Islam and the Chattanooga Slaughter: Why Our Leaders Can’t Protect Us

 In Featured, News, Religion, U.S.

mohammedabmug1Jonathan Swift coined the phrase that there are “none so blind as those who refuse to see.” Swift used the phrase in his 1738 publication “Polite Conversation.” It is said to come from a biblical verse in Jeremiah 5:21 in which the Prophet declares, “Hear now this, O foolish people . . . which have eyes, and cannot see, which have ears, and hear not (KJV).” This phrase perfectly captures the government’s stance toward acts of domestic terrorism committed by Muslims who fall into the category of the true believer so aptly described by longshoreman Eric Hoffer, who in his book The True Believer, originally published in 1951, rocked social scientists by introducing us to the “man of fanatical faith” who becomes a key player in revivalist mass movements. According to Hoffer, the true believer is “ready to sacrifice his life for a holy cause.” This appears to be the case for alleged murderer Mohammod Abdulazeez, who, hours before his deadly attack on servicemen in Chattanooga, texted a link to the following verse in the Holy Hadith, “Whosoever shows enmity to a friend of mine, then I have declared war against him (Jihad Watch).”

In the first few days following the shooting deaths of the five servicemen in Chattanooga, investigating officials say they were stumped in seeking a motive to explain the murders apparently committed by Abdulazeez, the 24-year-old son of an immigrant Muslim family. Descriptive reactions to what took place, as reported in the media, have ranged from “ruthless” and “deranged” to “senseless” and “unfathomable.” Ruthless for certain, but unfathomable? Has anyone been paying attention to what’s been going on in the world lately? Meanwhile, investigators are attempting to piece together a working hypothesis that might explain what happened and why, in trying to trace, as Hoffer might say, Abdulazeez’s genesis and outline his nature. Investigators make it sound like this is just another crime scene investigation – CSI: Chattanooga, while the media focuses on his alleged depression and drug use as if those two factors alone explain or justify his heinous acts.

Here we go again. In anger we grit our teeth and hold our breath with the cynical expectation that the government will try to label this obvious case of domestic terrorism, as perpetrated by a boy next door gone bad, as an isolated act of “workplace violence,” just like what happened at Ford Hood, Texas, several years ago. Our governmental officials, including our fearless leader in the White House, dance around the issue of Islamic terrorism and the growing threat to safe communities by refusing to acknowledge what is glaringly obvious to about 98 percent of us: this is an act of terrorism motivated by fanatical religious beliefs, in this case radicalized Islam, nothing less. Why aren’t our leaders bold enough to speak the obvious? I’ll take a stab in answering that question as a lay investigator. Simply, they don’t want to deal with the truth, at least not publicly – they don’t want to offend the U.S. Muslim population. It’s all about championing “diversity,” one of the core canons of political correctness within the Church of Liberalism. You want to know the unspoken truth? Folks, this is a case of terrorism inspired by fanatical Islam. It’s an act of war against Americans, on our soil. It was made easy by the fact that our unarmed military personnel have become sitting ducks for those who would take their lives in retaliation for U.S. activities in the Middle East.

It’s the same old story in our intensely-PC nation: let’s diminish the religious/political components of this murderous act and treat it just like any other violent act that breaks the law. Predictably, the picture is completed by neighbors and acquaintances proclaiming their shock, stating they never saw anything like this coming, not from this nice, young man who wrestled in high school and earned a college degree in electrical engineering, known to help a neighbor in a time of need. How dare we even mention his name and the word “terrorist” in the same sentence?

This is how it works with Islamic jihadists around the world, potentially numbering in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions: relatively few of them (35,000 or so) are card-carrying members of the Islamic State (ISIS), and countless others are attached to like-minded terrorist organizations or going solo or clustered in small groups while blending in with unwitting communities. Increasingly wary residents – not to include PC adherents suffering from a severe case of denial – are realizing they don’t know who to trust and who not to trust, and that plays right into the jihadist playbook. All this reminds me of one of the greatest tricks Satan has played on our world, and that is getting many people to doubt his existence. Political correctness and the desire to be objective have neutered us when it comes to protecting U.S. citizens at home and abroad.

Regardless of whether or not investigators are able to uncover any sort of digital, electronic or paper trail that connects Abdulazeez to ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram or any other Islamic-aligned terrorist organization, I am confident in saying that he became a true believer, per Hoffer, and a fanatical warrior for a cause he deemed holy. It was reported that three days before the shootings, Abdulazeez, a practicing Muslim, had posted two religious-oriented personal blogs, one of them, according to The New York Times, about the parable of the three blind men who touch different parts of an elephant without being able to grasp the whole.

“As Muslims, we often do this,” Abdulazeez reportedly wrote. “We have a certain understanding of Islam and keep a tunnel vision of what we think Islam is.” The alleged terrorist-murderer also made mention of a desire to emulate the original followers of the Prophet Muhammad, who are described as “people of action.” “We ask Allah to make us follow their path,” Abdulazeez continued, “to give us a complete understanding of the message of Islam and the strength to live by his knowledge, and to know what role we need to play to establish Islam in the world.”

There is no reason to believe that Abdulazeez’s choices of targets – a military recruiting station and a Navy and Marine Corps Reserve training center – were random choices. The result: four Marines and one Navy petty officer dead, and two others wounded. Targeting and killing Western service people in uniform, to include Americans, has become an ISIS calling card. This past December, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security jointly released a bulletin warning U.S. military personnel to scrub their social media pages of anything that could single them out for home-grown attacks by ISIS or its affiliated jihadists. The warning was issued not long after two uniformed soldiers in Canada were killed, purportedly by radicalized ISIS-influenced followers. According to a Fox News report around that time, the attacks in Canada “appeared to have been planned with online information and no direct contact with Islamic State leaders, who already have urged Muslims in the U.S. and Europe to attack service members.” Abdulazeez might have gotten that message, loud and clear.

In The True Believer, Hoffer states: “Faith in a holy cause is to a considerable extent a substitute for the lost faith in ourselves. … The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready is he to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause.”

To some extent, I understand Abdulazeez because I understand my own faith and the compelling power it has over my life as a late comer to my devout Christian faith. The new believer is a zealot who can delude himself/herself into believing that he/she hasn’t done enough for his/her supreme being. If the God that you worship is blood thirsty, and human sacrifice is seen as the road to appeasement, then it makes sense that the most-zealous followers will risk everything to follow the dictates of the God revealed in their holy book.

Our leaders are blinded by political correctness and Arab dollars. This is the world in which we operate, one in which the likes of Abdulazeez, possibly a self-radicalized Islamic jihadist blogging about Islam and the Prophet Muhammad, gets treated with kid gloves post-mortem. It is as if he’s just another common criminal who had a bad childhood, suffered from depression, used drugs and alcohol, and made a series of bad choices. No way, PC disciples insist, could he have been the tip of a larger iceberg about to plow into the U.S. and strip us of the remaining liberties we hold dear. To them it is not relevant that he worried about displeasing God by being “a bad Muslim.” Abdulazeez ‘s decision to engage human sacrifice for a holy cause was the blood sacrifice he deemed necessary to bring about his redemption. Abdulazeez chose martyrdom.

There is no mystery here: you can pre-empt this episode of CSI: Chattanooga. All there is to understand is the depth of Abdulazeez’s commitment to his Muslim faith and his professed advocacy of the violent ways espoused by the Prophet Muhammad. When one is committed to a religion, pleasing their conception of God becomes paramount. Any one of us, including secular humanists, can experience religious conversion and a spiritual awakening that propels us in new directions. Followers of Jesus are expected to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them. The Christian God of the New Testament is not bloodthirsty; therefore, His followers commit themselves to a different cause that requires a rejection of the old self and a striving to become holy and righteous, even while acknowledging that because of sin, we are flawed human beings.

Secular Muslims and cultural Muslims, just like Christians, can and do experience reawakenings and conversions that transform them into radical Islamists. Whether we like it or not, this is Islam. Because we no longer emphasize civic education in schools or an allegiance to an American national identity, we make it easier for people of other nations to cling to cultural and religious practices that oppose the freedoms and liberties found in the U.S. Constitution. We also bury our heads in the sand and pretend that no threats exist even when the evidence around us suggests a different reality.

If we are to competently address the growing threat of a more violent and radicalized Islam, we must first be astute enough to discern that we are dealing with something far more powerful and sinister than what our governmental officials will acknowledge. Interfaith activities will not address the threat of a more-radicalized Islam; nor will endlessly repeating the mantra that Islam is a religion of peace. We need to open our eyes to the bitter truth that Islam is a religion that justifies human sacrifice. The evidence is in the violence we see happening around the world and now in our own backyard. Who knows how many adherents of Islam are willing to shed human blood for a higher cause? Our governmental leaders must stand up and face the realities of modern America. Our leaders must be willing to do what is necessary to ensure our safety and once again provide the civic education necessary to ensure that newcomers and long-term residents acknowledge our constitutional rights and the freedoms. We cherish these things as a necessary condition for being a resident in good standing of our nation.

Dr. Carol M. Swain, Professor of Political Science and Law at Vanderbilt University, is the creator of Be the People TV and author of Be the People: A Call to Reclaim America’s Faith and Promise and The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration. , Twitter: @carolmswain, Facebook: Profcarolswain

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