We are already hearing from all over that the jihad shooter at the Seattle Jewish center, Naveed Haq, is simply “crazy.”
A few points:
The entire Muslim world consists largely of people who are raised in a politico-theological belief-system that offers a Total Regulation of Life and a Complete Explanation of the Universe. The idea is that the Qur’an contains all of wisdom and includes all the scientific discoveries that have been made since its appearance, or that ever will be made. In this respect the Qur’an is like the famous Master of Balliol, Benjamin Jowett: “I am the master of this college/And what I don’t know isn’t knowledge.”
This idea, of course, is or must be rejected by the more intelligent. But the more intelligent have to be wary of expressing their doubts, for this totalitarian belief-system has its enforcers, or rather the Qur’an and Sunnah prescribe what should be done to those who fall away from Belief into Unbelief.
Thus does the open expression of any kind of skepticism, or the open encouragement of any kind of free inquiry, become discouraged — on pain, often, of death, or at least complete social ostracism (loss of family and friends) and economic marginalization (loss of job).
In this world, what rational non-Muslims regard as “crazed” behavior is not crazed at all. Look at those all-male mobs, one after the other, screaming their hate all over the Muslim world. Look at those dull-eyed hijabbed prematurely aged women, mere breeders kept in permanent thrall. Look at the level of what passes for schooling, what pass for universities, what passes for coverage of the world in the Arab press and television. Look at the effect on a billion believers of being taught, being inculcated with the idea, that Muhammad was the Perfect Man, uswa hasana, al-insan al-kamil, and then simultaneously having to reconcile this article of Faith with what Muhammad was really like, in his wars and his loot-grabbing and booty-distribution, in his laughingly regarding the massacres of helpless prisoners, or encouraging, and welcoming the news of, the assassination of anyone who dared to mock him (Asma bint Marwan). And then there were his attacks on the innocent farmers of Khaybar: this unprovoked attack on helpless farmers is described in an AP dispatch yesterday on the new Iranian-supplied rocket used by Hizballah, a dispatch written by one Kathy Gannon, as being named after the “battle of Khaybar.” Some battle.
All of this makes an entire society “crazy.” It makes it far more prone to crazed views of the world and crazed hatred of Infidels (for they are to be hated, and if they are to be hated, no matter what, it is important to tell oneself, to convince oneself and all other Infidels, that the Infidels are terrible, that the Infidels are monsters, that the Infidels even when they try to do seeming good to Muslims are in fact always scheming against them). And all of this makes people deny so many parts of reality, so many obvious definitions of “good” and “evil,” that their heads spin and they live in a constant miasma — what I have been calling, and Robert Spencer has also called recently — the “atmospherics” of Islam. And those “atmospherics” are reproduced even in the Lands of the Infidels, wherever Muslims live with other Muslims, or even by themselves, when they live in a universe mentally formed by, and limited mostly to, Islam.
Muslim apologists tell us that this or that individual Muslim was crazy. Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, the Chapel Hill SUV mujahid, was “crazy.” The Jordanian who killed those seven little girls visiting the Peace Garden in 1997 was “crazy.” The Egyptian soldier who killed Israeli children and their parents visiting in Egypt was declared “crazy.” The copilot of that Egypt Air plane was “crazy.” The terrorist here, the terrorist there — all “crazy.”
Well, are all the members of Hamas and Hizballah and Al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba and the thousand other groups all “crazy”? Are the views of all of them crazy, when they support the same attitudes and perspectives that inspired the acts of that Jordanian soldier, that Egyptian soldier, that Iranian Tarheel, that shooter at LAX, the smiling yearbook boy Naveed Haq who was mad at Israel and who did not do what was “crazy” but something that all Muslims will understand, just as they will understand the need to call him “crazy” (and some in the American police and FBI will want eagerly to go along with this fiction)?
But let’s take for now a different tack. Let’s agree that a certain number of people in every society get depressed. Let’s agree that they get mad at someone and something. The problem is that Muslims take as the Perfect Man someone who led a life not akin to that of Jesus, but a life full of warfare, full of violence. And he is their Model for All Time. He is the best. All the polite and correct Western officials who assure us after every terror attack that it has nothing to do with Islam have never faced up to the implications of that fact.