Of course. And for those who refuse to acknowledge the nature or magnitude of the Islamic jihad against the West, it will always be too early, even if Kori Ali Muhammad presents Dyer with an ISIS membership card and a letter signed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi commanding him to carry out this attack. In this case, the familiar dance of denial by non-Muslim authorities intent on absolving Islam of all responsibility for the crimes done in its name and in accord with its teachings is not the central lesson of the attack – that sad charade has played out all too often in the past, and will many more times in the future, and there is nothing new to say about it.
The key story in the murders committed by Kori Ali Muhammad is that they constitute a jihad attack carried out by an apparent member of the Nation of Islam, the racist black supremacist pseudo-Islamic group headed by Louis Farrakhan. According to the Los Angeles Times, “a Facebook profile page for a Kori Ali Muhammad from Fresno paid homage to black pride and black nationalism, with images of the red, green and black Pan-African flag and images of a raised fist. The page listed him as a ‘warrior’ for RBG Nation, referencing red, black and green.”
What’s more, “in recent days, he repeatedly posted images to his frenetic Facebook page with the hashtag #LETBLACKPEOPLEGO. He referenced ‘white devils’ and praised melanoma skin cancer. In a post Monday, he wrote in all caps: ‘MY KILL RATE INCREASES TREMENDOUSLY ON THE OTHER SIDE ASÈ ALLAH U AKBAR.’ Shortly before that, he posted: ‘BLACK WARRIORS MOUNT UP AND RIDE OUT *ASÈ* #LETBLACKPEOPLEGO.’” Ase, according to the Times, “is a term from the Yoruba people of Nigeria, referencing a concept that there is power in our spirituality, words and feelings.” Muhammad also referred to “white devils” and the Nation of Islam’s mythical evil figure who created white people, Mr. Yakub.
If Muhammad is indeed a member of the Nation of Islam, he demonstrates yet again how members of the Nation of Islam, even though orthodox Sunni and Shia Muslims consider the Nation a heretical sect, can identify with the global jihad, and place themselves in its service. The most notorious example of this is the Beltway Sniper, John Allen Muhammad, who along with his accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, murdered seventeen people in sniper attacks in the Washington, D.C. area in October 2002. Muhammad had joined the Nation of Islam in 1987; Malvo was discovered to have kept notebooks in which he drew portraits of Osama bin Laden and other jihadis and declared his determination to wage jihad himself.
When Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan spoke at the Nation’s annual gathering in Detroit last February, attendees greeted him with thunderous cries of “Allahu akbar” and listened raptly as Farrakhan railed against not against the Nation’s bogey, white people, but against the Jews: “I want to disabuse the Jews today of the false claim that you are the chosen of God — that Israel or Palestine belongs to you. I want to disabuse you of that. I’m going to tell you about your future. You that think you have power to frighten and dominate the peoples of the world. I’m here to announce the end of your time.”
He has, of course, spoken this way many times before. That Farrakhan would so often use the platform of his racist cult to attack the Jews suggests that he is interested in currying favor with mainstream Muslims who are well aware of how deeply embedded anti-Semitism is in the Qur’an. Orthodox Islam does not blame the evils of the world on white people, but the Nation’s Jew-hatred is certainly mainstream Islam, and an indication of how the Nation is often a way station: African-American men convert to it and then pass from it into orthodox Sunni groups, or turn to jihad even without doing so. Kori Ali Muhammad is just the latest example of this.
If authorities ever decide that the random shooting of three non-Muslims by a Muslim screaming “Allahu akbar” might possibly be terrorism, they might begin investigations that would make all this clear to them and help them prevent it from happening in the future. But nothing seems much less likely.