According to the U.K.’s Daily Echo last week, “a 14-year-old boy developed extreme views influenced by the so-called Islamic State and attempted to make homemade bombs during the coronavirus lockdown.” Apparently the precocious lad had “filmed homemade videos telling viewers how he would ‘carry out Jihad’ and ‘become a martyr’, as well as creating notes on his iPhone which said ‘women are tools, an object to be used… a sex slave.’” Faced with all this, Prosecutor Anne Whyte QC scratched her head. She said that the boy “had plainly absorbed this offensive and hateful type of message from somewhere… but it is quite possible that we will never know from precisely where. The important point is that he seems to have responded to it and, in his own youthful way, to have embraced it.”
Well, yes, that is important, but why is it not also important to know where he picked up these ideas? Is it because it would be impossible to find out what turned him in this direction, or because it would be too inconvenient for British authorities to find out?
It is virtually certain that no one has investigated what is being taught at the mosque this young man attended, or questioned those who converted him to Islam. The British establishment doesn’t want to face the possibility that this “extremism” is widespread and deeply rooted in mosques in Britain, precisely because the “extremists” present themselves as the exponents of authentic Islam. And so yes indeed, we may never know where this boy got these ideas, and so many others will also get the same ideas from the same place, while British officials pretend that all is well or turn the other way for fear of appearing “Islamophobic.”
The consequences of this denial and willful ignorance could be lethal. Whyte “told the jury how the defendant had added ‘rusty screws’ and ‘shrapnel’ to his homemade bottle bombs – the result of which had made burn marks in his wardrobe.” She explained: “He had researched how to make devices which were designed to harm or kill other people and had evidently been experimenting with the idea of using shrapnel in such devices.”
What’s more, “he had made a series of videos about the construction of basic devices using the context of his faith and beliefs. He made a video setting out his wish to be a martyr, again, we say, influenced by propaganda from Islamic State.” Among the notes on his phone was this: “The extinction of the western race and ethnic cleansing of the colonised land stolen by the western plague.”
Why isn’t it important to know where this kid got the idea that his new religion commanded him to commit treason and mass murder? And he is by no means the only one. Recently, another convert to Islam in Texas, Jaylyn Christopher Molina, wrote: “Let it be clear, I am against America. America is my enemy.”
Molina has been charged with conspiring with another American, Kristopher Sean Matthews of Elgin, South Carolina, to commit “Netflix worthy” terror attacks at Trump Tower and the New York Stock Exchange, which they thought would gain them “rock star status.”
Post-conversion, Molina began calling himself “Abdur Rahim” and Matthews went by “Ali Jibreel.” They both pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS), discussed traveling to Syria to join up with the jihad group, and even tried to make contact with an ISIS operative who would help them get there. Molina pursued his jihad online, posting instructions on how to train to handle an AK-47, as well as directions on how to build a bomb.
This raises yet again the question that has come up many times before, but has never been answered: why do so many converts to Islam come to hate their own country? Nor are Matthews and Molina by any means the first American converted to Islam to try to join ISIS. Spc. Hasan Edmonds, a Muslim member of the U.S. Army National Guard, was arrested in 2015 at Chicago’s Midway Airport; he had been planning to join the Islamic State. His cousin, Jonas “Yunus” Edmonds, was arrested as well. They had allegedly been plotting a jihad attack against a U.S. military facility – making Hasan Edmonds the latest in a long line of people who convert to Islam and then turn traitor.
Is it just a coincidence that so many converts to Islam come to regard the country in which they were born and raised, the land of the families and forefathers, as an enemy? Or is there some connection?
Other American converts to Islam who have turned traitor include Sgt. Hasan Akbar, an American engineer from the 101st Airborne Division, who murdered Captain Christopher Scott Seifert, Major Gregory Stone, and wounded fifteen others in a grenade and small-arms attack in northern Kuwait on March 22, 2003. As he committed his murders, he yelled: “You guys are coming into our countries, and you’re going to rape our women and kill our children.”
Yet Akbar was not Iraqi or Kuwaiti. He was an American from Los Angeles. But when he became a Muslim, any allegiance he may have had to America was gone. Likewise al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn and the Marin County Mujahid, John Walker Lindh, both of whom converted to Islam and ended up waging war against the country of their birth, on behalf of its enemies.
All the major Muslim organizations in the U.S. condemn ISIS, as do all the major Muslim organizations in Britain. So why, when the 14-year old in Britain and Jaylyn Molina and Kristopher Matthews in the U.S. converted to Islam, did they fall prey to its supposedly twisted and hijacked understanding of Islam? Why wasn’t the peaceful, tolerant, true Islam that everyone assumes converts to Islam are taught in mosques in the U.K. and U.S. able to withstand challenge from the supposedly un-Islamic vision of ISIS? Why aren’t the mosques they attended being investigated?
Why am I the only person in the country asking these questions?
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.
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