attacks.
Benny Avni explains it and notes that that, since these attacks happen in Israel, no one really cares:
As it happens, ISIS recently called on its followers to kill pedestrians with cars and other vehicles. According to several reports, ISIS was inspired by the July 14 attack in Nice, where a semitrailer-driving Islamist rammed celebrants of France’s Bastille Day, killing 84.
And late last week ISIS posted to the Web video clips with instructions on the proper use of knives and other sharp objects to maximize harming infidels’ bodies. Another Palestinian calling card.
Welcome to Israel, the terror lab where the latest innovations are tried, practiced and (sometimes) perfected before being exported. According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, since the height of the “car and knife intifada” in September 2015, Palestinians committed 167 stabbings, 116 shootings, 48 vehicular attacks and one vehicle bombing, killing 42 people and injuring 602.
Yet, despite the frequency of attacks in the early days last year, and although a new form of terrorism was born, assaults at the heart of Israel’s cities rarely made it to speeches of world leaders tallying global terrorist incidents.
As might be expected, the New York Times conveniently forgot to mention that similar attacks have been a staple of Palestinian terrorists in Israel. It discussed attacks in France and Germany, without mentioning Israel.
As always happens now, when Islamic terrorism occurs, the Muslim community expresses deep anguish… not so much about the victims, but about the reputation of Muslims. Above all else they do not want to see their own reputations suffer.
In truth, human beings cannot, as a matter of mental economy, simply take every Muslim terrorist or any criminal from any other identifiable ethnic group as an individual, disconnected from any groups. Reputation is not merely a personal matter. It is shared. If you tarnish your good name others who bear it will also lose face.
Those who try to control the reputational damage by calling people Islamophobes are perpetrating a lie. The same applies to those who refuse to say that the terrorism has anything to do with Islam.
After the attack, ISIS declared Artan to be a soldier fighting for their cause, which may or may not mean that his attack was coordinated. It may mean that he took inspiration from the terrorist group and wanted to strike a blow against white privilege.
Of course, we want to know how Abdul Artan became radicalized. Rumblings suggest that he was influenced by Anwar al-Awlaki, who doubtless spoke to him from beyond the grave.
But Artan himself seemed to believe that he was pushed toward terrorism by Islamophobia. The Times story put that interpretation front and center:
Last summer the student newspaper, The Lantern, published an interview with Mr. Artan in which he complained about being afraid to pray in public as a Muslim, because of people’s negative perceptions of the religion.
“I was kind of scared with everything going on in the media. I’m a Muslim, it’s not what media portrays me to be,” he told the newspaper. “If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen. But I don’t blame them. It’s the media that put that picture in their heads.”
Why do they hate us, the Times seems to be asking. Because we are not nice enough to them, it seems to be answering. By its lights, if only we rid out hearts and minds of prejudice, terrorism would vanish into the cold night air.
One understands that Artan was not the brightest of the bright. If he was concerned about the reputation of Muslims he might have understood that committing terrorist mayhem on the campus of Ohio State University would not contribute to the cause. Clearly, the good name of Islam was not very high on his list.
Artan seems rather to have taken a page out of the politically correct chapbook. He believes that people are prejudiced against Muslims becaue of… the media. He blames it, implicitly, on the Islamophobia that has been stirred by the media. By that one assumes that he, like our president, blames Fox News.
Apparently, Artan believed that the problem was Islamphobia, because he believed that media depictions of Muslims were giving members of his faith a bad reputation. He does not consider that the actions of Muslims themselves might have contributed to the bad reputation. Being an Islamist terrorist means never taking responsibility when other people think ill of you.
In truth, the mass media and the Obama administration have been fighting the good fight against Islamophobia for nearly eight years now. The media, such as it is, keeps telling people that Islamic terrorism is not the problem, but that Islamophobia is. After all, that is the thrust of the Times article.
However much he was radicalized by al-Awlaki, Abdul Artan seems to have been consumed by the idea that he could, by committing a terrorist act, take revenge on those who looked down on his faith. He wanted to be respected. He wanted Islam to be respected. He wanted his culture to be seen as strong. He wanted it to appear to be superior. And the only way he knew now to do it was to kill people in its name.
Writing on Facebook Artan had declared that he was willing to kill a billion infidels. So much for the religion of peace. So much for Islamophobia. He was looking for converts.
He did not just have friends in the media. He did not know it but he also had sympathizers in the Ohio State University.
Stephanie Clemons Thompson, a diversity official at Ohio State University, wrote on Facebook that we should feel compassion for a troubled young man. And she included the hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter on her post.
Of course, Thompson was embracing a terrorist who was trying to murder people on her campus. And yet, her blindered ideology had taught her that if the terrorist was black and the police officer was white, he had been murdered by white privilege. She expressed no sympathy for the victims of the terrorist action.
One does not understand why she felt that Artan’s actions might reflect badly on her or on the Ohio State community, but, as a general rule, if you do not want the actions of one individual to reflect on your community, you must denounce what he did. You should call for the shunning of anyone who sympathizes with terrorist actions. Or of any imam who tries to provoke terrorism in his mosque.
In the Times report we read this:
As Ohio State officials took stock of the attack and made plans for classes to resume on Tuesday, they said they were thankful the injuries were not more severe and were optimistic that students would come together even if investigators discovered a link to terrorism.
“Our campus community is extremely tolerant,” Michael V. Drake, the university president, said in an interview. “The concept of branding a whole community for the act of a few leads to an intolerance that can make the world a more difficult place for all of us.”
And it adds this, from the Council of American Islamic Relations:
“We as yet know nothing about the motivation of the attacker, but we do know of his Somali heritage, and that will be enough for some people to falsely link this tragic incident to the faith of Islam and to the Somali and Muslim communities,” said Roula Allouch, national board chairwoman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “We must not jump to conclusions. It is important to let the investigators do their jobs.”
Despite these suggestions, when a terrorist act is committed, we who are targeted have no obligation to forgive and to forget. We have every right to think that an act committed in the name of Islam has something to do with Islam.
Muslims themselves must denounce terrorism and must report the incipient terrorists in their midst. If they are not willing to do so, they are affirming that something about their faith produces these horrors. When they blame Islamophobia they are shifting responsibility and showing that they have no sense of honor.
If they want to disassociate themselves from Islamist terrorism they should begin by denouncing Palestinian terrorism against Israelis. If they cannot do it, if they are too afraid to do it, then they should stop complaining about being judged.
For its part, Ohio State University, in the name of two administrative officials has chosen the path of what it calls tolerance. It has chosen not to feel any anger and not to denounce the cause in whose name Abdul Artan acted. In so doing it is making it appear that Islamophobia is the real problem. Which is what Artan believed. If Islamophobia is the problem that means: the failure of the infidels to submit to Islam.
That was exactly the point that Artan was trying to make. And that was the lesson incipient terrorists will take from the reactions. They will see that terrorism works and that it causes Americans to soften their attitudes toward Islam. Seeing that their religion strikes fear in the hearts of infidels will propel them toward more acts of terrorism.
Would Abdul Artan have done it if he had believed that his actions would have discredited and disgraced his religion?