Jihad - it's nothing new (but it's not the real problem)

There have been multiple terrorist attacks in the West since 9/11. Let us clear the ground straight away - everyone agrees that not all Muslims are terrorists. That is to say, where the subject term is Muslims, and the predicate term is men who have committed acts of violence and terrorism, the A proposition (All S are P) is false.

All S are P

However, this is irrelevant. The A proposition (All S are P) may be false, but it does not follow that the corresponding I proposition (Some S are P) is false. And in this instance, where the subject term is Muslims, that term is not distributed, and the predicate term is men who have committed acts of violence and terrorism, the I proposition (Some S are P) is true.

Some S are P

The world has just seen yet another example which demonstrates that this I proposition is true. Although it was quite shocking to see another terrorist attack in the centre of London, the means employed in this latest attack is nothing new. Back in 2010, the Al Qaeda magazine Inspire told its readers that in order to avoid capture, they should not attempt to execute a "spectacular" like 9/11 but should carry out smaller scale attacks.1 The magazine specifically recommended making an IED from a pressure cooker, and running people down in a 4 wheel drive vehicle.2

Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, a graduate of the University of North Carolina, had already thought of that. On 3d March 2006, he drove a rented SUV into a group of students at the university, hitting nine people and sending six of them to the hospital. Taheri-azar, an Iranian native, was reported as saying that he hated Americans and Jews, that he carried out his attack in order to punish the American government for how they treated Muslims, and that he intended to kill his targets. A fellow student who knew Taheri-azar when he attended UNC told the local newspaper that Taheri-azar was a "pretty devout" Muslim who had "studied the Quran", and was "deeply committed" to Islam.3

There have been multiple incidents throughout the Western world in recent years, where the perpetrator was a devout Muslim who stated what his motives were for committing violent and criminal acts. On June 1st 2009, Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad, a Memphis-born convert to Islam, drove past an Army recruiting station in Little Rock, Arkansas and opened fire on two American soldiers with a semi-automatic rifle. Muhammad killed Private William Long and seriously injured Private Quinton Ezeagwula, two young men who had completed their basic training just two weeks earlier.

Muhammad has several firearms in his truck when he was arrested, so he had the means to carry out the attack, and he clearly had the opportunity to carry out an attack on a soft target. That left Muhammad's motives. Muhammad was jailed for life without parole in July 2011. Before Muhammad was sent down, he wrote to the judge and explained what his motives were. In that handwritten note, Muhammad stated clearly that "this was a jihad attack on infidel forces" therefore his actions were "justified according to Islamic laws and the Islamic religion."4

Here is a copy of Muhammad's note, written in his own hand:

There are innumerable examples of this sort of thing. One of the men convicted of conspiring to kill American soldiers at Fort Dix in New Jersey, Eljvir Duka, explained his motives clearly: "In the end, when it comes to defending your religion, when someone ... attacks your religion, your way of life, then you go jihad." Serdar Tatar, a co-conspirator of Duka's, gave more insight into the mindset of these terrorists: "It doesn't matter to me whether I get locked up, arrested or get taken away, or I die, it doesn't matter. I'm doing it in the name of Allah."5 The would-be terrorist Faisal Shahzad was sentenced to life imprisonment after an attempted attack in Times Square in May 2010. Shahzad pleaded guilty to ten charges, including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and the attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. Shahzad also explained what his motives were: "I consider myself a Muslim soldier," he told the judge at his trial. "If I am given a thousand lives, I will sacrifice them all for the sake of Allah ... Consider me only a first droplet of the flood that will follow."6

Since then, the world has witnessed the appearance of more of these murderous creatures. On 22nd May 2013, two of them attacked Lee Rigby, a 25 year old drummer serving with the Second Fusiliers in the British Army. Rigby had served in Cyprus and Afghanistan, where he was part of the Fire Support Group at Patrol Base Woqab.7 The pair took Rigby's life in the most brutal fashion, right in the middle of London's streets.8

One of the killers, who had converted to Islam and taken the name Mujahid Abu Hamza,9 was caught red-handed by a passerby who filmed him on their mobile phone at the scene of the crime. Holding a dagger and a meat cleaver, Abu Hamza stated that he was following commands found in the Koran, specifically citing surah-at-taubah, the ninth chapter of Islam's foundational text.10

"But we are forced by the Koran, in sura at-taubah, through many, many ayah throughout the Koran ..."

The response of the British Prime Minister to this horror was instructive. Following the murder of a British soldier on the streets of the nation's capital, David Cameron stood in front of the TV cameras, adopted a very stern face indeed, and asserted that there were no Islamic doctrines that justified such actions.11 Then he popped off to Ibiza for a few days in the sun with the wife.12 By leaving the country, Cameron avoided having to comment when three Muslim prisoners in Full Sutton Prison in Yorkshire attacked an ex-serviceman working as a prison warden.13 Nor did Cameron have to say anything when a Muslim convert called Alexander Dhaussy was arrested in Paris and charged with stabbing a French soldier in the throat.14 The silence was deafening when, barely a week after the murder of Lee Rigby, a Muslim convert who had changed his name to Islam was arrested for threatening to kill Prince Harry.15

Any citizen of the Western nations who looks at the situation rationally can see that there are two problems before us. We have killers arising from within the Islamic community pretty frequently, and we have terrorist attacks occurring somewhere in the West almost every day. But this is not as big a problem as it would appear at first. The primary function of the State is to protect its own citizens, and if agents of the State took that solemn duty seriously, then the threat posed by terrorism within our own borders could be reduced to almost nothing very quickly. The real problem is that our governments are not fit for purpose. Politicians tell us after each terrorist attack that it will not change our values, and that democracy and freedom will prevail. And they're right - it's not terrorist attacks that will undermine democracy, erode our freedoms and destroy our cultural values. It's politicians who are doing that.

Britain and America fought during the war for the principles listed in the Atlantic Charter. In that document, it is stated that our countries fought against the Nazis to defend, inter alia, "the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live".16 The so-called "remainers" seek to deny us this right - this is why their position is untenable. The fact of the matter is, by voting to leave Europe, the people of Britain have chosen the form of government under which they will live. And it is a form of government where the seat of power remains in their own country. It is a form of government where our individual votes still matter.

However, we cannot congratulate ourselves and then go to sleep, as if our work is done now, and it's time to head on up the wooden hill at the end of a hard day. In light of the ongoing terrorist threat to each and every one of us, which successive British governments have failed to prevent, it is clearly not enough to have the right to choose the form of government under which you and your children will live. Every morally sane person in Britain has to actually exercise that right.

It is not enough to have the freedom to speak the truth, we have to do so. It is not enough to say that we have have cultural values, we have to defend them. It is not enough to say that we live in a democracy, we have to remember that we all voted the current politicians in, and if they have failed in their duty to ensure the safety of British citizens, then we can - and we must - vote them out again.


1. Erick Stakelbeck, The Terrorist Next Door: How the Government is Deceiving You About the Islamist Threat (Washington: Regnery Publishing, 2011) p. 45;
Magazine details al Qaeda cargo plane plots, CNN, November 21st 2010.

2. Erick Stakelbeck, The Terrorist Next Door: How the Government is Deceiving You About the Islamist Threat (Washington: Regnery Publishing, 2011) pp. 52-53;
New issue of magazine offers jihadists terror tips, CNN, October 12th 2010.

3. Driver charged after SUV plows through crowd, NBC News, 3/5/2006;
Jessica Rocha, Samiha Khanna and Jane Stancill, Suspect says he meant to kill, News and Observer, March 8th 2006;
UNC Pit Suspect Claims Quran Supports His Actions, WRAL.com, December 12th, 2006;
Letters from Hit-and-Run Suspect Are Like Court Outburst, WRAL.com;
UNC Hit-and-Run Suspect Speaks Out in Court, WRAL.com;
UNC Run-down Defendant Deemed Competent for Trial, WRAL.com, June 13th, 2007;
Anthony Wilson, Taheri-azar sentenced to more than 20 years, abc news, August 26th, 2008.

4. Max Brantley, Cops: double shooting terror act, Arkansas Times, June 1st, 2009;
Sean Osborne, Islamic terrorism and insurrection are very much alive and well in America, Canada Free Press, June 3d, 2009;
Joseph Abrams, Little Rock Shooting Suspect Joins Growing List of Muslim Converts Accused of Targeting U.S., Fox News, June 2nd, 2009;
Note written by Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad in his own hand, in which he explains his motives, available at: James Dao, A Muslim Son, a Murder Trial and Many Questions, New York Times, February 16th, 2010.

5. Wayne Parry, 6 Charged in Plot to Attack Army Post, Washington Post, May 8th, 2007;
Sean Alfano, Six Suspects Indicted In Fort Dix Plot, CBS News, June 5th, 2007;
Paul von Zielbauer, 5 Men Are Convicted in Plot on Fort Dix, December 22nd, 2008.

6. Department of Justice, Office of Public Affairs, Faisal Shazad Pleads Guilty to Manhattan Federal Court to 10 Federal Crimes Arising from Attempted Car Bombing in Times Square, June 21st, 2010;
Aaron Katersky and Richard Esposito, Faisal Shahzad: 'War With Muslims Has Just Begun', abc news, October 5th, 2010;
Scott Shifrel and Larry McShane, Failed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad sentenced to life, Daily News New York, October 5th, 2010.

7. Ministry of Defence, Drummer Lee Rigby killed in Woolwich incident, gov.uk, 30th May 2013.

8. Mike Sullivan, Jonathan Reilly, Tom Wells and Tom Morgan, We killed this British soldier. It's an eye for an eye, The Sun, 22nd May 2013 (updated 5th April 2016);
Sarah Weng, Drummer Lee Rigby, 25: Victim in Woolwich attack was loving father of two-year-old, Christian Today, 23d May 2013.

9. Harry Haydon and Karen Morrison, Woolwich terror suspect revealed as Muslim convert known to MI5, The Sun, 23d May 2013 (updated 5th April 2016);
Adrian Shaw, Woolwich attack: Murder suspect Michael Adebolajo asks to be known as Mujahid Abu Hamza in bizarre court appearance, Mirror, 3d June 2013 (updated 4th June 2013);
Arthur Martin and Martin Robinson, Posing like Usain Bolt and blowing kisses to his brother, Woolwich suspect now known as 'Abu Hamza', Daily Mail, 4th June, 2013.

10. Aftermath Video of the Woolwich Butchers - FULL, youtube, published 23d May 2013.
Robert Spencer, Full video and transcript of UK jihad murderer: "We are forced by the Qur'an", May 23d, 2013.

11. Nigel Morris, Murder of soldier in Woolwich was a 'betrayal of Islam' says Cameron as he insists Britain will stand resolute against terror, Independent, May 23d 2013;
David Cameron: 'Woolwich attack 'sickened us all', Telegraph, youtube channel, published 23d May 2013.

12. Samantha Cameron holidays with David and the family in Ibiza, Hello Magazine, May 27th, 2013.

 13. Natalie Chalk, Terror unit steps in as Islamic convicts break guard's jaw after 'pray for Lee Rigby plea', Express, May 28th, 2013;
Rosa Silverman, Prison warden stabbed in attack 'inspired by Woolwich murder', Telegraph, 28th May 2013;
Jack Doyle, Terror police called in after prison warder was held hostage by three Muslim inmates, Daily Mail, 28th May, 2013.

14. Peter Allen, Bearded man seen 'praying' on CCTV footage filmed moments before French soldier was stabbed by suspected terrorist in Woolwich copycat attack, Daily Mail, 27th May 2013;
Henry Samuel, Police: 'radical' Muslim confesses to stabbing French soldier, Telegraph, 29th May 2013;
Islamic convert charged with attempting to kill French soldier, Telegraph, 31st May 2013.

15. Jonathan Corke and Deborah Sherwood, Prince Harry Kidnap Plot, Daily Star, 2nd June 2013;
Steve Nolan, White Muslim convert threatened to kill Prince Harry just hours after brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, Daily Mail, 2nd June 2013;
Justin Penrose, Prince Harry murder plot: Man admits in court he threatened to kill Prince day after Woolwich murder, Mirror, 2nd June 2013 (updated 26th September 2013);
Josh Layton, Prince Harry: Maniac who plotted to kill royal was radicalised in jail after he converted to Islam, Mirror, 3d June 2013 (updated 10th February 2014).

16. Winston Churchill, The Grand Alliance: The Second World War, Volume III (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2015) pp. 352-353.

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