Terrorism: Inflammation of the Mind

When Yasser Arafat rails on Israel and shouts for his Arab listeners to join him in a Jihad (Holy War) against Jerusalem, his apologists say he really means something else—to win the war of words over the Holy City. Likewise, when Louis Farrakhan refers to “blood-sucking Jews” as leeches on the civilized world, some admonish us, saying that his words must be taken in context. He is really calling for meaningful dialogue. And what about the hate mongers who scream from behind their swastikas, “Kill the blacks! Kill the Jews!” Oh, we’re told, they are only engaged in exercising their First Amendment rights and represent a fringe element posing little real danger to others. It is as though we are being scolded for thinking that these people are serious or that anyone is apt to be paying attention to their words and public tirades against their targets of choice.

But some are listening and are taking it seriously—seriously enough to kill. It is these people—driven into a frenzy by violent, agenda-crazed manipulators—who are a clear and present danger to all decent people. Unfortunately, their numbers and atrocities are growing.

A few months ago, high atop the Empire State Building, a vicious act of terrorism was carried out. Surprisingly, little appeared in the media giving details of the tragedy or the reasons behind it. We were first told that the man—a 68-year-old Palestinian teacher from Gaza, Israel—was distraught over losing his fortune. It was later reported that there was no substance to the story.

What is certain is that the man, Ali Hassan Abu Kamal, came to the United States from the Middle East. He spent a few days in Florida, where he purchased an automatic weapon. He then traveled to New York, and went to the top of the Empire State Building, where he wounded six sightseers, killed one, and took his own life.

Ali Hassan Abu Kamal carried the reasons for his terrorism on a piece of paper, folded up and stuffed into his pocket. Some of his statements ranted about grievances brought on by personal indignities he claimed to have suffered at the hands of various agencies or individuals.

But the point of his wrath and his reason for choosing to kill innocent people in America were spelled out in clear terms and placed at the top of his program of retribution. Ali Hassan Abu Kamal speaks for himself in his document titled “Charter of Honor.”

Out of revenge for prestige, patriotism and retarding tyranny and suppression, I consider those mentioned below as my bitter enemies and they must be annihilated and exterminated.

1.The First Enemy, Americans—Britons—French…These three big powers are the first enemy to the Palestinians…The Zionists are the pawn that carried out their savage aggression. My restless aspiration is to murder as many of them as possible, and I have decided to strike at their own den in New York, and the very Empire State Building in particular.

The young sightseer from Denmark who was shot and killed did not know why this violence was perpetrated against him. Nor did the six cut down by bullets from a gun the man should not have been allowed to buy. They had nothing against Palestinians or Ali Hassan Abu Kamal. None of them had ever seen his face before. They were simply victims. As we have all heard, they were “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

In a sad way, the shooter was a victim too. He is a somber illustration of what can happen when people succumb to terrorist rhetoric that produces malignant inflammation of the mind. Some may say that people like Abu Kamal are weak-minded. Perhaps that is true. If so, it makes the situation even more pathetic. Is he to blame? Certainly. Had he lived, he should have borne the full weight of the law. But even if he had, the people who inflamed his mind to the point that he was ready to do the deed will go unscathed. We can be sure that as long as such people are given immunity to spread their verbal venom, they will find more Abu Kamals, who in turn will find more innocent people who will die without knowing why.

The one great consolation is that there is a God in the heavens who can separate those who speak the lies from those who become their pawns or victims. One day, of course, He will do just that. And His kingdom will indeed be a far better place.

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