Skip to comments.Donít Disregard Religious Factor in Kenyan Mall Attack, Say Experts on Radical Islam
Posted on 09/27/2013 1:58:23 AM PDT by markomalley
As forensic experts continue to examine the site of al-Shabaabs Kenyan mall attack, some experts on radical Islam are warning that as long as Western leaders deny the true Islamic agenda driving the group, they will be unable to protect their citizens from its deadly terror campaign.
Identifying religious ideology as key factor in the terrorism is not the same as suggesting that the terrorists represent all Muslims or that all Muslims should be held responsible, they argue but denying it is specious and self-defeating.
At least 67 people were killed during the four-day hostage crisis which began when more than a dozen gunmen seized control of Nairobis upscale Westgate mall.
After the siege ended, al-Shabaab fighters carried out further attacks in two towns along the Kenya-Somalia border, killing at least three people, including two police officers, the Associated Press reported.
In messages posted online during the mall attack, Al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda-affiliated Somali group, said it was reprisal for the presence of Kenyan troops in Somalia. They were deployed there in late 2011 after a series of attacks by al-Shabaab fighters who crossed into Kenya to kidnap and kill foreign aid workers and tourists.
But al-Shabaabs Islamist ideology was also clearly evident during the crisis. Survivors recounted incidents in which gunmen asked hostages questions to determine their religion, with Muslims or those pretending to be allowed to leave safely.
In a later email exchange with the Associated Press, an al-Shabaab spokesman stated, The mujahedeen [Islamic holy warriors] carried out a meticulous vetting process at the mall and have taken every possible precaution to separate the Muslims from the Kuffar [infidels] before carrying out their attack.
Al-Shabaab spokesmen also revealed their religious focus in some Internet postings, for instance identifying those surrounding the mall not as Kenyan security forces but as Christians.
We authorize the mujahedeen [Islamic holy warriors] inside the building to take actions against the prisoners as much as they are pressed, terrorist spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage said in a statement posted online two days into the siege. We are telling Christians advancing onto the mujahedeen to have mercy for their prisoners who will bear the brunt of any force directed against the mujahedeen.
As far as al-Shabaab is concerned, this is a religious war, Patrick Sookhdeo, international director of Barnabas Fund and director of the non-profit Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, said on Thursday.
The statements of those caught up in the shopping center siege make it clear that this was not purely a retaliatory attack over territory, he wrote in an editorial. Hostages were lined up by the militants and questioned about their religion; they were asked to name Mohammeds mother, quote verses from the Quran or recite the Islamic creed. Those who could were let go, those who could not or would not were killed.
The defense of their strict and puritanical brand of Islam, Salafi-Wahhabism, is at the heart of al-Shabaabs killing spree at Westgate, as it is the driving force behind their activities in Somalia and elsewhere.
In their responses to the attack Western governments tended to avoid any reference to the terrorist religion.
Secretary of State John Kerry referred to perpetrators of this abhorrent violence and the need to reaffirm our determination to counter extremism, while National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayde referred to the perpetrators of this heinous act and efforts to confront terrorism in all its forms, including the threat posed by al-Shabaab.
The French presidency spoke of a terrorist attack and a heinous act without mentioning the perpetrators. Germanys foreign minister spoke of terrorists while his Norwegian counterpart referred to the Somali terrorist organization al-Shabaab and the the fight against international terrorism.
One Western leader went further, arguing that there was no link between the incident and the groups religious ideology.
These appalling terrorist attacks that take place where the perpetrators claim they do it in the name of a religion they dont, said British Prime Minister David Cameron. They do it in the name of terror, violence and extremism and their warped view of the world. They dont represent Islam or Muslims in Britain or anywhere else in the world.
Christians in the firing line
Sookhdeo recalled previous al-Shabaab attacks targeting Christians in Kenya. Last February terrorists shot dead a Somali Christian pastor and injured another in Garissa, about 100 miles from the Somalia border.
In July 2012, al-Shabaab launched a coordinated attack on two Garissa churches during Sunday services, killing 17 people and injuring more than 60. In October, a nine year-old boy was killed and several other children injured when a hand grenade was thrown into a Nairobi Sunday school class; police blamed al-Shabaab sympathizers.
While world leaders continue to fail to understand, or perhaps accept, the ideological basis within Islam for acts of violence, they will never get to grips with the likes of al-Shabaab, Sookhdeo said, pointing to Camerons remarks.
To say that they dont represent Islam or Muslims in Britain or anywhere else in the world is flagrantly untrue. While they clearly do not represent the Muslim majority, al-Shabaab, along with countless Islamic terrorist groups that are rising up and gaining recruits around the world, are striving to observe and impose the teachings of the Quran and the hadith (the traditions about Muhammad) in their most absolute sense.
Recalling warnings by British security chiefs about the risk that Britons taking part in the Somalia jihad could return home and carry out attacks there, Sookhdeo said if such warnings are to be heeded al-Shabaab needs to be properly understood.
For as long as David Cameron and other Western leaders deny the groups true agenda, they will fail to protect us all from their deadly campaign.
A very pronounced religious ideology
Douglas Murray, associate director of the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based think tank, also challenged Camerons comments.
I dont think any sensible person would argue that the perpetrators represent all Muslims. But it seems strange to say that a separation of people and massacre of them based solely on their religious identity can be said to have nothing to do with religion, he wrote in The Spectator. Murray founded the Center for Social Cohesion, a think tank focusing on extremism and terrorism in Britain.
In a column in the same publication British journalist Melanie McDonagh wrote, If the Prime Minister had merely observed that the actions of the Kenyan jihadists are abhorrent to the great majority of Muslims and certainly the great majority of British Muslims, no one would have disagreed.
But to say that al-Shabaab and its representatives in the Westgate shopping mall dont represent Muslims or Islam anywhere in the world is simply untrue and if we try to deal with jihadis on the basis that they are unspecified extremists rather than people with a very pronounced religious ideology, its not really adding to our understanding of what has happened or our ability to prevent something similar happening here.
Boy, nothing gets by those experts on radical Islam, does it?
These are Western leaders who would rather present their citizens’ throats for execution than admit that Islam is a murderous blood cult and take the necessary actions to protect civilization.
I really wish your comment (and the Captain Obvious meme) was reality. Sadly, there are enough apologists for this death cult that say "Religion of Peace" and "These people pervert Islam" and the like, where "experts" are needed to repeat the obvious.
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.
Yes, you’re right.
It seems like after every horrific, vicious, cowardly and bloody attack by adherents to the religion of peace upon defenseless bystanders—whether at a shopping mall, sporting event or consulate, or wherever—someone is quick to slander the prophet of Islam. Let me be clear .....
We’re better than that.
OK, I’m off to the golf course.
Barrack Hussein Obama II,
Rex, Western Caliphate
“Dont Disregard Religious Factor in Kenyan Mall Attack, Say Experts on Radical Islam”
What idiot disregards religion as the sole factor in the attack?
“What idiot disregards religion as the sole factor in the attack?”
A friend is fond of saying, “Some things are so stupid only a college professor would believe them.”
The UN is good,
Socialism is the ideal human condition,
Jihadists are just normal criminals...
If only there was a clue of some sort....
That is so true.
Dunning-Kruger Effect: Stupid people are too stupid to realize they're stupid
“Dunning-Kruger Effect: Stupid people are too stupid to realize they’re stupid”
I’ve worked under managers who got to their position through family connections or golf who were absolute idiots and didn’t understand what it was they didn’t know. The easier an expert made something look the more they were sure they could do it right without any knowledge or practice.
Somehow the obvious eludes the PM of the UK.
(Just as it did GWB in the US.)
Hold on, I’m writing this down. Don’t...discount...religious...aspect in assaults. Right got it. Okay....exactly how dense are you “experts” ?
I’ve encountered an owner of a company who is like that, although he hasn’t owned it for very long. Dismisses the importance of hard to find, highly skilled technical employees as being a dime a dozen because they make difficult tasks look easy, therefore those tasks must actually be easy. Underestimates the complexity and time requirements of everything. Elevates dunderheads to management because they don’t ask questions, equates that with intelligence. Those who know enough to question faulty assumptions of complexity and time required are belittled as incompetent. It’ll hold together despite all this until the employment situation in the broader economy improves, then he’ll lose everybody he needs to retain to keep the business functional.
I am glad that Muslims all over America as well as CAIR came out strongly against this heinous attack by extremist Muslims in Kenya.........OH WAIT....WHAT.....YOU MEAN THEY DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING.....OK.....FORGET WHAT I JUST SAID.
It’s hard for me to understand what they’re thinking. How can they read the reports of events like this, including the clear statements of the attackers, and not conclude that people are doing this precisely because of Islam?
The only thing I can figure is that your average pols are so driven to be liked, popular, and voted for that they rationalize themselves into the ridiculous.
They must somehow convince themselves that Muslim terrorists just want to terrorize—and adopt Islam as their cover story.
That we put such empty heads into positions of political power is just scary.
It makes me wonder whose votes they are winning by pretending Islam doesn’t inspire terrorism. Moslems, obviously, but there aren’t that many in the country, as a percentage, and there are only a few areas where they are an electorally significant concentration.