Gulchekhra Bobokulova horrified the world Monday when she went to a Moscow metro station with the severed head of four-year-old Nastya Meshcheryakova, whom she served as a nanny, and began waving the poor girl’s head around while screaming “Allahu akbar.” Once Russian police got around to arresting her (she brandished the head and raved for fully twenty minutes), she was immediately subjected to multiple psychiatric evaluations; however, her own explanation for why she did it was simple: “It was what Allah ordered.”
And he did. The Qur’an says: “When you meet the unbelievers, strike the necks” (47:4). It doesn’t exempt nannies from this command, or exclude four-year-old girls from the pool of unbelievers who should be beheaded. It just says, “When you meet the unbelievers, strike the necks” – no ifs, ands or buts. That’s what the Qur’an says, and that’s what Gulchekhra Bobokulova did.
At this point, of course, the John Espositos and Karen Armstrongs and Reza Aslans of the world would recoil in horror – a horror even greater than they might have felt when they saw the video of the hijabbed Gulchekhra with Nastya’s severed head and knew that here was yet another PR disaster for the religion whose image they’re forever trying to burnish. That passage of the Qur’an, they would insist (if they deigned to engage their opponents in rational discussion and debate, which they do not, and do not need to, since they have total control of academia and the mainstream media), does not mean that individual Muslims should just go around lopping off the heads of infidels, especially infidels who are four-year-old girls. In the first place, they would say, it refers only to unbelievers one meets in battle, and Gulchekhra Bobokulova is not a Muslim warrior engaged in a war against non-Muslim forces, and Nastya Meshcheryakova was likewise not a combatant in any such war.
It’s true: that beheading the unbelievers is an action limited to the battlefield is a common interpretation of that passage among Muslims. The popular English Qur’an translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali renders the passage thusly: “Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks.” Another, by Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, has it “Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks.” And so Gulchekhra Bobokulova is just another of the multitudes of Muslims who misunderstand their religion, no?
No. Police are searching for a boyfriend of Bobokulova who has links to the Islamic State. The Islamic State certainly considers itself to be at war with the non-Muslim world, and has repeatedly called upon Muslims in non-Muslim countries to murder non-Muslims in lone wolf attacks. In September 2014, the Islamic State issued a lengthy call to Muslims to murder non-Muslim civilians; it included this: “Will you leave the disbeliever to sleep safely at home while the Muslim women and children shiver with fear of the roars of the crusader airplanes above their heads day and night?” The claim that the “crusaders” are victimizing children is significant in light of this Qur’an verse: “So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you” (2:194). Thus if the “crusaders” are killing Muslim children, then Muslims must kill “crusader” children. Could Gulchekhra Bobokulova’s Islamic State boyfriend have exhorted her to kill the child in her care in revenge for the children allegedly killed in Russian airstrikes against the Islamic State?
The possibility should not be dismissed out of hand, although it will be. In court Wednesday, Bobokulova was asked if would ask Nastya’s parents to forgive her. Holding up one finger, the sign of allegiance to the Islamic State, she replied: “I will ask nobody. Only Allah.” When asked, “What did Allah order you to do?,” she answered, “To kill.” Nonetheless, the Telegraph reported that “no clear motive has been established.”
Of course. Jihad is never a motive. Even when the jihadi confesses to being a jihadi and killing on orders from Allah, Western officials and journalists, certain that violence against unbelievers has nothing to do with the Religion of Peace, will discount what is said and ascribe the behavior to mental illness, climate change, whatever sounds remotely plausible enough to keep the masses complacent, ignorant, and not interested in asking questions.
It is they who in fact are mentally ill, insofar as mental illness means an inability or unwillingness to accept reality and deal with other people on the basis of it. The beheading of Nastya Meshcheryakova by the Allahu-akbaring Gulchekhra Bobokulova, and the subsequent search for a motive, indicates anew just how severely mental illness currently afflicts the political and media elites all over the non-Muslim world. We can only hope these elites recover their sanity, or are swept out of all positions of power and influence, before their affliction kills us all.