On Friday the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle was viciously attacked by the terror of madman Naveed Afzal Haq. Haq is apparently a 30 year old “Muslim American” who was reportedly a ‘loner’ and ‘mentally ill.’ At 4 P.M. on July 28th, he stormed into the offices of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and reportedly announced that he was a “Muslim American” and that he “was angry with Israel.” He began shooting indiscriminately at the 18 employees in the office murdering one and critically injuring five.
The entire Seattle interfaith community must be horrified after witnessing Friday’s barbaric hate crimes perpetrated upon the Jewish community of Seattle. One can only pray for their strength as they recover. When one faith is attacked with a hate crime every one of us is affected.
Can this all simply be dismissed as the actions of a lone crazed gunman? Is the fact that he was Muslim a footnote or actually a symptom of a more systemic illness– islamism? What inspired his hate? Is his inspiration only the truly fanatic or do the likes of Naveen Haq find something from within the ideology of mainstream Islamism which lights their spark?
In the rest of the country, we can only sit and pray that such horror never happen again. But, recent history argues otherwise. It’s a matter of time. We can no longer waste any time. It is long overdue that we go beyond the ‘politically correct’ dismissals of these so-called isolated episodes of ‘rage’. These individuals may not be connected in the conscious realm but there is a subconscious realm of Islamism which is ignored. It is time to seriously evaluate the signs, symptoms, and pathological origin of each incident (each moderate turned fanatic). Make a diagnosis. And then institute a treatment.
Recall, on July 4, 2002, Mr. Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, a crazed Egyptian-American immigrant Muslim, opened fire at the ticketing counter of El Al Airlines at Los Angeles International airport murdering two and wounding four before being shot down. In March of this year, Mohammed Reza Taheri-Azar, terrorized the campus of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill driving his vehicle into nine pedestrians all of whom fortunately survived. Before their rampages each had blamed the U.S. and the west for ‘killing Muslims’ so they responded with rage.
At the end of the day, there is little difference in the motivation, the means, or the ends of groups like Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbullah, or any of these ‘crazed’ individuals. Thus, it is the intangible, their spiritual subconscious we must combat. Muslims turned crazed Islamofascists strike out at America, Jews, or any of a list of other groups because of their ideology and their anti-social mindset. We cannot ignore their common ideological progenitor- Islamism. We naively dismiss the common psychological features of these psychopaths to our own peril. Each individual is uniquely ill, but their lethal inspiration is the same.
The dust should not settle on this shooting in Seattle without harnessing our resources to address what exactly was the specific ideological stimuli which lit this man’s psychopathic match. We certainly cannot attempt to predict or prevent psychopathology. The point is rather to determine what information or ideas led to his combustion and defeat it.
There should be no holds bar in looking under every stone in order to learn what exactly drove the mind of Naveen Haq in the weeks and months leading to his rage. Investigators should reveal all in shedding light upon the specifics of the ideologies which finally drove Haq to the breaking point. It is of great interest for us to know what websites, books, publications and ideologies sparked his mind and his subconscious. We are each a product of what we absorb and each individual can respond to the same hate differently depending upon their guiding moral compass. If we can begin to understand what ideologies drive these few Muslims toward terror, we can begin to unravel and defeat the very soul of our enemy abroad and domestically.
Defeat the ideology and these radical outbursts will disappear.
As some Muslim organizations rushed yesterday to condemn the shootings, in “the strongest possible terms”, such condemnations seem to be misplaced and just more misdirected energy. If these organizations had active concerted anti-Islamist campaigns to deconstruct the supremacist Islamist ideology which feeds these individuals, they would shed the sense of need to ever make bizarre pronouncements of condemnations which should go without saying. The problem they find themselves in is that many sane Muslims as part of radical political movements from Bin Laden to Zawahiri to Nasrallah to Ahmednidijad say and do the same type of violence.
My coreligionists along with conventional wisdom need to finally begin working toward defeating Islamism as an ideology, or these series will sadly continue.
Within the widely prevalent ideology of Islamism (in its most radical form-Islamofascism) is a utopian, intolerant, anti-Semitic, anti-Western, theocratic exclusivity. This is the clinical progenitor of the primary malignant tumor cell of all that is islamofascism whether in the individual or the community. These cells can divide and produce many different cancers-some more malignant than others.
One type of Islamist malignant cancer cell plants itself in the community of Muslims in their religion, politics and government mixing all as one and suffocating the individual and their own faith. It manifests in the community consciousness of the regimes and movements of the likes of Iran, Hamas, Al Qaeda, and Hezbullah and other radical or fundamentalist Islamist movements.
Another very similar malignant cancer cell type plants itself in the accepting pathological minds of individuals like Haq and manifests itself in the final actions of these individuals and their own subconscious derangement. Both the communal malignancy and the individual malignancy are similar drives toward domination of society which is threatened by the west, threatened by religious freedom and liberty, and threatened by our anti-theocratic ideology.
Only Muslims can acknowledge the role of Islamism in sparking this violence. Only Muslims can place the inebriating nature of this ideology outside of Islam and thus outside our consciousness. Even a moderated Islamism may be less violent but it is still intoxicating to the weak accepting mind in its all-encompassing form. The growing list of radical violent outbursts from selected Muslim individuals and terror organizations makes the case for the fact that Islamism is actually a malignancy and could never be moderated since it is a failed ideology at its core.
Islamists would argue that they cannot be held responsible for preventing the actions of a deranged few within their midst. Is this reply much different from a family or our society arguing that it bears no responsibility for the deaths caused by a drunk-driver. Law enforcement does have an impact, but there is no greater prevention than the treatment of alcoholism. Similarly, Islamism needs to be defeated. For, when infused into a consciousness it can lead to this type of spontaneous violence in the name of religion.
The American Muslim community needs to take the first of its twelve steps and acknowledge that Islamism may be the spark within the community which keeps setting localities ablaze. As we learn and expose where Islamism directly conflicts with Americanism we will cross each step towards a treatment and a sorely needed cure against the malignant manifestations of radical Islamism.
Rather than waste time condemning acts which any sane human being would find unconscionable, sane Muslim Americans need to dismantle the ideology which fuels the minds that commit these acts. That is the least we can do to honor the memory of those who lose their lives or are injured in these heinous hate crimes.