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The Shootings in San Bernardino: Another View

4421policecalif_00000003956After almost every shooting involving a Muslim perpetrator, from 9/11 to Fort Hood to San Bernardino, we hear, from the President on down, some version of the following on-going narrative: “We are horrified by this inexplicable, horrendous act. Our hearts go out to the victims. This atrocity again proves the need for more gun laws.” We then have a statement from some Muslim group; its spokesmen, often women, are also horrified. They had nothing to do with it; they knew nothing about it. They are concerned with retaliation. Next we have a solemn admonition from some government official assuring us that the Muslim community is peaceful, that we depend on loyal Muslims. This shooting, it is explained, was the product of a loner or two, usually a citizen of the place where the killings occurred. This insane action requires the attention of psychological health experts; ideology is mostly or entirely ignored.

Then ISIS or Al Qaeda announces that it is responsible for the killings, whether that is actually true or not. We almost always are led to conclude that this event is just another irrational act. As with earthquakes, no real explanation exists. Such things just happen; some human beings are nutty. Since similar acts now happen every other week, if not sooner; we have to be ready for them. We need to call in the FBI, federal agencies, more militarized police, community organizers, religious leaders, and psychiatrists. But the bottom line is that, though all religions are prone to violence, we are told these particular happenings have nothing to do with religion, especially not Islam. They are caused by “terrorism” and “violence”, as if these acts are somehow themselves independent ideological positions with no relation to the organizations that use them to foster their ends.

Is there another conceivable way to look at these events that comes closer to a more plausible explanation? The first step is that these atrocities all have a single ultimate origin. I do not mean some central command post in Syria ordering operatives today to go to Paris, tomorrow to San Bernardino, the next day you name it, though there may be that too.

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