British police have now identified the man who plowed a van into a crowd of British Muslims exiting the Finsbury mosque in London at midnight as 47-year-old Darren Osborne. Osborne, a Welsh father of four, killed one person and injured at least ten. Media coverage of the atrocity is refreshingly — if calculatedly — free of the usual temporizing about motive: Osborne was out to mass-murder Muslims. He saw himself as a one-man retaliation squad for attacks on British crowds by radical Muslims using the same car-ramming tactic.
The good news, at least for now, is that he really does appear to have been a lone wolf. As with any of these situations, we should hesitate to draw conclusions about the perpetrator’s background and associates at this early stage of the investigation. What we can say confidently is that the leaders of the mosque appear to have performed heroically: detaining but shielding Osborne from potential retaliatory violence until the police could arrive; tending quickly to the victims.
A couple of observations.
First, this attack is being unanimously condemned, across British society and beyond. The notion that street violence is the answer to street violence is rejected, and there will be no attempt to rationalize the savagery as an excess in a righteous cause. Osborne will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The story tomorrow, just as today, will be his attempt to carry out mass murder, not anxiety over potential “blowback” attacks against non-Muslims. Would that all terrorist attacks were regarded this way.
Second, too many people are falling into the error of echoing the claim that the attack was “motivated by Islamophobia.” Not surprisingly, this allegation was instantly made by Harun Khan, general secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain. The MCB purports to be the face of “moderate Islam” in the U.K., notwithstanding its close ties to such sharia supremacist organizations as Jamaat-i-Islami and the Muslim Brotherhood. As we’ve discussed many times, “Islamophobia” is a smear label dreamed up by the Muslim Brotherhood, designed to demagogue any legitimate concern about Islamic doctrine as irrational fear and, of course, as racism.
The man who carried out the mosque attack is not an “Islamophobe.” He is a vile specimen of anti-Muslim hatred. His hatred does not render Islamophobia real. It does not convert into hysteria our worries that a sizable percentage of Muslims — for reasons that are easily knowable if one simply reads scripture and listens to renowned sharia jurists — construes Islam to endorse violence against non-Muslims and to command the imposition of oppressive sharia.
We must be of one voice in condemning Osborne’s attack, and urging that he be swiftly tried and severely punished. But we must not allow righteous outrage over the attack to dupe us into adopting the Muslim Brotherhood’s false “Islamophobia” narrative.