There has been much discussion lately of whether or not this or that case has anything to do with “terrorism.” The Salt Lake mall shooter and the Nashville would-be murderer by taxicab spring immediately to mind. The word “terrorism” may not quite fit if the FBI takes it to mean some kind of organized conspiracy, something done by a group. What should be made clear is that Islam supplies a pre-fabricated mental grid or, to vary the metaphor, a prism through which to view the universe. And on that grid, or through that prism, there is always an Identifiable Enemy, and that Enemy is Always the Infidel.
Feeling bad? Feeling blue? Feeling things aren’t going right for you? It happens to all of us. We blame our parents, our siblings, our children, The System, Amerika with a “k,” Capitalism, fate, the stars, our serotonin level, our cholesterol level. Even, at times, we may blame ourselves. That’s if you are an ordinary Infidel.
What if you are a Muslim? You don’t have to blame your parents, your siblings, or anyone or anything else except: the Infidel. And you don’t need to be part of Al-Qaeda, or Islamic Jihad, or Jaish-e-Muhammad. You don’t even have to have been a faithful attender of a mosque. You can be Intel engineer “Mike” (Muhammad) Hawash, married to an American, with Little-League-attending children, earning $360,000 a year. And when the banality and boredom of life assails you, you can return to that Old-Time Religion, that is to Islam, and start reading, and re-reading, with the effects we all know, the Qur’an. Then you can light out for the territories, in this case those territories being Western China, and thence, you hope, to Afghanistan, in order to kill Americans. Yes, you are technically an “American” yourself, but the categories and the loyalties of the Infidel nation-state mean nothing to you: you are a Muslim, and that is the only Category that counts, Muslim as opposed to Infidel.
All that one need have asked in the case of Sulejman Talovic was why he went out to a mall, and not in a sudden mental raptus, and quietly and calmly proceeded to kill as many people as he could. Did he see it as killing Infidel after Infidel after Infidel? No one need have asked if he had a collaborator, to be guilty of violent Jihad. No one need have asked if he wrote it out. All one needed to do was find out what his worldview was: did he, or did he not, see the world as divided, as so many Muslims are taught to see it, between Believer and Infidel? Did FBI agents determine this before they dismissed “terrorism” in this case? The answer to that question is not known.
If FBI agents are still ignorant of Islam, then the country is endangered. Anyone running for President should assure us that he, or she, will make sure that “all of our security services, all of those who are in the army and the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. and the local police, will be fully informed of the nature of the ideology that menaces us, and does more than menace us.” If you wish, if you don’t dare utter the word “Islam,” then call it “Islamism” or “fanatical Islam” or some other such term.
But more and more, those even in government have a duty to approach the truth asymptotically, so that the uninformed or insufficiently informed will come to locate, accurately, the menace for all Infidels in the immutable texts of Islam, not in the teachings supposed invented by the proponents of “Wahhabi” Islam, or of “Islamism,” or of “extremist” Islam, but mainstream Islam.
And those who are not in government have no excuse for using terms such as “Islamism.” No, those without official positions have a stark and unwavering duty not to add to the confusion that currently prevails among Americans and Westerners in general, but instead to constantly clarify whatever others at the moment may now deem necessary to obscure.
One may hope, of course, that they may deem this obscuring action to be necessary only on a temporary basis, if they are fully aware of the real, disturbing, frightening truth.