And Now Medina: Beyond the Elephant’s Shadow
By Sherman A. Jackson
I do not know the specific grievance that drove the suicide bomber to his despicable deed in our beloved Medina, Islam’s second holiest city. I suspect, however, that it had something to do with some perceived decline in public adherence to Islam. Or perhaps it was the feeling that the government was not living up to the standards of Islamic justice. Whatever the motivation, this suicide bomber was somehow convinced that his action was ‘Islamic’. Indeed, I doubt that he saw himself as purchasing some one-way ticket to hell. Of course, his action will ultimately prove totally ineffective in addressing whatever grievance he had in mind. And this is the ultimate tragedy of the situation, which raises a number of questions: Why do Muslims resort to this kind of violence when it has such a little chance of producing the change they want? Why is it so seemingly easy to convince them of the legitimacy of such violence in the name of Islam? And why are Muslim condemnations of this mentality and the vile deeds that accompany it seemingly so ineffective?