By now you have heard about the shooting of innocent people last Friday in downtown Seattle by a Christian terrorist. And what I want to know is what are we going to do about the rise of Christian terrorism in this country?
Sure, the Seattle Times inadvertently report that Naveed Afzal Haq was a Muslim-American:
A Muslim-American man angry with Israel barged into the offices of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle Friday afternoon and opened fire with a handgun, killing one woman and wounding five others before surrendering to police.
But now we know the cold, hard, and incontestable fact: Haq was a recent convert to Christianity:
He told friends he felt alienated from his own family, in part because his career had disappointed his father and also because he had disavowed Islam last year, converting to Christianity.
Haq had begun studying the Bible, attending weekly men’s spiritual group meetings, only to stop coming a few months after his baptism.
The group’s leader, Albert Montelongo, said Haq started studying the Bible and in December he underwent a water baptism at the non-denominational church, performed by Montelongo. He said Haq accepted his new faith, though he knew that he would also be offending his own family and its deeply rooted culture.
Whether Haq drew inspiration from online Crusadist preachers, or whether this act of terrorism was funded, organized, or propagated by a local Christian terrorist cell, something must be done.
Don’t misunderstand me, I not one of those eliminationist assholes who think that all Christians should be rounded up and gassed. Even so, how can we expect to live in a civil society with extremists going off and shooting innocent people in the name of Christ. I mean, can’t we just round up the suspicious ones and isolate them in fenced-in camps somewhere in rural New Mexico? We’ll call them “gated communities” so that everyone involved can feel a little more dignity about it. At the very least we should make them wear some type of identifiable mark or article of clothing.
Besides the heinous crimes of killing and injuring people, Haq also committed the crime of blasphemy when the recent convert to Christianity besmirched Islam during his rampage by claiming he was an angry Muslim. (In fact, he hasn’t been practicing Islam since 1994.) It’s always the new converts to a religion who are the most fanatical, but trying to pin this on his forsaken religion is beyond the pale….
Sure…there will be apologists who will point out that Mr. Haq suffered from bipolar disorder, that he had a previous arrest for anti-social behavior (exposing himself at a shopping mall), that he was well-educated but minimally employed at a Home Depot, that he felt isolated from his family after renouncing Islam, that he was lonely, that he badly wanted a romantic relationship, that he suffered discrimination as a brown-skinned person with a suspicious-sounding name in a lilly-white Pacific Northwest, or that all he desperately wanted was to “fit in.” Some have even suggested that his job led him to “go Depot.”
All of these are excuses made by touchie-feelie liberals who refuse to accept that America is under siege by Christian terrorists. The man knew exactly what he was doing—he trained in his violent idology and weapons for months before fulfilling his holy mission.
As you might expect, Jewish and Islamic groups were quick to condemn the violence against their people and their religions.
The Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, issued a statement calling the shootings a “senseless attack on a religious institution.”
“The American Muslim and Jewish communities must do whatever is within their power to prevent the current conflict in the Middle East from being transplanted to this country,” the council said.
And the Arab-American community also condemned the attack.
What I want to know is this: where is the outrage from Christian groups? These groups are complicit through their silence and inaction when one of their own goes on a killing spree against members of another religion.
How Haq is prosecuted—what punishment is sought, what excuses are made and accepted for his violence, and the outcome after all appeals are exhausted—will speak loudly to our society’s true tolerance for Christian terrorists in our midst.