[Editor’s note: Make sure to read Robert Spencer’s masterpiece contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]
It has now been well over a week since a Syrian migrant named Mohamad Barakat opened fire on police at the scene of a traffic accident in Fargo, N.D., killing one and wounding two others, and investigators profess to be baffled as to why he would have done such a thing. Meanwhile, the information they have disclosed, which isn’t all that much, is oblique and contradictory, and the local Muslim community has added to the confusion with a decidedly mixed signal. At this rate, we may never find out what really happened in Fargo, and the questions and oddities keep multiplying.
One element of this curious incident that seems certain is that Barakat was planning to murder many more people than just one cop. The Star Tribune reported Friday that according to “North Dakota law enforcement officials,” Barakat “searched online for area public events along with the terms ‘kill fast’ and ‘mass shooting events’ before he ambushed police with nearly 40 rounds of gunfire.”
Barakat’s “final search at 10:30 the night before the shooting was ‘thousands enjoy first day of downtown Fargo street fair.’” The Downtown Fargo Street Fair did indeed begin the day before Barakat’s attack. What’s more, he had “1,800 rounds, multiple guns, and a homemade hand grenade” in his car, “along with gasoline containers and two propane tanks filled with explosive materials built in his home.”
But why did Barakat want to carry out a “mass shooting event”? The Star Tribune says that “the motive for his actions remains unclear.” Mac Schneider, U.S. attorney for the district of North Dakota, said this past Friday that “if there was clear evidence of motive we would share it.” North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley added that “the shooting was not motivated by religious beliefs.”
Maybe not, but there is an extremely odd detail in the Star Tribune report: “Wrigley said a federal ‘guardian report’ was made some years back” about Barakat, “but it was not about a threat of violence. Schneider described a Guardian report as a way for the public to ‘engage local law enforcement.’”
That’s not exactly a full or honest description of what a Guardian report really is. As Twitter user ThunderB, who has been following this case closely and has an abundance of useful information on his or her Twitter page, points out, the Guardian system is officially “The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Terrorist Threat and Suspicious Incident Tracking System.” In this context, a “suspicious incident” is clearly terror-related: “Shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks, three FBI field offices began using an application called the Terrorist Activity Reporting System to track and monitor terrorist threats and suspicious incidents.”
What was in the Guardian report about Mohamad Barakat? Why isn’t the report being revealed now? Would it reveal that officials have been lying about his not being on their radar, and demonstrate their failure to stop yet another jihadi as they intensify their hunt for “right-wing extremists,” that is, their efforts to stigmatize and criminalize legitimate political dissent?
Meanwhile, Fargo’s InForum reported Thursday that “a family member’s request made to local mosque leaders to handle Barakat’s funeral arrangements has been refused, said Sajid Ghauri, an adviser to the Moorhead mosque, known as the Moorhead Fargo Islamic Center.” Ghauri explained: “We have no clue whether he was even Muslim because his action doesn’t show that. So with that being said…we refused to do a funeral or burial in this area. Even if he’s a member, he can’t mess with our community like that.”
That’s super, but the fact that the Muslims in Fargo refused to bury Mohamad Barakat is not the unalloyed good news that it likely appears to be to those who deplore “Islamophobia.” The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) was similarly celebrated and gained worldwide headlines — and praise — for its announcement in 2017 that 130 imams in the United Kingdom were refusing to perform funeral prayers for the London jihad mass murderers.
Now, maybe both the Fargo Muslims and the MCB had the best of intentions, but the fact is that the prophet of Islam, Muhammad himself, is depicted in hadiths as forbidding funeral prayers for martyrs. Islamic law forbids such prayers as well. Withholding funeral prayers is actually an honor that is reserved for those who die while committing jihad. In one hadith, Muhammad ordered two martyrs to be “buried with their blood (on their bodies). Neither was the funeral prayer offered for them, nor were they washed.” One of the martyrs’ sons recalled: “When my father was martyred, I started weeping and uncovering his face. The companions of the Prophet stopped me from doing so but the Prophet did not stop me. Then the Prophet said, ‘(O Jabir), don’t weep over him, for the angels kept on covering him with their wings till his body was carried away (for burial)’” (Bukhari 5.59.406).
The Qur’an says that those who have been killed while fighting for Allah are not dead, but alive: “Do not think of those who are killed in the way of Allah as dead. No, they are living. With their Lord they have provision.” (3:169)
Based on the hadith in which Muhammad orders the bodies of the martyrs not to be washed and funeral prayers not to be said over them, as well as others like it, Islamic law states that it is “unlawful to wash the body of a martyr… or perform the funeral prayer over him… [A] martyr (shahid) means someone who died in battle with non-Muslims.” (Reliance of the Traveller, G4.20)
Meanwhile, the Muslims at the local mosque say they never saw Barakat, and nobody knows him. This may be true, but we have seen deception from mosques that jihadis attended before. After a Muslim who supported the Islamic State shot a police officer in Philadelphia, the local mosque leaders initially denied knowing him, but then it turned out they were lying, and the jihadi attended the mosque frequently. The same thing happened after jihadis attacked our free speech event in Garland, Texas; the mosque they attended in Phoenix denied knowing them, but it turned out they were regular members.
Also, the fact that Barakat didn’t frequent the local mosque, if true, establishes precisely nothing.
The Express reported in January 2016 that an Islamic State manual, “Safety and Security Guidelines for Lone Wolf Mujahideen,” told jihadis: “You should make sure to not look particularly attached to religion. A man who works on a secret operation should meddle [sic] in the general population. If you can avoid having a beard, wearing qamis, using miswak, and having a booklet of dhikr with you, it’s better. Also. you shouldn’t be going too often to places like mosques, Islamic institutes or Islamic libraries. You should also wear western-style clothes as to appear neutral and not draw attention to yourself.”
Was Mohamad Barakat engaged in that kind of deceptive operation? Maybe, maybe not. But is the clueless and corrupt FBI even pursuing that as a possibility to be investigated and looking into the many other oddities of this case, or would that be “Islamophobic”?