It is fascinating to see how the authorities and the major media outlets avoid the words “Islam” and “Muslim” in connection to the failed Times Square bombing. In both this piece in Time and in this piece in the New York Times the word “Islam” is only used in the name of the city of Islamabad in Pakistan.
The Times uses the word “Muslim” once: “At his news conference, Mr. Bloomberg warned against any backlash against Pakistanis or Muslims in New York, saying, ‘We will not tolerate any bias.’”
The authorities — Holder, Napolitano, New York Police Commissioner Kelly — also avoided the words Islam and Muslim at their press conference. They spoke about “terrorism” but didn’t define the term.
So what kind of terrorist is Faisal Shahzad if he cannot be called a Muslim or an Islamic terrorist?
A CNN anchor said about the Pakistani-American suspect: “It can be confirmed that his house has been foreclosed in recent years. I mean, one would have to imagine that brought a lot of pressure and a lot of heartache on that family.”
Could this suspect be described as the “foreclosure terrorist”? As a true believer in the American dream and owning his own home, Faisal Shahzad had to act against the banks which foreclosed his property. If that is the case, why didn’t he park his SUV closer to Wall Street? If he was angry about losing his house, why didn’t he try to blow up his bank? Times Square doesn’t make sense for a foreclosure terrorist.
According to the authorities and the mainstream media, he cannot be called an Islamic terrorist. But if we are not allowed to call an Islamic terrorist an Islamic terrorist, and if we deny the religious essence of his motivation, the explanations for this kind of violent behavior will deal only with the external. The terrorists hate it when Jews build apartments in Jerusalem, so they blow up a train in Madrid. They don’t like us watching Lady Gaga videos, so they kill themselves together with dozens of children and women in Pakistani markets. In other words, if we avoid identifying the extreme religious and cultural part of their worldview, we agree with the terrorists’ own justifications. And we allow them to set the agenda.
The authorities and the media reject the idea that religious convictions can drive men to violence. They need justifications that fit within their progressive worldview, and this progressive worldview is focused on socioeconomic conditions. That’s why the CNN anchor comes up with the foreclosure story — it is a socioeconomic motivation the anchorman can understand.