The Differenence Between Islamic and Non-Islamic Terrorism Explained on Hardball

Posted on June 11, 2009

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Still scratching my head at this incredible exchange between Chris Matthews and Mike Rogers. Matthews seems to imply that James W. von Brunn may have been driven to his act of would-be terrorism by economic concerns and stress. Rogers, a Republican congressman from Michigan agrees, and then makes this incredible statement, describing the difference between home-grown terrorists like Von Brunn and Scott Roeder and “Muslim” terrorist Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, who recently murdered soldiers at a recruitment office.

The Muslim, converted Muslim, who was radicalized in prison who attacked and killed our US soldiers was ideologically driven…I’m not sure I would put that, without knowing all the facts, I would put that in the same category. He was passionately, ideologically driven based on his conversion to radical Islam if you will. And the other instances are people who believe that their political beliefs aren’t being listened to or acted upon by the establishment, and all of the other pressures in your life and if you do some of the profiling again of these folks, you’ll find they had financial stresses, other stresses and they’ve reached that boiling point and whatever it is it could be a mental illness and in mnay cases it might not be, they might be as rational as you and I, but their philosophical belief that is detached from reality, allows them to act out in a violent way.

Watch the whole clip here:

Is there really any difference between being “ideologically driven” and being driven by a concern that one’s “political beliefs and concerns aren’t being listend to or acted upon by the establishment“?

Matthews and Rogers both imply that von Brunn may have snapped because of economic concerns–when at this moment there is very little to suggest that von Brunn was motivated by concerns about money. Perhaps worst of all, Matthews lets Rogers play the role of expert, despite the fact that Rogers obviously has his own political agenda to grind. Rogers’ consistent hammering of an economic dimension to Von Brunn’s  murderous act may make more sense when viewed from the perspective that Rogers has been a highly vocal detractor of the Obama administration’s economic policies. Rogers called Obama’s budget a “slap in the face to working families”. And just yesterday, regarding the decision to bring Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani to trial in New York, Rogers voiced his:

serious concerns regarding the precedent the transfer of Ahmed Ghailani to New York sets for more than 200 of the world’s most dangerous terrorists who are currently held at the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

And on the very same day as the shooting at the museum, Rogers was promoting a rumor that the Obama administration was endangering US soldiers lives by forcing soldiers to mirandize detainees in Afghanistan and Iraq:

“I witnessed it myself, talked to the people on the ground,” he said. “What you have is two very separate missions colliding in the field in a combat zone. Again, anytime that you offer confusion in that environment that’s already chaotic and confusing enough, you jeopardize a soldier’s life.”

The idea that Muhammed is ideologically motivated because of his alleged devotion to Al Qaeda while Von Brunn and other members of well-established domestic terrorist groups are not ideologically motivated but simply snapped because of economic-induced stress, is simply too absurd on its face to consider. But when pushed by a political operative like Roberts, it comes off as nothing less than bigoted demagoguery. And Matthews is just as guilty for promoting it.

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