Muslim+Muslim=Muslim Terrorist

IF YOU LISTEN carefully to the rhetoric that circulates among Muslim communities, you may be treated to some remarkably idiotic comments. Over my next few columns, it is my intent to describe and analyze some of these comments in the hope that dissecting them may expose their idiocy.

First up: “There is no such thing as a Muslim terrorist, because a ‘Muslim’ is someone who is ‘at peace,’ so how can such a person be a terrorist?” This is a classic example of the type of selfappeasing commentary that many Muslims love to bandy about. As a generally isolationist community in the West, Muslims often speak only to themselves, with no reference for or intention to speak to the outside world. (Another example of such utter cultural unawareness is the constant use of abbreviations such as SWT and PBUH in Muslim literature in English,1 as if all readers should just magically know what they mean!)

Acting as if they’ve achieved a decisive victory, these Muslims then assume that the case is closed. There you have it, folks, there is no such thing as a “Muslim terrorist ” because suck a thing is evidently a linguistic impossibility. As for that guy called “Abdullah “who was just on TV quoting the Qur ‘an and calling for chopping people ‘s heads off. ..uh … well …he ‘sjust an invention of the Zionist-controlled media . . . yeah, that’s it!

To be fair, Muslims are understandably disturbed by the coupling of the word Muslim with the dirtiest word in the English language today: terrorist. However, this disturbance does not alter the objective reality one iota. The “Muslim terrorist” is as fair and accurate a term as any to describe those individuals who commit acts of vigilante violence against civilians in the name of Islam. They are Muslims – perhaps not in a linguistic sense, because they certainly do not appear to be people who are in a state of peace and submission – but certainly in a technical sense from the standpoint of the theology and law of the religion of Islam. At worst, one might argue that Muslims, who advocate vigilante violence against civilians (read: terrorism) and claim that it is justified by the teachings and scriptures of Islam, have embraced a dangerous heresy. Even so, they would simply be heretical Muslims, yet Muslims nonetheless. They enjoy the rights accorded any other Muslim under Islamic law, yet they stand condemned in the eyes of God for their sin (just like any other sinful human being).
Another obvious reason why the notion that “there can be no such thing as a Muslim terrorist” fails logically is that this argument is tantamount to saying that there can be no such thing as a “Muslim murderer,” or a “Muslim rapist,” or a “Muslim thief.” Again, objective reality and history bear out the fact that such individuals can and do exist. Yet such ridiculous notions are born out of the essentializing views of ideologues who prefer the delusion that being a Muslim somehow makes one a perfect member of a chosen people rather than accept the reality that Muslims are human beings like everyone else, facing the same human challenges, and often suffering from the same human weaknesses. By the idiot’s logic, once the Caliphate is wondrously reestablished, there will be no need for prisons and a criminal justice system in the new Islamic Republic, since Muslims are not sinful, much less criminal remember, they are “at peace,” so why would they commit a crime’.? The great irony here, of course, is the fact that if a Caliph existed today, he would probably round up all the Muslim terrorists and have them publicly executed as a deterrent to wannabe vigilante “freedom fighters.”

A related complaint often heard in Muslim quarters is: “Why doesn’t the media ever use the terms ‘Jewish terror’ or ‘Christian terrorists’? It only speaks of ‘Islamic terror’ and ‘Muslim terrorists.’ The media is biased!” This sentiment was extremely popular, for example, when the infamous BTK serial killer was arrested last year in the United States and it was revealed that he was a church leader. “Why wasn’t he described as a ‘Christian terrorist’?!” Muslims incredulously whined.

Again, Muslims would love to innocently wonder where this alleged bias comes from instead of taking an objective look at reality. So I shall spell it out for you: The difference between acts of vigilante violence against civilians (in recent memory) that have been carried out by individuals who are Muslims versus those from other religions is the way in which the individuals claim to be inspired, influenced, and shaped by their respective religions. The terrorist who is a Muslim is not just a terrorist who happens to be a Muslim. On the contrary, he gets up in front of a camera and releases a grainy Internet video in which he dresses himself up in the language and garb of the Islamic religion. He quotes from Muslim scriptures and observes all forms of outward religiosity. He claims that his violent operations against Americans, Zionists, infidels, are not sanctioned by Islamic law, but rather are required by it, and that he is carrying out the will of Allah and serving the honor of Islam’s holy prophet, etc. Compare your standard terrorist from any other religious group; he is a terrorist who happens to be Christian, or Jewish, or Buddhist, or whatever, but he doesn’t claim to be inspired, influenced, and shaped by his religion, much less that he is serving his religion’s aims by committing acts of violence. In recent memory,2 it is virtually impossible to find the moral or religious equivalent of a Muslim terrorist from any other faith group. BTK, while a church leader, would probably be the first to admit that his sadistic acts of terror on innocent people were in utter contravention of Christian teachings. That’s the difference.

None of this is to say that the media is blameless. Certainly, the mainstream commercial media has played a huge role in creating and reinforcing the stereotype of the “Muslim terrorist.” Sadly, it seems some young Muslims around the world (including, now, even in the UK) are all too willing to succumb to such stereotypes by modeling themselves after them, thereby raising the very valid question: Which came first, the stereotype or the reality?

Next up: “I believe in the fundamentals of Islam; therefore, I am a fundamentalist.” Somebody please give this person a dictionary.

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    A piece previously published in the print issue of Islamica Magazine between 2003-2009. The following has been an effort to digitize and archive as a free service. Author citations can be found at as we continue to work on improving the digital archives here.

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