From the Brooklyn Bridge to London
By Diana West
Published: Friday, May 31, 2013, 8:57 p.m.
Nearly 20 years after a Hasidic Jewish boy riding across the Brooklyn Bridge was killed by a Muslim fighting jihad, a British soldier was reportedly hacked to death on the streets of London by Muslims fighting jihad.
Thanks to the happenstance of a passer-by with a video recorder, the world heard almost immediately from one of the two London suspects, Michael Adebolajo. His hands red with blood, he confessed to the murder he had just committed in Quran-correct terms of revenge, presumably for Britain's efforts against jihad in Iraq and Afghanistan. We also know that cries of “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is great”) punctuated the knifing of the victim.
But if “Allahu Akbar” is the historic cry of Muslims engaged in jihad, it is also the contemporary trigger for Western denial that jihad exists.
“We will defeat violent extremism by standing together,” British Prime Minister David Cameron stated, gravely opaque. How? “Above all, by challenging the poisonous narrative of extremism on which this violence feeds,” he said, definitely not referring to the verses of the Quran that inspire jihad.
Islam, the prime minister was saying, has nothing to do with this murder. Furthermore, global jihad is not underway.
Flash back almost two decades to March 1994, one year after the first attack on the World Trade Center and shortly after an Israeli doctor, Baruch Goldstein, massacred 29 Muslims in a mosque in Hebron. Goldstein's act was uniformly denounced by Israeli and Jewish authorities, but it nonetheless engendered calls for jihad from Islamic authorities around the world. It was at this point in New York City that 16-year-old Ari Halberstam was shot and killed on the Brooklyn Bridge by Rashid Baz, a “Middle East” man or “Arab” — the vernacular of the day for Muslim.
Nonetheless, in an earlier iteration of jihad-denial, discussion of the Brooklyn Bridge case actually focused on “road rage.” What we were looking at, of course, was an act of jihad — among the first of many thousands leading up to the recent London attack.
This became clear during Baz's murder trial. According to testimony presented by the defense, Baz thought of himself as “an Arab soldier crusader” — what we now know as a jihadist. Such was the testimony of Baz's own psychiatrist, Dr. Douglas Anderson.
Last week in New York, 16 Palestinians (14 of them in the U.S. illegally) were charged in a multimillion-dollar cigarette smuggling case, raising the possibility that authorities may have cracked a new jihad financing ring. As New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly put it, “Similar schemes have been used in the past to help fund terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah.”
Hamas, a wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Iran's Hezbollah (“Party of Allah”) are indeed terrorist organizations, but they are also avowedly jihadist. Kelly went on to note that several of the men were “on our radar with links to known terrorists.”
We seem to be looking anew at the jihad terror cell that killed Ari Halberstam. No wonder Kelly last week declared the Halberstam case “open.” There is much more to investigate — but this time with our eyes open to jihad, please. The people of New York, London and beyond deserve that much.
Diana West's new book is “American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character,” from St. Martin's Press.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Panthers free agent safety headed to Steelers
- Orpik rises to occasion as Penguins take down Capitals once again
- Penguins notebook: Letang skating, but no return set
- Figure skating coach dies in crash at Washington County Airport
- Police charge Westmoreland County priest in $124,000 theft case
- Starkey: No shame for Robert Morris
- Can Pirates star outfielder McCutchen be even better in 2014?
- Obamacare dramatically increases costs for some small businesses
- Memo confirms VA Pittsburgh officials knew of Legionella threat early on
- 1 killed in Washington County car crash
- Pitt aware of Carolina schools’ history in dominating ACC Tournament