Friday, August 6, 2010

On the Sudden Jihad Syndrome and Omar Thornton


Daniel Pipes defines this syndrome in this article:

He wrote the above article on March 14, 2006 after a philosophy student drove a truck into a bunch of people. Here is some of what he wrote: "In brief, Mr. Taheri-azar represents the ultimate Islamist nightmare: a seemingly well-adjusted Muslim whose religion inspires him, out of the blue, to murder non-Muslims. Mr. Taheri-azar acknowledged planning his jihad for more than two years, or during his university sojourn. It's not hard to imagine how his ideas developed, given the coherence of Islamist ideology, its immense reach (including a Muslim Student Association at UNC), and its resonance among many Muslims.

"Were Mr. Taheri-azar unique in his surreptitious adoption of radical Islam, one could ignore his case, but he fits into a widespread pattern of Muslims who lead quiet lives before turning to terrorism. Their number includes the hijackers responsible for the attacks of September 11, the London transport bombers, and the Intel engineer arrested before he could join the Taliban in Afghanistan, Maher Hawash.

"A Saudi living in Houston, Mohammed Ali Alayed, fit the pattern because he stabbed and murdered a Jewish man, Ariel Sellouk, who was his one-time friend. So do some converts to Islam; who suspected a 38-year-old Belgian woman, Muriel Degauque, would turn up in Iraq as a suicide bomber throwing herself against an American military base?

"This is what I have dubbed the Sudden Jihad Syndrome, whereby normal-appearing Muslims abruptly become violent. It has the awful but legitimate consequence of casting suspicion on all Muslims. Who knows whence the next jihadi? How can one be confident a law-abiding Muslim will not suddenly erupt in a homicidal rage? Yes, of course, their numbers are very small, but they are disproportionately much higher than among non-Muslims.

On August 8, 2006, Pipes wrote another article. This one on the occasion of a Muslim going on a rampage on the Jewish sabbath:

These are the first two paragraphs of Pipes article: "At about 4 p.m. on July 28, on the eve of the Jewish sabbath, a Muslim terrorist of Pakistani origins named Naveed Afzal Haq forced a 14-year-old girl to get him into the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle building by holding a gun to her back. He then pulled out the two large-caliber semi-automatic pistols he had just purchased and went on a murderous rampage. Mr. Haq killed one woman, Pam Waechter, 58, an assistant director at the federation, and injured five others, one of whom was 17 weeks pregnant.

"Eye-witnesses report that Haq announced, "I'm a Muslim American; I'm angry at Israel," and then began shooting; that he "told the police that it was a hostage situation and he wanted us to get our weapons out of Israel" and that he was upset about what was going on in Israel. To a 911 dispatcher, Haq announced: 'I want these Jews to get out. … I'm upset at your foreign policy. These are Jews. I'm tired of getting pushed around, and our people getting pushed around by the situation in the Middle East. … I'm an American too but I just want our people out of Iraq.'"

Here is Diana West on 11-10-09 in her article entitled "Sudden Jihad Syndrome": She wrote her article in response to events surrounding the "Fort Hood Massacre." I won't quote from it, but she is appalled that the military wouldn't see the association between what the killer was taught by Islamists and his subsequent "massacre."

Now as to Omar Thornton and his rampage that killed nine people. Many, like the military at Fort Hood don't want to use the "I" word. They don't want to associate Omar Thornton with Islam even though he converted to Islam and some documents show that he changed his last name to Sharrif. Omar's friends say he was reacting to racist criticism. He overheard the "N" word while he was in a rest room. It wasn't said directly to him but he heard it and that was enough to set off his sensitive soul. His company says that wasn't it. He was caught stealing. He was angry about being caught on tape and that is what caused him to get mad and kill 9 people.

And just as at Fort Hood and other places, the politically correct don't want to associate Omar Thornton with Islam. They don't want to hear that he might have been inspired to do his killing by something he heard (not overheard) at his Mosque.

Now those things might turn out to be true, but pardon me if I am not willing to accept them until someone checks out the Islamic association -- which no one seems inclined to do. Why don't some of you reporters check that out? Why leave us to wonder and speculate?

Islamism! Islamists in the Middle East have taken up the teachings of Sayyid Qutb and others. They tell their members that they are not true to Allah unless they take up his Jihad. Kill the infidel, Islamists are taught. We are at war with all infidels, they are taught. Kill them with a gun and if you can't afford a gun, use a knife. And if you can't afford a knife, use a stick. Since Islamists promulgating this teaching have a First Amendment Right to teach it in any mosque, why is no one asking this question about Omar? Was Omar taught this Islamist teaching in his Mosque? This isn't an unreasonable question.

In one article a reporter sighed, "we may never know why Omar Thornton did what he did." That might be true, but on the other hand, Omar does fit the pattern. He was a young Muslim man with no history of violence who went on a sudden killing rampage. Why not check it out, one of you reporters? Do you think we who read newspapers and listen to the news won't wonder about this?

I think Sudden Jihad Syndrome fits Omar Thornton for another reason. It uses the form of Sudden Death Syndrome or crib death. Some babies die and no one knows why. According to the news stories something like that happened to Omar. He went on a killing rampage and no one, certainly no politically correct reporter, knows why.

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