It is insufficiently understood how much Leftist willful ignorance regarding the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat deform our response to it; a recent incident in Australia shows yet again how dangerous this denial really is. The Age reported Thursday that a man named Mohammad Ibrahim “stabbed four people, killing two, in random, ‘senseless’ attacks across the city’s inner-east.” But there’s nothing whatsoever to be concerned about: “Assistant Commissioner Glenn Weir said there was ‘zero evidence’ to suggest the attacks were terrorism related. Ibrahim had no criminal history and was estranged from the mother of his child.”
It may be that these attacks were not terrorism related. But the fact that Ibrahim had no criminal history establishes nothing. There was a point in every jihad terrorist’s life when he had no criminal history.
Likewise, the fact that Ibrahim was estranged from the mother of his child also establishes nothing about whether or not his attacks were terrorism related. Many men are estranged from the mothers of their children and yet do not go on stabbing sprees of random people. Some men also are jihad terrorists and are simultaneously estranged from the mothers of their children.
The perspicacious Commissioner Weir continued: “There’s nothing to indicate at this early stage that this is anything other than a random act of senseless violence.”
Maybe there isn’t. But the Islamic State issued this call in September 2014: “So O muwahhid, do not let this battle pass you by wherever you may be. You must strike the soldiers, patrons, and troops of the tawaghit. Strike their police, security, and intelligence members, as well as their treacherous agents. Destroy their beds. Embitter their lives for them and busy them with themselves. If you can kill a disbelieving American or European — especially the spiteful and filthy French — or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be….If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.”
Now Commissioner Weir may be right: that call or something like may not have had anything to do with Ibrahim’s actions. But what if it did? In that case, how would what he did look any different from a “random act of senseless violence”? If his stabbings of random people were an act of jihad, as we have seen so very many times before, Ibrahim wouldn’t be carrying an ISIS membership card. He need not have had contact with any ISIS members to have heard about that call and decided to heed it.
The Age added: “Police revealed Ibrahim spoke to them in 2018 about his concerns that IS operatives from Mildura were out to kill him. He wasn’t taken in for an assessment at the time but was flagged on the police system as potentially having a mental health issue.”
Maybe Mohammad Ibrahim does have a mental health issue. But the fact that he thought that the Islamic State was out to get him does not in itself prove that he is some “moderate” who would never undertake violent jihad himself. And no one ever seems to ponder why it is that so many Muslims with mental health issues somehow get the idea that stabbing random non-Muslims on the street is the thing to do. To consider such a question, of course, would be “Islamophobic” on its face, and “Islamophobia” is the one vice that law enforcement and intelligence officials are determined to avoid at all costs.
Has the whole world lost the ability to think clearly? Will this incident be investigated properly, with examination of all contingencies? Almost certainly not. Today’s political and cultural climate, not just in Australia but all over what has up until recently been known as the “free world,” makes that virtually impossible.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 19 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 The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.