Guest Notes

Terrorism notes

1 April 2017

9:00 AM

1 April 2017

9:00 AM

Nothing to do with Islam

Westminster attacker acted alone and motive may never be known.

Well, that settles it. That was the Guardian’s headline. The Independent’s was almost identical. And to be fair to these two media outlets, that was the take-home message from the Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis Neil Basu, who said ‘We must all accept that there is a possibility we will never understand why he did this. That understanding may have died with him.’


The Deputy Assistant Commissioner is, of course, displaying the first of two classic responses of Leftists, politicians, and morons everywhere. Muslim activist Linda Sarsour tweeted somewhat defensively after the attack: ‘Evil has no race, ethnicity, or religion. Evil is evil. Terrorism is terrorism.’ Hold on Linda; who said anything about religion? Certainly not the Met. British PM Theresa May simply called it ‘sick and depraved’. Calling it ‘sick’ pathologises what happened, and apparently the mentally ill prefer that we don’t say it in connection with knife-wielding Saracens. ‘Depraved’, however, does have theological connotations, as the daughter of a vicar should know. In any case, there was no way she was going to specify which theology was responsible. No, as is customary, the Westminster attack was nothing to do with religion, and certainly nothing to do with Islam. The combined resources of all the Sherlockian sleuths of New Scotland Yard just can’t figure out a motive. Nope, not the faintest idea.

Occasionally, commentators, and especially politicians, get themselves really tangled up with this. Theresa May might not have said very much, but at least she didn’t start protesting too much. Similar restraint was not shown by Barack Obama, David Cameron, Tony Abbott et al., who all, at various times, ventured into the realm of comparative religions, declaring that no religion could possibly be responsible for, or connected in any way to, any terrorist attack. Just what, exactly, do these religious illiterates think religion actually is? Oftentimes, they come dangerously close to saying that all religions are the same, offending almost their entire constituencies in one arrogant sentence. Victorian Premier Dan Andrews once conducted an extended monologue on the essential atheism of some Islamic kids plotting to blow up Flinders Street Station. You can imagine the police interrogation:

Detective: Why did you do it?
Jihadi: Because there is no god.
Detective: Well, that’s good enough for me.

Nothing. To do. With Religion.

The second classic response is to acknowledge that, upon reflection, there may indeed be an Islamic angle to the attack, but to quickly dismiss it lest the words ‘Khalid Masood was an Islamic extremist’ be interpreted as ‘oh my gosh, every single Muslim on the face of the earth is a TERRORIST!’ This is always the starting point if the attacker’s name is Mohammad, Muhammad, or Mehmet, or when it is awkwardly revealed that, yes, he did attend a local mosque twice a day, or when multiple witnesses heard something which may or may not have been Allahu Akbar! moments before Mohammad/Muhammad/Mehmet blew himself up. But whatever – it’s a Religion of Peace, don’t you know? The logical bankruptcy of the aforementioned Leftists’, politicians’ and morons’ position means that they can’t stick with either narrative for very long, and so they chop and change between these two responses, sometimes displaying the uncommon linguistic dexterity required to mention them both in the same sentence. But these are the time-honoured strategies, employed with a straight face around the Western world. A skilful politician on a panel show the night of a bombing, or a journalist covering the breaking news or on the Islam beat can effortlessly slip these in to speeches, reports and conversations. Three days before the Westminster attack, the BBC asked viewers what they thought was ‘the right punishment for blasphemy?’ The Beeb doesn’t support just any old punishment for speaking against the Prophet. It has to be the right one – beheading, perhaps? – you understand. And therein lies the problem with Islam.

We are now told that if the connection must be made between terrorism and Islam we must categorise it as ‘radical Islam’ (as in ‘Khalid Masood was radicalised in prison’). This is a meaningless distinction and one not recognised in Islamic thought. A Muslim can be comparatively moderate, have no inclination toward jihadi violence or martyrdom, even work for the BBC, and yet they hold views utterly incompatible with Western society and culture, the beating heart of which Masood knew is at Westminster. Not all Muslims are terrorists, of course. How could they be? But the eternal ummah isn’t just comprised of the ones that are.

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