Greenwald: Yelling “Allahu Akbar” During a Shooting Rampage Is Not Suggestive of Terrorism, and It’s Repellent of You to Claim Otherwise
I couldn’t make up something this stupid if I tried. Glenn Greenwald:
Isn’t it fairly clear that the term “terrorism” is being applied to what Hasan did due to his religion rather than the acts themselves?
It’s about as clear as your prose, Greenwald.
Put another way, as ThinkProgress’ Matt Duss put it: “the definition of terrorism is not ‘any violence by any Muslim anywhere at any time for any reason’.” But that — along with the repellent claim that saying “Allahu Akbar” is “suggestive of terrorism,” rather than suggestive of someone who is Muslim (obviously the same thing in the minds of the people claiming that) — is exactly what seems to be driving discussions of this attack.
Hold up. Hold it just one second there.
It’s a “repellent claim” to note that yelling “Allahu Akbar” during a shooting rampage is “suggestive of terrorism”? Yelling “Allahu Akbar” during a shooting rampage is merely suggestive of someone being Muslim — and not terrorism?
I’m at a loss for words to express how stupid Greenwald’s claim is — and indeed, I needn’t mock it, because it mocks itself. May I remind you: on September 11, 2001, Muslim hijackers aboard Flight 93 yelled that phrase as they piloted the plane into the ground. Coincidence, I’m sure.
If common sense isn’t enough for you — if you really need to rely a lawyerly-sounding definition of “terrorism” — how about the one used by the U.S. Department of Defense: “The calculated use of violence or threat of violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or try to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.”
At the risk of explaining the painfully obvious: when you yell “Allahu Akbar” during a shooting rampage, that’s evidence that the shooter had Allah’s greatness on the brain during the time of the murder. That suggests a religious motivation, which suggests terrorism.
When Greenwald characterizes as “repellent” the claim that shouting “Allahu Akbar” suggests terrorism, he is engaging in the same sort of political correctness that caused military brass to turn a blind eye to Hasan’s extremist support of Muslim terrorism.
Which is to say, it’s attitudes like Greenwald’s that helped Nidal Hasan kill 13 people at Fort Hood.
But at least it gives him a little frisson of self-righteousness to accuse others of religious bigotry. And in the end, isn’t that all that really matters?
UPDATE: As Andy Levy notes in comments, Hasan killed 14 people, not 13. Explanation here.