[Make sure to read Robert Spencer’s contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]
On Thursday afternoon, the day before the beginning of Hanukkah, a man named Mufid Fawaz Alkhader went to a synagogue, Temple Israel in Albany, N.Y. He was carrying a shotgun and fired two shots. According to police who went to the scene, he screamed “Free Palestine.” The FBI is now hard at work, trying to figure out his motive. No kidding.
NBC News reported Thursday that according to an FBI spokesperson, Sarah Ruane, Alkhader was “arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.” Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins added, “We were told by responding officers that he made a comment, ‘Free Palestine.’” Alkhader tried to flee the scene, but someone else, unnamed in the report, who had been in the synagogue parking lot at the time stopped him. Hawkins explained that “the suspect at that point made some statement to this person who was in the vehicle to the effect of he feels that he’s being victimized.”
Of course! Alkhader sure knows how the game is played these days: carry out a gratuitous, unprovoked act of aggression and then claim victimhood status. After all, who are the left’s heroes today? The “marginalized.” The “excluded.” So what better way to bid to become a hero among increasingly antisemitic leftists today than by claiming to be an outcast? Moral inversion is the name of the game. Fire random shots outside a synagogue, and then claim it’s someone else’s fault, and people will actually believe you.
Hawkins “said the incident is being investigated as a hate crime, but it wasn’t clear what charges could be filed. They could include federal charges.” But the intrepid FBI is not sure why this happened at all; it “said in a statement that it was investigating the incident along with local, state, and federal agencies.” The statement added, “Our office immediately deployed multiple resources and will continue to work in concert with our law enforcement partners, to include the United States Attorney’s Office, to work through the facts and determine any potential motives.”
Yeah, Alkhader’s motive is tough to figure out. He has a common Muslim name, he screamed “Free Palestine,” and he chose to go to a synagogue and start firing a shotgun. What could possibly have motivated such behavior? Could he share the general rage at Israel for defending itself after Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre of 1,200 Israelis? Ever cautious, ever careful, the FBI is not jumping to any conclusions! Why, he could have been watching his weight and enraged by the suspected presence of doughnuts inside the building! Why would you leap to the idea that he was some kind of Islamic jihad terrorist, you Islamophobe?
Consider, on the other hand, an alternate scenario: imagine that a white American non-Muslim named John Smith carried a shotgun to the parking lot of a mosque, where he fired off two shots and screamed “This is MAGA country!” Do you think that the FBI would have issued a statement saying that they were going to “work through the facts and determine any potential motives”? As Old Joe Biden would say, Come on, man! John Smith would be looking at hard time and maybe even at never breathing free air again, and the establishment media would be inundating us with dark warnings about the Trump-incited “white supremacist threat.”
For years now, FBI top dog Christopher Wray has been claiming that “white supremacists” constituted the nation’s chief terror threat. It has now been twelve years since the federal government removed all mention of Islam and jihad from government counterterror materials and gave us instead the Countering Violent Extremism program, which ignores jihad violence and focuses on a largely imaginary “right-wing extremism” — you know, angry parents at school board meetings and folks strolling around the Capitol snapping selfies on Jan. 6, 2021, after the police opened the doors for them.
After twelve years of downplaying and outright denying the reality of Islamic jihad violence, the FBI is finding it difficult to turn on a dime and admit that there is jihad after all and that some Muslims today are so angry that Israel is defending itself against Hamas that they would do violence against Jews in the United States, or at least move to terrorize them, as per the Qur’an’s command to “strike terror in the enemies of Allah” (8:60). The FBI’s refusal to acknowledge the obvious in the case of Mufid Fawaz Alkhader is just a symptom of a much larger problem. Nor is the FBI now through with its denial and willful ignorance.