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The Lone-Wolf Canard


…We could go on at great length because there are many such verses, elaborated on with even greater ferocity in collections of the prophet’s words and deeds, which also have scriptural standing. It should by now go without saying that there are ways of interpreting Islam that seek to nullify its palpable bellicosity, and millions of Muslims do just that. But there are also millions who do not. The latter are not a fringe; as recently observed by Ayad Jamal al-Din, the Iraqi intellectual and Shiite cleric, their repressive sharia supremacism represents a mainstream construction of Islam, backed by 14 centuries of tradition and scholarship.

A Muslim does not wake up one day and spontaneously decide to commit mass-murder. No one is radicalized out of thin air. Muslims are radicalized by the doctrine. To be sure, there is often an intermediary between the doctrine and the person who becomes a terrorist – it might be a terrorist organization in the field or an extremist imam in the mosque. But it could also very well be the jihadist literature a person reads while alone in his room. Such literature is liberally available on the Internet and in countless American mosques and Islamic community centers. It is a staple of Muslim Brotherhood indoctrination efforts, and the Saudi regime – to take the most notorious example – has spent billions of dollars propagating it worldwide.

New York, Ottawa, Quebec, Oklahoma, Fort Hood . . . The “lone wolf” canard no longer conceals the harsh reality: The violence in “violent extremism” is terrorism even if performed alone; and what the “wolf” is “extreme” about is Islam.


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