Tuesday, June 14, 2016

If Violent Jihad Owes Nothing To Islam ... then what?

"Law enforcement is following hundreds of people and there are thousands of people that have come on their radar. The complexity of trying to navigate our laws and Constitution while trying to maintain optimal security is a really difficult challenge. You just cannot protect against everything."
Shawn Henry, former FBI executive assistant director
(Scott Heins/Gothamist)

Sounds reasonable, and also telling. Telling in that there are so many individuals within society whose twisted pathologies inspired by hateful ideologies, political or religious in origin that give impetus to the resentments and feelings of violent aggression so prevalent within any society, that intelligence agencies are unable to creditably investigate them all, let alone engage in follow-up protocols of keeping tabs on what it is for and with whom these people are engaging.

In the same token that many of these investigations have concluded with the apprehension of people involved in planning attacks before they are carried out, an awful lot of upfront clues, though brought to the attention of authorities are simply set aside as being immaterial, when later those people who were briefly under suspicion do manage to carry off their shocking violence leaving society reeling in disbelief at the carnage they produce.

Before the most devastating of all foreign attacks against the United States in modern history, some of the principals of the 9/11 attacks had come to the notice of American intelligence. And it was the lack of cooperation and the failure to share files between the FBI and the CIA that infamously led to the success of the al-Qaeda-linked jihadists like ringleader Mohamed Atta. And there were clues aplenty to the Islamist derangement of U.S. army major Nidal Hasan before he embarked on his shooting spree at Fort Hood.

And then we come to the latest of the fanatical Islamist-inspired attacks by a man steeped in his familial nurturance by his father's support of the Taliban. The complexities in this case include the stark reality that Omar Mateen, who regularly attended mosque, cannot have been unaware that Sharia law specifies the penalty for  homosexuality as death, leading to his inner struggle with his own homosexuality as a believing Muslim who just incidentally hated all non-Muslims and gays.

A co-worker at G4S, a multinational, British-based security company found exposure to Mateen's world view perplexing and frightening. Frightening because of his constant declarations of anger against gays, blacks, Jews and women: "He never used other words to describe them (than racial slurs)", explained Daniel Gilroy. Who had informed company executives of Omar Mateen's constant references to killing gays and others, but it was he not Mateen who left the firm.

"He talked about killing people all the time", Daniel Gilroy informed the The New York Times. Leaving him unsurprised when he learned of the tragic atrocity: "I saw it coming", he said, but those who had authority at the security firm appear to have sloughed off Mr. Gilroy's warning about Mateen's psychopathic frame of mind.

That he had also informed coworkers "he hoped that law enforcement would raid his apartment and assault his wife and child so that he could martyr himself", should have rung alarm bells. Particularly since he had been brought in by the FBI for interrogation on several occasions and his activities were tracked in early 2014. Attention was drawn once again to him later in 2014 for his connection to another Florida Muslim who had travelled to Syria and fought with the Nusra Front.

The denials flowing from police, from investigators, from the Mateen patriarch and from the imam of the mosque that Omar Mateen frequented four times weekly, that his revealed devotion to jihad and violent Islamism took them all by surprise, but that the attack was motivated variously by a mental health problem and by simple terrorism unattached to Islam, speaks to a fundamental unwillingness to face reality.

Islam is synonymous with jihad, and jihad's expression is terrorism, elevating martyrdom to the highest peaks of devotional observance. The skepticism that greets this man's having said he admired or was a member of Hezbollah, improbable as it is, as a Shia-Iran-linked terrorist group, then aspired toward the Nusra Front, and finally, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant where doubt is cast that anyone as aware as he should have been that allegiance in jihad is expressed toward an individual splits contentious hairs.

The man made it abundantly clear by his own words, prior to, and during his final surrender to what he might have considered his destiny as a martyr, to sacrifice himself on the alter of hero worship as a 'soldier of Islam'. Offering his gift of dead kuffars in homage to Allah and writing himself indelibly into history by the extent of the carnage his hatred produced, sending a nation reeling in disbelief yet again.

That act of deliberate, wanton slaughter really needs no cautionary authorities proclaiming the innocence of Islam.

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