Andrew MacLeod is a “visiting Professor at Kings College London and a former UN and Red Cross official who served in countries like Rwanda, Yugoslavia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and others.” What sloppy writing. What countries are like Rwanda, Yugoslavia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan? “He has negotiated with warlords and terrorists.” Is that something to be proud of? In the UK Independent Tuesday, he explains that a Muslim who screams “Allahu akbar” and kills people may not be a terrorist, but just a lonely publicity-seeker committing the Muslim equivalent of “suicide by cop.”
And the never-ending mainstream media quest to exonerate Islam of all responsibility for the crimes committed in its name and in accord with its teachings grows even more absurd than it already was.
MacLeod’s evidence? He says that Smail Ayad, the Australia jihadi who murdered two non-Muslims, Mia Ayliffe-Chung and Tom Jackson, as well as “the Orlando murderer, the Sydney siege murderer,” and “the Nice murderer,” all “did not appear to be part of organised groups. We know none of the Nice, Sydney and Orlando killers had a deep religious history. All three rarely prayed in mosques. They drank, had sex out of marriage, failed to fast in Ramadan. None was a ‘devout Muslim’, according to anecdotal evidence from people who claimed to have known them.”
What MacLeod fails to take into account in this analysis is that they may have been trying to make up for all that sinful activity by doing a great good deed. A hadith has a Muslim asking Muhammad: “Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward).” Muhammad replied, “I do not find such a deed.” (Bukhari 4.52.44) The Qur’an teaches that Allah will place a Muslim’s good deeds on one scale and bad deeds on the other, and send them to Paradise or hell depending on which scale weighs more (cf. 21:47). A Muslim who is worried about his eternal destiny can decisively tip the scales in his favor by waging jihad, the deed that is greater than all others. He can seize the Qur’an’s promise of Paradise for those who “kill and are killed” for Allah (9:111).
In light of that, it is wrong to assume that Muslims who were not devout and then kill while screaming “Allahu akbar” have no jihadi motive. Also, the Islamic State and al-Qaeda have repeatedly called upon Muslim individuals in the West to engage in random attacks. That means that a Muslim who has no ties to any jihad groups could still be heeding their call. MacLeod appears to assume that if a Muslim killer is not a verifiable member of al-Qaeda, ISIS, or some other jihad group, then he isn’t waging jihad. On what basis does he assume that an individual Muslim cannot undertake this endeavor? He doesn’t bother to explain that.
What really needs investigating in light of the murders of Mia Ayliffe-Chung and Tom Jackson is the psychic landscape that Islam provides for a Muslim such as their killer, Smail Ayad. Ayad may indeed have been non-devout and not interested in jihad or Islam in general. But at a moment of distress, at a time of upset and upheaval in his life, he was only able to provide a context for his anger and hatred in Islam and its call for warfare against unbelievers — hence even if his motive was being rejected by Mia Ayliffe-Chung, he screamed “Allahu akbar” and didn’t kill Mia only, but Jackson as well, and attacked police also: his rage at her became a generalized jihad against the Infidels all around him.
That is a scenario worth studying, as it could happen again, anytime, anywhere. But the willfully ignorant and politically correct such as MacLeod and the Independent will never venture into such territory.
The Independent says that MacLeod “can be followed on Twitter @Why_slow_down,” but he seems to have deleted that account. I wonder why. Did he have an inkling that he would be called out on his shoddy reasoning and attempt to keep non-Muslims complacent in the face of the advancing jihad?