Abdul Razak ali-Artan, 19-year old Somali refugee, shot dead on the Ohio State University campus in Columbus.
After trying to run down students with his vehicle, he leaped from his vehicle with a butcher knife and tried to kill students by slashing and stabbing. He wounded 11 before being shot by a quick-thinking campus police officer.
An act of terror? Certainly.
Islamist terror? Of course.
A suicide mission? Again, yes.
Artan made a pact with himself within hours of the attack that Monday, November 28 would be a good day to die. This is routine thinking for certain young Muslim males. (I’ll get to the rewards part of that vision quest at the end.)
Just minutes before Artan launched his attack he posted a Facebook manifesto attack on America, more specifically, blaming the American media, (and not Donald Trump, as President Obama insists) for causing widespread hatred of Muslims such as himself, justifying what he was about to do. To prove he had been propagandized, he even blamed America for the deaths of Muslims in Burma.
Interestingly, though, he mentioned no specific acts against himself, personally, other than, three months earlier, in an interview with the OSU newspaper “Lantern” stating, unlike his previous college, where there were special prayer rooms set aside for Muslims, Ohio State offered none.
So, while gathering the daily harangues from Islamist propaganda media on the internet, he said out loud that Americans “may look upon him negatively” if they saw him praying in public…and he was entitled to better. Snow-flakery, not only self-indulgent and whiny, but totally ignorant of the world the world, including his own Muslim world, just outside his very small circle.
Artan may as well have just come to Columbus from the Ozarks, on his first trip to the big city, for Muslim vendors (they are very entrepreneurial) praying next to their food stands or book stalls in New York, Savannah, even Richmond, is a common sight. And no one pays a second glance. In most American public schools Muslims are probably the only faith-practitioners who are allowed to pray in public. Christian America has no “safe space” provided. Anywhere. If we want to pray we have to hop in a car and find a church. Christians praying in most public schools can get a phone call to mom and a three-day suspension..
The question then is this:
Is there more than just a hint of snowflakery in the notion that what people might think about Artan, were he forced to pray in public, thereby deserving a safe-space? Justifying mass murder of random people on those grounds sounds just a little too Hampshire College to me.
So then, can one be both coddled and insulated to the nth degree, and at the same time, turn on a dime and kill people, as Abdul Razak ali-Artan has done?
This is a serious question, not meant for snark.
And the answer is yes.
You see, the Muslim mind, in the Middle East, is largely Arabized, since the Qu’ran is Arabic. Arabs, Persians, the tribal Afghanis, Somalis, and dozens of smaller groups, all play by the same set of cultural outlooks of themselves vis a vis the outside world….particularly how they raise their children, especially sons.
The Romanian philologist, Raphael Patai published a great book, The Arab Mind in 1983 and it delves into the cultural background as to why young Arab males behave as they do. (Most of middle eastern tribal Islam act the same way.) Specifically, Arab boys are the apples of their parents’ eyes, while the daughters are largely kept out of sight, which explains the whole hijab thing from the earliest age, particularly in rural areas.
As a kid grows older, into puberty, when he starts having “those feelings” for girls, like good Catholic boys in Ireland, they are taught they must deny themselves (actually they don’t, also just like Irish kids) to save themselves for the virtuous young maidens in the village once they are old enough to get a small hut and a goat from dad, and he can then bargain a dowry away from a neighbor, and make a marriage contract. The young girl simply moves from one lock-up to another. (It is some variation of this in Somalia.)
Muslims in America have been dealing with that sort of cultural arrangement for over a century. But with the influx of largely rural, poor uneducated, where those cultural ties are usually strongest, that kind of collision with American culture, where most girls are not hidden in purdah (behind a curtain) and think nothing of showing their belly buttons to the world-at-large at which even I believe is an astonishing young age, presents problem we had not encountered before. Naturally there is a cause for much cultural tension, for young Arab men believe these are no more than “ladies of the evening” and are “asking for it”, as state laws in America acknowledged for many years.
Now, rape by Muslim men in America is not a big problem as it is in Europe, in part because Muslim communities here generally coalesce as insular units. In Europe gang-rapes are much more common.
But the question isn’t sex here, but the underlying sense of entitlement. This sense of entitlement is one of young Middle Eastern males defining characteristics, and it is that sense of entitlement that young Muslims find their ideal world structure and place in that structure, denied. With the proper promtings, it is a justification for violence, hence the easy steps for a nice affable, educated, hard working Muslim kid to suddenly turn and decide to die, since, on the other side of death are those 72 nubile virgins awaiting. From age 15- to- as-late-as 30, they are always there, beckoning with the come-hither gestures.. All he needs is for a savvy handler in god-knows-where to reach out and find him on social media or the internet. (Oh, did I mention that because of Google and Facebook, and now Twitter, ISIS has mastered this art of persuasion, which is why they have leap-frogged Al-Qaeda and the MB, speaking to potential lone-wolf recruits daily.)
Palestinian handlers from the days of 9/11 had boasted (I recall the testimony of one Arab who had coe over to our side around 2004) how with a rigid “sex denial” program of young volunteer suicide bombers, (not unlike boot camp) they could have these young 17-20 year old’s dancing on their toes they were so anxious to get out there, kill a few Jews, and then quickly cross over where they could finally get laid in Paradise.
The American public school snowflake culture of entitlement, to the point of teat-fittery, accompanied by an equal sense of innocence we once admired in young men and women, has proven perfect fodder for the masterminds of the modern internet at ISIS to capture young Muslim men’s minds in America, trapped between a world of insatiable lust, inbred entitlement and an inescapable sense of duty and outrage, to lure them over to doing just what the young men of that part of the world have always done.
This Artan kid is dead, but the case is not closed
Donald Trump is right to sweep this deck clear and start over.
On a related note: the young killer of nine black Americans in a church in Charleston, SC, Dylann Roof, has passed a competency test, and been given leave to defend himself in his capital murder trial…thus turning his murders into a suicide-vision quest as well, for almost the very same reasons as Artan the Somali, hating what he could never understand, being led by the nose to kill for reason he couldn’t comprehend