There is a strong apologetic content to [Taheri-azar’s] letters. He is engaging in da’wa, trying to convert those who read them to Islam. They are also revealing of the jihadist mindset. He also describes what he did on the day of the attack in great detail, including which sections of the Qur’an he read at which hours leading up to his attack. He also says that he rises at 3AM in his jail cell to…read the Qur’an.
A few other observations about them:
1. Taheri-azar is not insane. He is articulate and perfectly in control of what he is saying.
2. He was not motivated by poverty or deprivation. Nor was he an ignorant bumpkin manipulated by sophisticated machiavels.
3. He firmly believes that he acted in obedience to Qur’anic dictates — see the image above. (Yet in response we will no doubt get another flat statement from Islamic apologists, to the effect that the Qur’an absolutely condemns what he did and yet quoting no Qur’an, or if quoting any then only 5:32.) — Robert Spencer in this post
The son of Iranian exiles, secular in orientation, rediscovers in his mental desarroi the grid of Islam, the prism of Islam, Islam the System of Total Regulation, Islam the Complete Explanation for Everything. Islam — That Is All Ye Know On Earth, and All Ye Need To Know.
So, this “moderate” Muslim who never before has given signs of being the other kind, the son of moderates himself, now gets in his powerful car, and drives to the place where his innocent fellow students stand around and chat, and he revs up the car, and aims it right at this one, and then at that one, hoping to kill or maim as many Infidels as he can.
And he writes out his whole little Message to The World, or rather to his lawyer, in longhand (one page of many has been put up at JW). And in it he shows that mingled blend of bits and pieces of Western learning. He mentions the phrase “clear and distinct ideas” which no doubt is all that remains in his not-very-impressive mind of his Phil. I course (the two weeks spent on Descartes). In his mind that makes him a thoughtful person, a learned person, a person who, having considered Western philosophy, has decided to jettison it for the Truths of Islam.
And the Truths of Islam also include attempting to kill Infidels among his fellow students at Chapel Hill. And include, of course, shouting — and wishing — “Death to Israel” at his hearing. He’s not an Arab, much less a “Palestinian.” He’s someone raised from an early age in America. His parents are in exile from the Islamic Republic of Iran; they are not supporters of it. But still, he was told, and he believes, that he is “a Muslim.” They did not tell him he was no longer a Muslim, or that they were in fact descendants of Zoroastrians, or Christians, or Jews, long ago converted under pressure — the pressure of wishing to avoid the onerousness of the dhimmi status — to Islam. They did not break, that is, with Islam. And having not broken with it, having allowed him, their son, to continue to think of himself as a Muslim, they allowed that mental virus of jihadist sympathies to remain within him, dormant, but still able to break out whenever his mental state disintegrated.
And so it did. And so he did what he did.
There is a moral here, for other quasi-Muslim or essentially non-believing Muslims. Don’t, out of filial piety, continue to call yourselves Muslims. Make a clean break. Go with the best people – Ibn Warraq, Ali Sina, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Nonie Darwish, and all the rest. Just jettison Islam. Don’t leave your children with the legacy of having to deal with the problem of reconciling this belief-system with what you know about the world, don’t put them in the position of having out of filial piety to serve as apologists for Islam, and thus to put a permanent barrier between themselves and Infidels who may not take kindly to such apologetics, and will certainly limit the extent of their friendship for those who are apologists for such a belief-system.
Cut the cord. Be an apostate. You don’t want your child, or grandchild, really “reverting” in a moment of depression or mental disarray dismay to that old-time religion, when the “religion” in question is Islam. You don’t want anyone related to you turning into Taheri-azar, in Chapel Hill, or “Mike” Hawash, in Portland, Oregon.