CHARLOTTE, NC, September 28, 2014 – There is much more to the Oklahoma beheading story than meets the eye.
As always, the Muslim community quickly made it clear that the actions of Alton Nolan, who beheaded a female co-worker at an Oklahoma City food processing plant, had nothing to do with Islam.
In addition, the politically correct crowd was making certain that Nolen’s malicious murder was labeled “workplace violence” so as not to confuse it with terrorism.
And, of course, mainstream media was debating the idea that ISIS may have infiltrated the United States much quicker than first anticipated.
Beheadings are nothing new. Decapitations have been prominent throughout Islamic history. They are “new” to the West because we thought the process ended with Henry VIII and the French Revolution. Not so. They have been common practice in Saudi Arabia for decades.
The Koran clearly endorses beheadings. In Sura 47:4 it says “When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield, strike off their heads….”
Unfortunately, the revival of beheadings by ISIS and the coverage in the media may provide fuel to would-be jihadists seeking to emulate terrorist groups.
According to further details that have surfaced about Alton Nolan, he converted to Islam while in prison in 2011. Many prisoners convert to Islam during their incarceration because the faith speaks to very nature of many who have committed criminal acts.
The most obvious question then, is “what battlefield was there at a food processing plant in Oklahoma?”
That question is not a difficult answer because many Muslims believe jihad is the sixth pillar of Islam. Therefore, every place where non-believers exist is a “battlefield” for an Islamic radical.
Perhaps the most disturbing thing about Nolen’s actions, at least temporarily, is the influence the ISIS beheadings had upon him and others who fit into his category of extremism.
Nolen appears to have been influenced by the trio of recent social media executions. Otherwise he would have committed similar acts himself prior to committing the murder last week.
That suggests there are likely others who have also been similarly impacted and there is really no way to tell when and where they might strike.
The danger lies in the fact that such people more or less blend into society. You cannot recognize them as members of the Islamic State and their beliefs are not precisely those that are truly Islamic. Therefore, they become a potentially hidden menace that might be a threat anywhere at any time.
People like Nolan are not true advocates of the religion of Islam. Yes, they have been brainwashed by their own ideas of what jihad is, but chances are they do not truly understand the tenets of the religion as their counterparts in the Middle East do.
In other words, their beliefs simply provide justification and rationalization in their own minds that killing innocent people is all right. Declare yourself a Muslim and then non-Muslims are fair game because that is what they believe the Koran teaches.
Such ideas are different than those of the true believers in ISIS and other extremist organizations. That does not excuse their methods and motives, but it does demonstrate that their mindset is definitely different.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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