In the Name of God, the Subtle, the Loving
It always annoys me to no end whenever I read about Muslims who are alleged to have planned or attempted to commit acts of terror being described as having “devout religious views.” For instance, take this story published on Al Jazeera’s site:
Yemini authorities have arrested a US citizen suspected of being an al-Qaeda operative who allegedly killed a guard while trying to break out of a hospital…His mother told local media that she spoke to her son in January when he was in Yemen and that the FBI had previously visited her home.
Other people have commented that Mobley showed strong religious views in high school.
The same is true with the alleged Christmas Day underwear bomber Umar Farook Abdul-Mutallab. On his Wikipedia page, it reads:
Abdulmutallab was known as a devout Muslim and for preaching about Islam to his schoolmates. While at school, he was nicknamed “Alfa,” which is a term for Muslim clerics, and “Pope” – both due to his piety. A teacher, John McGuinness, described Abdulmutallab as “incredibly polite and very hard-working” during this time, while also noting his devotion to the Muslim faith.
I do not see the connection. I know many people may be scratching their heads at this point, because, in the minds of many people, religion (and Islam, in particular) has everything to do with the acts of terrorists who claim to be Muslim.
But, I do not see the connection at all. There is no way a Muslim can be “pious,” or “religious,” or “devout,” or “committed to Islam” if he or she decides to kill innocent people. The two absolutely do not mix. There is no way one can honestly and sincerely follow the dictates of Islam and conclude that they direct him to harm the innocent.
Sure, someone can misread the sacred text; someone can usurp legitimate religious themes to justify murder; someone can dress brutality in the garbs of righteousness. But that is not being “religious” or “devout.” It is being sinister; it is being depraved; it is following a Satanic line of thinking.
It very well may be that the observers of Abdul Mutallab noticed his devout Muslim faith, and it very well may have been that Abdul Mutallab was a very devout Muslim. But, his “devotion to Islam” withered away into nothingness the moment he decided to go on his suicide mission and try to kill innocent people on that flight to Detroit. His “religiosity” was defiled the moment he decided to become a suicide bomber. His faith became suspect the second he decided that “God’s will” denoted murder in cold blood.
That is why I have to make the distinction because, it is easy to conclude that, when a Muslim accused of terrorism is described as “devout,” it was his or her devotion to Islam that was a proximate cause of the decision to become a terrorist.
Quite the contrary.
There is nothing “devout” about murder; there is no “piety” in the destruction of innocent lives; there is no “sanctity” in the shedding of blameless blood. “Religious” and “terrorist” do no mix. It only does in the depraved mind of the terrorist, and in the minds of those who hate and malign Islam.