On October 31, Sayfullo Saipov, a Muslim immigrant from Uzbekistan, shouted, "Allahu Akbar!" ("Allah is the greatest!") as he rammed his rented truck into 20 people in downtown Manhattan, killing eight and wounding twelve more. The truck-ramming attack, a terrorist tactic popularized by jihadists in Israel, then Europe, was the deadliest terror attack in New York since September 11, 2001. The response to Saipov's attack from New York City officials, as well as the US media, displays the extent to which officials have submitted to Islamic terrorism since then, and how unquestioningly the mainstream media backs this capitulation. Americans should be extremely worried.
NY Deputy Police Commissioner John Miller said after the attack:
"This is not about Islam, this is not about the mosque he attends, there are hundreds of thousands of law abiding Muslims in New York City, who are adversely affected by things like this. It is probably a good time to say that we have seen in the aftermath of incidents like these, bias incidents, hate crimes, assaults... and anybody behind those will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law".
In fact, this attack had everything to do with Islam. Saipov was a devout Muslim, who left a note at the site of the attack making clear that he had committed the atrocity on behalf of ISIS, an organization that is, as studies have shown, nothing if not Islamic. The mosque Saipov allegedly attended had actually been under surveillance since 2005; and mosques are among the most popular places for Muslim outreach, dawa. Although the internet also plays a role in the radicalization process, a recent study showed that face-to-face encounters are even more important.
Instead of threatening New Yorkers -- who have a constitutionally protected right to voice their objections to being murdered by Muslim terrorists, even if the deputy police commissioner thinks it might be "biased" to be against your own demise -- with prosecution, the police deputy commissioner should have admonished them, "If you see something, say something". Instead, he not only lied about the Islamic nature of the terrorist attack, but, through his grossly negligent remarks, enabled future attacks. Possibly, now, if people witness something suspicious, they will be afraid to speak out for fear of being labelled an "Islamophobe", or, as in Europe, prosecuted.
The deputy police commissioner, by the way, is the same official, who, in 2014, helped shut down the New York Police Department Demographics Unit -- a team that monitored mosques and neighborhoods to guard against threats to public safety -- after Muslim activists lobbied the police and demanded that it be closed down.
The unit was discontinued, even though a federal judge ruled that the surveillance could be justified: "The police," he said, "could not have monitored New Jersey for Muslim terrorist activities without monitoring the Muslim community itself".
Recently, the physician Qanta Ahmed wrote:
As a Muslim committed to fighting Islamism, I appeal to you: The need for strong surveillance of Muslim communities in the West has never been greater.... From inside the communities where Islamists hide, we can deter Islamism....The Quran is not ambiguous: "Be strict in observing justice, and be witness for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or against your parents or kindred."...
Counterterrorism experts and politicians must know that far from being Islamophobic, the scrutiny is supported by Islam.
Nations seasoned in combating Islamism — most recently, Egypt.... have identified mosques as critical nerve centers for Islamism. Mosques in Egypt, for example, are monitored by the state. I have testified on Capitol Hill that the United States needs similar surveillance to expose domestic radicalization.
Also, the state must outlaw Islamist groups. To Saudi Arabia's dismay, Britain failed to outlaw the Muslim Brotherhood despite evidence of the Brotherhood's actions on British soil....
Rather than accept the Islamist narrative of the victimization of Muslims by the West, in combating Islamism, Muslims will discover our wherewithal to help protect the nations where we make our homes. In doing so, we will become more invested in our adoptive nations and safeguarding ourselves from the marginalization Islamists seek to exploit....
Islam itself demands no less.
Other officials seemed to take their cue from European leaders -- to deny and deflect any connection between Islam and terror attacks in the name of Islam: "The new terrorist tactic... are these lone wolves who commit these acts of terror," New York governor Andrew Cuomo said, adding that there was no evidence of a "wider scheme". Saipov's attack, however, was part of a "wider scheme" known as jihad, which has been ongoing for 1,400 years -- a fact Cuomo appears to have missed.
Speaking about the attack, H.R. McMaster, the President's National Security Adviser, said:
"What the President wants is to secure the American people from this threat and from mass murderers like this, murderers like this. And so what he's asked us for are options to take a look to assess if our tremendous law enforcement teams and our judicial system has all the tools they need to be able to combat this threat to the American people".
Here is a free tip: Refusing to name the threat, calling it a "mass murderer" and the attacker a "lone wolf" or "mentally ill", instead saying "Islamic jihad", guarantees that the United States (or Europe) will not be able to combat "this threat".
The media, instead of scrutinizing and questioning the motives for jihadist attacks, instead doubled down and apologized for Islam: "The phrase 'Allahu Akbar' is an everyday phrase tarnished by attacks", wrote the New York Times, assuring its readers that "Its real meaning is far more innocent". Actually, it is not.
"Translating and understanding this phrase as merely 'God is great' strips it of its crucial aspect of Allah's supremacy over all other deities", according to Yigal Carmon of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). Most media sources mistranslate Allahu Akbar. It does not mean "Allah is great", a simple declaration of piety, according to Robert Spencer, Islam expert and author of 17 books on Islam; it means "Allah is greater " or "Allah is greatest" -- a "declaration of supremacism and superiority, and of victory over the infidels".
"The next time you hear Allahu Akbar," wrote a spokeswoman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in a piece for the New York Daily News,
"whether... on an airplane, or in a shopping mall -- remember that the phrase used by millions of Muslims and Christians daily to praise God regardless of their circumstances, can never be justified for use when harming His creation."
First, it is false that Christians worship Allah. The New York Daily News apparently wants to help condition people to the lie that "Allahu Akbar" is an innocent term -- so that the next time people hear it, they will not question its meaning, fight or flee from a terrorist scene for fear of being labelled an "Islamophobe". It is propaganda.
"The Arabic chant 'Allahu Akbar,' God is great," said Jack Tapper, CNN's anchor about an hour after Saipov had gone on his vehicular jihad, "Sometimes said under the most beautiful of circumstances, and too often we hear it being said in moments like this".
At the same time, the media began to paint Muslims as the victims -- not the dead and the wounded victims of the terrorist attack. The Associated Press wrote:
"In aftermath of bike path killings, mosques near NYC face hostility again. Much like after the Sept. 11 attacks, U.S. Muslims who object to terrorism are the targets of threats.... Many people here worry that President Trump's statements – including calling Saipov an 'animal' – will inflame tensions".
President Trump's response to the terrorist attack -- not the attack itself -- is what the reader was supposed to believe "will inflame tensions" -- whatever that means in a city where a Muslim just murdered eight people, simply for being "infidels".
One is reminded of Mark Steyn's citation of the satirical headlines: "British Muslims Fear Repercussions Over Tomorrow's Train Bombing", followed by, "Belgian Cabinet Minister Says Tomorrow's Train Bombing Is All Our Fault".
New York has adopted, in its entirety, the European response to Islamic terrorism: Appeasement and genuflection to Islam. Historically, such behavior was required by non-Muslim citizens of Islamic states, known as dhimmis, in exchange for "protection", in addition to the payment of the special "protection" tax, jizya, for non-Muslims.
The question is why American citizens, who live in the United States and not in an Islamic state -- and whose Muslim population constitutes less than two percent -- feel obliged to submit to Islam?
John Richardson is a researcher based in the United States.