Thursday, December 1, 2016

Recruiting Terrorists

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?


Trigger Warning said...

Excellent post, Schneiderman. Just a few additional points:

1. Assault cars should be banned. In lieu of a complete ban, licensed owners should undergo a comprehensive background check and the vehicles should have a maximum 5 gallon gas tank. I suspect this particular assault vehicle was bought by a straw purchaser that wiggled through the carshow loophole.

2. I can't begin to imagine how soul-crushing it would be to be unfriended by Stephanie Clemons Thompson. Watch for a spike in calls to the death with indignity hotline.

3. CAIR: "“We must not jump to conclusions. It is important to let the investigators do their jobs.” Indeed. I understand police are gently interrogating the rotting corpse to determine Artan's motives. It's entirely possible Artan was emotionally overwhelmed by the election of the Dark Emperor of Hell, Donald J Trump, by the hate-filled Infidels of Corn and Cattle. They don't even countenance wife-beating and allow their whores to drive and shop alone.

4. "Muslims themselves must denounce terrorism..." Are you serious, Schneiderman? Terror has nothing to do with Islam, so there's nothing to denounce. If anyone should be denouncing and apologizing for co-religionists, it should be the polytheistic Christian infidels, who sinned against Islam a thousand years ago by defending themselves and their disgusting religious sites against a horde of righteous, scimitar-wielding Messengers of God.

Sam L. said...

If he was blaming Fox, then why did he not target a TV station.

TW's #4: Is TRUE, because Obama tells me so.

Trigger Warning said...

Excellent point.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

TW: I like the 5 gallon gas tank and the car show loophole.

Opposing your proposal would make me a shill for Big Auto.

And I'm in Detroit!

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

CAIR: "“We must not jump to conclusions..."

Like Ares?

Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: 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.

The trouble in reporting family, friends or neighbors is knowing where to draw the line. There are a lot of troubled people in the world, of all races and backgrounds, and they may all be "vulnerable" to simplistic narratives of good and evil, and use such narratives to justify violence.

The Ohio man made some explicit statements of outrage, against the U.S. government interfering in the Muslim nations of the middle east.

So that suggests perhaps that patriotism is more than just a feeling, but something that needs collective attention. We can all say the Pledge of Allegiance, and take it seriously.

And it is more of a formal ritual than most of us think about usually:
The United States Flag Code states:

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”, should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute. Members of the Armed Forces not in uniform and veterans may render the military salute in the manner provided for persons in uniform.

I am curious if Muslims are okay with the "one Nation under God" part. I mean Muslim's Allah is just the Arabic name for God, and they share the same old testament with the Jews and Christians.

And I recall an atheist of my Toastmaster club refusing to say the "under God" part because it wasn't included in the original pledge, but added with the cold war against the "godless" communists.

But in any case, we can wonder what sort of protest a person can or should do, when his country is not acting with goodness and virtue, and in fact may be acting more like a bully, and it looks like President-elect Trump is going to increase some people's discomfort, like with boasts of building a wall with Mexico and making them pay for it. Or his boasts of restoring torture to prisoners, not because it works, but because our enemies deserve pain and suffering for their actions.

So clearly killing innocent people is a bad form of protest, and kneeing during a national athem seems much milder, even if it triggers discomfort.

So we need to find a way for all of us to declare our Allegiance, but without making us pawns of tyrant. And it'll always be a problem of conscience, since if we had to take every smallest injustice seriously that ever occurred, we'd become paralyzed to do anything constructive in life. Somehow we still need to move on, each day, each generation, and move towards the higher, and away from blind hatred and fear.

Dennis said...


Nicely stated.

"So clearly killing innocent people is a bad form of protest" One wonders if that applies to late term abortions?

Might I suggest "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu and "The Art of the Deal" by Donald Trump and then a little thought.

I have to admit I enjoy his approach to exposing his opposition. Toss a bone............................................. You figure it out.

Trigger Warning said...

I understand it's a common delusion, inculcated by the multicultural academic world, so you do have an excuse, however flaccid, but the God of Abraham and the Allah of Mohammed are very, very different beings. Allah is a word for the Islamic god, but it is not a word for God. For example, many, if not most, Islamists tend to be Occasionalists. Occasionalism is a perfect excuse for detonating a nail-studded bomb belt in a pizza joint.

You could avoid such embarassing remarks by doing a modicum of research, but then you wouldn't be quite so entertaining. So I can't personally recommend it. I like you just the way you are.

"The Crone, the Reaper... She is the Dark Moon, what you don't see coming at you, what you don't get away with, the wind that whips the spark across the fire line."
--- Starhawk

Deep. Awesomely deep.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares has taught us that it's difficult to "draw the line" in reporting family, friends or neighbors.

Wow. Profound.

Yet this same Ares has no problem smearing police officers with "shoot first, ask questions later."

Not a lot of gray area there, which is indicative of malfunctioning gray matter.