After Orlando attack, it’s ‘Blame Anyone but Islam’
Jackson Doughart is Editor of the English side of the Prince Arthur Herald. He studied at the University of Prince Edward Island and Queen’s University, and formerly interned with the National Post editorial board. He has been writing for the PAH since 2013.
Some ideas are so stupid, only Western liberal-democrats could believe them.
One of these ideas is that the motivation for Islamic terror attacks can be massaged into explanations that have nothing to do with Islamic terror. This exercise starts by misnaming the incident itself — the Obama Administration described Nidal Hassan’s Fort Hood shooting in 2009, for instance, as a “workplace incident,” and some of the British media have taken to calling terror incidents in the UK as , absurdly, “anti-Islamic” attacks — and ends with the usual cultural self-blame. Terrible as the terrorists themselves are, we and our ways have so insulted their religion’s honour that culpability lies as much with us as with them.
I don’t know what euphemism the media will contrive to avoid the pertinent fact that the killer of 50 and maimer of another 53 at a gay night club in Orlando, Florida last weekend was a Muslim. This incident is only the latest in an epidemic of Islamic terror attacks in Western countries. Maybe it will be recorded as a “social disagreement,” or a “firearm-discharging incident.” But our habits in discussing Islamic terrorism virtually guarantee that our thinking about this atrocity will be neither honest nor rational.
Shooter Omar Mateen called 911 to record his allegiance to the Islamic State before the rampage. The FBI had previously investigated him on suspicion of Islamic radicalism. A classmate of his said that he cheered on September 11, 2001 for the al-Qaeda attacks. And yet after the Orlando shooting the concern of the Washington Post was to go after Donald Trump for supposedly lacking empathy in a Twitter message calling for action against terrorism. This was despite his writing an earlier Twitter message expressing sympathy for the victims, which the Post conveniently ignored.
I don’t like Trump any more than the next egghead pundit, but it’s a bit late for the media to lecture anyone about politicizing carnage. Every time there is a shooting, American television channels and newspapers run a more or less open campaign to conflate the shooting of innocents with the constitutional right to bear arms. Now Trump is supposed to retract his political statement about the deaths in Orlando, when the act of killing those people was itself political. For Islamic revanchists, killing infidels is an end in itself, borne of the belief in their religion’s due political hegemony over the kafirs.
Also common is the refrain from gay rights activists that this incident proves the continued existence of anti-gay opinions, as if the shooter’s motivations were a mere extension of the withering conservative movement against same-sex marriages. They must know that the argument over gay rights within the Western liberal context is over entirely different principles than the Muslim intolerance of gay survival and existence, typified by the legal prescription for physical punishments or even execution for the “crime” of homosexuality under the Sharia, the Quranic law that forms the basis of legal codes in many Muslim countries.
For decades, the gay rights movement has succeeded in advancing a greater and needed respect for homosexuals among the American public. But otherwise, its politics suffer from seriously misplaced priorities. Gay activists regularly criticize Christianity, even though it has been almost exclusively in Christian countries where the cause of gay rights has advanced itself, owing in part to Christian ideas such as dignity, mercy, and charity that form the basis of societal tolerance. The group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid dedicates itself to castigating the Jewish state, even though Israel is far and away the mostly friendly country to gay rights in the otherwise-Muslim Middle East.
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One hopes that the public will see as obnoxious this tortured rhetoric, which identifies the Orlando killing as just another instance of “hate” among many. We need to do away with such truly-offensive phoniness.
Despite Omar Mateen being a pledged supporter of the Islamic State, we don’t yet know whether his actions were part of an orchestrated, high-level terror plot, or as an instance of “Sudden Jihad Syndrome”; this is Daniel Pipes’s pithy formulation for when an Islamist takes to killing non-Muslims as a kind of religious reflex, without an especially sophisticated plan. It is doubtless a sign of the clear and continuous danger imposed by this ideology that the deadliest mass shooting in American history could be accomplished by a lone man, perhaps without direct support from Raqqa.
It is time to grow up and recognize the pattern here: Islam in the West has become a security risk. Against its violent and extreme wing, innocent civilians have little defence when the state’s security apparatus is unable to corral domestic jihadists. The Orlando shooting is the product of an ideology which our media and political classes have rationalized for years. Many more incidents like this are sure to come, and there is little that we can now do to stop them.
The Prince Arthur Herald
Photo credit: The Daily Beast