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.
Yasser Arafat had a genius for wrapping his hatred of Western Jews and of the existence of a Jewish state in progressive terms Western journalists could understand. He was a traditional, corrupt warlord with a brilliant intuition of how to manipulate Western media. He used the vocabulary of the progressive academic and media elites. As a result, he was able to connect to the postmodern, post-gender, post-religious, and post-racial hedonistic individuals who live in the best apartments in Amsterdam, London, and New York’s Upper West Side and who use that vocabulary on a daily basis. Arafat was a cruel tyrant, feverishly chasing power, sex, and money — and he brilliantly played the anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist media game.
For the progressive, politically-correct authorities and mainstream media, religiously motivated violence should not be analyzed — unless it is committed by Christians or Jews. With the latter, religious violence is a sign of outdated belief systems. But when Muslims are involved, the progressive mind starts identifying socioeconomic circumstances after having been conditioned by decades of postmodern ideologies to think that way.
Shahzad’s religion claims to be the definitive message of God to mankind through a perfect man called Mohammed, who started an empire. The core pain of violent Muslims of the al-Qaeda brand is centered around the destruction of the Ottoman caliphate, which made an end to Islam as an empire. People like Shahzad fight to restore this caliphate — which is only possible after Israel and America have been destroyed.
Since the beginning of Islam, the majority of Muslims have been living in poverty under wealthy ruling classes. Illiteracy, poverty, backwardness, and bigotry among Muslims don’t concern Islamic terrorists like Shahzad. He divides the world between the House of Islam (Islamic countries) and the House of War (us). His concern is the absolute reign of Islam on earth.
Our ruling elites have been trained by postmodern academics to think in socioeconomic models. Cultural studies have trained them in thinking that all cultures and traditions are equal and that Judeo-Christian culture is equal to colonialism, capitalism, slavery, and other vile practices.
(Wikipedia notes that “slavery was an important part of Ottoman society until the Ottoman Empire forbade the slavery of Caucasians [including Georgians, Armenians, and Circassians] in the early 19th century. As late as 1908, women slaves were still sold in the Ottoman Empire. In Istanbul, about one-fifth of the population consisted of slaves. It was Arab traders who started the trans-Saharan slave trade, exporting black slaves from sub-Saharan African countries as far back as AD 1100 and the practice carried over into Ottoman reign.”)
The elimination of the words “Islam” and “Muslim” is the direct result of the dramatic expansion of cultural relativism in schools, academia, and media, which have all been contributing to the idea that differences between cultures and ethnicities should be erased (unless these ethnicities demand autonomy and preferential treatment).
At the trial of the killing of Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands, his killer Mohammed Bouyeri explained that his Muslim convictions forced him to kill the blasphemer. Bouyeri was just a good and true believer. His God wanted him to kill the clown.
And Shahzad is the foreclosure terrorist.