In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
It goes without saying that those who seek to smear Islam and Muslims point to the recent heinous murder of Jewish-American sisters in Seattle as just another example of the “Jihad coming to America.” Indeed, Naveed Haq did proclaim that he was an “American Muslim” before he started shooting up the Jewish Federation office, a crime which I condemned unequivocally.
Ever since that time, the Muslim community in Seattle has reached out to the Jewish community in peace, to stand in solidarity against this act of barbarity. I commend such actions, and I am there with them in spirit.
Yet, something interesting was reported in the media, and I thought it was important to share with everyone else. It turns out that Naveed Haq was baptized as a Christian last year. According to a report in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
Haq was frustrated at his lack of friends and female companionship. He told friends he felt alienated from his own family, in part because his career had disappointed his father and also because he had disavowed Islam last year, converting to Christianity.
Haq had begun studying the Bible, attending weekly men’s spiritual group meetings, only to stop coming a few months after his baptism.
He had told the group’s leader that he seen too much anger in Islam and that he wanted to find a new beginning in Christianity. [emphasis added]
Yet, he declared himself to be an “angry Muslim” when he went on his shooting rampage. What does this mean? Is this further evidence that he was truly a disturbed individual and not a jihadist foot-soldier? (that’s my guess)
Yet, there are other possible iterations of this interesting fact about the shooter. Did Haq shout out he was a Muslim so that he could make Islam look bad? Did he want to call himself a Muslim to make life more difficult for Muslims in America? Was he hoping for a retaliatory attack on a mosque in Seattle?
We may never know his true motivations, although the P-I article does go into pretty good depth about what he was going through before his shooting rampage. One thing the article did not say was that Haq was afraid for his life after converting to Islam. Most definitely, he had a lot of stress inside because he knew that his leaving Islam would offend his family. But, he never told anyone – according to the article – that he was afraid for his life. (Just in case someone was going to bring up the whole “kill the apostate issue”)
Yet, I still have one question: doesn’t this make Naveed Haq a “Christian terrorist”? I mean, his group leader at the Word of Faith Church in Kennewick, WA told the P-I that Mr. Haq had “accepted his new faith, though he knew that he would also be offending his own family and its deeply rooted culture.” There was no mention that he came back to Islam. So, why hasn’t anyone called Naveed Haq a “Christian terrorist”?
Because it’s inappropriate, that’s why.
What about the pro-Israel driver in Michigan, who tried to run over an Arab-American protester? Susan Bazzi, a Lebanese-American, stood across the street from a pro-Israel rally being held at a Michigan synagogue. She held up two posters showing children killed by Israeli bombing. According to the Arab American News:
But little did Bazzi know that even the police presence couldn’t stop a crazed pro-Israeli attendee from trying to run her over with his car.
“I was across the street standing on the corner of an entrance to the parking area.” Bazzi said.
“There was a car pulling out that was supposed to turn left and instead he turned into me. He made a very wide turn, literally right into me. I jumped back. He was going to hit me for sure if I didn’t,” she recalled.
Bazzi said that she hadn’t been paying attention to the driver, but when he came at her full throttle, she saw him out of the corner of her eye. “I didn’t think, I just jumped out of the way,” she said.
According to Bazzi, the police immediately gave chase. The driver tried to get away but the cops sprinted after him, banged on his windows and made him stop after only traveling 30 feet…
“The Arab American News” spoke to another protestor on the scene who said he didn’t want his name mentioned for fear of jeopardizing his job. However, his account of what happened matched up with Bazzi’s.
Now, I presume this person was Jewish, but I cannot say so for certain. If he was Jewish, however, would it be fair for me to call him a “Jewish terrorist”? I mean, isn’t this very similar to the actions of Mohammed Reva Taheri-Azar, the man who rented an SUV and drove it into a crowd of students at the University of North Carolina, injuring several of them? Everyone called him a “Muslim terrorist.” Why can’t I call this man a “Christian” or “Jewish” terrorist?
Because it is inappropriate, that’s why. Terrorism transcends ethnicity, epoch, and religious faith. Terrorists come in all flavors, and I condemn them all.