It was reported that the second of two recent black supremacist assassins, Gavin Long, who murdered three officers today in Baton Rouge, "converted to Islam three years ago." The first of the two assassins, Micah X Johnson, who murdered five officers in Dallas a week ago, may or may not have thought of himself as a Muslim, but according to reports, he was at least attracted to the Nation of Islam.
Why are they always Muslim?
Okay, cue the expected claims:
- They weren't really Muslims because Islam is a religion of peace and they obviously weren't very peaceful.
- The Nation of Islam isn't really Muslim.
I do think the second is half-true. The Nation of Islam certainly takes many things from Islam, but it also goes off on a strange black supremacist tangent that has absolutely no basis in Islamic text, history or tradition. Read the Autobiography of Malcolm X.
But for the sake of argument, let's accept both claims and stipulate that the two recent black supremacist assassins weren't really Muslim. Whatever they thought they liked about Islam wasn't really Islam. And the Nation of Islam isn't really Islamic.
That of course brings up some obvious questions:
Why did they think they were sympathizing with Islam?
Why does the Nation of Islam call itself the Nation of Islam?
Or to put it another way, why isn't there, say, a Nation of Confucianism or a Nation of Zoroastrianism or a Nation of Traditional Catholicism for disaffected and angry black supremacists?
(Yes there are weird quasi-Jewish and quasi-Christian black supremacist cults but you don't see members of those cults shooting anyone.)
Or even more generally (and to continue holding to the above stipulation), why are violent people who want to pervert a religion, 99% of the time prone to perverting only one of the possible religions that they could, as it were, pervert?
What causes this?
Or is it all merely a coincidence?