‘Diversity’ and ‘Inclusion’ Come Back to Bite a Minnesota University

(Ramsey County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

In yet another of the seemingly endless string of jihad attacks and plots in the United States that the media almost universally ignores, Tnuza Jamal Hassan pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal terrorism charges. Back in January 2018, the winsome Ms. Hassan set a series of fires on the campus of St. Catherine University in Minnesota, after exhorting Muslim students to “join the jihad in fighting” and join jihad terror groups such as al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or al-Shabaab. Students at St. Catherine University were shocked: but their school is “diverse!” How could this possibly have happened to them?


Hassan herself gave numerous indications that she was a hardened, convinced jihad terrorist. She said that she had set the fires in revenge for supposed American atrocities on “Muslim land.” She wrote a letter to her roommates that police said contained “radical ideas about supporting Muslims and bringing back the caliphate.” She told investigators that “she wanted the school to burn to the ground and her intent was to hurt people.” There was a daycare center in one of the buildings where Hassan set fires; eight adults and 33 children were there at the time.

One student said: “I never expected it. She was a first-year student, too, and that is especially scary.” Why would a first-year student setting a series of fires around campus be scarier than a third-year student setting them? The student did not explain, but if St. Catherine University is as much of a far-left indoctrination center as other universities and colleges are today, maybe the explanation is self-evident: by the third year, students are fully indoctrinated in hatred and violence.

Another student added: “I definitely never thought that would happen. St. Kate’s is one of the most inclusive, diverse welcoming schools you can think of.” And a third: “We take pride in the safety of our school, so this was very surprising and we have a very diverse school that welcomes everyone. And to have this happen is not really expected.”


These students seem to assume that jihad terror attacks happen because Muslims find themselves in environments that are not “welcoming” and “diverse.” St. Kate’s was welcoming, inclusive, and diverse, so Tnuza Jamal Hassan should have been happy as a clam, and never thought of turning to jihad, right?

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This is probably an idea that these students learned from their professors at St. Kate’s. The prevailing view among leftist professors (as well as the foreign policy establishment in Washington) is that jihad violence is the result of the evil deeds of non-Muslim countries, particularly the United States, and non-Muslim individuals who display “racism” and “Islamophobia” toward Muslims. It is a staple of jihadist discourse to retail the supposed atrocities of the U.S. military overseas, as if they were the cause of all the trouble – even Tnuza Hassan did that in her explanations for her fires. This kind of thing leads American leftists and establishment conservatives to think that if we just adopted a more jihad-compliant foreign policy (such as Obama’s scheme of backing the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Arab Spring”), all will be well. And after every supposedly “lone wolf” jihad attack or foiled plot in the U.S., the establishment media publishes weepy stories about how unkind non-Muslims were to the poor jihadi.


Thus the onus is all on the infidels, and it is their responsibility, not the Muslim community’s or anyone else’s, to stop jihad terror attacks from occurring. If jihad attacks happen anyway, it is because they were not “welcoming” and “diverse” enough. Thus the puzzlement of the St. Kate students: their campus is so diverse, it should have been jihad-proof!

The idea that Muslims might stage jihad massacres for reasons of their own, stemming from Islamic texts and teachings — why, even to entertain that as a possibility would be “Islamophobic.” On campuses today, that possibility cannot even be considered, and you’re a racist, bigoted hatemonger even for thinking it. Don’t you realize, at this late date, that everything, everything, is the fault of the United States and the world’s worst people, white Americans? Look what they made that poor lamb, Tnuza Jamal Hassan, do!

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

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