Connect with us

Anti-Muslim Bigotry

Cho Seung-Hui: Undercover Muslim Terrorist or Just Certifiably Crazy?


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.

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

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 Allah (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.

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Omar Usman is a founding member of MuslimMatters and Qalam Institute. He teaches Islamic seminars across the US including Khateeb Workshop and Fiqh of Social Media. He has served in varying administrative capacities for multiple national and local Islamic organizations. You can follow his work at



  1. abu ameerah

    April 19, 2007 at 10:47 AM

    Debbie Schlussel is a racist. Like Don Imus, Schlussel has made a career out of making bigotry seem acceptable, if not “cool”, since the late 90’s.

    Bill “the giant head” O’Reilly has already gone on the offensive and — in proper Bill O’ form — has turned the VA Tech massacre into a public service announcement reminding America of the “evil we face” in Iraq.

  2. Angie

    April 19, 2007 at 12:26 PM

    In his video, Cho says: “You have vandalised my heart, raped my soul and tortured my conscience. You thought it was one pathetic more life you were extinguishing. Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ to inspire generations of the weak and the defenceless people.”

    I wonder if he’s going to be referred to by the media as the “Christian Terrorist” – or are phrases like that only reserved for Muslims?

  3. AnonyMouse

    April 19, 2007 at 12:37 PM

    Laa hawla wa laa quwwata illaa billaah…

    BTW, we have another brother in dire need of our du’aas:

    Brother Huseyin Celil has been sentenced to life in prison in China, for alleged ‘terrorist links’.

  4. Affad Shaikh

    April 19, 2007 at 12:53 PM

    Did you know:

    “Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the weak and the defenseless people.”

    These are the words uttered by the name now known across America-and much of the world; the name plastered on every newspaper headline, internet magazine, radio and TV station.

    But very few networks or newspapers chose to emphasize this statement, or even publish it. It was relegated to the end of the text in almost every article I read on the incident.

    Why then is there no media frenzy to uncover and parse to death every possible “Christian fundamentalist” connection that Cho might have had, even seemingly benign ones (“you belonged to the Christian fellowship you say? You attended a local church? The church once hosted a controversial right-wing leader? Your highschool roommate’s estranged cousin attended anti-east rallies?). You get my drift.

    There is no question that Tuesday’s attack was horrific, and very sad.

    What I am interested in though is-as is often the case-how the media is covering it?

    The coverage initially started out by mentioning- between the lines- that this “did not seem to be an act of terrorism”. Ok I might be picking at straws here but if this isn’t terrorism, what is? Not politically motivated you say? Is that the standard common definition of terrorism anyway these days?

    The attacker, as in the Baruch Goldstein case, is being described as a mentally unstable wacko, one screw loose too many and the attack as an unfortunate case where a gun that found its way to the wrong hands; an exception to the rule; this despite the fact that a special justice found his insight and judgment to be normal.

    The methodical nature of his killing rampage and his pre-rampage preparations seems to add credence to this.

    The question I’d like to pose is, given his statement above which was extracted from his so-called “manifesto” and aired on NBC: couldn’t this, too, be classified as an act of religious terrorism (by the same standards employed by this media in categorizing “islamic terrorism” or “jihadism” or whatever)?

    Or more precisely, to make a fair analogy, couldn’t one say that Cho derived “his inspiration” from Christian doctrine or the “Christian culture of martyrdom”?

    I dread to think how the mass media would even begin to speculate and evaluate this if those same words were uttered by an attacker who happened to be of Muslim descent (exchanging Jesus Christ with some other Muslim figure;):

    Of course Cho, who was the son of South Korean immigrants that worked at a dry cleaners, goes on to deride the upper-class elite and all of their material pleasures and “hedonistic needs”, including their Mercedes, gold necklaces, and drinking.

    The point is this: in this modern day post-nationalism and globalization, one can seldom make sweeping generalizations about the ideologies driving any killer, whatever the circumstance, whatever the background;

    Muslim, Christian, brown, pink, or purple, there is usually more than meets the eye; politics are often the driving force, religion a mere cloak.

    That, and of course, the fact that the western media and its members needs to wake up and realize they are not as professional and objective as they like to believe: even the best can slip certain routines and begin to utilize prejudicial, unhelpful, and sensationalist labels, taking more liberty to do so with certain groups than others.

    You can read more at:

  5. Angie

    April 19, 2007 at 12:59 PM


  6. Bintmuhammed

    April 19, 2007 at 2:10 PM

    well said affad sheikh..
    It makes you utterly insane to even fathom the concept of terrorism anymore. The word itself makes you clinch, because as of now it will only be used to describe muslims. Dont be shocked in 3-5 years if in the Oxford dictionary, you will have the word muslim to describe the term terrorism.

  7. Hassan

    April 19, 2007 at 3:28 PM

    You guys are wrong. I have a dictionary called Bush’s English:

    Terrorism: an act of violence committed by a muslim is called terrorism.

    So this event can not be terrorism by definition.

  8. WeAreOne

    April 20, 2007 at 1:12 PM

    Mental Illness, 101

    The most common effect of the severly mentally ill, being those who deal with psychosis or a break with reality, with paranoia and delusions, is to become obsessed with religious ideation.

    Be very careful, dear Muslims, of what you choose to say about this case. It may very well serve to show your own lack of understanding of Mental Illness and reflect your need to make equally disturbing and biased statements about how “they” do not call this Christian terrorism just because you think it should be labelled as such.

    By making this statement, it must be noted that no where in the teachings of Christ are there any statements which allow the taking of life under any circumstances. Indeed, Christians are called to love their enemies and resist not evil. If you call this statement where the killer claimed he was being “killed like Christ” a statement of terrorism you are missing the point. The killer did NOT say, I have been ordered by Christ and it is justified by Christ, so I do this in the NAME of Christ. Instead, he was merely a paranoid, ill human who equated his persecution to that which Jesus experienced, and also equated himself as one who would serve to enlighten others. This is the raving of a lunatic and not a statement of a practicing Christian.

    Compare this to the mass protests in the middle east where literally thousands of humans chant “Death to America” in the NAME of Allah and you will see the impossible leap of logic that is being made.

    Do they really reflect similarity?

    I think it is grasping at straws, hoping to use his words to point out some fllaw in America’s ability to discern an apple from an orange, when perhaps it is your own bigotry bringing this thought into the dialogue!

    Please, I do believe there is sufficient intellect on this forum to avoid such blatant foolishness!

  9. ibnabeeomar

    April 20, 2007 at 1:29 PM

    weareone: i ask you one simple question:

    if cho seung-hui was a muslim named “abdullah muhammad” do you think the media and other discerning individuals such as yourself would have referred to this incident as anything other than an act of “muslim terrorism” ?

    i understand your point about the protests, etc, however, that issue is different from this *specific* one. namely, cho killed and said he did it following the example of Jesus Christ. if he had replaced jesus christ with muhammad(peace be upon him) or Allah then do you really truly believe, the media reaction would be the same?

  10. Medinah

    April 20, 2007 at 3:29 PM

    Assalamu alaikum,
    I guess they are looking for every possible reason to tie this to islam to give us even more of a bad name!! There is good and bad in every religion, not just islam. What an evil world we live in, ya Allah!

  11. Hassan

    April 20, 2007 at 5:56 PM

    WeAreOne, we are not suggesting one mentally ill guy represents christianity or korean people. We are just saying, what would have happened if this mentally ill guy was muslim? On another thread you posted Hitler was mentally ill. Well he was not alone though, he had all Nazi army with him. By that standard we can safely say Osama Bin Laden and his cronies are also mentally ill. May be sick is better word for describing such extremists.

  12. eva

    April 20, 2007 at 8:42 PM

    In his video, Cho says: “You have vandalised my heart, raped my soul and tortured my conscience. You thought it was one pathetic more life you were extinguishing. Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ to inspire generations of the weak and the defenceless people.”
    In Cho’s manifesto, he drew a picture of cross.
    So far, I saw only 5 out of 23 manifesto in PDF file showed to public.
    I wonder what is the contents of another PDF files.
    We only watch some part of his video. I wonder what did Cho say in another part of videos.

    Media seem hardly to call Cho as CHRISTIANIST, or CHRISTIAN TERRORIST.

  13. ralo el rado

    April 20, 2007 at 8:43 PM

    I think this guy was inspired by Jesus Christ to do this as he likened himself to Jesus Christ in the quote in the above article.. But since he was Christian and not a Muslim notice how the corporate press isn’t spinning this tragedy as a case to blast Islam by blaming Islam as a religion of violence, intolerance, and hatred and further proof how the religion of Islam compels Jihadists to commit terrorism.

    If this murderer had been a Muslim we’d never hear the end about how terrible Islam and Muslims are but notice there’s hardly any mention of his Christian background when you read the press accounts about this troubled kid.

  14. Pingback: Shooting at Virginia Tech - Page 24 - Islamica Community Forums

  15. Happysunshine

    April 21, 2007 at 4:03 PM

    90% of Americans are fat, stupid and ignorant. I’m from Dublin, which is the CAPITAL city of Ireland, yet when I visited the US not a single American knew where it was. Many of them don’t even know where Iraq is. That’s just pathetic. Why are they suprised when they discover that no one likes them?

  16. Happysunshine

    April 21, 2007 at 4:09 PM

    I forgot to add, the American officials’ response to this brutal shooting is: allow students to take guns into uni so they can defend themselves! Surely the lesson to be learned is to BAN the possession of guns altogether. If the ‘officials’ are that stupid, one can only wonder about the lack of intellect in the general public. I feel sorry for the minority of intelligent Amercians who live in such an uninformed, violence-obsessed, and wholly prejudiced society.

  17. James Tucker

    April 21, 2007 at 6:40 PM

    “Long before he snapped, Virginia Tech gunman Cho Seung-Hui was picked on, pushed around and laughed at over his shyness and the strange way he talked when he was a schoolboy in the Washington suburbs, former classmates say.”

    What Cho Seung did was wrong but American racists & bullies should pay compensation to Cho Seung family for pushing Cho to the corner.

    It looks like the Christian nation is very racist and intollerant of other race. Perhaps they got this from the following bible verses

    Exodus 22.20 Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the LORD must be destroyed.

    Deuteronomy 13:6-10 If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, Let us go and worship other gods (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known,7 gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other),8 do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10 Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

    Deuteronomy 13:12-16 If you hear it said about one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you to live in 13 that wicked men have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, Let us go and worship other gods (gods you have not known), 14 then you must enquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you,15 you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. Destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock. 16 Gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God. It is to remain a ruin for ever, never to be rebuilt.

  18. Lisa Garner

    April 21, 2007 at 6:48 PM

    Hitler a Chritian Terrorist Killed 6 Million Jews.
    Bush a Christian Saint who Killed 600,000 Iraqis
    Cho Cheung – Hui a Christian Terrorist who killed 32 innocent people.

    Christian Community should apologize to the whole world for the crimes done in the name of religion and in the name of peaceful jesus.

  19. Lisa Garner

    April 21, 2007 at 7:11 PM

    Cho Seung-Hui is a Christian Terrorist

    In several clips, Cho directly addresses his victims, saying: “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 defenceless people.”

    In another chilling close-up, Cho says: “Jesus loves crucifying me. I could have fled, I will no longer run.”

    In his writings he was also slandering against the Priest who are child molesters.

    Christian priests especially pope should pay compensation for Cho Seung’s family for mentally destabilizing him by the constant molesting of children.

    Cho Seung might have been molested by priest as a child.

    Christain community should work hard to get rid of child molesting priests and also they should apologize to the whole world for this incident

  20. Kevin Lee

    April 21, 2007 at 7:13 PM

    Cho Seung was Definitely Christian. He talked about Jesus loves crucifying him and he took Jesus name all the time. Americans should learn from their mistakes and ban guns throughout USA and also accept that Cho was a christian and send an apology to the jews, muslims, buddhist and even Koreans because their religion was the reason why Koreans lost one of their sons.

  21. Hassan

    April 22, 2007 at 12:28 AM

    Can the moderator remove unnecessary anti-american/racist comments please? They are not serving any purpose.

  22. Amad

    April 22, 2007 at 11:21 AM

    Hassan, the comments on Christianity and Christians are obviously ludicrous. In some ways they are akin to the comments posted about Muslims and Islam on forums visited by bigots such as Jihadwatch, LGF, etc. While, alhamdulillah, most Muslims recognize the nonsense posted here for what it is, unfortunately this is not the case for the visitors to the hate-sites listed above.

    In some ways, I am glad that these nonsensical comments were posted here, because they do provide us a window in how bigotry, if repeated enough times, starts appearing less and less hollow and before long, falsehood appears as truth. So, if anyone reading this is used to slandering Muslims and Islam on some of the hate-sites, then consider how it feels when someone says the same about you and your faith. Hopefully, you will agree with us that there is no benefit, no place and no one deserving of this hate.

  23. Ruth Nasrullah

    April 22, 2007 at 12:58 PM

    Asalaamu alaikum.

    Actually, I thought the coments by Jamer Tucker, Lisa Garner and Kevin Lee were meant to be satirical. I thought they were intended to demonstrate how illogical it is to base one’s view of a religion or its practitioners on the actions of a handful. It’s too patently obvious to be serious, I think. I guess I’m either cynical or naive…

  24. Ruth Nasrullah

    April 22, 2007 at 12:59 PM

    **James** Tucker. Sorry.

  25. DrM

    April 22, 2007 at 10:12 PM

    Well said. I would also like to add that Schlussel has strong ties to jewish terrorist groups like the jdl. She nearly got an Arab-American Congressman from California killed after smearing him in one of her “articles.” Do a search on Darrell E. Issa and Schulussel together.

  26. Abdu

    April 22, 2007 at 10:19 PM


    “There is good and bad in every religion, not just islam.”

    The religion Islam does not have any bad in it.

  27. Saleem

    April 26, 2007 at 11:02 PM

    Everybody is shocked by the tragedy of this event. However it is true that there was a pretty good campaign to blame Islam and relate this to terrorism.

    Here are a couple of YouTube Videos

  28. Pingback: Islam's Image in American Context « nuqtah

  29. MuslimJinn

    October 23, 2010 at 9:48 PM

    Cho was possessed by shaytan jinn using reference from the Bible and Koran to justify his actions. A sheikh who’s an expert in removing black magic could’ve helped him out of this trouble.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *