While we should be mourning a tragedy, helping families cope, and seeing what led a crazed man to commit such a horrific act of indiscriminate violence, some have pounced on this situation like rabid wolves, opportunistically using this tragedy to further propagate an anti-Islam and anti-Muslim agenda. Were it not for the tragedy of the moment the sheer ludicrousness of these insinuations would be comical at best.
Unfortunately, some people, like Debbie Schlussel insinuated that the 'Asian' whose identity was withheld was actually a “Paki.” She did not stop there, most recently claiming to have found a picture of Cho Seung-Hui (a Korean) with his Indonesian family and showing his real name of 'Ismail' on Flickr of all places. Do people really take this seriously? By this logic we could say Jeff Foxworthy was secretly tied to Saddam Hussein since they both have mustaches and funny accents. Can a person's hatred of Islam blind them so severely that they ignore common sense? Needless to say, this story has been debunked. I think for Debbie, all Oriental people just simply look alike.
It is truly scary that such people, full of hate, exist in this world. They are exactly like other haters such as the terrorists who target America. For these terrorists, no evil occurs except that America's or Israel's sinister hand is behind it, and, ironically, these right-wing conspircy nuts think in exactly the same terms. Its a chilling thought, but one that perhaps will give all of us sane people out there, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, or others, even more reason to bond together to fight hatred of all types.
What need is there to try to tie this tragedy to Islam somehow? Seriously, do we need to now prove he wasn't a Muslim? Perhaps we should see if he was a member of the MSA, or if he ever attended a mosque (apparently they are trying to look into this)? This all started because of a rumor that he had “Ismail ax”written on his arm. No one can come up with any explanation except to say this is a Quraic reference to the son of Ibrahim. Austrolabe has a good post about this, and a few theories offering an explanation can be found here. Personally, I think there's a better chance of the 'ax' standing for Armani Exchange (A|X) then the “axe” used by Ibrahim (as) to smash the idols.
It is unbelievably sad that people actually believe this drivel. It is common knowledge now that this guy was sending up red flags left, right, and center. From wanting to commit suicide, to being put into a mental institution, to writing disturbingly violent plays, idolizing the shooters from Columbine, etc etc. that this gets overlooked, to establish some kind of mythical link to Islam?? I mean the guy mailed a video to NBC in between the shootings. Is that even remotely normal?
If there is really any doubt as to the shooters religion, simply read this quote from his suicide video,
You have vandalized my heart, raped my soul and torched my conscience. You thought it was one pathetic boy's life you were extinguishing. Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the weak and the defenseless people (source).
This right-wing propaganda is sick. There is no doubt that people like Bill O'Reilly will use this as an argument to curb immigration, and others will simply bash the victims,
What happened at Virginia Tech was a horrible, horrible tragedy. We pray that Allāh (swt) grant patience and guidance to everyone affected by this, but especially to the families of the victims. What happened was an act of terrorism in every sense of the word, and we must work together to prevent something like this from happening again. In order to do that though, we must rise above the stereotypes and misinformation spread by these vultures.