Oklahoma beheading: A Muslim by any other name is just as fatal

Video alleged to be of James Foley beheaded by Islamic State killer.
Video alleged to be of James Foley beheaded by Islamic State killer.

SAN DIEGO, October 2, 2014 — Once again there is horrific violence at the hands of a Muslim. Once again we are told that it is not an act of terrorism. Once again we are listening to self righteous, sanctimonious lectures which insist Islam really has nothing to do with this because it’s actually a very peaceful religion.

It’s time for our nation to confront this politically correct drivel and put it out in the pasture where it belongs.

According to police in Moore Oklahoma, Alton Nolen, after being fired from a food processing plant, attacked and killed another employee, Colleen Hufford. But apparently killing the poor woman was not enough. He also cut her head off with a knife. After this, he attacked another co-worker, Traci Johnson. He did not succeed in killing the second woman because he was shot by Mark Vaughn, a reserve deputy from the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s department. Conveniently, Mr. Vaughn was also the chief operating officer of Vaughan Foods which explains how he was on the scene.

Johnson and Nolen were both taken to the hospital but remained in stable condition.

The eerie coincidence of a beheading instantly brings to mind two Americans who were beheaded in the name of Islam by ISIS, along with an English and French citizen.

While gun control activists may be at a loss for words in the face of a gun coming to the rescue of a woman whose life was in danger by a weapon other than a gun, questions about the motive of the crime still leave plenty of room for liberal talking points

At first the incident was being described accurately. Local police seemed to simply call things as they saw them, pointing out that Nolen had been trying to convert his fellow workers to Islam. Everything changed when the federal government got involved.  Federal law enforcement officials offered a more predictable interpretation, making it clear that the FBI has not as of yet found any link to terrorism.

No link to terrorism? Did we or did we not see a woman’s head cut off? Does the guy have to be a member of ISIS or al-Qaeda to qualify? Do we have to find a badge or a secret decoder ring before calling things what they are?

Ironically, these same officials informed The Washington Post that Nolen had recently converted to Islam and had a “provocative” Facebook page with a photo of Osama bin Laden.

I’m sure it’s a great comfort to Colleen Hufford’s loved ones if Nolen wasn’t actually connected to an honest-to-goodness terrorist organization.

More importantly, without that connection, the Obama administration will not be blamed for an act of terrorism on their watch. Nothing new here. The Obama administration is not to be blamed for anything these past seven years.

It is probably no surprise that the FBI, under the auspices of the Obama administration, would be reluctant to define this as an act of terrorism, particularly terrorism associated with Islam. After all, this is the same administration which called the Ft. Hood shootings “domestic violence” even though the killer, Nidal Malik Hasan, was a Muslim who shouted “Allah Akbar” while shooting thirteen people.

Although the FBI does define terrorism as an action aimed at scaring a civilian population, it also says “there is no single, universally accepted definition of terrorism.”

If that’s the case, perhaps a beheading in the name of Islam might just qualify. Besides, there may even be one or two scared people in Oklahoma after this incident. They probably don’t see beheadings every day.

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry helped to alleviate such fears by bringing two Muslim comedians on her program, Dean Obeidallah and Negin Farsad.

Says Farsad in a tongue-in-cheek manner.  “That’s the new stereotype. Pass it around. Muslims are hilarious.”

Yes, indeed. A good laugh is what our country needs right now. OK, so a woman was beheaded. That’s a tragedy, but for Pete’s sake, let’s lighten things up a little.

Not that Obeidallah and Farsad were there to do a stand up routine. They actually had a serious message to convey, namely that it is the “right wing media” who is “continuing the narrative” that Islam is responsible for what happened in Oklahoma.

Islam responsible? Where or where would anybody get an idea like that? If only the right-wing media could learn the nuances of the left-wing media.

Harris-Perry could show them how: “It is a story that I read as a workplace violence story,” she said, adding that Nolen’s faith is of no more significance than what she ate for breakfast that morning.

Let’s see if we can add up the logic here. The murder of Colleen Hufford should be called “work place violence.” Why? Because it happened in the work place. Therefore, we couldn’t possibly reach a more obvious conclusion.

True, with that same line of reasoning, it is just as obvious that  Alton Nolen is a Muslim who tried to convert others at work and who has a picture of Osama bin Laden on his Facebook page. But alas, those details are sheer coincidence and only a bigoted “right winger” would point them out.

On the other hand, perhaps we can consider an alternative interpretation: Maybe the fact that militant Muslims have declared war on the United States means we really are at war with Muslims, not all Muslims, but certainly a significant number of them. Perhaps it doesn’t matter if they belong to ISIS, Hamas, or any other formal organization. What matters is that they are getting their marching orders from the Koran, be they organized or be they lone wolves.

Titles such as ISIS are too specific. Titles such as “extremists” are too broad. Even the term “terrorist” (the few times Obama actually uses it) is too broad. We are not at war with every terrorist organization in the world such as the IRA. We are at war with militant Islam.

Our failure to properly identify the enemy is a fatal one, for our enemy has certainly identified us.  A canary might comfort herself by imagining that it was not really a cat who broke into her cage. The cat will eat her anyway, losing no sleep over what he was called.

This is Bob Siegel, making the obvious obvious.

Bob Siegel is a weekend radio talk show host on KCBQ and columnist. Details of his show can be found at www.bobsiegel.net.


The Washington Post and The Blaze contributed to the hard news portions of this article.

For more detail on the religion of Islam where Bob acknowledges peaceful Muslims who veer away from or reinterpret the clear Jihad commands of the Koran see Bob’s article for CDN Obama on ISIS: Is the Islamic State really unrelated to Islam?

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Bob Siegel
A graduate of Denver Seminary and San Jose State University, Bob Siegel is a radio talk show host and popular guest speaker at churches and college campuses across the country, using a variety of media including, seminars, formal debates, outdoor open forums, and one man drama presentations. In addition to his own weekly radio show (KCBQ 1170, San Diego) Bob has been a guest on many other programs, including The 700 Club, Washington Times Radio's Inside the Story, The Rick Amato Show, KUSI Television's Good Morning San Diego, and the world popular Jonathan Parkradio drama series, for which Bob guest starred in two episodes and wrote one episode, The Clue From Ninevah. In addition to CDN, Bob is a regular contributor for San Diego Rostra. Bob does a good deal of playwriting as well (14 plays & 5 collaborations), including the award winning, Eternal Reach. Bob has also published books of both fiction and non-fiction including; I'd Like to Believe In Jesus, But...and a fantasy novel, The Dangerous Christmas Ornament.
  • JWPicht

    Nolen’s religious beliefs played a role here, but I’m not convinced that that makes this terrorism. How exactly are you defining the word? For this to be terrorism, there has to be a bigger political motive. The Ft. Hood shooter may qualify, but Nolen? Where’s the evidence of that?

    To be motivated by religion isn’t enough for a killing to be terrorism. Every crazy who kills because of the angelic voices in his head (and there have been a few) would be a terrorist. We run into similar problems in defining hate crimes; if an anti-semitic Christian kills a Jew, is it a regular murder, a hate crime, or an act of terrorism? It seems to depend on whether he killed the Jew for his watch, his religion, or to start a pogrom.

    The word “holocaust” gets overused, and loses its power. When feminists argue that an unwanted look is sexual assault, sexual assault becomes less awful, not more. If we’re going to call this “terrorism,” we should make sure the word fits like a glove.

    • Bob Siegel

      As my article indicated, the FBI also said there is no single universal definition of terrorism. Be that as it may, a beheading in the name of Islam is meant to make a statement and that fear thus received can be viewed as terrorism. But my article was more concerned with those who will not associate this with militant Islam. Some seem to suggest that we are only at war with radical Muslims who want to kill us if they are part of an actual terrorist organization. There can be less affiliated soldiers in the cause.

  • Jen Eral

    You know, there’s no compassion in forcing citizens off of insurance plans that met their healthcare needs and fit their budget constraints.

    • Bob Siegel

      I believe that comment was intended for a different article.