The news of a grisly murder in Oklahoma has once again brought out the panic peddlers who are always watching out for any gruesome event that they can exploit to advance their nightmare scenarios. While there is still a deficit of actual facts, knee-jerk Islamophobes leap forward to cast aspersions on people whom they regard as universally barbaric. Therefore, any chance to defame a Muslim is quickly pounced on and embellished in the most hostile manner. However, according to the Washington Post, all that is actually known about the murder at this time is that…
“A man who had just been fired by an Oklahoma City-area food processing plant allegedly severed the head of one of his former co-workers and attacked another before being shot by the company’s chief operating officer, according to police. [...]
But the FBI, which is assisting in the investigation, has so far found no links to terrorism, the officials said. There was also no indication that Nolen was copying the beheadings of journalists in Syria by the Islamic State, the officials said, adding that they are treating this as an incident of workplace violence.”
The fact that the investigation is in the early stages has not prevented the Fear Merchants from going totally overboard with their hysteria. Undoubtedly Sen. Lindsey Graham, who warned that ISIL is on their way to America to “kill us all,” is probably thinking, “One down, 359,999,999 to go.” And the folks at Fox News are doing their part by boldly declaring in all caps that “SHARIA LAW IS COMING!!!”
Fox posted their warning on their community website, Fox Nation (See the acclaimed ebook Fox Nation vs. Reality to learn more). The alarmist story was sourced to the uber-rightist blog, The Daily Caller, which is run by Fox host Tucker Carlson. The exclamation about the coming of Sharia law was taken from the Facebook page of Alton Nolen, the suspect in the Oklahoma crime, but Fox doesn’t disclose that in their headline or their article. They leave it to appear that there is just some sort of impending doom that is approaching that will foretell the end of civilization as we know it.
The Daily Caller’s article was written by Patrick Howley, a disreputable hack who has confessed to unethical and unlawful tactics to smear his ideological foes. Howley includes ridiculous and irrelevant observations such as the fact that Nolen had a tattoo that read “as-salaamu ataikum,” a Muslim greeting meaning “peace be upon you.” Nolen also had a tattoo of Jesus and a pair of Christian praying hands. So what does that say about Christianity?
Of course, it is utterly absurd to imply that a murder, even if it is determined to be related to terrorism, suggests that Sharia law is about to be implemented in America. What happened in Oklahoma was a crime and will be treated as such. It will never be tolerated as lawful in this country under some warped interpretation of Islam. So even if there are additional crimes linked to terrorists, Sharia law is most definitely not coming to America.
If Americans are determined to be afraid of something, they may want to put this recent crime into perspective. In 2014 so far, there has been one beheading in the United States. Compare that to the more than 8,000 deaths by guns this year. [Estimate based on data from 2012]
That’s more than double the fatalities of 9/11. Which makes it all the more ludicrous that right-wingers are now clamoring for unwieldy and unwarranted measures to address their fantastical notions about domestic terrorism. They propose strengthening border security, spying on mosques, prohibiting immigration from Muslim countries, and even building concentration camps.
However, you will not hear any similar commitment to eradicating the true epidemic of deaths and injuries by guns. To the contrary, conservatives are pushing for more guns to be carried and for fewer restrictions on firearms. They are against regulations to keep guns out of the hands of felons or spousal abusers. They fight efforts to prohibit cop-killer bullets. They oppose smart-gun technology that would prevent unauthorized persons from using a firearm. They are even against laws that prohibit people on the terrorist watch list from purchasing guns.
Nevertheless, a single beheading, as horrific as it is, whips wingnuts into a frenzy, while 8,000 deaths, many of them children, doesn’t move them to lift a finger. This leads to a fundamental question that needs to be asked by the American people and the media: Who represents a bigger threat to the country, ISIL or the NRA?