The facts of the case are nothing short of gruesome: Seattle’s KING 5 reported Wednesday that “Tyrone Bernard Wells Jr. was charged with first-degree murder in King County Superior Court on Wednesday after a woman was found ‘brutally murdered’ at his Shoreline home. Prosecutors requested Wells’ bail be set at $5 million to reflect the ‘extreme danger’ he poses to the community if he was released from jail, according to charging documents.” Wells himself explained that he committed this brutal murder after reading the Qur’an, which gave him the idea that he should kill his victim. Since Americans have been thoroughly indoctrinated by this point, there is no indication that anyone connected with the case has even for a second entertained the idea that maybe there is something about this Qur’an that incites violence.
Wells himself alerted police to his crime, calling 911 after the deed was done and saying he wanted to “report a murder.” He told dispatchers that “the murder was on my account…I murdered her,” and explained that “he used a hatchet and a pair of bolt cutters to kill the woman.”
When police arrived, Wells was waiting for them, his clothes smeared with blood. Inside his apartment was an “extremely bloody” scene, and a dead woman, Randee Leeann Rios, with “major trauma about the head.” Wells’ hatchet and bolt cutters were near the body.
Wells “told police he used methamphetamine and had been awake ‘since Wednesday.’ The last time he reported using meth was the day before the murder, on Saturday, March 26. That night, Wells invited Rios to come to his apartment to stay the night. Wells told police he had the ‘premeditation’ to kill her at the time he invited her over.” This “premeditation” took a form that hasn’t often been seen in the United States up to now.
Wells explained that “he had been reading the Quran before Rios came over and told police ‘that verses in the Quran seemed to indicate to him that it would be necessary for him to kill Rios.’” For some reason, Wells thought this detail could be taken as exonerating or extenuating, as he “later told police, ‘For the record… I’m not trying to throw that religion thing in there as a defense.’” Noted.
Now, Wells must be mentally ill, right? After all, how could anyone read the Qur’an and get the idea to commit an act of unimaginable violence? Could it be, on the other hand, that Wells happened upon the passages that direct believers to “kill them wherever you find them,” (2:191, 4:89) or to “kill the idolaters wherever you find them” (9:5), or to “strike the necks” of the unbelievers (47:4), or above all, to beat women “from whom you fear disobedience” (4:34)?
No one, left or right, in the American public square today wants to admit it, but the unpleasant fact is that there are plenty of passages in the Qur’an that Tyrone Bernard Wells Jr. could have read in a manner that led him believe that he should kill Randee Leeann Rios. This is also true internationally Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said in February that “the West conveniently associated Islam with terrorism but in the last 20 years, Muslim countries unfortunately, did not respond to this narrative. Muslim leaders should have stood up to the West and made it clear that there is no link between Islam, or any other religion, with terrorism.” See? The reason why anyone thinks “Islamic terrorism” is a reality, as opposed to the genuine threat of “right-wing extremism,” is because of the ever-dastardly non-Muslim West. And really, who else’s fault could it be?
Back in the real world, however, it is false to claim that the West associated Islam with terrorism. The terrorists themselves did that. Take 9/11, which is just one of innumerable possible examples. In March 2009, the masterminds of the 9/11 plot, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi bin As-Shibh, Walid bin ‘Attash, Mustafa Ahmed AI-Hawsawi, and ‘Ali ‘abd Al-’Aziz ‘Ali – styling themselves as the “9/11 Shura Council” –wrote a lengthy communiqué titled “The Islamic Response to the Government’s Nine Accusations.”
In it, they wrote: “Many thanks to God, for his kind gesture, and choosing us to perform the act of Jihad for his cause and to defend Islam and Muslims. Therefore, killing you and fighting you, destroying you and terrorizing you, responding back to your attacks, are all considered to be great legitimate duty in our religion….We ask to be near to God, we fight you and destroy you and terrorize you. The Jihad in god’s [sic] cause is a great duty in our religion.” They quoted numerous Qur’an verses, including one stating that “to those against whom war is waged, permission is given (to fight,) because they are wronged and verily, Allah is most powerful for their aid” (22:39), and another commanding Muslims to “fight in the way of Allah those who fight you, but be not the transgressor, Allah likes not the transgressors” (2:190). They even quoted the notorious “Verse of the Sword”: “Then fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, and besiege them and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush” (9:5).
To cinch their case, they used two verses enjoining Muslims to strike terror into the hearts of their foes: “Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, for that they joined companies with Allah, for which he has sent no authority; There [sic] place will be the fire; and evil is the home of the wrongdoers” (3:151); and “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into the heart of the enemies of Allah and your enemies” (8:60).
There are innumerable other examples, and 40,000 jihad attacks worldwide since 9/11. The devil can quote Scripture for his own purpose, but it is clear that there are all too many Muslims today who see the Qur’an’s exhortation to violence and more as valid for our time. The jihad passages in the Qur’an are anything but a dead letter. Tyrone Bernard Wells Jr. just reminded us of that.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.