National Security & Defense

Folks Do the Randomest Things

Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate, June 12, 1987.
Some random observations on random acts of non-Islamic violence.

I don’t understand why folks are giving President Obama and his spokes-minions such a hard time over his insistence that Ahmedy Coulibaly, the terrorist who just happened to be Muslim committing terrorism that had nothing to do with Islam, was just “randomly” picking out folks in Paris to kill when he randomly came upon a grocery that just happened to be Jewish and, coincidentally, to have Jews in it, whom he randomly killed.

Sure, we know Coulibaly called a French TV station during the siege, said he was loyal to the Islamic State that has nothing to do with Islam, and that he picked this kosher market because he was targeting Jews. But you can’t believe everything you hear on TV — just ask Brian Williams.

Come to think of it, the Paris attack seems an awful lot like another random one in 2008. Back then, another group of Pakistani terrorists who just happened to be Muslim, and who belonged to the Lashkar-e-Taiba Islamic terrorist organization that has nothing to do with Islam, went looking for random folks to kill and just happened to stumble on the Nariman House, a Chabad Lubavitch Jewish center which, coincidentally, had Jews in it — Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, then six months pregnant.

Of course, when they were randomly detaining these two folks who happened to be Jewish before randomly killing them, the terrorists who happened to be Muslim were overheard in radio transmissions discussing how “the lives of Jews were worth 50 times those of non-Jews” in this jihad that had nothing to do with Islam. But hey, totally random, right?

By the way, have you ever flipped randomly through Islamic scripture?

I just happened to land on sura 5:82 — wasn’t looking for anything in particular, you see — and found that it says: “Strongest among men in enmity to the Believers wilt thou find the Jews and pagans.”

Could something have been mistranslated? Maybe the revelation to the prophet really said “folks” but got somehow got written down as “Jews”? Doesn’t seem too likely. If you turn back a few verses, to sura 5:64, you learn Muslims believe the Jews have profoundly insulted Allah, claiming that “Allah’s hand is tied up” — which, as explained by the notes provided in the Saudi government’s English translation of the Koran, is a blasphemous taunt akin to calling Allah “close-fisted” and ungenerous.

In response, Allah instructs Muslims that it is the Jews whose hands should be tied up, and that they should be “accursed for the [blasphemy] they utter.” The verse adds:

The revelation that cometh to thee from Allah increaseth in most of [the Jews] their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy. Amongst them, We have placed enmity and hatred till the Day of Judgment. Every time they kindle the fire of war, Allah doth extinguish it. But they (ever) strive to do mischief on earth. And Allah loveth not those who do mischief.

That doesn’t seem very random.

#page#Nor does sura 2:61, which explains that Allah has stamped the Jews with “humiliation and misery” because “they went on rejecting the signs of Allah and slaying His Messengers without just cause.” We further learn, four verses later, of Allah’s command that the Jews become “apes — despised and rejected” because they violated the sabbath.

Sura 5:41 describes the Jews as “men who will listen to any lie.”

According to sura 4:160–161, because of the “iniquity of the Jews,” Allah made it “unlawful for them” to eat certain “good and wholesome” foods. He was angered because

they hindered many from Allah’s way; . . . they took usury, though they were forbidden, and . . . they devoured men’s wealth wrongfully. We have prepared for those among them who reject Faith a grievous chastisement.

Given these, it should come as no surprise that Allah, in sura 5:51, instructs Muslims, “Do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends.” These passages probably also explain why, in sura 9:29, Allah commands Muslims to fight the Jews and the Christians until they agree to live under Allah’s law, pay a tax, and feel themselves subdued.

And let’s not forget the Hadith — authoritative collections of the recorded words and deeds of the prophet Mohammed. Like the Koran, they have scriptural standing in Islam. Also like the Koran, they often do not treat Jews as “random folks.”

Indeed, we are told that, in his dying words, the prophet cursed the Jews, along with the Christians:

When the last moment of the life of Allah’s Apostle came he started putting his ‘Khamisa’ on his face and when he felt hot and short of breath he took it off his face and said, “May Allah curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of worship at the graves of their Prophets.” [Sahih Bukari, Book 1, volume 8, no. 427.]

In fact, in several hadith, the prophet is reported to have stated:

The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.

I know you’ll be stunned to hear this, but even though Islamic terrorists have nothing to do with Islam, they appear to think Islamic scripture means what it says. So if you were randomly to peruse, say, the charter of Hamas — an Islamic terrorist group that has nothing to do with Islam and that is randomly the Palestinian branch of the “largely secular” Muslim Brotherhood — look what you find in Article 7:

Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah’s promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!

Random? You’d almost think we were dealing with an identifiable enemy motivated by a distinct ideology that is drawn verbatim from a particular belief system’s scriptures. Nah . . . 

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

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