The Second Version


Heroism vs. Derangement

In the dark night of the Virginia Tech massacre, there was a shining beacon of light: Liviu Librescu. A Jew of Romanian descent, Holocaust survivor, now Israeli citizen and engineering professor, according to the reports died to save his students. He pinned the classroom's door closed to give the students time to to evacuate the room jumping out of windows, but was shot in the head. Probably - I can only speculate - this fine man knew what is like to be helpless in front of ruthless killers, and decided to fight back when another killer came knocking at the door. And perhaps he concluded that if someone had to die, it was better to sacrifice his old self so that the young, the hope for the future, could survive. Whatever the reason, he behaved like only heroes do.

And now, I like doing this as much as I liked piling up old steel drums used as rubbish bins in a pasta sauce factory, but I regard as my duty to fight dangerous degenerations. There was thread on LGF dedicated to Librescu, and I decided to leave a comment there, hoping that for once the lizards would abstain from their usual ranting. Poor naive, silly me: it didn't take long before Islam was dragged into the melee again.

This time, the smoking gun (as smoking as the .22 I fired at the range last Thursday) is that , according to vaguely described "sources", the killer - identified as Seung Hui Cho, of Korean descent - wrote "Ismail Ax" at the end of a note he left, and on his arm. Soon thereafter, CJ decided to post an entry on this issue.

What's wrong with the modus operandi of too many LGFers and, in smaller part, of CJ himself? First, it begins with confirmation bias: a story - coming from the much-reviled MSM, even - is accepted almost unquestioningly. Because it just confirms a preexisting bias or prejudice: that only Muslims and a few other groups (atheists, communists, anarchists...) are capable of similar acts of senseless violence.

Then it proceeds along the lines of conspirational thinking: no alternative explantions for the writing (assuming the report is accurate in the first place) are examined - only the Islamic link. No other known fact points to a case of "Spontaneous Jihad Syndrome", but that remains rather overlooked (to his credit, not by Charles). There are many other explanations for that writing: it can be related to anime; online games; expressions exclusive of that university; music bands... it can even be something that Cho found accidentally, and thought it was very cool and in-your-face to use as a doomsday expression.

To counter this inane trend, I have decided to set stringent standards of proof for SJS cases:

1 - Reliable witnesses - audio or video tapes even better - must confirm that the perp shouted "Allah Akbar" or similar expressions during his/her attack.
2 - Statements or writings by the perp, dating to before or after the attack, must have a clear Islamic content (for example, a martyrdom video).

Anything less than that, and I will regard the SJS hypothesis in the same way I regard 9/11 conspiracies, Holocaust denial, moon landing "hoax" and the like. If evidence is missing, reaching a conclusion is impossible, as rigorous reasoning imposes - it does NOT mean that the MSM and the government are in on a conspiracy to keep the people blissfully unaware of the Muslim Peril.

I do think that there is something very wrong with a significant fraction of the Islamic world, and that we have to be aware of the radicals and fight them (on the battlefield of ideas, first of all) - but I also think that crying wolf and seeing dark conspiracies at every corner is not helpful and possibly even detrimental.

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