Homegrown Campus Jihadist?
Posted by Godefroi on September 17, 2007
An update on this story, with commentary and analysis. Emphases are mine.
Read the complete article here.
By Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, September 17, 2007
Houssein Zorkot, a third-year medical student at Wayne State University in Michigan, was arrested on September 8 at Hemlock Park in Detroit … Most ominously, on the day he was arrested he uploaded onto his site an image that included a photo of a soldier holding a rifle, with the caption, “The Start of My Personal Jihad (in the US).” Underneath in Arabic was Qur’an 9:20: “Those who believe, and have left their homes and striven with their wealth and their lives in Allah’s way are of much greater worth in Allah’s sight. These are they who are triumphant.” The Arabic for “striven…in Allah’s way” is jahadoo fi sabil Allah, which in Islamic theology refers in particular to jihad as warfare.
These possibilities are no less ominous than the first, for they would place Zorkot among the growing list of Muslims with no known connections to any terrorist group who suddenly go on a murderous rampage. Some of these recent incidents include Naveed Afzal Haq’s July 28, 2006 shootings at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. After forcing his way into the building, Haq announced, “I’m a Muslim American; I’m angry at Israel,” and then began firing, killing one woman and injuring five more. Two months earlier, a twenty-two-year-old Iranian student named Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar drove an SUV onto the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, deliberately trying to kill people and succeeding in injuring nine. After the incident, he seemed singularly pleased with himself, smiling and waving to crowds after a court appearance on Monday, at which he explained that he was “thankful for the opportunity to spread the will of Allah.” Officials here again dismissed the possibility of terrorism, even after Taheri-azar wrote a series of letters to the UNC campus newspaper detailing the Qur’anic justification for warfare against unbelievers, and explaining why he believed his attacks were justified from an Islamic perspective.
This is a battle that must be fought. Whether or not Houssein Zorkot proves to be among their ranks, it is highly likely that there will be more freelance jihadists. The American Muslim advocacy establishment, for all its anti-terror protestations, have not, even now six years after 9/11, instituted comprehensive and transparent programs in American mosques to teach against the jihad ideology. Such programs will not end the possibility of freelance jihadists, but at least it would be a beginning, and a most welcome show of good faith from some organizations whose commitment to anti-terror efforts has come under increasing suspicion.
The fact that this beginning has not been made by Muslim groups in the U.S., or called for by government and law enforcement, is yet another manifestation of the pitfalls of ignoring the ideological dimensions of Islamic jihad terrorism. As freelance incidents grow in number, American officials will find the luxury of ignoring the jihad ideology ever more costly.