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Connecticut School Shooting:

A Violent Culture of Permanent Wars

By Yamin Zakaria

Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, December 26, 2012


Driven by hate, another homegrown terrorist goes on the rampage – this would have been the headline if Adam Lanza had been called Mohammed Lanza. Similar headlines were seen after the Oklahoma bombings; the media spared not time in tarnishing the Muslims even before the basic facts were known. Like Timothy McVeigh and Anders Breivik, Adam Lanza is also white with Christian heritage. Will the media now scrutinise the link between the ethnicity and religion of these men and the acts of gratuitous violence? 

There is no apparent political motive; the targets were innocent children who could not have caused any harm to Adam Lanza. The only possible ‘justification’ Adam Lanza could have argued is - these children posed a threat to him in the future; hence, he took some sort of pre-emptive strike by killing them. This is the same argument employed by the Zionists when they deliberately target women and children in Palestine, and the US has done the same to some extent after 9/11; shoot first then ask questions.

Of course, everyone sympathises with the parents of those innocent children, however, non-Americans will point out the international dimension to this issue. It reeks of hypocrisy for Obama to come on TV and shed tears, when the US has been doing the same in foreign countries since the Spanish-American wars at the turn of the 20th century. Only few weeks back, the US President ignored the dead children in Gaza and continued to defend the Israelis dropping bombs over civilian populated areas. The Pakistanis and the Afghanis will point out the awful killer drones that have consumed so many innocent children. Now America should understand how the parents in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and occupied Palestine feel. One man’s collateral damage is another man’s child!

The list below highlights major atrocities like the Connecticut school shooting that have captured national and international headlines; many more incidents do not. For example, from 2002 to 2006, single cases of shootings have occurred each year and in 2007, 7 cases of shootings were reported.  

1984: James Oliver Huberty shoots dead 21 people at a McDonald's in California 1986: Postal worker Pat Sherrill kills 14 people at a post office in Oklahoma 1991: George Hennard kills 23 people at a cafeteria in Texas 1999: Two students at Columbine high school kill 13 and injure 20, before killing themselves 2007: A student kills 32 and injures dozens more at Virginia Tech university 2009: 13 people are killed in a mass shooting at Ford Hood military base in Texas 2012: James Holmes kills 12 people and injures 58 at a cinema in Aurora, Colorado

President Obama correctly reflected on the empirical data and said: “As a country we have been through this too many times”. Why is America producing these violent angry young men? Instead of addressing this pertinent point, he suggests the need for tighter gun control.  For sure the reduction in the supply of weapons will contribute to reducing gun related crimes, but not the crime itself, because the perpetrator will find other ways to bring harm; it’s not the gun that kills but the person pulling the trigger. The primary cause is the motive.

Accordingly, American needs to ask what motivates such individuals to commit massacres. What ideas and values have been injected in their minds? There is no Al-Qaeda here, no radical Imams, there is no foreign influence. Therefore, America needs to look in the mirror for answers which may pose a degree of challenge for a society that has a culture of blaming outsiders.  

Any impartial observer will point out that American history is soaked in the blood of innocents, and its popular culture espouses violence. The superficial paradigm of the good guys hunting the bad guys that is often seen in the movies and has shaped the mindset of the nation was invented not to promote right and wrong, but to glorify violence. America as a society profits from violence and bloodshed, it continues to develop, stockpile and trade with lethal weapons whilst lecturing about peace.

Internally, US public opinion and the media are dominated by Zionist-Christian militancy where the interest of Israel is put before the US itself, and then you have religious fanaticism and xenophobia emanating from the right-wing Christians including the radical Republicans. All these factors have contributed to creating a sadistic mindset that is often visible in the actions of it soldiers, on and off the battle field. 

Here is a bitter pill for the American establishment. Instead of demonising Muslims and Islam, maybe they can learn something from them, as can Muslims learn from the American success. Do you ever hear of a young man going into a school in Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Pakistan and commit such atrocities? Do you ever hear of serial killers in the Islamic world? This is not an issue of genetics, it is one of values. Islam teaches that ultimately we will be held accountable for our deeds, and our freedom in terms of freewill should be exercised within those parameters. And such values need to be enforced through tough penal codes, where crimes are not rewarded but punished.  Although Christianity professes the same values, however it has been diluted and marginalised in society.

Instead of allowing the Zionists promote hate through the media, and create a rift with the Islamic world to serve Israeli foreign policy, and keep the ordinary Americans ignorant, confined to the trash culture of Jerry Springer, Fox ‘News’, and stop bigots like O’Reilly and Pam Geller, it should look to liberate itself and re-examine the values promoted through the media and popular culture.

Yamin Zakaria (

London, UK




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