Gavin Long, the Baton Rouge shooter
Posted by Oakes Spalding on SUNDAY, JULY 17, 2016
Obviously I’m writing this because it was reported that the second of two recent black supremacist assassins, Gavin Long, who murdered three officers today in Baton Rouge, “converted to Islam three years ago.” The first of the two assassins, Micah X Johnson, who murdered five officers in Dallas a week ago, may or may not have thought of himself as a Muslim, but according to reports, he was at least attracted to the Nation of Islam.
Okay, cue the expected rejoinders:
They weren’t really Muslims because Islam is a religion of peace and they obviously weren’t very peaceful.
The Nation of Islam isn’t really Muslim.
I have no sympathy for the first claim. People that make use of it are guilty of the No True Scotsman logical fallacy [see comment below]. They are assuming what they are trying to prove.
I do think the second is half-true. The Nation of Islam certainly takes many things from Islam, but it also goes off on a weird black supremacist tangent that has absolutely no basis in Islamic text, history or tradition. To see this, read the Autobiography of Malcolm X, among other sources.
But for the sake of argument, let’s accept both claims and stipulate that the two recent black supremacist assassins weren’t really Muslim. Whatever they thought they liked about Islam wasn’t really Islam. And the Nation of Islam isn’t really Islamic.
But that of course brings up the obvious question: why did they think they were sympathizing with Islam?
Or to put it another way, if the Nation of Islam isn’t really Islamic, why isn’t there, say, a Nation of Confucianism or a Nation of Zoroastrianism or a Nation of Traditional Catholicism for disaffected and angry black supremacists?
(Yes there are weird quasi-Jewish and quasi-Christian black supremacist cults but you don’t see members of those cults shooting anyone.)
Or to put it more generally, why are violent people who want to identify with a religion – but who will really (if we continue to accept the above stipulation) merely be perverting it – 99% of the time prone to perverting only one of the possible religions that they could, as it were, pervert?
What is it about Islam that causes this?
Or is it all merely a coincidence?