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James Holmes: It Serves Him Right to Suffer

The Aurora, Colorado shooter has grown his beard and converted to Islam.

by
Robert Spencer

Bio

March 29, 2013 - 7:00 am
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Jazz and Islam, Part 7

See last week’s part 6: The Questions Nobody Wants to Ask About ‘Moderate Islam’

The debate over James Holmes’s sanity has raged hotly ever since he murdered twelve people and wounded 58 in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, in July 2012. But now the controversy can be laid to rest: Holmes is sane. The clearest indication of his sanity came last week, when the Daily Mail reported that he had converted to Islam.

The Mail reported that Holmes is apparently quite devout: he has grown a lavish beard, eats only halal food, prays the obligatory five daily prayers, and studies the Qur’an for hours every day.

Holmes’s conversion reveals that instead of being unaware of what he did, or utterly remorseless, as one might expect of a psychotic or a sociopath, the murders must trouble him a great deal. For it is souls that are troubled — intellectually, morally, spiritually, psychologically — who cast about for some solution to what troubles them, and often find it in religious conversion.

But it is what Holmes converted to that is significant. Had Holmes converted to Christianity, he might have found relief for any remorse he might be feeling for the massacre in the proposition that in Christ his sins, no matter how great, were forgiven; if he had explored Buddhism, he might have focused upon developing right intention, right speech, and right action, and eradicating the illusions that led him to kill in the first place.

Instead, Holmes chose Islam. A prison source noted: “He has brainwashed himself into believing he was on his own personal jihad and that his victims were infidels.”

This suggests that Holmes’s conversion is a defensive action against any regret that he may be feeling. But instead of meeting that regret with repentance, he has found a way to justify his actions. Instead of acknowledging his wrongdoing, he chose a belief system that justifies violence in certain circumstances, and has attempted to cleanse himself of any wrongdoing by seeing his murders in light of that belief system.

Jihad may take the form of indiscriminate mass murder of infidels, as we saw on 9/11, and 7/7, and in Beslan and Mumbai and Fort Hood and in so very, very many other places. Unfortunately for Holmes, however, jihad is not retroactive. If Holmes was an infidel at the time of the murders, then it doesn’t make his actions jihad to convert to Islam afterward.

Nonetheless, his conversion illustrates yet again why Islamic supremacist groups make such a concerted effort to make converts in prison. They know that men who are already in many cases notably aggressive and violent, and who have a grievance against society, are perfect fits for a religion that contains teachings that are themselves aggressive and violent, and that sets itself against infidel society. Islamic proselytizers in prisons hope to channel that aggression by sanctifying and thereby justifying it – as Holmes seems to be trying to justify his murders by affecting Islamic piety now.

But in reality, there is no justifying mass murder of innocent people, whether by invoking the religion whose holy book exhorts believers to “slay the polytheists wherever you find them” (Qur’an 9:5) or in any other way. If Holmes is really trying to excuse his murders by dismissing his victims as infidels, prison officials’ tolerance of his Islam is no more explicable than the military’s accommodation of the beard of Fort Hood jihad mass murderer Nidal Malik Hasan. Hasan maintained that he grew his beard in violation of Army regulations because he had a duty to do so as a devout Muslim; yet he also murdered thirteen people at Fort Hood out of the same sense of Islamic duty. Should murderers really be reinforced in the very ideology that they use to justify their murders?

If James Holmes is using Islam to justify murder, prison officials should make no allowances for his practice of Islam, any more than they should allow a white supremacist neo-Nazi prisoner to hold a Mein Kampf study group. If he has converted to Islam in order to short-circuit and eliminate any remorse he might be feeling for his murders, prison officials should give him a treat: a music break, consisting entirely of the title track from the notable bluesman John Lee Hooker’s sole and luminous album for the groundbreaking 1960s jazz label, Impulse Records: It Serves You Right to Suffer.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We’re In. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

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Top Rated Comments   
Interesting. I wouldn't be too hard on the prison officials: they, too, are required to operate under the constitution and afford prisoners their rights to the free exorcise of their religion. Of course, prisoners that are eminently homicidal and suicidal are usually kept in "rubber rooms." If the new trend in gang banging is going on jihad, there's not enough rubber rooms for all the Mohammeds. In fact, there's not enough jails and prisons for all the Omars and Hasams. So much for the standard civil society law enforcement model. The Europeans are beginning to discover that lesson the hard way.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Another great addition to the venerable religion of peace.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (29)
All Comments   (29)
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As a former correctional officer, I can tell you that many inmates "convert" to Islam (or, very rarely, orthodox Judaism) to get the better halal/kosher meals. These cost prison systems several times that of an ordinary meal for inmates.

Holmes's wide-eyed act is wearing a bit thin. And it is an act. Anyone who supposedly had the capability to build the bombs found in his apartment and plan the theater shooting is not utterly crazy as he is trying to convince others he is, in his vain attempt to be found not guilty by reason of insanity.

And by growing the beard, he has dramatically increased the likelihood of a jury finding him guilty and recommending the death penalty anyway. It's not because of the Islam excuse so much as it is the association that jurors make of defendants with beards with Charles Manson and his ilk. One recent case in my state that resulted in the death penalty featured another Holmes-like man who looked and acted "crazy" in court and had a full beard. That jury did not deliberate long. Interestingly enough, that man's crazy act abruptly ended after the verdict was read and he got very serious. Too late.

Holmes's lawyer needs to tell him to man up, cut out the transparent wide-eyed crazy face, and cut off the facial hair, if he really wants any chance of avoiding a jury finding of guilt and recommendation of death.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
no wonder he converted, his mental contents are the same: suffering, abandonment, orphanhood, borderline, psychotic, delusional, out of touch with reality, underdeveloped ego, my way, or no way. in short complete compatibility. I bet you he did not have a present Father figure, and to make things worst he suppresses his heterosexual drive.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
and tell me again why this case needs to now be postponed from an August start to next year What are the complications that lawyers are taking years to understand. Crazy man, thinking he won't get caught kills others. When faced with death penalty, realizes he doesn't want to die and offers life in prison to take death penalty off table.

Feed him pork and beans for eternity.

And speaking of this idiot, how about the military man that shot and killed so many and now years later he still hasn't had his trial and the military in order not to bias the case, won't give those wounded by this man the purple heart, but they did make the military base a gun free zone allowing this nut job to do so much harm.

Once again the only problem being that when those with weapons came to stop this, they didn't finish him off and stop this absurd legal game that does so much harm to society.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The man should suffer, but not for converting to Islam
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What a misguided, unrepentant soul. Adding conversion to the racist, bigoted, violent, pedophile ideology of islam on top of it has sealed this man's fate; he will burn in hell. Yeah, he was sane as can be when he killed those people. Fry his young *ss.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If the death penalty isn't a deterrent, then someone please explain why he is wanting to spend his life in jail, rather than face his punishment.

Seems that maybe if the death penalty was not an abstract, but used properly on those that murder, and done expediently, then it might in fact become a deterrent.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So he's 'converted' to the religion of peace - so what? More importantly - from what did he convert? The sooner we dispatch this moron off to allah the better off we'll all be. Thank God Colorado has the death penalty - lets hope and pray those who have the power to apply it are given the strength to utilize it. And sooner than later.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Oh, here's the link http://www.murderpedia.org/male.M/m/mengel-alex.htm

These guys always try to escape. Deadly force must be used to stop them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Some years back we had a man here, in southern NYS, who was killing women, and skinning them. Unfortunately, he tried to get the guns of the police officers who were transporting him, and they were forced to shoot him.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't think he needs to suffer. In cases such as this, where there is no doubt of the guilt, he should be hung immediately, and without right of appeal.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Everyone deserves due process. In his case a quick and speedy trial should be very quick and very speedy and the sentence carried out immediately. Feel free to give him some delicious pork chops or roasted pork loin for his last meal.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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