NBC Los Angeles reported Tuesday that “a California college student and National Guard enlistee was captured Monday after an FBI investigation revealed a foiled plot to attack the Los Angeles subway system and plans to help al-Qaida.”
What could possibly have transformed a National Guard enlistee into someone who plotted a mass murder attack in the Los Angeles subway system on New Year’s Eve? What could have changed in Nicholas Michael Teausant’s mind and heart to make him want to dedicate his life not to defending Americans, but to killing them?
The answer is simple: Islam. Nicholas Michael Teusant now prefers to be called Ased Abdur-Raheem, although that name did not appear in a single one of the mainstream media reports published about his arrest (I found it on his Facebook page). The universal practice of the mainstream media is to refer to converts to Islam by their Muslim names if they do good things and are revered, beloved figures (think Muhammad Ali and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), and by their infidel names if they do evil in the name of Islam (think Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, aka Mujaahid Abu Hamza and Ismail ibn Abdullah, the jihad murderers of British soldier Lee Rigby on a London street; John Walker Lindh, the Marin County mujahid, who is now known as Suleyman al-Faris in his prison cell, where he is doing time for joining up with the Taliban in Afghanistan, etc.).
Converts to Islam not only change their names. All too often, they effectively change their nationalities. When Mujaahid Abu Hamza and Ismail ibn Abdullah murdered Rigby, Abu Hamza, his hands red with Rigby’s blood and still holding a bloody cleaver, approached a television cameraman and calmly began explaining himself.
In the course of his explanation, Adebolajo invoked the Qur’an’s ninth chapter (Surat at-Tawba), which enjoins Muslims to make war against and subjugate Jews and Christians, declaring: “we are forced by the Qur’an, in Sura At-Tawba [its ninth chapter, ‘Repentance’], through many ayah [verses] in the Qur’an, we must fight them as they fight us.” He added: “I apologize that women had to witness this today but in our lands women have to see the same.”
“Them”? “Us”? “Our lands”? Abu Hamza’s parents were Nigerians who immigrated to England in the early 1980s. But he meant neither English nor Nigerian lands, of course; he converted to Islam around 2003, and that meant that in his mind he was no longer English, if he ever was. He understood his commitment to Islam to supersede everything else, demanding a loyalty above national allegiances and even ties of kith and kin. The Qur’an commands Muslims to “be good to parents” (17:22). However, this is only if they are Muslims, as the Qur’an also says: “O you who have believed, do not take your fathers or your brothers as allies if they have preferred disbelief over belief. And whoever does so among you, then it is those who are the wrongdoers” (9:23).
And so Mujaahid Abu Hamza committed murder on a street of the land where he grew up in defense of those he considered to be his only true kith and kin: Muslims worldwide.
Similarly, when Sergeant Hasan Akbar, an American engineer from the 101st Airborne Division, killed Captain Christopher Scott Seifert, Major Gregory Stone, and wounded fifteen others in a grenade and small-arms attack in northern Kuwait on March 22, 2003, he yelled: “You guys are coming into our countries, and you’re going to rape our women and kill our children.”
Our countries? Our women? Our children? Akbar was not Iraqi or Kuwaiti. He was an American, raised in Los Angeles. But when he became a Muslim, any allegiance he may have had to America was gone. Like Ased Abdur-Raheem and Mujaahid Abu Hamza, his allegiance lay solely with the umma, the global Muslim community.
This phenomenon warrants close scrutiny by government and law enforcement officials. And indeed, it would be carefully scrutinized if it were a secular political ideology that could turn Americans patriotic enough to join the National Guard and the U.S. Army into people who identify with the sworn enemies of our nation. But it is Islam, and so our government and law enforcement officials are unflaggingly dedicated to the proposition that to examine the reasons why people like Ased Abdur-Raheem, Hasan Akbar, and Mujaahid Abu Hamza turn against their countrymen and their homelands would be “Islamophobic.” Jihad plots in the West all too often involve converts to Islam, and yet government and law enforcement officials seem remarkably uninterested in discovering why so many converts misunderstand what we all must believe, on pain of charges of “Islamophobia,” is a Religion of Peace.
They ignore this question to their own detriment, and ours. No mosque in the U.S., Great Britain, or anywhere else in the West currently has any program in place to teach prospective and new converts to reject this understanding of Islam that the vast majority of Muslims in the West ostensibly reject. That this anomaly is wholly unnoticed and unremarked upon is one of the greatest failings of those who, in this increasingly perilous age, have the responsibility to protect us. They should be challenging Muslims in the West to affect genuine reform and do more than just pay lip service to their rejection of “terrorism.” They should be noting the contradiction between Muslim organizations’ words and deeds, and responding accordingly.
Instead, they are only ensuring that there will be many, many more Ased Abdur-Raheems.
 David Zucchino, “Suspect in attack reportedly made anti-US remarks,” Los Angeles Times, March 24, 2003.