Yet another example of willful ignorance. Why are we obsessed with the religion of the Ottawa attacker?
Our obsession with the Ottawa shooter’s religion reveals more about us than about him
I kid you not; that is the title of the piece. Why, oh why, should we concern ourselves with his faith?
Yesterday, the media reported that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the man allegedly responsible for a horrifying shooting spree in and around the Canadian parliament, was a convert to Islam. News reports on the shooting then spent much of the day fixated on that unconfirmed fact — even though there is as yet no evidence that his religion was a motivation for his actions. More sensational coverage discussed dubious social-media connections to ISIS.
These reports imply that because Zehaf-Bibeau was Muslim, jihad is the likely motivation for his attack. But at this stage, without any actual evidence, it makes no more sense to come to that conclusion than it would to assume that he was motivated by Quebecois separatism, just because he was from Quebec. At this point, our focus on the Ottawa shooter’s religion says more about our own fears than it does about anything to do with Islamist terrorism.
On some level, of course, this feels like an obvious connection to make. ISIS dominates the news right now and we hear story after story of people from Western countries joining its jihadist campaign. Surely, it seems, Zehaf-Bibeau’s religion must be relevant to the terrible crimes he committed yesterday?
But those assumptions start to break down upon a little closer examination. Is the theory that the only reason a Muslim would kill is in the name of Jihad? Muslims are just like anyone else, for better or worse, which means that just as an act of generosity by a person who is Muslim does not mean that act was motivated by Islam, a murder committed by a Muslim was not necessarily driven by Islamist extremism.
And on it goes… The writer wishes to make herself (and the rest of us) as stupid as possible. This is just breathtaking stupidity. I don’t even have a way to categorize it or a decent simile. It isn’t like asking why we have to eat, or why the sky is blue, because those questions have interesting answers. Instead, it seems to be saying – screaming – LIKE ME BECAUSE I AM SO GOOD!!! What is wrong with this writer????