“He Said It Was A War”

I’m feeling things today in the wake of this act of religious barbarism on the streets of London that I haven’t felt for a while. The monster who paraded around on the street after hacking a soldier to pieces is chilling in many ways. But everything points to a religious act of terror, motivated by the same Jihadist rage that captured the Tsarnaev brothers. For these men, “our land” is not Britain; it is the land of Islam in their minds. Here’s the full quote of the Jihadist:

We swear by the Almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone. The only reason we have killed this man this is because Muslims are dying daily. This British soldier is an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth … We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth. I apologize that women had to witness this today but in our lands our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government. They don’t care about you.

This eye-witness account shows that even in the midst of this Islamist barbarism, some shred of humanity remained:

“I saw a guy with no head lying on the ground. He had been decapitated. There were two black guys walking around his body saying ‘This is what God would’ve wanted’. My friend and her mum were walking up the hill and the mum came straight to the victim. She asked the black guys ‘can I help him?’ And one of them said he was already dead but she could go. Then one of them said ‘No man is coming near this body, only women’. She was so brave, she didn’t care what happened to her – she knelt down by his side and comforted him. She held his hand and put her other hand on his chest. I think she might have been praying.”

There is no formal confirmation that the victim, who was run over on the sidewalk by the Islamists’ car, was actually a soldier, but he was wearing a t-shirt that referred to a charity for veterans, and was near a barracks. Mercifully, the response from the Muslim community in London has been unequivocal:

This is a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam and we condemn this unreservedly. Our thoughts are with the victim and his family. We understand the victim is a serving member of the armed forces. Muslims have long served in this country’s armed forces, proudly and with honour. This attack on a member of the armed forces is dishonourable, and no cause justifies this murder.

A girl scout leader, Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, was on the scene and managed to talk to the butchers as they hung around, bragging for the cameras, their hands dripping with blood:

I spoke to him for more than five minutes. I asked him why he had done what he had done. He said he had killed the man because he [the victim] was a British soldier who killed Muslim women and children in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was furious about the British army being over there.

There was blood on the pavement by the car where the man on the ground had been hit by it. At first there was no blood by the body but as I talked to the man it began to flow which worried me because blood needs a beating heart to flow. But I didn’t want to annoy the man by going back to the body.

I asked him what he was going to do next because the police were going to arrive soon. He said it was a war and if the police were coming, he was going to kill them. I asked him if that was a reasonable thing to do but it was clear that he really wanted to do that. He talked about war but he did not talk about dying and then he left to speak to someone else.

Two things are true here. The first is that this was a religious sacrificial murder, authorized by God in the eyes of the killers. The second is that this is clearly motivated by blowback from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The first is indefensible on any grounds. The second is a reminder that in the war against this religious barbarism, occupying Muslim countries is not an answer.