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Individual jihad

Posted by Richard on February 16, 2007

The other day, I said that the Salt Lake City shooter, Sulejman Talovic, was a Muslim, but that if there was evidence of a religio-political motive, it probably wouldn’t get reported. Robert Spencer has a new article at FrontPageMag.com that addresses this issue.

Spencer described four "random acts of violence" with multiple victims committed by young Muslim men in the past year — one was a shooter, and the other three used vehicles as weapons. According to officials, all four were just disturbed individuals acting alone, and they "had nothing to do with terrorism." That may be true, said Spencer, but another possibility ought to be considered (emphasis added):

None of these were terrorist attacks in the sense that they were planned and executed by al-Qaeda agents. And it is possible that all of them were products of nothing more ideologically significant than a disturbed mental state, although it is at least noteworthy that each attacker explained his actions in terms of Islamic terrorism. As such attacks grow in number, it would behoove authorities at very least to consider the possibility that these attacks were inspired by the jihadist ideology of Islamic supremacism, and to step up pressure on American Muslim advocacy groups to renounce that ideology definitively and begin extensive programs to teach against it in American Islamic schools and mosques.

In October 2006, a pro-jihad internet site published a “Guide for Individual Jihad,” explaining to jihadists “how to fight alone.” It recommended, among other things, assassination with guns and running people over. Is it possible that Sulejmen Talovic and some of these others were waging this jihad of one? It is indeed, but with law enforcement officials trained only to look for signs of membership in al-Qaeda or other jihad groups, and to discount terrorism as a factor if those signs aren’t there, it is a possibility that investigators will continue to overlook.

This is speculative, as Spencer himself said, but if a radical Islamist web site is promoting the idea of "individual jihad," isn’t it reasonable to suppose that some of its followers might act on that?

Pressuring American Muslim groups to renounce the "jihadist ideology of Islamic supremacism" and begin teaching against it in schools and mosques sounds like a very good idea. But it also sounds like a pipe dream. At this point, it would be a major step forward if we could get the majority of Islamic schools and mosques to give up their Saudi-provided Wahhabi texts and stop teaching that ideology.
 

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