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In the final minutes leading up to the terrorist attack executed by Abdul Razak Ali Artan, the 18-year-old whom the police fatally shot at The Ohio State University on Monday, he made a final post on Facebook.
While law enforcement officials, intelligence analysts, and counterterrorism experts will be scrupulously analyzing this Facebook post, as well as, the potential treasure trove of additional information from his computer and other devices to complete this terrorist investigation, there is one particular question posed by Artan at the end of the post that I believe is a valid question for all.
And here it is:
“Let me ask you this question, if the Muhammed peace and blessings upon him and his Sahaba were here today, Wouldn’t Western Media call them terrorists?”
Finally, someone was willing to look at the atrocities committed by the founder of Islam and his immediate companions and followers (Sahaba) from the 7th century and ask a relevant question in the context of Islamic terrorism today. So if a Jihadist is willing and able to understand that the actions taken by his religious prophet and founder nearly 1400 years ago were the same terrorist tactics as executed today throughout the world in the name of Islam, why are we as a western society (and media) so afraid to make these same assertions?
Too many times we have the same politicians, same pundits, same experts, regurgitating the rhetoric that ISIS (and other Islamic terrorist organizations) are committing atrocities that we have not seen since the 7th century, but they fail to connect Muhammed and his companions to those atrocities. Well, it’s about time that we take a good, hard look at the history and factual information that occurred during the 7th century by Muhammed and his companions and recognize there has never been an Islamic terrorist organization that has followed the teachings of their prophet more literally or figuratively as ISIS is doing in the world today and following through on those atrocities. Yes, this will offend many people on a wide spectrum of political and religious scales, but we cannot continue to politically dance around the fact that Islam was spread throughout the 7th century by men who today we would categorize as terrorists.
With Artan posing this question about Muhammed and the Sahaba in today’s context and how they might be viewed, I think it’s an opportunity to address the difficult realities that we all face when trying to combat Islamic terrorism today. My only objection to Artan’s question is not whether Western media wouldn’t call them terrorists today, but rather, WOULD they call them terrorists today? Lord, Almighty, we can only hope so.