Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Utterly Baffling Hammer Attack on Nine in Vancouver, Canada.

"We're not sure what the motivation was."

"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." But if it keeps exploding in your face, then you might be wise to think a cigar could be an exploding cigar. Not that I know anything. Hey, if a Muslim guy bangs nine passers-by on the noggins, could be he's mentally ill. Probably is. Lots of crazy people do crazy things for no other reason than that they're crazy. I'm almost baffled myself.

Sudden Jihad Syndrome:

That reaction has four key elements:

1. Denial that the attack is motivated by Islam;
2. Strong hint that the attacker is insane;
3. Assurance that the attacker(s) acted alone, and that there is no al-Qaeda link;
4. Prominent publicity to the Muslim "community's" expressions of shock & horror.

[Inserts in brackets not from original copy.]

UPDATE: Suspect named in Vancouver hammer attacks

Chad Skelton
Vancouver Sun
Monday, August 04, 2008

VANCOUVER - A 31-year-old man with a history of mental illness has been charged with aggravated assault after nine people on Davie Street were struck in the head with a hammer Sunday night, the same day as the city's gay pride parade.

[Islam in Europe reports that: Two gay people were attacked this week in Stockholm, while walking in the park and kissing. The attack, which took place while the EuroPride festival was in town, was widely discussed on the news. This was not the only hate crime during the EuroPride festival (see here and here)]

Khalid Alzghoul was charged Monday with 17 offences, including nine counts of assault with a weapon. He was remanded in custody and will likely make another appearance in court today.

[Khālid: Muslim: Arabic name: "Eternal". Associated with Khālid ibn-al-Walīd (d. 642) Muslim military leader who brought about the defeat of the Byzantine Empire and its expulsion from Syria. The Prophet Muhammad called him Sayf-ullah, "Sword of Allah."']

Vancouver police spokeswoman Const. Jana McGuinness said the incident began around 10:20 p.m. when a man left the Tutti convenience store on Davie without paying for his items.

After leaving the store, the man headed to the Majestic Restaurant and Lounge on Davie, where he struck a man in the head with a ball-peen hammer, knocking him unconscious.

He then hit a doorman and three patrons with the hammer, before hitting one more person as he left the restaurant.

Police allege the man then went to Characters Restaurant, just down the street, where he hit two other women in the head.

A man who was with the two women chased the suspect and tackled him to the ground.

He was then also struck in the head with the hammer, said McGuinness.

Davie is in the heart of Vancouver's gay community.

[Islam in Europe continues: Tonight's incident wasn't just a hate crime against homosexuals but also a hate crime against Swedes. It's an excellent example of the hate and unprovoked violence against both Swedes and homosexuals to which immigration from outside Europe is equivalent.

Naturally none of the major newspapers or news sources revealed that it was about three Arabs who committed the act against two Swedes, nor how these Arabs humiliated the two men and their nationality, even a long time after one of them lay stabbed on the ground. This despite the fact that these newspapers were quite well informed of all these details.

During the knife assault the Arabs said to the victims among other things that 'all Swedes are gay', whereas they stabbed one of them with a knife, completely unprovoked.]

McGuinness said police are investigating whether the attack was a hate crime.

"We're not sure what the motivation was," she said. "It's so random and so violent and so bizarre."

[In precisely this way the truth about today's hate and brutal violence against Swedes is continuously hushed up by the media. The truth is that cases such as these are on-going and happen constantly in today 'multicultural' society, and the truth is also that this hate against homosexuals and the women's oppression that the media at the same time screams about and condemns, to an extremely large majority consists of direct imports from countries outside Europe.

And the media not only withholds the truth, but at the same time they try as often as they can to insinuate that it's 'Nazis', 'skinheads' or the like who are responsible for this type of crime, while the proportion of those are really negligibly low, almost nonexistent, compared with the immigrant crime of this type (and most other types, for that matter).]

She said witnesses reported the attacker was ranting following his attacks, but didn't know if he said anything anti-gay.

[Bruce Bawer writes:

The reason for the rise in gay bashings in Europe is clear – and it's the same reason for the rise in rape. As the number of Muslims in Europe grows, and as the proportion of those Muslims who were born and bred in Europe also grows, many Muslim men are more inclined to see Europe as a part of the umma (or Muslim world), to believe that they have the right and duty to enforce sharia law in the cities where they live, and to recognize that any aggression on their part will likely go unpunished. Such men need not be actively religious in order to feel that they have carte blanche to assault openly gay men and non-submissive women, whose freedom to live their lives as they wish is among the most conspicuous symbols of the West's defiance of holy law.

Multiculturalists can't face all this. So it is that even when there are brutal gay-bashings, few journalists write about them; of those who do, few mention that the perpetrators are Muslims; and those who do mention it take the line that these perpetrators are lashing out in desperate response to their own oppression.]

"He was ranting about a lot of things and what exactly he was saying I have yet to confirm with investigators," she said.

Police arrested Alzghoul at the scene and seized an imitation firearm, two knives and a hammer.

In addition to nine counts of assault with a weapon, Alzghoul has been charged with three counts of assault causing bodily harm, one count of uttering threats, one count of using an imitation firearm and one count of theft under $5,000.

Of the nine victims, six were treated in hospital for injuries sustained in the attacks. Two remained in hospital overnight for observation of more serious head injuries. None of the injuries is considered life threatening.


Well, the attacker was mentally ill, Right?

Guards stopped a Muslim from carrying out a knife attack on Christians at a church in Egypt on Tuesday.... Police said he was mentally ill.

The Muslim convert held after a nailbomb restaurant attack had been under surveillance by the security services, it was claimed last night. Counter-terrorist officers suspected mentally-ill Nicky Reilly had forged links with known Islamic extremists at an internet cafe near his home.

Infuriated because his younger sister was going to clubs, wearing immodest clothing and planning to leave her family for a new life in New York City, Waheed Allah Mohammad stabbed her outside their Henrietta home, prosecutors allege.... The case is the second in four years in Monroe County in which an immigrant from South Asia is alleged to have killed or tried to kill a family member over the perceived loss of family honor.... Mental illness became a defense in the first case involving an honor attack in Monroe County....

A judge declared a mistrial Wednesday in the case of a man who stormed into a Jewish center two years ago and shot six women, killing one, as he ranted against Israel and the Iraq war.

Jurors had indicated in questions posed to the judge that they were hopelessly deadlocked and struggling to determine whether Naveed Haq, 32, was not guilty by reason of insanity, as he claimed.

An Army sergeant who wanted to stop U.S. troops from killing his fellow Muslims was convicted by a military jury yesterday of murdering two colleagues and wounding 14 other soldiers in a chaotic grenade and rifle attack two days after the United States invaded Iraq.... A defense lawyer argued that Akbar was mentally ill.

Egyptian Interior Ministry officials said today that the man who shot and killed two American engineers and a French jurist here Tuesday night was mentally ill and that they had no evidence linking him to any Muslim militant groups.

[Zorkot was] arrested Sept. 8 after witnesses observed him dressed in dark clothing and wearing black face paint, carrying a loaded AK-47 in a Dearborn park. A competency examination for a third-year medical student Houssein Zorkot, 26, is scheduled for Thursday, Dec.14 at 9 a.m.

Taheri-azar will stay at Raleigh's Central Prison for safekeeping, DeVine said, after court officials determined he was unstable and a danger to himself and others. Court documents said Taheri-azar told a UNC-CH police detective that "people all over the world are being killed in war and now it is the people in the United States['] turn to be killed." Police say he also told them he intended to kill people when he drove into The Pit, a campus gathering spot.

As many as 14 people were injured this afternoon by a motorist who drove around San Francisco deliberately running them down before being arrested by police, who believe the same driver struck and killed a man earlier today in Fremont.... "It was like 'Death Race 2000,' " firefighter Danny Bright said at California and Fillmore streets as an ambulance stood nearby. "Guys were walking down the sidewalk, and the guy just came up and ran them over. The guy went crazy." Within a half-hour, San Francisco police had cornered and arrested 29-year-old Omeed Aziz Popal....

HOMESTEAD, Fla. - A Kuwaiti-born math teacher wielding butcher knives and vodka bottles he intended to ignite as explosives was trying to commit suicide, not an act of terrorism, when he attacked military policemen at Homestead Air Reserve Base, FBI officials said.... Ahmad's mother said the first-year teacher at Miami Central High School is mentally ill....

In February 1997, Palestinian English teacher Ali Abu Kamal went to the 86th floor observation deck of the Empire State Building, pulled out a gun, and opened fire, killing one person and wounding six others before killing himself. Even though he carried letters ranting about the US and Israel, the media heavily promoted the story that he was despondent and suicidal after a financial loss.

Ali R. Warrayat hadn't slept in days, planning this moment down to the last detail. Now, his face was void of any expression. A store employee jumped out of the car's path. To drown out the man's yells, Warrayat reached over to his car radio and blasted Arabic music before crashing through the front doors.

The scene was only the beginning of a violent rampage through the Chandler store on Dec. 18. For the 24-year-old Arizona State University student, the motives behind the attack were personal. In police statements, Warrayat referred to his religion often.

This one is sane: On the afternoon of August 9, in Calgary, Alberta, as the sidewalks were full of poeple waiting to catch buses home, a man Anis Omar (moved to Canada from Lebanon 3 years ago) "accidently" ran over 6 to 7 people on a sidewalk. One victim ended up in hospital with serious injuries. He claimed car troubles but when the police could find nothing wrong with his car, they charged him with careless driving....

Charles J. Bishop, who took the plane on an unauthorized flight across Tampa Bay, died at the scene of Saturday's crash into the 42-story Bank of America Plaza building. He apparently made no attempt to avoid the structure, witnesses said.

"I would characterize it as a suicide," said Tampa Police Chief Bennie Holder.

"We have heard, in talking with some people, that he often mentioned being of Arab descent and we're following up on that," Holder said.

The note, which was found in the wreckage of the plane, "clearly stated that he had acted alone, without any help from anyone else," Holder said. "He did, however, make statements expressing his sympathy for Osama bin Laden and the events which occurred September 11, 2001." Several of the pilots involved in those attacks trained at Florida flight schools. ... Bishop had few friends, Holder said. "He was very much a loner. From his actions, we can assume he was a troubled young man."

Los Angeles International Airport where the El Al airlines ticket counter was targeted in a shooting attack. There was early confusion as to the identity of the perpetrator but it did not take long before it was announced that the suspect was Egyptian-born Hesham Mohamed Ali Hadayet. He left two people dead and five injured before being fatally shot by a security guard.

The response by Arab-American interest groups to the Los Angeles attack has been one of condemnation. The Washington DC-based Muslim Public Affairs Council swiftly issued a statement noting that they were "saddened and shocked upon hearing reports of the shooting", adding that the shooting was initiated by someone "who is unknown to the community and who reportedly has a troubled background."

Federal, law enforcement and city officials said it appeared the shooting was an isolated incident, with nothing to suggest otherwise.

"There is no indication of any terrorism connection in this matter right now, but again we also can't discount that until we know more," McLaughlin told reporters.

Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn added: "It appears this was an isolated incident." A Bush administration source concurred with that statement, adding that nothing suggested it was anything other than a criminal act.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A local cab driver allegedly tried to run over two customers after a fight over religion became heated.The incident happened early Sunday morning on the Vanderbilt campus and left one man hospitalized and a cab driver arrested, said police. Two students visiting from Ohio were coming from a bar downtown when they got into an argument with their driver over religion, said police. After they paid the driver he allegedly ran them down in a parking lot.Ibrihim Ahmned, of United Cab, was arrested and charged with assault, attempted homicide and theft. One of the passengers, Andrew Nelson, managed to outrun the cab but Jeremy Invus was taken to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center with serious injuries, said police.

Iftekhar Murtaza, a 22-year-old American Muslim man living in Southern California was arrested in Phoenix Airport for bludgeoning, stabbing, strangling, and burning Leela, Karishma, and Jayprakash Dhanak. These three victims were the mother, sister, and father of his girlfriend, Shayona Dhanak.... The only mention of the word "Muslim" was when it was used to make an implication as to the motivations behind the bigotry the Dhanaks were exhibiting when they told their daughter to stop seeing Iftekhar Murtaza.

The suicide bombing incident that happened at the University of Oklahoma in Norman on October 1, 2005 has led to a great deal of speculation as to the motives and intent of Joel Henry Hinrichs III, the person who died in the blast.... Law enforcement sources indicate that Hinrich had a roommate of Pakistani descent who may also have been an OU student. Hinrich's apartment in the Park View Apartments complex on campus was very close to the Islamic Society of Norman, OK and witnesses now report seeing him visit the center on more than one occasion. According to Oklahoma City's KWTV-News 9, Zacharias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker on 9/11, used to attend the same mosque.

Authorities later searched Hinrich's apartment where they found what's being described as a "huge cache" of TATP explosives, bomb-making manuals, and a "significant amount" of Jihad literature both in his home and on his computer. ...

No sooner had the dust settled when officials tried to play the bombing off as the act of yet another crazed "lone gunman" type. Oklahoma University (OU) President David Boren, no doubt trying to protect the university's reputation, eagerly opined on Hinrich's supposed history of mental instability. "We know that he has had what I would call emotional difficulties in the past," he said. "There is certainly no evidence at this point which points to any other kind of motivation other than his personal problems."

The mainstream media wasn't exactly forthcoming either. Those seeking information immediately following the bombing were hard pressed to find it as there appeared to be a virtual media blackout. None of the cable news networks, including Fox News, referred to the incident and the major wire services, newspapers and websites skipped it entirely. Once again it was left up to bloggers like Mark Tapscott, Michelle Malkin, Wizbang, Gateway Pundit, The Jawa Report and Zombie (photojournalist for Little Green Footballs), as well as the "Freepers" of FreeRepublic.com, to pull together first hand accounts and links to the miniscule amount of news coverage available at the time.

Not only was the story essentially buried when it first broke, but the major media outlets have still not seen fit to address it. But thanks to the investigative efforts of Oklahoma photojournalist Lan Lamphere (whose blog features a firsthand account and video), World Net Daily and the Northeast Intelligence Network (cited above), the evidence points to the likelihood that the incident was indeed a botched terrorist attack.

26 Oct 1964 Gamil Rodrigue Gharbi born to Algerian Liess Gharbi and former nun Monique Lepine.
1966 Sister, Nadia, born.
1972 Monique Lepine granted custody of their two children.
c. 1977 At age 13, Gamil changes his name to Marc Lepine.
6 Dec 1989 Mark Lepine kills 14 women at Ecole Polytechnique, University of Montreal, and injures 15 others. It is the worst mass murder in Canadian history. On him is a suicide letter explaining his actions as being specific revenge against 19 "feminists who have ruined my life... I have decided to put an end to those viragos."
1999 The Toronto Star reports that Lepine's original name was Gharbi, a fact which had somehow escaped the attention of the Canadian public to this point.
Suicide. Must have been mentally ill. "Lepine's last words, "Oh shit", before putting the gun below his face and firing."

Michael Ford: This Muslim convert, walked into work at a Safeway warehouse in Denver and opened fire on his coworkers, killing one and injuring five. Relatives explained that he was being teased at work because he's a Muslim and he could not take it anymore.

DENVER -- An investigation is under way to determine why a Safeway warehouse employee walked into work and opened fire on his coworkers Sunday afternoon, killing one person and injuring five, including a Denver police officer. ... Ford's uncle and older brother told 7NEWS that Ford is a quiet, unassuming, responsible man who was born and raised in Denver. They don't know where he got the weapon or the anger to execute the deadly shooting."I never would have expected Michael ... that this would happen to Michael," said Ford's uncle, Roy Ford. "He was a good kid, never got in trouble, never gang-related that I know, and I've known him since birth. He was always a good kid that you would love to talk to and to meet."

Mohammed Ali Alayed, 23, pleaded guilty to the Aug. 6 attack on Ariel Sellouk, also 23, who almost was decapitated with a knife, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Houston police said they could not find evidence the slaying was tied to race or religion.

However, they said no clear motive has been established, and Alayed went to a local mosque after the slaying.

Baltimore County (Map, News) - A Baltimore County man accused of shooting to death a moviegoer at an Owings Mills theater this summer is proceeding with an insanity plea, and is set to have a court-ordered brain scan next week.

Mujtaba Jabbar, 24, is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center in connection with the June shooting at the Loews Valley Center 9, in which he allegedly stood up in the middle of "X-Men: The Last Stand" and opened fire on the audience, according to court records....

"This is not a whodunit — this is a why it was done," said defense attorney Warren Brown. "When you proceed by way of not criminally responsible, you're in effect saying, 'okay, I did it, but there were extenuating circumstances.' "

Patrick Gott: From Pensacola, FL, entered the New Orleans airport terminal with a shotgun and his Koran -- he killed one and wounded another....

Man declared insane in N.O. airport killing

Man declared insane in N.O. airport killing Mental state leads to acquittal; he's sent to psychiatric hospital Friday, May 20, 2005 By Drew Broach East Jefferson Bureau

Patrick Gott, the former carpenter and Marine who fatally shot a San Diego woman three years ago in the ticket lobby of Louis Armstrong International Airport, has been judged not guilty by reason of insanity and sent back to a mental hospital.

Gott, a student of Islam whose actions briefly evoked fears of terrorism eight months after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, will remain in state custody at the Feliciana Forensic Facility at Jackson. Doctors will evaluate him regularly, and should they ever declare him sane and no longer a danger to himself and others, the law allows a judge to release him. But that's not likely to happen, Assistant District Attorney Gevin Grisbaum said Thursday.

"He is irrestorably incompetent," Grisbaum said. "Will he ever get out? No."

Rashid Baz: This Muslim from Lebanon, opened fire on a van containing members of the Lubavitch Hassids in Brooklyn. One was killed.

Police Tuesday identified the gunman accused in Monday night's Trolley Square shooting as Sulejman Talovic, an 18-year-old Bosnian refugee who lived in Salt Lake City.

[Talovic's family and a "shocked" Bosnian-Muslim community were unsurprisingly quick to reject any possibility of the jihadist connection. "We are Muslims, but we are not terrorists," the killer's aunt, Ajka Omerovic, told the media.]

Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank said Talovic drove his car to the mall, parked in the west parking terrace and encountered two people who he shot before entering the mall.

There, he encountered a female who also was shot right away, then went into a gift shop where there were five people, all of whom the young man shot. Moving through the mall, the gunman tried to shoot others, Burbank said. The chief said he could not say now how many shots were involved in the entire episode.

Burbank praised an unnamed Ogden police officer who took action at the mall to intervene in the incident, and praised the many law enforcement and other agencies that responded quickly and professionally to the crisis.

Until Salt Lake police arrived, it was "basically a shoot-out between the Ogden individual and this individual," Burbank said.


[H.T.: http://theopinionator.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/07/muslim-attacks.html


· The 1990 murder of Rabbi Meir Kahane by the Islamist El Sayyid A. Nosair was initially ascribed by the police to "a prescription drug for or consistent with depression."

· The 1999 crash of EgyptAir 990, killing 217 – by a co-pilot not supposed to be near the aircraft's controls at that time who eleven times repeated "I rely on God" as he wrenched the plane down – went conspicuously unexplained by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

· The 2002 purposeful crash of a small plane into a Tampa high-rise by bin Laden-sympathizer Charles Bishara Bishop went unexplained; the family chimed in by blaming the acne drug Accutane.

· The 2003 murder and near-decapitation in Houston of an Israeli by a former Saudi friend who had newly become an Islamist found the police unable to discern "any evidence" that the crime had anything to do with religion.

Nor is this a problem unique to American authorities. Other examples include:

· The 1993 attack on foreign guests dining at the Semiramis Hotel in Cairo, killing five, accompanied by the Islamist cry "Allahu Akbar," inspired the Egyptian government to dismiss the killer as insane.

· The 2000 attack on a bus of visibly Jewish schoolchildren near Paris by a hammer-wielding North African yelling "You're not in Tel-Aviv!" prompted police to describe the assault resulting from a traffic incident.

· The 2003 fire that gutted the Merkaz HaTorah Jewish secondary school in a Paris suburb, requiring 100 firefighters to douse the flames, was described by the French minister of interior as being merely of "criminal origin."

· The 2004 murder of a Hasidic Jew with no criminal record as he walked an Antwerp street near a predominantly Muslim area left the Belgian authorities stumped: "There are no signs that racism was involved."

I [Daniel Pipes] have cited thirteen cases here and provide information on further incidents on my weblog. Why this repeated unease acknowledging Islamist terrorism by the authorities, why the shameful denial?

I cobbled this together from the Internet. Links should lead to original copy. If there are any problems, why, I'll attack ten innocent by-standers in the name of W'allah!

And here, just in time for Christmas, is another Lunatic Muslim Story. I meant to give our readers something better, but this is all I can afford.

"Killer of Jew says Yemeni minority should convert to Islam," from AFP, December 22:

AMRAN, Yemen (AFP) — A Yemeni confessed on Monday to killing a Jew, saying in court that he had warned that the minority should convert to Islam or leave the country, but his lawyers said he was mentally disturbed.

"I killed the Jew," Abdul Aziz Yahya al-Abdi, 39, screamed from the dock, referring to Masha Yaeish al-Nahari, whom he shot dead over a week ago in the town of Raydah, in the northern province of Amran.

"I have told them in a letter that they should either convert to Islam or leave Yemen, or I would kill them," he said, speaking of the minority of a few hundred Jews who continue to live in the Arabian peninsula country.


Defence lawyers retorted that Abdi was "mentally disturbed" and had quit his previous posting as an air force pilot due to his mental illness. They added that he had killed his wife two years ago.
The religion that just keeps on giving.


Blazing Cat Fur said...

I 'm sure it's just a horrible series of random events without a common thread linking them, so help me Allah Dabba Doo.

truepeers said...

Lots of crazy people do crazy things for no other reason than that they're crazy. I'm almost baffled myself.

-well, this is the first I've heard about this guy in Vancouver. But I was thinking about this issue earlier when I was reading the several posts at the View From the Right blog, over the last several days, where Lawrence Auster is speculating that the Chinese guy who beheaded his victim on the greyhound bus is a Hui, or Chinese Muslim, or more generally an uprooted and lost soul who reacted to some thin strand of a lost but desired identity in so murdering his victim in what is obviously a ritualistic act.

But I found that discussion unsatisfactory. I am getting tired of the simple dichotomy: is the murderer/attempted murderer in these cases, that some call Sudden Jihad Syndrome, motivated by mental illness, as the authorities usually claim, OR is he following the dictates of Allah in the Koran, in respect to that book's frequent cursing of the non-believer, and sometimes calls to war.

To put the question thus is just to politicize the issue in a manner that does not obviously allow for further negotiation of differences in our understanding. It's to close off discussion according to pro- or anti-Islam loyalties before we've even considered the basic anthropology of murder.

Here are a few thoughts from an anthropological perspective. Consider, first, that most every human murder is not reducible to mere animal instinct. A human murder is not simply some animalistic fight over scarce natural or sexual resources. Rather, there is almost always a question of love and/or resentment at play in human violence. And the focus of all love and resentment is some representation of the sacred, or our sense of alienation or closeness to the sacred. In other words, most every human murder is always about something sacred and sacrificial. It always has a religious connotation, even if in our "secular" age our social "scientific" professionals are unable to recognize this and are quick to bring in the shrinks to declare "mental illness".

But what is a "mentally ill" person? Most simply, it is someone out of sorts with the dominant understandings of the sacred and sacrificial in his society.

What we must address is the question of whether, in any attribution of causality in human affairs, we consider that the individual "psychology" is a primary causal force (due to some kind of genetic or unconscious basis) or whether the individual psychology is derivative of some more primary representations that are first public - shared, religious - before they are privatized in the individual imagination.

As readers here know, I think all things begin in the public. This is in no way to deny individual responsibility but simply to identify the true collective source of our responsibility.

No matter how lonely our life has become, no matter how tormented our minds, what is tormenting us is something (but it is usually many things) that had its/their origin on a public scene. And at its origins the public scene is also a religious scene. Nothing new can come into the world of culture and imagination but on a scene that is either public or conceived (e.g. in fiction) in such a way as to be shared publicly.

In other words, a mentally ill person is always moved, "motivated" by religious ideas or shared, public, representations. When the mentally ill person kills, there is always somewhere in there some kind of religious dimension to what is moving the sick mind. It is likely heretical or confused religion, or perhaps a Satanic inversion. In any case, the basic point is the confused mind is confused by what some group holds sacred, the sacred being in nature inherently paradoxical - it is paradoxical because it simultaneously attracts and repulses our desire, no less so for the saint than the sinner. This paradox creates the space and time out for deferral of our desires, which is how we mediate most, though unfortunately not all, of our violent desires.

We cannot escape our pasts. If a Christian or Westerner murders, there is undoubtedly some kind of confusion of the Judeo-Christian understandings (perhaps understandings now in secularized forms) of the sacred that is surely at work in his mind.

So if a Muslim murders, or assaults, of course Islam has something to do with it. But what exactly? Simply asserting some correlation as if that made a point, doesn't really make a point. It only points out the obvious, except to the legions of apologists and deniers out there.

Now we know what the Koran says about the kaffir, and it ain't pretty or discrete. But so what? Does that really help us understand any isolated act by any person, however "mentally ill" he seems, or not? After all, most Muslims aren't yet killing or hammering the gays of Vancouver.

So the question becomes one of a repeating pattern, or a pattern so alleged. Because absent some kind of pattern, we really can't speculate much as to shared understandings of what should motivate actions.

And of course there is all kinds of evidence that people from pre-modern cultures have all kinds of problems adapting to modernity. No doubt we all have evidence of it in our own family and personal histories. The transition from a ritually-bound world to one where things are decided by free markets is jarring and shocking for everyone who goes through it. There is plenty of evidence it is particularly jarring for Muslims, though I think this is the case for all who are not part of the Christian tradition in which free market society first developed in a movement that was unique and radical in history. It is very difficult to live in modernity without a mind shaped by Christianity or its secular offshoots. Just look at the Chinese, for example: despite their obvious willingness to join the modern economy, they are hardly spiritually at home in it, though many are becoming Christian to this end.

In other words, I'm not at all surprised that Western countries that have a lot of immigrants from third-world and Muslim countries will have lots of incidents like this assault spree. It is what we should expect. The crimes are a product of mental illness, sure. But mental illness need not be seen as an impenetrable mystery of individual mind or biology, though the self-interest and anti-anthropological blinkers of the psychiatric profession tend to portray it that way.

Living in fear of the primitives is not going to help us address the real issues: can we continue to live in a world half modern and half enslaved to an unquestioning order of pre-modern ritualism? If you think, not, if you think we do have to make modernity universal, sooner or later in the centuries to come, in order for humanity to survive, then we have to come to terms with this Sudden Jihad Syndrome by not mystifying it more than necessary. And we do mystify it even when we take the side that this is Islam and not mental illness causing the killing, if our intent is simply to score dogmatic points against Islam. At the end of the day, our task is to explain the recurring patterns in terms of our universal humanity, and not simply seek to lay blame on a scapegoat. Only thus can we hope to engage Muslims in adapting to modernity. And that is something we're going to have to do, somewhere, somehow, quite aside from the more specific question of how much immigration is safe or good to have in a city like Vancouver.

Dag said...

When "mental illness" is an automatic excuse for each and seemingly every lunatic, moon-driven violent mood disorder, and it's applied automatically to Muslims rather than to anything else, no matter what else it could be, then we live a blatant, public, obvious lie. There's a danger in that, if only this: that people will get sick of it and not care a damn for anything at all, devolving into cynicism and violence and nihilism.

The harms done to the individual are bad enough, but the roughshod rape of sense and decency we endure are maddening beyond measure. The genuine outrage of all of this lying by the dhimmi elitists is that there are certainly Muslims who have no part in the outrages of the few, and who will give a damn?

No, I'm not really almost baffled at all. I'm disgusted by the lies.

CGW said...

Good work, Dag, Excellent job.
SJS is on the rise and is REAL and becoming a daily danger to the public. Examine any Western country with muslim infiltrators. The stories are always the same, as is the rise in so-called honor killings. (Fox News actually did a special on that that aired over several days.) In my state we have a Conceal-and Carry permit for just such contingencies. I would not hesitate to blow out the brains of a would-be jihadi, neither would many I know.
SJS: allah says to kill infidels, so you do what you can. allah appreciates each effort, or so says the Terror manual, the qur'an.

truepeers said...

It's not hard, after reading the Koran, to imagine how someone could interpret it as a license to do violence to the unbeliever. The opposition between believer and unbeliever is made so frequently and heatedly in that book. Yet there is a kind of sacrificial violence that can plausibly lead to some kind of order (at least in the pre-modern world where sacrificial violence does work to build more or less orderly societies) and a kind that is inherently disorderly.

And when violence is inherently disorderly, can we see it as anything other than a failure of religion? Why should we see SJS as a realization of Islam, unless we see Islam as something destined to produce nutters instead of, say, disciplined Jihadis acting in the name of a realistic cause (and I would argue that today's Jihadis of the bin Laden type don't have a realistic cause but are inherently deluded by Utopian visions of a new Caliphate)?

So I'm not sure I can believe that there is some simple correlation between Islam and SJS. If "SJS" refers to a real, recurring phenomenon, and it seems to (Dag's list is impressive; though "SJS" remains, I think, one of those issues that reveals more of what we want to believe, religiously, than what we can know for sure) it would seem to me more a sign of the failure of a religion to hold its people together, in face of modern societies, than any kind of logical and clear-headed working out of a text. No one, whatever he believes, is simply guided through life like some robot living up, word for word, to some dogma. That's just not how religion ever works, even Islam. (The serious dogmatist is seriously deluded, which is not to deny that deluded people act out in all kinds of ways.) No, real religion must be interpreted, adapted, and serious religion seriously so.

What's more, who wants a religion that encourages one to lose control and to act in a way that will be quickly labelled "mentally ill", if not SJS? I mean, people look to religion to create order in their worlds and their lives. So could anyone follow a religion that told them to engage in mindless and fruitless "martyrdom" that almost everyone else, even Muslims, will call mental illness? Could anyone sane seriously believe that the Koran really wants him to run around Davie St. banging people on the head with a hammer?

So I think for me, "SJS" is a sign of very confused or "mentally ill" persons; but that is not to deny that what is likely behind a lot of it is a corroding religion that once created order in the mind (but no longer does it well) by imagining a world divided into believers and kaffirs. SJS is a sign of an Islam that has failed to adapt its followers to the modern world. It is a sign of an impossibility, of the frustration of all desires, of the nowhere man. So I don't see how we can say this is the way Islam is meant to be. The true believer cannot be a believer if he believes his religion is meant to failure.

In other words, I think it's a mistake to see the SJS phenomenon as demanding intepretation either as mental illness OR as exemplification of Koranic imperatives. It's to some degree a question of the SJS sufferer being both and neither. The mental torment and confusion I imagine does not fit neatly into categories because it is caused by a sense that one is losing reliable categories with which to understand the world; and hence, the impulsive, irrational, lonely desire to re-establish boundaries with acts of sacrificial violence. But since this kind of thing can't possibly work to accomplish anything, what is it really? How do we categorize mindless lashing out, however much we know the lashing out is a product of a failed culture failing to adapt to modernity? Most Muslims in Vancouver will disown the failure, for obvious reasons. SJS only reveals people who need seriously to adapt their religion to modernity by doing some intellectual and cultural heavy lifting, or to find a new and better religion/culture that can make them adaptable to modernity.

Dag said...

I'm not at all convinced of SJS as anything more than a convenience of speech and thought. To my mind, it seems as automatically applied to aggressive Muslims as is "mental illness." How can one pick 50 cases of Muslims attacking, and each and every one of them is not anything other than "mental illness"? It borders on the Medieval peasant level of of critique. "Wind blows from the East? Must be devils." The nonsense tag of "mental illness" is so glaringly stupid that one cannnot suffer it silently. It's no better used among ours than the Marxist condemnation of "bourgeois tendencies." By "explaining all, it explains nothing but a solid refusal to confront the truth. It is,in my mind, nothing better than a press release from a politician who knows that a release in needed, no matter what it might say, so one might as well lie than commit the ultimate sin of releasing nothing at all. Whatever gibberish it is will give some committed ideologues the little they need to cling to, no matter how stupid it it. But this? This same idiot line over and over? "Mental illness"? It doesn't even work as a sop for ideologues.

Our intelligentsia lie to us, brazenly, too obviously, with no concern for the shamefulness of the lie. It shows complete contempt for the people. There is not even a pretense of credibility. They say X, and we, docile and supposedly stupid, sit smiling and accept the lies over and over. But no, we don't, and the intelligentsia have such seeming hatred of us they just don't care. Fifty cases above all "mental illness"? The intelligentsia don't even seem to care if we hate them for lying so obviously. They just keep on lying and not caring how offensive it is. Hubris? There's got to be some word in Greek that outperforms that. Beyond hubris. Olympian hubris.

truepeers said...

I agree with you Dag, I think, though I emphasize things a little differently.

Those of us who have suffered mental turmoil know that it is something real enough. We also may know it need not be permanent or recurring, despite what some of the shrinks teach (e.g. "a depressive person can never be completely free of depression forever", which is a lie, though I don't know how often or rarely the lie is proved).

The problem with the term "mental illness" is not that it doesn't point to something real, or to a relative diversity of conditions that share enough in common to allow for a general label, among others, but that it doesn't really explain in any detail what it is we are pointing to when we say "mental illness". Now of course the psychiatric profession has their involved explanations and categories, which we will find more and less convincing.

In any case, why not admit that there can be a recurring pattern to uprooted, lost, Muslims acting out in modern societies and also to allow that it is a form of "mental illness"? Why grant that Islam has yet satisfactorily adapted to modernity? Why not recognize that given this lack of adaption, many Muslims in the West will suffer forms of mental illness, just as millions of Canadians suffer depression and other conditions due, ultimately, to failures in their "religious" or spiritual sensibilities to come to terms with free market-driven modernity? Would you take issue with a claim that many Marxist academics show some signs of mental illness? I would defend such a claim, though admit it alone didn`t explain much.

It's when we think we have to make a choice between labels, as if the choice of word - "illness", "jihad", "Marxist" - were itself the key to understanding that we get into Gnostic foolery.

Mental illness refers to a pragmatic reality suffered by millions: an inability, for any sustained length of time, to live with any kind of serenity or peace of mind in a given social or cultural order, an inability to order one's own mind in relation to the shared and transcendent culture on which all minds depend.

In other words, we need to know why Muslims and many others in modern Western societies may be so out of sorts with the culture in which they live. Saying that many are mentally ill is not a scandal if it is the starting point of a discussion and not an attempt to close discussion off. So what we rightly protest is the effort of our authorities to say "nothing to see here folks, move along..." Bullshit! It concerns us all and is not to be hidden away for study only under the formulations of shrinks.

Dag said...

As alway, there is a needed book-length response lingering in the aether.

To look at just this will exhaust me, no doubt:

[W]hy not admit that there can be a recurring pattern to uprooted, lost, Muslims acting out in modern societies and also to allow that it is a form of "mental illness"? Why grant that Islam has [not?] yet satisfactorily adapted to modernity? Why not recognize that given this lack of adaption, many Muslims in the West will suffer forms of mental illness, just as millions of Canadians suffer depression and other conditions due, ultimately, to failures in their "religious" or spiritual sensibilities to come to terms with free market-driven modernity? Would you take issue with a claim that many Marxist academics show some signs of mental illness? I would defend such a claim, though admit it alone didn`t explain much.

Here's part of what I hope to address:

"Why not recognize that given this lack of adaption, many Muslims in the West will suffer forms of mental illness...."

I think we have a misunderstanding of Islamic actors as those with a teleological moral. We see them act, and then justify the means as necessary for the good of the cause, thinking that in so speaking they are ends-driven.

I think not, for several reasons, one being that they appear to be deontologically focussed on orthopraxy. What mental illness? There is, to use Julien Jaynes' concept, seemingly a bi-cameral mind at work here.

The Muslim is potentially perfect in his own mind, his perfection deriving from his perfect religion, and his perfection being in conformity to his right ritual practice, his orthopraxy. But even as the worst Muslim in history, still he is incomparably better in all ways than a non-Muslim, by canonical Muslim measure. The problem of theodicy is solved even living in the corrupt Western Modernity by jihdadi orthopraxy. All personal evil is expunged from the being by right jihad in the name of Allah. It's our particular hubris to assume this as "mental illness." It's normal for the Muslim who is living concurrently in two conflicting emotional/intellectual worlds, i.e. in a bi-cameral mind.

He lives with secret guilt enjoying hedonistic Modernity, and then saves himself by jihadi orthopraxy. That's not teleological at all. Rather, it is a moral imperative, inconsequential, as it were. It's not "mental illness," it's perfectly normal to do the right thing, especially if it's also prudential.

At bet, one can have limited sympathy for the tormented and guilt ridden Muslim who likes life more than he loves death, but there comes a time when we have to accept that the man with a divided mind has to choose his true being and true moral. When he chooses his own salvation over what is to most a vile existence of hedonism, we can't just pretend it's "mental illness" writ purple and crimson. It's real and right.

Too bad for us, mired as we seem to be in a moral idiocy. Who is really crazy then?

truepeers said...

It's a good point Dag. Still, it's but one important angle for trying to figure what Islam in Western modernity really is. And how many Muslims here would share it?

Let's speculate that this guy in Vancouver was in his own mind performing some kind of jihadi act (and not just going loco after listening to too many Beatles' tunes. Doesn't he still need other Muslims to sign off on his act in order to know he's not nuts? And how many here will embrace him, in any quarter? I doubt very many will... If so, then maybe he is nuts...

And shouldn't we want this conclusion to happen, from a pragmatic political perspective, as defenders of Western modernity? Are we really better off if this kind of thing gets labelled "jihad", so validated, instead of "mentally ill"? Whatever the pragmatic realities to which "mentally ill" points, it is also a politically useful term. If you're right about the bicameral mind, do we too not have to choose which room to validate? And are we really nuts if we choose the one with which we're at home?

Sure, on some level we have to try to know the dangers that are out there, know the other guy's mind. But no single perspective will define a right and true course. Our way forward will be ultimately pragmatic and require us to divide and differentiate the good and bad in bicameral minds and cultures.

Rob Misek said...

When we misrepresent or change definitions of our values we inhibit communication and undermine civilization.

When bad is defined by some as good do we need wonder why we become in conflict?

I suspect most homosexuals support the theory of evolution.

In many species, inferior individuals are targetted with violence to maintain the strength of the group.

We use discrimination to choose between unequal things.

Homosexuality is a mental illness that precludes reproduction.

When homosexuals parade around flaunting their irresponsible sexual promiscuity they should expect social criticism.

Nobody should be subjected to physical violence though.

Muslims should be taught to use their words, not their hands.

Dag said...

Homosexuals have a problem on the horizon: if it is genetic, which is a term beyond my understanding, then it is possible that in future, prospective parents shopping for a designer baby could stipulate that they want a baby who has no "gay genes." Would parents opt for a gay baby over a happy baby who isn't gay? One would be hard pressed to think of anyone who who choose a gay baby. Could happen. Not too likely, though. There would have to be other benefits to the child, such as X or Y that come with being gay. Even then, I suspect most parents would want a bay that reproduces. "Bi-babies"? It's not that real, is it? It seems more to me to be a matter of current fashion, something our time will have to ride out in hope of some correction by times later.

But Islam as a choice is a choice, even if one is seemingly born into it like an Indian beggar family, tortured and twisted from birth into a freak. That, sir, is something the world can address at this time effectively. No genes involved. It's a matter of Will.

truepeers said...

The point, or one of them, that I was trying to make about "mental illness" is that it is largely what the mainstream of a culture says it is. THere cannot be some objective, univeral, definition of "mental illness" that is true in every time and place. TO say, today, that homosexuality is a "mental illness" is to display nostalgia for the first half of the twentieth century when Western medicine so declared.

But today, holding the view that homosexuality is a mental illness is likely to get one labelled mentally ill. It's a cruel world....

My own view is that homosexuality is something that, like all desires, can be learned from others. There are far too many societies and sub-groups, historically and today, where homosexual practise is much too widespread for it to be considered either genetic or a form of mental illness. What's more, the argument that homosexuality, because it does not lead to reproduction, weakens a society, is the kind of thing that is perhaps sure only to one who is born into a world that takes for granted that "gay marriage" (i.e. the permanency of the homosexual bond) is a norm to live up to. In many parts of the world, homosexuality among young men is common because access to women is more or less impossible for many (due to polygamy or strict laws on premarital heterosexual sex). THis doesn't stop them from marrying women when and if they can. Such societies may have many drawbacks, but they are today among the most reproductive on earth.

Rob Misek said...

Actually it was nostalgic for the time when scientific method determined mental illness, not politics.

Those men who hump each other in the absence of women are irresponsibly promiscuous, not homosexual.

truepeers said...

Well, I think the human sciences are inevitably political. It's not that a student of the human can't be disinterested, at times, but being disinterested is a kind of deferral of definite political answers in order to open up new knowledge whose implications aren't clear. But, in time, that knowledge will become politicized.

Today, I doubt there is very much new that we can learn about homosexuality, other than to discover what kind of tolerance/suppression will prove sustainable in the long run. If that's right, the discussion is inevitably politicized in large part.

Rob Misek said...

Science is the quest for proof, truth.

Neither are determined politically.

Dag said...

I haven't got any idea what genes are. I do have some idea about Nature's Mystic. Take any group of character monotypes and isolate them, in no time at all one will find a variety of types emergent that will mirror the universe, Nature inveigling the latent in those it needs the latent from for its own teleological end. Life is always forever the same in Man. No point and no good in doing anything at all about homosexuals even if it were the "right" thing to do. The Mystic makes what must be for the needs of Nature.

truepeers said...

Well, two points:

1)there is a fundamental difference between the human sciences and the natural sciences; in the human sciences all observations will have political import.

2)this is not to say that the human sciences are "determined" by politics; indeed they have to have some independence in the early stages of the production of knowledge; but this independence is not in some static time warp; it comes to an end as the never-complete knowledge of the human sciences enters the political and economic marketplaces. If this weren't so, we wouldn't have to argue about homosexuality; everyone would just know the scientific truth already.

truepeers said...

Sound a tad too fatalistic for me, Dag.

Dag said...

You type faster than anyone else on Earth. I'm blown away. But your answer seems directed more at Rob than me. Still, anyone who can open the mail, read my comment, think about it, and then type a comment in one minute is incredible, even if my point got lost as you were thinking about Rob. WOW.

truepeers said...


Rob Misek said...


It was intentional misinformation (lies) and political pressure during a cycle of extreme moral depravity that coerced the scientific community to remove the mental illness classification of homosexuality.

Research Evelyn Hooker and the criticism of her poor to absent scientific method.

The mystic of life is truth.


You seem to be playing both sides of the field.

Let's add some truth and honesty to clarify the issue.

Provide one example where politics has influenced the determination proof or truth.

It is the truth that will re-classify homosexuality as a mental illness, or a physical illness if a responsible gene is found.

wallyj said...

What galls me about the term 'mantal illness' in respect to Mr. Hammerhead is that it is being used as a red herrring to divert people away from the possibility if this savage attack being a hate crime. Legally,mental illlness can be used as a defence to a crime,but it should not be used to deteermine what ,if any,charges are laid.

Dag said...

I'm not seriously arguing one way or another whether one or any or all of the 50 or so cases of Muslims above attacking people at random is/are motivated by so-called Sudden Jihad Syndrome. I have no idea. It seems completely ludicrous to brush off case after case as "mental illness" as if it means something. I repeat that to me it's on a level with crying "Witch!" at Salem. It has nothing to do with anything so far as I can see. But I don't know. All I can do is look at the pattern, that being the one that isn't supposed to show up when looked at.

Having belaboured that point, what I do think I see is a terrified response by the average Western society at large in the face of anything that could serve possibly as evidence that the prevailing norms of political discourse are not absolutely or at least certainly unquestionably true: that all people are the same regardless of culture or personality or attributes; that all exhibitions and acting out of person, i.e. behaviour, is nurture, conditioning, and automatic reflection of social environment; that only the state and its ordained experts have the right by qualification to pass any "judgment" or non-judgmental pronouncement on behaviour. When an obvious pattern, empirical and falsifiable, as it were, arises that befuddles the normative discourse, then one must lie and lie and lie regardless of the obvious stupidity of the lie and of its obvious blatancy. Lie!

Nine people are hurt directly from hammer blows; but the worst of it is our civilizations are hammered to the ground by these repeated blows to our common laws and our common sense. Every lie is a further blow against democracy and Human decency. We all suffer from this corruption of society at the hands of our intelligentsia; and worse, we are part of that destructive hammering down of the gates of decency by our own complacency.

If people cannot walk the streets without fear of, for example, a mad jihadi swinging a hammer, then we live in a madhouse rather than in a civil society. And we deserve it if we don't care for our own sane response enough to make our own lives secure to the best of our own lawful abilities. So long as we live like semi-domesticated rabbits at Watership Down, raised in relative ease for the sake of the farmer who eats us sparingly; so long as we passively accept the rules of disorder for the sake of not having to work to maintain a common civility; so long as we hope it'll be "her, do it to her. Not me!" then the world of 1984 will slowly if ever so slowly encroach till life is sheer Hell for us all.

But the worst fear of all is that we will do nothing to restore sanity to our societies, that we will remain silent as we endure the repeated and endless obvious lies of the intelligentsia and their mindless cheerleaders charging the masses with outrageous slanders rather than addressing the issues at hand. The worst: that there will come a time of mass vigilance that will create in the West the very conditions of Jugoslavia's recent past, an hysterical madness of revenge and hatred of all eccentricities, however mundane, however innocuous. I fear the time when I hear someone in the crowd scream out: "There's one. Let's get him!"

And he will be-- me.

And he will be--You.

Time to stop now. Time to bring back honesty in place of lies and the phantasies of the intelligentsia's Gnostic visions of perfectible Mankind by the ruses of social engineering. Time now before people are enraged and just kill some crazy bastard on the street cause he looks like he might be bad. We deserve our own decency. We have a right to live in our ordinary privacies without having been driven to violence and shamefulness out of despair and fear. We must demand an end to the lies. We must demand and we must act for truth. To let the lies continue is what I would call "mental illness" on a society-wide scale. You'd have to be crazy to allow that.

Rob Misek said...

"that all people are the same regardless of culture or personality or attributes;"

Then stop lying.

Homosexuality is less than equal to heterosexuality as defined by reproduction.

Discrimination is how we choose between unequal things.

Don't tell me or mine not to discriminate against homosexuality
or any other destructive behavior unless you wish to be in conflict.

Dag said...

To a jihadi with a hammer, every infidel is a nail.

Dag said...

I'll include a link from Jihad Watch to today's hammer attack on a Philadelphia subway train as soon as I get a chance. Sorry for the delay.

truepeers said...

For those visiting, I think Pastorius at IBA has a good analysis of the Philly attack, noting the number of bearded men standing around. This one may not be SJS, but perhaps a planned attack. Circumstantial evidence, to be sure, but watching the video a few times, it seems plausible. It seems at least the little boy knew he was there to witness something...