The blunt truth up front is that the Western left, including the government of the United States, has made it really hard for a jihadi to distinguish himself as a crusader for Allah. That, at least, is the reality of our approved, official reactions to terrorist attacks.
According to the “progressive” left, the big-picture problem is properly defined in the generic as “violent extremism.” It’s as likely to come from so-called “hate crime” sources, like “xenophobia,” “racism,” “homophobia,” and “Islamophobia,” as from Islamic radicalism. It’s all one big, ugly, same-same type of phenomenon.
Yet it still matters which source of “violent extremism” motivates an attack. If something other than Islamic radicalism can conceivably be blamed, Western leaders will seize on that explanation and hammer away at it.
Lisa Daftari at The Foreign Desk summarizes the bind this puts jihadis in, if they attack privileged victim-minorities when they’re bringing terror to the infidels:
While Mateen chose to target what the guide refers to as a “homosexual nightclub,” noting that killing gay people is “the most binding duty and closer to human nature,” it suggests to “avoid targeting places and crowds where minorities are generally found in America,” because “the federal government will be the one taking full responsibility.”
This refers to the heated debates sparked in the U.S. in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting by media, law enforcement and legislators debating the roles that gun laws, hate crimes and terror each played in the incident.
America’s feds are going to go into overdrive, you see, turning jihadi acts into mere hate crimes against minorities.
So Al Qaeda, in its online magazine Inspire, advises jihadis to target whites.
Instead, the guide advises jihadis to target “areas where the Anglo-Saxon community is generally concentrated. This class of the American community is the majority and it is the one that is in the American leadership.”
It’s not clear what areas would fit this criterion in today’s America. Darien, Connecticut and the state of Wyoming, perhaps. (Presumably the Inspire guide actually meant “white European” as opposed to “Anglo-Saxon,” since it’s really hard today to find a concentration of Anglo-Saxons – and only Anglo-Saxons – anywhere in America. There are always some Hibernians, Picts, Teutons, Norsemen, Slavs, Greeks, Bulgars, Poles, Iberians, and ancient Etruscans in the mix.)
But if a jihadi wants to get credit for killing in the name of Allah, Al Qaeda suggests making sure to kill white people.
Even that may not be enough, however, because of that inconvenient “gun” thing in left-wing Western politics. Using a gun for your terror attack is likely to have the American federal government blaming the gun, instead of learning its lesson about the holy fury of Islam.
That subtext – secondary, perhaps; and implied, not explicit – jumps out from this passage quoted by Daftari:
In the guide, the Orlando attack is referred to as one of “the most successful Lone Jihad operations” and will undoubtedly “inspire others to wage similar operations.”
In conclusion the authors note that while Mateen killed and injured almost a third of attendees at the nightclub, an extremely high tally for a ‘lone wolf,’ he could have killed even more by making explosives if he followed the simple guides that appear in previous editions of the group’s “Inspire” magazine.
Kill more people by using explosives. And get your point across better, since there’s no well-worn, hair-trigger political effort to legislate against possession by the people of ordinary bomb-making materials.