Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Santa Monica Shootings: The Public Should Know the Motive

Gary Fouse

John Zawahri

At this point, we know that the Santa Monica shooter was 24-year-old John Zawahri. We know that he killed his father and his brother before setting their house on fire. He then went on a rampage and killed three other innocent people before he was shot dead at Santa Monica College. It has been revealed that he came from a broken family and  had anger issues. It has also been disclosed that he was armed with a combat uniform and some 1300 rounds of ammunition. His acts were clearly pre-mediated.

Here is what has not yet been revealed.

The family was clearly of Arabic origin though it is believed that John was American-born. That raises the obvious question: Was John a Muslim, and was this an act of violent jihad?  The authorities and the media have not commented, which in itself, raises eyebrows.

According to a comment on The Spirit of Truth, it was said by one who claimed to know the family that they were Orthodox Christian. If true, that would remove the idea of Islamic jihad. Yet, that has not been confirmed by the media to this point, which you would think they would be quick to do. The names themselves only create more confusion. The family names are Muslim, but John (and his brother, Chris-also a victim)-are Christian names.

So why the attention to the religion of the shooter? It comes down to this: If, in fact, Zawahri was a Muslim, then we must identify the motive beyond his alleged anger issues and family strife. If jihad had any role in this, then the public has a right to know the risks they face as they are driving down Pico Blvd in Santa Monica or walking to class at Santa Monica College.

In February of this year, Orange County was subjected to a shooting and killing spree by a young man named Syed Ali, who wound up killing himself when confronted by police. To this day, the last thing we have learned is that he had left a suicide note on his computer that revealed that his acts were pre-meditated. To my knowledge, the authorities have not revealed to us what exactly Ali's motivation was.

I realize that for decent and peaceful Muslims in the US, this is yet another painful episode that may lead to further negative feelings about Muslims in general, which is unfortunate. However, the public has every right to know what the true motivation behind both of these horrific acts was. We cannot access the risk if the authorities and the media will not report the facts out of political correctness.

If it turns out that Islam had nothing to do with this, I will happily report that immediately. I am confident that the police and the media will figure that out quickly. Like the case in Orange County, however, the longer time passes without any update on that point, the more suspicious I will be.

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