Islamic Terrorism and Slothful Induction: nothing to see here!

Two more people post strong entries into Stebbing Heuer’s ‘Slothful Induction’ competition for 2015. And, surprise surprise, they both relate to Islamic terrorism.

First, US Attorney Carmen Ortiz, commenting on the conviction and sentencing of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz declared “there was nothing about this crime that was Islam associated” regarding the Boston Marathon bombing at a press conference on Wednesday.

Ortiz stated, “And, we believe that, at the end of the day, the punishment that was rendered by the jury appropriately fitted the crime, a crime of terrorism, a crime that was not religiously motivated, and a crime that was intended to coerce and intimidate our country, but the response has been otherwise.”

Later, Ortiz said of Tsarnaev, “He didn’t renounce terrorism. He didn’t renounce violent extremism, and he couched his comments in line with Allah, and Allah’s views, which give it a religious tone, and there was nothing, as you heard judge O’Toole say in the courtroom, there was nothing about this crime that was Islam associated, so that’s what I was struck by more.”

She also responded to a question about Tsarnaev’s references to Allah, Mohammed, and the Koran, with “That is that a skewed view of the religion of Islam. That is not what Islam is all about, and so when individuals utilize that, it is a radicalized view, that ideology. It’s a radical ideology, which really isn’t at the heart of what is truly a peaceful and loving religion.”

Second, British Prime Minister David Cameron, commenting on the murder of British tourists on a Tunisian beach by a gunman associated with Islamic State:

Cameron laments the “poisonous radical narrative that is turning so many young minds,” and says, “We have to combat it with everything we have.”

He says this terrorism is “not in the name of Islam. Islam is a religion of peace.” The killers, rather, “do it in the name of a twisted, perverted ideology.”

Wishful thinking much?

I’m trying really, really hard to resist the temptation to call these people insane.

Many moons ago, Stebbing Heuer was a huge fan of the ABCWatch blog. And ‘Uncle’, the site’s owner, used to refer to Abu Bakar Bashir, one of the bastards responsible for the Bali bombings in October 2002, as ‘Bashir the Duck’ – he applied the elementary rule of thumb that, if something walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it most likely is a duck, to Bashir and found that he most likely was a terrorist. Something that many in Indonesia at the time had trouble admitting.

Slothful induction says: ‘I know it walks like a duck, and I know that it quacks like a duck, but I have no definitive proof that it actually is a duck – so I won’t call it a duck’.

And there’s a lot of it about.

And what concerns me is:

  • I don’t know if it’s around because people are too cowardly to say what they believe and call the duck a duck, or too stupid to recognise a duck when they see it; and
  • I don’t know how many more people will have to die before one of our leaders has the wit and courage to stand up and say ‘It is a duck, and we should deal with it accordingly’.
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About Stebbing Heuer

A person interested in exploring human perception, reasoning, judgement and deciding, and in promoting clear, effective thinking and the making of good decisions.
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