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10 Depressing, Morally Confused Reactions to 4/15/13, the Boston Jihad

The second stage of our generation's Great War has begun and many are not yet ready to accept the truth about this New Nazism that inflicts indiscriminate barbarism against children.

Dave Swindle


April 19, 2013 - 4:26 pm

Reuters reported at 11:54 AM EST on the ideology inspiring the terrorists who murdered and butchered Americans in Boston on Monday:

His “World view” is listed as “Islam” and his “Personal priority” is “career and money”.

He has posted links to videos of fighters in the Syrian civil war and to Islamic web pages with titles like “Salamworld, my religion is Islam” and “There is no God but Allah, let that ring out in our hearts”.

He also has links to pages calling for independence for Chechnya, a region of Russia that lost its bid for secession after two wars in the 1990s.

The page also reveals a sense of humor, around his identity as a member of a minority from southern Russia’s restive Caucasus, which includes Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia and other predominately Muslim regions that have seen two decades of unrest since the fall of the Soviet Union.

“I don’t have a single American friend,” one caption quotes him as saying. “I don’t understand them.” [emphasis added]


I will state my position about what has happened this way:

Al Qaeda’s Attack on America on September 11, 2001 = the beginning of World War 1

Two NON-ARAB, WHITE, WHOLLY AMERICANIZED Homegrown Millennial Jihadists Take America Hostage And Launch a New Template for How to Wage A DIY, Low Budget-Download-The-Instructions-Off-The-Internet Terror War = the beginning of World War II.

We are now entering a new phase of the Islamic war to replace liberal societies with Sharia law. This is World War IV, a multi-decade conflict that will be for our generation what the war against Nazism and Fascism was for our grandparents. Except it will probably be worse.

As such, I would like to primarily address those who have not yet given up progressivism, moral relativism, and the Democratic party — the three idols I grew up worshiping for the first two decades of my life. (I realize now that the reason I abandoned progressivism is simply that I didn’t go to graduate school whereas most of my friends did. My brainwashing gradually wore off after I got out into the real world and had to try and survive.)

This is not an oppressive, Corporate Imperial war waged against harmless Muslims. It is a war that Islam has declared against Enlightenment-based societies. The problem is not the Koran or Islam. The problem is radical (as in going to the root of the idea) Islam or Islamism, or Orthodox Islam, or the traditional Islam of history that requires the marriage of mosque and state accompanied by full implementation of chop-your-hands-off-style Sharia. Muslims who reject Koranic literalism and affirm Enlightenment philosophy are A-OK. (See Robert Spencer’s article this morning to see the great Jazz music some of them have made. And note Roger L. Simon today — Islam is not a race.) Muslims who embrace America instead of demanding American submission can enjoy the riches of Liberty just as every immigrant who has come to this land throughout the centuries to worship their God and work hard.

We need to stand with genuine Muslim liberals against both the terrorists and stealth (non-violent) jihadists rebelling against the Modern world.

That requires identifying those in the political and media classes who sabotage these efforts. Here are 10 examples of those whose ideas undermine the safety of Americans and the twin projects to nurture political liberalism in the Muslim mind and Enlightenment values in the Islamic soul.

1. Progressive Filmmaker Michael Moore:

“They know nothing.” It’s very important for Moore to try and undermine the credentials of anyone who can affirm that Sharia is a real threat. In Moore’s world Global Warming is more dangerous and cigarettes and car accidents cause more deaths per year than Islamists. Corporations have killed plenty more people than this “one teenager.”

“I guessed correctly. the bombings were not carried out by women.”

There will be more Jihad Janes, Mike…

2. MSNBC Host and Progressive Writer Toure:

The narrative begins to paint the Islamists who perpetrated this revolutionary new terror act as “losers.” No, I’m sorry Toure, here’s a more accurate description of what these two murderers have accomplished. Osama bin Laden was the Bill Gates of terrorism. These two are the Mark Zuckerbergs of terror and this is their Social Networking Jihad. There will be copycats. Just as there will be many more James Holmes style shooters.

3. Michael Tracey, a writer for The Nation, The Huffington Post, and The American Conservative:

I responded to Tracey, who is a way-too-naive but otherwise decent guy I really hope grows up soon:

4. Chris Hayes, an MSNBC host and editor at The Nation:

I’m not sure that this distinction really is that important. The new era anointed today is this: two largely incompetent 20-somethings can inflict as much or more damage than an Al Qaeda cell.

Al Qaeda is obsolete. The future of terror is this — one or two homegrown, radicalized white guys who figure out ways to massacre as many people as possible before killing themselves.

5. Arianna Huffington, the Founder of The World’s Most Popular Political Blog and Celebrity Gossip News Aggregator:

More than a decade after 9/11 the fear still persists in the imagination of Baby Boomer Liberals: ignorant redneck Tea Party Americans going nuts and lynching people that look different are a more probable threat than Jihadists taking the Koran literally.

6. Adam Serwer, a Progressive Blogger and Journalist for Mother Jones:

Indeed that is factually true. And The fact that a man yells Allahu Akbar as he blows himself up doesn’t mean religion motivates what he is doing. We don’t know for absolute certain what’s going through his head. Perhaps he’s actually a conservative just posing as a terrorist trying to rile up anti-Muslim hysteria in order to sabotage Obama’s gun control bill? I mean, the fact is we don’t know that for certain. From someone else’s perspective that might be correct.

7. Democrat Contrarian and Daily Beast Columnist Kirsten Powers:

Wow. “Crazy” abortion clinic bomber? Or evil abortion clinic bomber? When you plan out to murder people that makes you evil.

The desperation — Powers and other decent-minded liberals long for the bomber to have been some schizophrenic who thought they were setting bombs against aliens or demons. Anything to avoid having to consider the conservatives’ analysis of Islam which even people like the late Christopher Hitchens could come to embrace…

8. Ana Marie Cox, the Influential Progressive Blogger who Founded Wonkette:

Yes, it would be a win for progressives if they could legitimately make the case that corporations and the bigoted, theocratic, “Religious Right” are the most evil forces threatening America and the human race. But they can’t. Terrorists and evil people are not losers. They are individuals who have been warped by a soul crushing slave ideology that has transformed them into avenging losers. The gun and the bomb are the equalizers, making the loser the winner. As I write these words (4:25 PM PST) they have the suspect cornered. And I fear that he will have killed himself — if he does he wins…


9. MJ Rosenberg, the Ex-Media Matters Fellow Fired after Jewish Democrats Objected to His Habit of Using the “Israel firster” Antisemitic Slur:

No. But feel free to try again, MJ.

Updated: Here’s how MJ celebrates the capture of a Jihadist, by making a moral equivalence to “neocons” and calling for Republican executions.

10. Finally, the Influential Obama advocate and New Media Pioneer Andrew Sullivan:

That’s what I mean by a religious war. It’s war between the extremes of fundamentalist Islam and the free, secular West. That war can exist inside the mind of a single young fanatic who, merely with access to the web and guns and pressure cookers, can stop the world in its tracks. Or it can take the form of sectarian violence in Iraq.

My reader is correct that this is not reducible to Islam in all its breadth and complexity and history. But it cannot be understood at all without grasping the fundamentalist Jihadist mindset. The uncle of the two Jihadists could not be more emphatic that he as a Muslim feels utterly violated and offended by what these losers did. He says he feels ashamed. He is a Muslim as well. And he is an American through and through.

We have to make a simple distinction: between being a Muslim and being an apocalyptic self-proclaimed Jihadist. But the latter exist, are very real, and are inspired by a toxic distortion of Islam.

Is this really what we are all experiencing right now? A “toxic distortion” of Islam? Or is it just Islam that has not been filtered through the idol-slaying power of the Enlightenment?


images courtesy shutterstock / ollyy

David Swindle is the associate editor of PJ Media. He writes and edits articles and blog posts on politics, news, culture, religion, and entertainment. He edits the PJ Lifestyle section and the PJ columnists. Contact him at DaveSwindlePJM @ and follow him on Twitter @DaveSwindle. He has worked full-time as a writer, editor, blogger, and New Media troublemaker since 2009, at PJ Media since 2011. He graduated with a degree in English (creative writing emphasis) and political science from Ball State University in 2006. Previously he's also worked as a freelance writer for The Indianapolis Star and the film critic for He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their Siberian Husky puppy Maura.

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Top Rated Comments   

Outstanding analysis on your part. Best on the internet today. The PC crowd is circling the wagon.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have a question for Andrew Sullivan: What if the jihadists have the proper interpretation of Islam and the moderates (wherever they are) are the ones who have a toxic distortion of the religion?

And Kirsten Powers is disappointing. She must need to get her abortion cred back after shaming the media on Kermit Gosnell.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's amazing to watch how they all fall in line with "the new narrative." It's almost like Journ-O-List is still active. It's like watching a flock of starlings all shift at nearly the same instant.

So "They're just 'knuckleheads' and 'losers.' " Let me tell you something, Leftists: It doesn't matter if I'm killed by an idiot or a genius. I'm still dead.

How does robbing a 7-11 make them knuckleheads? What a stupid statement. Lots of dangerous criminals commit minor crimes while on the run.

What does helping kids with Down's Syndrome have to do with anything? Jimmy Savile was a HUGE charity spokesman. Why do people expect that evil people are always evil and nothing else? This is why lawyers always like to bring out in trial that their defendant is a baseball fan: so the jury will think, "Hmmm... I guess he's not as bad as I thought!" What stupidity.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (58)
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"Muslims who reject Koranic literalism and affirm Enlightenment philosophy are A-OK."

Um...maybe to us Infidels who affirm emlightenment...but to the REAL Muslims, they are "apostates" who, just like us Infidels, must be killed BECAUSE of our "enlightenment"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Andrew Sullivan, as usual, is a complete liar.

Violent Jihad is absolutely part of his "breadth and complexity and history" of Islam. In fact, it's a HUGE part. This "religion of peace" is a very new concept in Islam, and it's a description used mostly by non-muslims.

Bottom line: the teachings of Jesus Christ were peace, love and tolerance. The teachings of Muhammed were war, jihad and intolerance. Islam will NEVER completely escape its warrior code origins.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Islam will always remain the embodiment of its origins in brigandage.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have been reading these columns and comments for a couple of days and it finally struck me. Why are we, non Muslims asking questions about what Islam "needs" to do and how can we help Islam to moderate.

We have zero control and arbitrarily close to zero influence over what Muslims do. Our discussion of Islam's "needs" is a fools errand - in the extreme. If Muslims are going to change their philosophy en mass it is they who will need to ask the questions.

All indications, however, are that the only questions the Muslims are asking themselves go something like this: "Idiot infidels, how can we push them further into dhimmitude?"

We need to stop this ridiculous exercise in futility and start asking what WE can do to promote OUR values.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A friend of mine is a (very liberal) Lutheran Pastor. After 9/11, he told me that he was planning a course in his church to "understand Islam," "focus on all the things we have in common," and "make sure his congregation didn't harbor any ill will toward Muslims." It was all very groveling and boot-licking. Why not tell the truth and let the congregation think what they will? Why must the facts be massaged and edited with political correctness?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My justification for my thinking that "moderate Muslim" is an oxymoron is based on whether or not a believing, practicing Muslim can pick and chose among the militant/not so militant verses in the Koran to "believe" and or "practice"....or not.

By picking and choosing verses he/she will become neither "fish not fowl" and most probably considered apostate by their authorities or arbiters of their Koran.

A "moderate Muslim" is like a woman being a "little bit pregnant".

Hence the passive Muslim, "passive" is a better term than "moderate", is as much in danger of his/her throat being slit by a co-religionist, as I am - as an infidel.

We're in for a long, bloody, and frustrating battle. Lawyers in our Congress can't come up with the politically correct definitions covering this nebulous, amorphous Warfare we have with this book of anti-Christian, anti-enlightenment demands.

There's no compromise with the Koran. How can there be "moderate" Muslims? Would they be, then, just a little bit Muslim?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Dave, I am not parsing words, my point specifically was that in order to get to the point there is an enlightenment a religious reformation is a necessity. Mr. Billings history is a great point to support this. The power of the Catholic church and and it's entwined power structure, particularly with the French monarchy, had to be broken in order for the Enlightenment to commence. You say they need an enlightenment, I say they need a Reformation first.
This IS about religion and morality. Simple intellectualism is not enough.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Catholic Church needed a Refomation because it had become corrupt, it had become NOT what Jesus had wanted it to be...

You cannot MAKE that comparison with Islam...Islam has NOT become "corrupted" with violence and intolerance, and thus somehow untrue to the (fraudulent, evil) Prophet.

Islam is exacty what Evil Mo had in mind...a religious/politcal excuse for every human sin imaginable...its a moral dead end and a societal failure, just like any violent "gang banger" way of life..

Islam cannot be "reformed" like the Catholic church, returned back to the "good and moral thing" it once was, because ISLAM WAS ALWAYS EVIL.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I completely disagree. The Protestant reformation of Christianity was needed because the Medieval Catholic church had grown away from its Biblical roots and had become idolatrous. Protestant Christianity was an attempt to restore what had been lost and return to a Christ-centered and Bible-centered instead of a Church and priest-centered Christian religion.

Islam has already had its reformation and its chief theoretician was Sayyid Qutb. A "reformed Islam" is an Islam that goes back to the roots of imitating Mohammed's bloody, genocidal warmongering. I do not advocate for this at all. The only varieties of Islam that work are those that are persecuted as heresies by the Orthodox Muslims - Examples:
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Exactly. Getting back to Islam's roots is scary indeed.

Islam started approx. 610 AD. Battle of Tours was in 732 AD. So it only took Islam about 120 years to sweep across the Middle East, knock over Spain, and start shoving itself into France's backside. They didn't spread their religion that speedily by knocking on doors and politely handing out free pamphlets. Still wonder why the Crusades happened, folks?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
@DaveSwindle. I too really like Mr. Billings deep dive into the history of imperialism and empire. I would add this related thought. One of the problems facing the Enlightenment based West is that our categories of thought just don't seem to work when trying to understand and deal with contemporary Muslim jihad. Just as the elder brother had no American friends and couldn't understand Americans and felt we had no values, our cultural DNA does not allow us to understand him. We are dealing with a people who did not experience the enlightenment and also did not experience the Reformation and participated in the renaissance, but did not persist with it. But they do participate in the late modern world. The Muslim Brotherhood is the founding organization of modern Islamism and it is very much inspired by two post enlightenment totalitarian ideologies - fascism and communism. 9/11, Bali, Madrid, London, Ft Hood, Times Square, Boston - are a globalized, post modern version of what the Enlightenment West experienced in the first half of the 20th century. But it is different too, because it is rooted deeply in a pre Enlightenment and pre Reformation past - and yes, imperialist past. I don't have the new categories of thought needed to understand and defeat this phenomena but this article has cast a wide net and I find it particularly helpful because it contains so many different voices left and right in close juxtaposition.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thank you for your thoughtful comment lgude. I am equally concerned by evil people on both Left and Right. And have written such before:

One of the problems with our political culture today is that when we focus so much on all the problems on "the Left" then we ignore or downplays those of us on "the Right."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The problem is this. The Enlightenment was not one monolithic movement. The English and Scottish Enlightenment had a great impact on those who would go on to found the Constitutional Republic of America. The French Enlightenment would profoundly impact the French Revolution and the resulting Terror, and the German Enlightenment, very influenced by the French courtesy of Frederick the Great of Prussia, would end up highly influential on what became Nazi Germany.

America's Progressives were also highly influenced by the confluence of French and German Enlightenment. Liberals are the non-religious wing of Progressivism.

Should we wish for Islam to be more influenced by Hobbes, whom the founders rejected or by Locke, whom the founders embraced. Do we wish for them to be influenced by Kant or Hegel? Though its my take that through their embrace of Nazi Germany they already were.

With the rejection of Hobbes and his belief that absolutism was necessary because of mans depraved nature, our founders not only rejected monarchy, they rejected the Puritan brand of Calvinism which had the same view of humanity as Hobbes though he was an atheist. That view led a Puritan belief in the need for absolutist religious control. Both of these views were ultimately rejected by Americans. Thus the Constitution which acknowledges the basic goodness of man, while also acknowledging our slavery to sin, noting as did Madison, that men are not angels.

The Enlightenment was enabled by the Protestant Reformation, but as of yet there has been no Luther who has arisen within Islam. As a religion that has placed cultural norms from the time of its founding as religious dictates, it would first be necessary for a religious reformer to come about well prior to an intellectual reformer. Despite all of Erasmus' treatises, it took Luther and the other religious reformers to create an environment in which intellectual enlightenment could truly take place that would do more than live in the rarified atmosphere of academia, but could take root among the common people.

I would submit that it is the rejection of the English Enlightenment in favor of the French and German that brings us Progressives, courtesy specifically of Kant and later Hegel. Liberals are much more fond of the French brand, not the German brand. Not all Enlightenment movements were the same. The exploration of this is a post all its own.

Nevertheless, it took religious reformation first to bring about the enlightenment, and until or unless that is acknowledged not only by practitioners of Islam but by the West, so eager to jettison the religious roots of intellectual freedom, nothing will change.

Though WWII is counted from 1939 to 1945, the rise of Fascism and Nazism predated that timeline by more than 16 years. A sobering thought no? Many warned previous to the war, all were ignored.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It depends on how one chooses to define "the Enlightenment." If you define it as a period of time then a whole bunch of conflicting thinkers all get thrown in together. I'm not talking about the Enlightenment in terms of "ALL ENLIGHTENMENT THINKERS." I'm defining it in the context in which I talk about it in the article.

It's important not to get so hung up on individual words all the time and instead try and read an argument in full instead of chopping it apart to death. When I get into arguments with my progressive friends all they want to do is argue over dictionary definitions of individual words. They can't see the forest for the trees. And they're not the only ones who think in such limited ways, obsessing over words.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'd like to make the point that the jihadists do not represent "radical" Islam, they represent mainstream Islam, as represented by the most prominent religious and political leaders in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Palestine (among other prominent Muslim states).

The Islamic "radicals" are the ones who peacefully coexist with people of other religions.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I already made that point in the article, though I used the word "traditional" instead of "mainstream":

It is a war that Islam has declared against Enlightenment-based societies. The problem is not the Koran or Islam. The problem is radical (as in going to the root of the idea) Islam or Islamism, or Orthodox Islam, or the traditional Islam of history that requires the marriage of mosque and state accompanied by full implementation of chop-your-hands-off-style Sharia.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I find it interesting that so many here fall into the logical fallacy of exclusion of the middle. Both the Caliphatists, and those who would burn a billion people to vapor in order to stop Islam, are using the same definition of religion. That is they both assume that "real" religion resides always and only with scriptural literalists. This has been the case at different times with both Christianity and Islam, and both have suffered for that.

It is noteworthy that both Christianity and Islam spent centuries dominated by an Imperial State. The Roman Empire of Constantinople, in the case of Christianity, and the Caliphate in the case of Islam. Both saw the attempts to "unify" their creeds by these imperiums, and the scriptural literalism used to do that, alongside imperial executioners, served the Imperial State in both cases far better than it ever served the religious attention on the divine of the populace.

There are Muslims who are not scriptural literalists. Yes, the Caliphatists reject their stance, and have more and more often used violence against them. There are Christians who reject scriptural literalism, including, I am told, a majority of Evangelist Christians. Fortunately, our own attempts to revive the Roman Empire continue to fail, from Napoleon, to Hitler, to the EU. So, the difference is that Islam is still plagued by its imperialists.

I would suggest that the most useful thing the US can do is to help in bringing safety to those Moslems who are not scriptural literalists. Without their adherence, the Caliphatists will have no hope to renew the Moslem copy of the Roman Empire of Constantinople, and Sharia will be a dead letter for anyone not a Caliphatist themselves.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Must disagree with your, "There are Muslims who are not scriptural literalists."

Somewhere close by I try to liken a "moderate Muslim" to being "a little bit pregnant" and picking choosing verses to observe, from out of an unforgiving Koran.

Christians, however, can be non-scriptural, or non-literal because we lack that stifling rigidity of the Koran. My impression as a Christian is that their Koran has zero tolerance for deviation.

Now, if a practicing observant Muslim will say that the Koran is flexible, then let him say it out loud; and let these so called 'Moderate Muslims" join us in battle against their co-religionists. That simply is not going to happen. Hence our dilemma today.

Christians grew out of arguing about the number of angels dancing on a pinhead. Muslims have not........have they? Hence their throat-slitting today continuing unabated centuries after their founding.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Very well said, Tom. Thank you. I agree.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The problem is Conservative Islam, which means, the solid majority of Muslims, whom support Muslim Supremacism, second class status for Jews, Christians, and Women, severe punishment for apostacy, and blasphemy laws. In a word, Shariah Law. AKA, the prescriptions of Muhammad channelling Allah, and his example of divinely inspired behavior.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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