Family and friends of the San Bernardino attackers were worried they were becoming radicalized, but didn’t say anything. One of Tashfeen Malik’s family members in Pakistan told The Los Angeles Times there was concern when she started posting things on Facebook which seemed extremist.
The family member, in Malik’s hometown of Karor Lal Esan who asked to not be identified, said Malik’s postings on Facebook were a source of concern for her family.
“After a couple of years in college, she started becoming religious. She started taking part in religious activities and also started asking women in the family and the locality to become good Muslims. She started taking part in religious activities of women in the area,” the family member told The Times.
“She used to talk to somebody in Arabic at night on the Internet. None of our family members in Pakistan know Arabic, so we do not know what she used to discuss,” the family member said. The family speaks Urdu and a dialect of Punjabi known as Saraiki.
It isn’t just Malik’s family which had concerns. Syed Farook’s father told the Italian newspaper La Stampa, his son’s philosophy lined up with ISIS’. The interview is translated from Italian and cleaned up a bit.
Never were speaking of terrorism, Isis?
“Sure. And who does not talk about today? He said he shared the ideology of Al Baghdadi to create an Islamic state, and it was fixed with Israel. ”
Some say that to radicalize his son was his wife.
“Maybe, I do not know…I only know that (s)he was born in Pakistan and lived in Saudi Arabia, but I never spoke. He did not want to see her in-laws. I told my son that it destroyed our family, but he did not care. “
Farook’s dad makes an even more interesting comments regarding how “religious” his son had gotten, saying he was called “an unbeliever” because of a fight over the historical figure of Jesus. He also said if he were home, he may have been able to keep his son from becoming radicalized. These comments are pretty similar to ones made by the family of Paris attacker, Salah Abdeslam. Mohammed Asdeslam told RTBF TV last month his brothers became more focused on his faith. BBC News has a translated transcript.
Journalist: And you say that you didn’t see anything coming, that you never had any suspicion. A slight change six months ago, as you told me.
Mr Abdeslam: Yes, a slight change, indeed. But this change wasn’t worrying, not for me, nor for my family. When your brother begins to pray, it’s not necessarily a radicalisation. When your brother tells you he’s stopped drinking, it’s not a radical change. These are people who, for us, just wanted to calm down and show more respect in their practice of religion.
This shows a disconnect between more moderate Muslims and the extremists like Salah Abdeslam, Tashfeen Malik, and Syed Farook. It appears some moderates see the pathway to extremism as just becoming “more religious” instead of actually being extremism. One person suggested to me it was rebellion because teens and people in their 20’s crave order. Another suggested Muslim terrorists just tried to hide their tendencies from family and friends until the time is right. He compared it to murderers whose families and friends sit there saying they had no idea what was actually going on. My friend has a point, but it might not 100% be the case. If Farook’s dad and Abdeslam’s brother saw it as being more religious, then maybe it’s time moderates started paying attention more and being willing to speak out. It isn’t just issuing CAIR-like statements saying, “This isn’t what Islam represents,” it’s actually taking part in trying to change things and behavior. It means moderate Muslims are going to have to stop being fearful of blowback from the radicals. If Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jacobus Arminius, Ulrich Zwingli, and Jan Hus were willing to risk (and some lost) their lives to point out problems with the Medieval Catholic Church, then moderate Muslims have to be willing to do the same thing. The good thing is there are Muslims doing this. Islamic Institute of Boston Imam Talal Eid wants to do a march in D.C. telling ISIS to “Go to Hell,” because Muslims can’t be quiet any more. Kansas City Muslims protested against ISIS on Saturday saying ISIS makes them look bad. Corie Stephens at Rare wrote last month how there are over 6K Muslim Americans who are in the Army fighting against terrorists.
While we cannot deny that radical Islam is a threat, we must also recognize that it’s just as problematic to the Muslim community as it is to westerners. ISIS doesn’t spare its countrymen. They’re a radicalized group that sees the vast majority of Muslims as infidels…
She’s got a good point. Remember, the Left likes to portray every mass shooter as proof those NRA-loving conservatives and libertarians are just a bad day away from pulling a gun and going on a killing spree. But we know that’s not the truth. We know probably 95-97% of the people who own guns (excluding gang-members and mass shooters) are law-abiding, peaceful people. The same goes for pro-life people who protests outside clinics. They aren’t fire-breathing dragons looking to grab weapons and kill abortion docs. They just want abortion to stop. The Right cannot paint the same broad brush with Muslims that the Left does with gun lovers and pro-lifers.
The only way this is going to work is if Christians/atheists/Odin or Thor worshipers/Hindus/etc are willing to reach out to Muslims and accept them. This mean Christians who disagree with political figures and pastors who spew anti-Muslim comments have to say they disagree. It doesn’t mean agreeing with Muslims on issues, especially on who should have the Holy Land. It doesn’t mean having to accept them into your home every week (or month). It doesn’t even mean sitting there and refusing to say, “Islamic extremism” like the President seems hesitant to do. It does mean being willing to talk to Muslims and not recoil in fear or anger whenever people see one. I’ll be the first to admit, it’s a little creepy seeing a woman in a full burka. But it doesn’t mean more Westernized Muslims shouldn’t be accepted and praised for who they are. It might even convince them to start turning over family members who seem more radicalized and might be planning something. It might even turn some Muslims who are on the fence about radicalization into more moderate ones. Nothing can change what’s happened in the past regarding Islamic radicals, but labeling all Muslims as “just a terrorist waiting to happen” won’t do anything to solve a very complex problem.