The Trump administration recently released a list of terror attacks it said were unreported or underreported by the establishment media, and the parents of two of the victims of one of the listed attacks were enraged. Last August a Muslim named Smail Ayad, screaming “Allahu akbar,” stabbed two people to death in an Australian hostel. Not only was this not terrorism, we are supposed to believe, but President Trump is a terrible person for suggesting otherwise.
Rosie Ayliffe, the mother of 21-year-old victim Mia Ayliffe-Chung, wrote an open letter to Trump, declaring: “My daughter’s death will not be used to further this insane persecution of innocent people.” The Washington Post added helpfully that yes, “Smail Ayad had yelled ‘Allahu akbar’ during the attack,” but “he had also rambled incoherently, stabbed a dog and ‘was apparently infatuated with’ her daughter.”
In her open letter to President Trump, Ayliffe added: “I have spoken to friends of Mia’s and other backpackers who worked long days in the fields with Ayad, and none of them ever saw him put down a prayer mat. Salat or prayer is the second of five pillars of Islam, and calls for 5 daily rituals of ablution, prayer and prostration. An Islamic fundamentalist by definition must respect the five pillars of Islam. It would be very hard to imagine someone managing to perform this ritual five times a day in the close confines of Home Hill Hostel without witnesses….Any fool can shout Allahu Akbar as they commity [sic] a crime.”
Les Jackson, the father of the other victim, Tom Jackson, agreed, and excoriated Trump for not doing his homework: “I’m pretty sure he and his advisors know full well — or could very easily verify — that Tom and Mia died not as the result of an act of terror but rather through the actions of a disturbed individual. Of course, that doesn’t suit his agenda.”
Jackson added: “He said ‘Allahu akbar.’ It’s a bit like me saying I’m Jesus Christ.”
In reality, it is nothing whatsoever like saying, “I’m Jesus Christ.” “Allahu akbar” is often mistranslated in the Western media as “God is great.” But the actual meaning is “Allah is greater,” meaning Allah Is Greater Than Your God or Government. It is the aggressive declaration that Allah and Islam are dominant over every other form of government, religion, law or ethic, which is why Islamic jihadists in the midst of killing infidels so often shout it. One primary purpose of shouting is to “strike terror in the hearts of the enemies of Allah” (Qur’an 8:60). See my article in Breitbart about it here.
Nonetheless, according to the Townsville Bulletin, “Queensland Police, the Australian Federal Police and the Joint Counter Terrorism Unit … investigated any links between Ayad and radical organisations, and they did not find any evidence of radicalisation.”
This is an example of the prevailing denial and political correctness that hamstrings our approach to jihad terror. Ayad wasn’t carrying an ISIS membership card, and wasn’t going to mosque, and so therefore there was no “evidence of radicalisation,” and President Trump is both stupid and evil to classify these murders as jihad terror.
The problem here is that the paradigm that Ayliffe, Jackson, and even the Queensland Police, the Australian Federal Police and the Joint Counter Terrorism Unit are working from is false and erroneous. A Muslim who never goes to mosque, does not pray, and is not otherwise observant may be carrying around a rather large load of guilt. He may know that an easy way to offset all his evil deeds is to perform an act of jihad, as the Qur’an guarantees Paradise to those who “kill and are killed” for Allah (9:111).
So in this case, Smail Ayad may indeed have been a bit unbalanced, and unhealthily fixated on Mia Ayliffe-Chung, and troubled by that or any number of other things, and conceived of an easy way to get back into Allah’s good graces: kill her and Tom Jackson. That he stabbed a dog would even be in keeping with this, as Muhammad ordered that dogs be killed: “It was narrated that Abdullah bin Umar said: ‘The Messenger of Allah used to order that dogs be killed, and I went throughout Al-Madinah, and we did not spare any dog but we killed it, to such an extent that we would even kill the dog of a woman belonging to the desert people.‘” (Sahih Muslim 4018)
All this doesn’t make Ayad’s murders acts of terrorism akin to 9⁄11 or Fort Hood or San Bernardino. He probably didn’t think of himself as acting to advance the cause of the Muslim umma, or as an operative of al-Qaeda or the Islamic State. But authorities aren’t even aware of the possibility of killing as an act of personal expiation within Islam. They should be. Trump is not to blame here. The faulty and partial understanding of Islam universally accepted by government, law enforcement, and the establishment media is.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Iran. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.