The guy was caught and nobody was hurt, but it is still too early for the obvious joke of the futility of bombing Detroit.
So, as everybody already knows, on a Northwest Airlines flight to the Motor City, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to set his underwear on fire, hoping for an explosion. No jokes there, either.
The print media has, unlike the Fort Hood shooting, immediately labeled the failed attack terrorism (or man caused disaster, if you’re an Obama supporter). They have also diligently pointed out that Abdulmutallab was a Christian.
He was actually a Buddhist.
Maybe Abdulmutallab was a Jew? Shintoist? Taoist? Zoroastrianist? Another devotee of Haile Selassie?
Actually, there is no indication in any major media organization of the man’s religion, or lack of it. The Fruit-of-the-Loom Bomber—for that shall be his name evermore—might have been an atheist.
However, even The Freep, the undead paper of the undead city that was targeted, has refused to speculate on this important topic.
But perhaps there are clues?
We know Abdulmutallab liked to play with Al Qaeda in the land of Yemen. The New York Times (D) quoted the man’s father as being worried about his son’s “extremist religious views.”
And for some reason, Nigerian Muslims in Detroit immediately issued a statement saying they were “shocked” by Abdulmutallab’s actions.
We can guess that other representatives from other major religious groups will soon release their own statements—in fact, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee’s similarly worded release came right after the Nigerians’—so obviously we cannot use these clues as evidence one way or the other.
I think we have to fairly conclude that there is no way to know, and that Old Media was wise not to make any rash guesses.
“Briggs, you bigot, the man’s religion has nothing to do with his decision to murder anybody.”
You might be right, but why was his dad quoted as being concerned about his son’s “extremist religious views”?
This man was not a member of a mainstream religion, but a radical sect (I hope we can agree to call a “radical” one who willing plots to murder). And it seems to me that knowing whether or not somebody belongs to a radical sect is probative for air flight screening decisions.
Is it inappropriate to mention what this radical sect was?