Jihad Attack in Orlando

How many Muslims are jihadists, fellow travelers, or sympathetic is not known, but surveys in many different countries indicate the percentage is disturbingly high.

By Stephen W. Browne | June 13, 2016


I was nearing the end of a long road trip when I heard about the mass murder in Orlando.

Specifics are lacking right now but we knew all we needed to know within hours. Omar Mir Siddique Mateen, an American-born Muslim of Afghani origin entered a gay nightclub and set a new record for spree shooters on American soil. Fifty dead by the current count. More may yet succumb to their wounds.

This is a war against America and the West. Over 100 people have been arrested in the United States who have links to ISIS, since the caliphate was declared by Islamic State.

During the Orlando slaughter Mateen called 9-1-1 and pledged allegiance to ISIS. Shortly afterwards Islamic jihadist websites began hailing him as a hero of jihad. Authorities are investigating whether this was an after the fact endorsement or if Mateen had been jihadized beforehand.

Mateen’s family condemned his actions and said he must have been “mentally ill” because he’d never been particularly religious before, and mentioned he’d been enraged by seeing two men kissing earlier.

Just another victim of “Sudden Jihad Syndrome.”

President Obama called it, “an act of terror and an act of hate” and described Mateen as “a person filled with hatred.”

One is tempted to reply, “No s*** Sherlock!”

Listen, I realize what the president says after a horrific event such as this is largely boilerplate. It has to be. You condemn the action, say something to comfort the victims and their families, praise the first responders, and try to avoid stepping in it with an incautious or ill thought out remark.

Obama has lately been doing better on that last point than has been his wont.

He did make the obligatory liberal talking point about how easy guns are to acquire, which I thought was in bad taste but didn’t surprise me; all in all, not bad, although Obama still fails to indict Islamic jihad.

And, yet, I keep coming back to that “person filled with hate” remark.

It’s no secret the jihadists hate us. They’ve made that plain.

My question is, why don’t we hate them?

Islamic jihadists hold to a particularly vile religious ideology that embraces horrors our civilization learned to reject over many painful centuries: chattel slavery, wars of religion, murder of dissidents and apostates, the brutal subjugation of women, persecution of gays, and the suppression of any trace of free inquiry.

They even hate music, that most innocent and benign of pleasures!

How many Muslims are jihadists, fellow travelers, or sympathetic is not known, but surveys in many different countries indicate the percentage is disturbingly high.

I don’t know, but suspect that a great many Muslims are like many vulnerable people living with fanatics, quite sensibly fence sitting while waiting to see who the strong horse is, in Osama bin Ladin’s formulation.

If I’m right, I suspect a lot of them must be leaning jihad-wards.

Why don’t we hate them? To put it bluntly, they deserve it.

Why did our president at this moment speak of hatred in a way that simply assumed this was always a bad thing?

The great Christian apologist C.S. Lewis wrote a telling passage about hatred in Perelandra, the middle book of his delightful Out of the Silent Planet trilogy.

The hero Ransom is sent to the planet we call Venus, which has not experienced a fall from grace as Earth has, to battle a man possessed by the Evil One who seeks to repeat his success with Adam and Eve on another world.

After a great deal of debate, Ransom realizes the appropriate response is not to talk, but to fight.

In the fight, Ransom realizes that this is what righteous hate was made for, and that the pagan battle-joy is not forbidden to Christians.

Christians are not commanded to renounce hatred, instead to “Hate the sin but love the sinner.”

And that is the secret. Righteous hate is for that which destroys what we love.

As another great Christian apologist G.K. Chesterton said, “The true soldier fights, not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”

Stephen Browne has been a sewage treatment plant worker, a truck driver, an English teacher and a journalist. In 1991 he received his MA in anthropology and set out for Eastern Europe, which was to become his home for the next 13 years. While teaching English and working with local dissidents abroad he began to write professionally about the tremendous changes happening after the collapse of the Soviet empire. In 1997, he was elected Honorary Member of the Yugoslav Movement for the Protection of Human Rights. In 1998, he co-founded the Liberty English Camps in Lithuania, which teach the principles of free markets and political liberty through English-language instruction, and eventually became the Language of Liberty Institute. He returned to the U.S. to study journalism on a graduate fellowship and pay some dues in rural newspapers in the Midwest. At present he lives in his native Midwest with his two children Jerzy Waszyngton and Judyta Ilona. Mr. Browne is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis.