Not Terribly Sophisticated

“Not long after September 11, I said, just as an aside, that these days whenever something goofy turns up on the news chances are it involves some fellow named Mohammed. It was a throwaway line, but if you want to compile chapter and verse, you can add to your list every week.

A plane flies into the World Trade Center? Mohammed Atta.

A sniper starts killing gas station customers around Washington D.C.? John Allen Muhammed.

A guy fatally stabs a Dutch movie director? Mohammed Bouyeri.

A gunman shoots up the El Al counter at Los Angeles airport? Hesham Mohamed Hedayet.

A terrorist slaughters dozens in Bali? Noordin Mohamed.

A British subject self-detonates in a Tel Aviv bar? Asif Mohammed Hanif.

A terrorist cell bombs the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania? Ali Mohamed.

A gang rapist preys on the women of Sydney? Mohammed Skaf.

A group of Dearborn, Michigan, men charged with cigarette racketeering in order to fund Hezbollah? Fadi Mohamed-Musbah Hammoud, Mohammed Fawzi Zeiden, and Imad Mohamed-Musbah Hammoud.

A Canadian terror cell is arrested for plotting to bomb Ottawa and behead the prime minister? Mohammed Dirie, Amin Mohamed Durrani, and Yasim Abdi Mohamed.

* * *

When I made my observation about multiple Mohammeds in the news, Merle Ricklefs, a professor at the National University of Singapore and South-East Asian editor of the sixteen-volume Encyclopedia of Islam, remarked sarcastically, ‘Deep thinking, indeed.’ Well, gosh, maybe it’s not terribly sophisticated. But then again, when you’re dealing with fellows who decapitate female aid workers in Iraq and engage in mass slaughter of Russian school children, maybe sophistication isn’t always helpful. Particularly when sophistication seems mostly to be a form of obfuscation by experts wedded to the idea that Islam is something that simply can’t be understood unless you’ve read all sixteen volumes of their Encyclopedia, or, better yet, written them. For those of us who aren’t professors of Islamic studies, the obvious course is to step back and try to work from first principles: What’s happening? Who’s doing it? The five-thousand-guys-named-Mo routine meets the ‘reasonable man’ test: it’s the first thing an averagely well-informed person who’s not a multiculti apologist notices – here’s the evening news and here comes another Mohammed.”

~ Mark Steyn, America Alone (Chapter Four, pp. 63-65)

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