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Haq Charged With First-Degree Murder in Jewish Federation Attack

I was afraid it would come to this. Norm Maleng, Seattle’s prosecuting attorney is not known for showing mercy to criminals, not even to mentally ill criminals. I guess it’s not in his job description. And he hasn’t departed from this record this time either in charging Naveed Haq:

King County prosecutors today charged Naveed Haq with aggravated first-degree murder and five counts of first-degree attempted murder in last week’s shooting at the Jewish Federation offices in downtown Seattle.

Haq is accused of killing Pamela Waechter, 58, and injuring five other women after forcing his way into the federation’s office just after 4 p.m. Friday and randomly shooting employees.

Aggravated first-degree murder is punishable by either the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of release.

Haq, 30, has also been charged with first-degree kidnapping for holding a gun to the back of a 14-year-old girl to force his way into the building; one charge of first-degree burglary and malicious harassment, the felony charge for a hate crime.

…After Haq’s arraignment, prosecutor Norm Maleng will have 30 days to decide whether to seek the death penalty. Maleng said there appears to be premeditation.

“The world has gotten to be a smaller place,” said Maleng at a news conference this morning. “There’s no place in our community for hate crimes.”

I am disappointed that Maleng exhibited no awareness of Haq’s mental condition. He chose to focus solely on the hate crime aspect of the case and the issue of premeditation. But I want to remind Maleng that Seattle is not Texas or Richmond, VA (the legal venue of choice for the Bush Administration when it tries Muslim terrorists) which might bay for blood in retribution for the heinous act Haq committed. Seattleites, even Jewish ones, believe that while the criminal mentally ill should be judged, they should be judged differently than the mentally competent. It’s no accident that Maleng is a Republican. He appears to be following the Bush Administration’s general line in trying to label this as a form of Muslim extremist hate.

I am not saying that Haq doesn’t deserve justice because he does. But he also deserves the treatment for his illness that he apparently did not receive prior to his crime. If he had received such treatment, he likely would not have gone on his rampage. I say this because I know people with bipolar disorder who are being treated with lithium. It works. Wouldn’t it be better to force Haq into a treatment facility where he will be medicated and not released until he is found not to be a danger to others?

While I can sympathize with the following Maleng comments, I believe he vastly overstates and overdramatizes the true meaning of the crime:

“The attack on these women was an attack on the Jewish community, not only in Seattle, but throughout our nation and the world,” Maleng said.

“The victims were killed and injured, not because of who they were as individuals, but because the defendant wanted to use them as symbols, to strike at members of the Jewish faith everywhere,” Maleng said.

Haq’s crime has little, if anything to do with “the Jewish community throughout our nation and the world.” For God’s sake, the man was deranged. His hate came from his insanity, not from a cool, level-headed anti-Semitic analysis of world affairs. This is not Al Qaeda. This is not Islamic extremism. This is a lone gunman disgruntled at the world for imagined slights and injuries.

Though I understand why the Jewish Federation might make the following statement, I am disappointed that it couldn’t have at least acknowledged that there might be extenuating circumstances worth considering before deciding whether to seek the death penalty. There is nothing wrong with tempering justice with mercy when it is warranted.

At a news conference following the announcement of charges, a spokeswoman for the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle said the organization supported the charges filed against Haq. When asked if members of the organization supported seeking the death penalty, Robin Boehler, chairwoman of the Jewish Federation’s board, said, “We don’t have a position on the death penalty. Our community is very diverse and there’s no consensus so we won’t be taking a position.”

Thankfully, the family of one of the most seriously injured victims is willing to speak out courageously for tolerance and understanding:

“She [Layla Bush] probably would not be angry at the individual (who did this,)” Kathryn Bush [her mother] said. “If anything, she’d be angry at the causes, perhaps not enough funding for the mentally ill.”

“It would take somebody who was mentally ill to do this,” her father said. “But the world situation probably pushed him (the suspect) over the edge.”

“I don’t feel any blame or anger toward him (the shooter,)” her mother said. Both parents called for tolerance.

“I don’t want to put any prejudice, or harassment of the Muslim community here, especially of the family of the shooter,” her father said. “They (the suspect’s family) must be going through hell right now.”

Can’t we all try to emulate such merciful feelings? Even if we can’t muster the Bushes’ serenity, can’t we at least try to do so?

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{ 25 comments… add one }
  • duger August 3, 2006, 8:14 AM

    A reasonable prosecutor who interviews a defendant that is out of touch with reality loses his instinctive desire to demonize the offender. During my career I interviewed “Napoleon” and others. We should look to neurobiologists to show us to the changing line that separates our operational definitions of “evil” from “mental illness” with each medical breakthrough. We found a reasonable cure for leprosy in 1982. We’ll keep fighting mental illness too, but it’s more problematic since the clinical signs are more obscure. We’ll continue to burn the mentally ill at Salem or in the blogosphere unless we pay attention to the knowledge already in the public domain.

    Interestingly, Mel Gibson, according to Wikipedia, takes meds for bi-polar disorder. As a Catholic, he might take the position that his “leprosy” is purgatory on earth and that his suffering is more holy than his victims. His public relation handlers will likely move away from this ” bad theology” toward ” growth through suffering” more understandable to the public. Similarly, the Gibson public relation’s machine may use his likely co-morbidity of scrupulosity (obsessive- compulsive spectrum disorder; e.g., Mel goes to Mass daily in his very own cathedral) to keep Jewish leaders busy talking to an obsessed pop idol.

    Gibson’s evil, or dementia, offers a teaching moment for the clued class and the classless clueless. A reasonable argument is that Gibson, although excused by dementia (a changing line), is the spokesman for a corporation capable of great evil . Can’t we agree that corporations display characteristics of psychopathic personalities and deserve public scrutiny?

  • L Moglen August 22, 2006, 4:07 PM

    Naveed Haq was bi-polar. He was also unemployed and so indigent that he had to stay at a friend’s apartment in Everett. Naveed did not even have the $400 for a months rent. Then he went out and bought two 9mm pistols, which cost $600-$900 each. Where did he get the money? Whoever provided about $1,500 for two guns, was not as crazy as Naveed. Somebody provided funds for a bi-polar hot head who was spewing hatred for Jews. Naveed was merely the mentally disabled pawn of an evil co-conspirator. Naveed’s whereabouts for the two weeks before the attack are still unknown. Then he shows up, head shaven, ready for an apparently well rehearsed & well thought out commando raid on a local Jewish Community Center. I fear a Jihadist group is playing on the tendency of us Jews to be in denial of the Jihadist movement in America. If not not now, when?
    In recent years the Muslim American Jihadists have a pattern. The FBI or some investigator rushes in & immediately declares it was the act of one man acting alone; the Jewish Community experiences great relief; the murderer jihadist then pleas guilty at first opportunity, closing off further investigation. Sound familiar?

  • Richard Silverstein August 22, 2006, 6:08 PM

    L. Moglen’s comment is precisely the type of wild-eyed conspiracy theory that is most counter-productive to understanding what really happened here and what should be done with Naveed Haq after his trial. This blog & almost the entire rest of our Jewish community don’t go in for such ridiculous hate conspiracies. I denounce Moglen and everything he stands for.

  • L Moglen August 23, 2006, 7:36 AM

    Mr. Silverstein may denounce me. But, can he or anybody tell me where the money came from for an indigent Muslim nut job to buy a couple pistols which must have cost about $1,500? When a Jew is bi-polar we get him medication. When a Muslim is bi-polar they get him guns.

  • Richard Silverstein August 23, 2006, 5:36 PM

    I do denounce you for yr narischkeit conspiracy theories. My job is not to disprove yr conspiracy theories. If you want anyone to believe your nutty ideas it is YOU who has to find evidence to support them. You haven’t even come close.

    How do you know what Haq’s financial situation was? Have you seen his bank account records? Might he not have deceived his parents into giving/lending him money by telling them he planned to use it for a positive purpose? The ways he could’ve gotten his hands on that money are far too numerous to lend any credence to your stupid theories.

  • L Moglen August 24, 2006, 9:57 AM

    Mr. Silverstein & I will have to agree to disagree. If he sleeps comfortably with the question unresolved re. who funded the purchase of the guns for Naveed Haq to go murder Jews – Mr Silverstein has my blessing. It is always comforting to think, “Well, that’s the end of that”. Mr. Silverstein’s mantra: “it can’t happen here”.
    For me, the search for answers Vs. assumptions goes on.

  • Richard Silverstein August 24, 2006, 11:21 AM

    There is NO question of who funded the purchase of the guns except in yr own overheated imagination. Only you & yr. fevered fellow co-conspiracy nuts obssess about this question.

    I don’t want your “blessing.” And whoever said: “it can’t happen here?” It did happen here you dolt. Of course it can happen here. The question is what you do if & when it does happen. Looking for wild theories of what happened instead of looking at the reality of what happened is not the perspective I advocate. Your attitude only exacerbates the hate.

    Keep on searchin’ buddy.

  • Miriam August 29, 2006, 12:20 AM

    I cannot believe the naive, politically-correct nonsense in this article, and in the comments above, except for those sensible comments by Moglen who understands the Jihadi mentality. If Haq was simply nuts, he could have gone in to any building or store, and started shotting up. But he didn’t — he deliberately sought out and found the Jewish Fedearation offices, and announced his aims. This was deliberate, premeditated murder strongly inspired by Muslim anti-Semitic hate ideology. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking it was just mental illness, for if that was the case, much of the Arab/Islamic world suffers from that same illness. No, the responsibility rests jointly on Haq and the Islamic imams and clerics who teach such racist, anti-Semitic and violent rhetoric that inflames so many of the feeble thinkers in their societies worldwide.
    I am sick and tired of well-meaning Jews and Christians who simply don’t know enough or don’t want to understand enough about the dangers of Islamist ideology and constantly try to show how “compassionate” they are by being apologists for them. Time for a reality check!

  • Richard Silverstein August 29, 2006, 12:57 AM

    Spoken like someone who’s never had to endure the scourge of mental illness in her family. Or if she has, it has certainly not encouraged her to feel any mercy towards (or understand) the mentally ill. Those of us who have had such experience are far wiser than she.

    Also spoken like a person who cannot view the world except through the twisted lens of ideology and religious hatred. Instead of seeing a man whose hate was fueled by irrational mental illness, she sees Haq as a driven, committed ideologue (much like herself, though hopefully she hasn’t gone out & bought any guns lately).

    And finally, Miriam can quarrel all she wants with me, but what does she have to say to the only two victim’s families who’ve have made statements about the issue of the death penalty–both of whom have strongly condemned it in this case? Would she have the unmitigated chutzpah to trample on the sacred emotions of the victims & their families & say they are motivated by political correctness? By the way, that stupid phrase seems to be the last gasp/resort of neocons & anti-Muslim hacks when they can’t think of any other epithets to use against their opponents. Utterly meaningless drivel which allows them to dismiss an argument w/o ever engaging it. Such weak minds.

  • Miriam August 29, 2006, 4:09 AM

    Richard, your arrogance and aggressiveness know no bounds. I wrote an opinion, based on years of examining Islamist terrorism worldwide, rather than a personal attack on you. Yet all you do is name call me, and assume that anyone who doesn’t agree with you indulges in ‘meaningless drivel’ and has a ‘weak mind’.
    While I understand that you have a personal interest in mental illness (perhaps no surprise by the emotive tone of your answers), you make some baseless medical assumptions about Haq and discard any evidence that doesn’t fit your simple diagnosis. I presume he was interviewed by a more qualified medical psychiatrist than you.
    A few questions to you: if it was just mental illness, how come he didn’t just shoot up any place such as a Walgren’s or some other public place? Why did he deliberately find and target Jews in a Jewish office and announce that he was doing so? Have you seen typical Islamic sermons videotaped and avilable on sites like [ed., URL deleted--this site does not promote or link to anti-Muslim propaganda] which show Islamic clerics preaching to their flock to ‘Kill Jews and go to Heaven”? Take a look, and maybe you will begin to learn something. Many Muslims are brought up on these hateful, violent diatribes that they learn this from childhood onwards. A survey by Freedom House recently found enoormous amounts of hate literature distributed in and around most major mosques in the US (as in other countries too, in UK, Europe and Australia). This must be exposed and condemned, as they must bear some responsibility for inciting hatred and violence, especially in followers who grow up learning to do as they are instructed. Haq’s murderous hatred didn’t come out of thin air, any more than Nazi-style murderous hatred just popped out suddently and spontaneously from individuls. It was whipped up using a nasty ideology by people in positions of power. Was Haq just a pawn in this deadly game? Perhaps. Nevertheless it is foolish in the extreme for writers like you, enthused by compassion for the true ‘mentally ill’, to misguidely make a glib diagnosis which whitewashes this societal Muslim problem and lets Haq and the Muslim community ‘off the hook’ for this tragic atrocity which took the life of an innocent woman Pamela Waechter and injured others.
    Regarding relatives who were quoted as being against him getting the death penalty — that is fine, and it is their business, whether misguied or not. Their views are not “sacred”. I am not keen on the death penalty either, but that doesn’t mean Haq shouldn’t be found guilty of first degree murder! He should, and he deserves that as an appropriate legal judgment. Ideally he should stay behind bars for life. The final penalty is a decision for the legal courts and is NEVER something that relatives decide, whichever way their ‘sacred’ or non-sacred sympathies go, as you know. That is the way the legal system works in a democracy. Your attempt to diminish Haq’s responsibility for this crime is unsound and illogical, by appealing to the ‘mental illness’ excuse, and seems based on a refusal to admit any personal liability as well as any influence of his Muslim upbringing, even though that appears to be the clearest motive for his murderous rage. If that smacks of (your hated term) ‘naive political correctness’, then don’t be surprised it is commented on by readers like me.

  • L Moglen August 29, 2006, 2:01 PM

    Boy am I glad Miriam has joined in. Poor Mr. Silverstein is committed to self-verifying his assumptions. We all want to believe Naveed acted alone. Mr. Silverstein stridently offers several (legitimate) hypotheses of how & where Naveed got funds for his guns. Yet he rules out the possibility that somebody could have supplied the money for the indigent, unemployed jihadist to buy the guns to murder Jews. Mr. Silverstein gets shrill in his denial OF THE POSSIBILITY that Naveed had help buying the guns. Sadly it was the trusting mind of millions of Jews that climbed into cattle cars 60 years ago because their governments told them to. Such is the trusting mentality of Mr. Silverstein. Naive, but happy.

  • Richard Silverstein August 29, 2006, 5:02 PM

    you have a personal interest in mental illness (perhaps no surprise by the emotive tone of your answers)

    Mazel tov, Miriam! Insinuating I’m mentally ill earns you banning fr. the comment threads here. I don’t do it very often but you’ve really hit the jackpot.

    BTW, I’m not mentally ill. But people like you with yr unmerited hatreds of the religions of others do make me ill.

    I wrote an opinion, based on years of examining Islamist terrorism worldwide,

    Let’s see. What & how have you “examined Islamist terrorism worldwide?” What do you know about Islam or Muslims? Have you ever met any Muslims? Do you know personally any Muslims? Have you taken any courses taught by Muslims about their religion? Have you even taken any university courses about Islamic fundamentalism? I’d venture to say the answers to all are no. Your knowledge likely comes from reading Australian tabloid journalism & perhaps right wing anti-Muslim sites like Little Green Footballs. Oh, you’re an expert all right. An expert in yr own mind.

    you make some baseless medical assumptions about Haq

    No, babe. They’re not baseless. They are not ‘assumptions.’ They are based on media reports by local reporters who spoke with police, family & medical sources about his condition. And you are a moron for interposing yr “superior” medical knowledge in place of theirs.

    if it was just mental illness, how come he didn’t just shoot up any place such as a Walgren’s or some other public place?

    Ah, more ignorance. The violent mentally ill do not engage in random attacks. There is something in their mind that they fixate on that causes them to attack the targets they choose. In this case, he did a random Google search the day before the attack and located the headquarters of the Jewish Federation. In his mentally ill condition he had chosen Israel as the locus of his hatred. But he displayed none of the cold calculating preparation that you’d expect of a cool, level-headed and dyed in the wool Jew-hater. He didn’t go to Afghanistan. He didn’t even go to a radical mosque and get indoctrinated in radical Islam. For Pete’s sake, last year he tried converting to Christianity. The guy was a crippled seeker of solace. Not a psychopath.

    All of your conspiratorial ranting about radical Islam is completely off the mark regarding Haq. Not that you’d recognize your mistake. You fire in the belly ideological hatred prevents you fr. relating to anything as it is. Instead you only see Haq & the entire world through that broken lens.

    You are pathetic.

    Their views are not “sacred”

    You misquote me. I said their “emotions” were sacred, not their views. Their loss, their pain, their suffering earns them credibility in the decision the DA must make on whether to seek the death penalty. Your views aren’t worth bupkus. Go peddle them among your fellow haters where they’ll receive a more receptive audience.

    that doesn’t mean Haq shouldn’t be found guilty of first degree murder! He should, and he deserves that as an appropriate legal judgment. Ideally he should stay behind bars for life

    I love people like you: judge, jury & executioner even before the first motion in the case is heard. You ARE pathetic. And yr legal background to make such presumptuous judgment is what precisely??

    The final penalty is a decision for the legal courts and is NEVER something that relatives decide

    Moron, I didn’t say the relatives “decide.” But imagine a DA who seeks the death penalty only to have the victim & victim’s parents testify that they don’t want the death penalty. That’d be a cool miscalculation for a DA to go up against that. But hey, maybe you want to run for DA here & you can take over the case since you’re so all-fired sure you know what’s best & right.

    Your attempt to diminish Haq’s responsibility for this crime

    And now you lie to boot. I did NOT “diminish” his responsibility for the crime. How could I? We all know that he did the crime. The question is what his punishment will be. I’ve always acknowledged that there must be a punishment. So much for your lies. The question is what is should be: the death penalty or treatment in a facility for the criminally insane.

    a refusal to admit any personal liability as well as any influence of his Muslim upbringing even though that appears to be the clearest motive for his murderous rage.

    A Muslim upbringing that was so “strong” and a motive so clear that he converted to Christianity; and so strong that members of the mosque his father founded hadn’t seen his there for months before the crime.

    then don’t be surprised it is commented on by readers like me.

    Not any more, my friend. Not any more.

  • Richard Silverstein August 29, 2006, 5:26 PM

    Mr. Silverstein is committed to self-verifying his assumptions.

    Don’t you just love people who mangle the English language with neologisms that are nonsensical. So what were you trying to say after all, Moglen? My assumptions are not “verified” by myself, but rather by local news reports. On what are your assumptions based? Harder evidence??

    Yet he rules out the possibility that somebody could have supplied the money for the indigent, unemployed jihadist to buy the guns to murder Jews.

    I do indeed for one simple reason: a law & order Republican DA would love nothing more than to find an Islamic radical co-conspirator in this case who funded the purchase of the guns. Yet no evidence of the sort has surfaced. No arrest of the sort has been made. I wonder why? For the simple fact that there is none.

    THis is the third time in this comment thread you’ve advanced your discredited notion about the supposed Islamic conspiracy to further Haq’s murderous aims. Don’t you think you’ve beaten that horse to the brink of its life??

  • Miriam August 30, 2006, 3:17 AM

    Well Mr Silverstein, I deny that I called you mentally ill. I merely referred your own mention of having a special knowledge and compassion for people with mental illness, possibly through experience with someone in your family —- especially as you accused me of not having that experience i.e. your quote …”Spoken like someone who’s never had to endure the scourge of mental illness in her family. Or if she has, it has certainly not encouraged her to feel any mercy towards (or understand) the mentally ill. Those of us who have had such experience are far wiser than she.”
    I therefore suggested that your experience and compassion for those with mental illness has led to an overly emotive assessment of this particular tragic incident (i.e. that is why I wrote “you have a personal interest in mental illness (perhaps no surprise by the emotive tone of your answers”), at the risk of clouding your judgment about possible motives of religiously-based incitement to anti-Semitism, which is now common in much of the world. In no way did I suggest that you personally were mentally ill, and I take exception to your suggestion that I did so.
    However, feel free to ban me from your site, as my views are so contradictory to yours that I am obviously a thorn in your side.
    Sincerely, Miriam
    PS. By the way, as a first generation Aussie, with parents who survived the Holocaust and lost nearly all their relatives in that atrocity, you may understand why I have little time and appetite for appeasing racist, intolerant and murderous ideologies like radical Islam.
    Haq was raised by a father heavily involved with Islamist mosques in the US, and he may (?possibly) have broken away to briefly dabble in Christianity, and then came back to his Islamic roots with a vengeance. Perhaps this shooting was his way of overcoming guilt and emphatically proving to himself and others that he really was a pious Muslim after all. Whatever the case, the early Isalmic jihadi indocrination undoubtedly played a big part in his decision to kill on behalf of his religion, as he himself stated. Why is that so hard for you to accept when so many other Muslims worldwide have been doing the same?

  • Richard Silverstein September 4, 2006, 12:46 PM

    I deny that I called you mentally ill

    The problem, Miriam, with writing in shorthand as you did on such a sensitive subject–rather than writing clearly & carefully–is that it is only too easy to misinterpret what your intention was in making the following comment:

    I understand that you have a personal interest in mental illness (perhaps no surprise by the emotive tone of your answers

    Perhaps I jumped to conclusions. But you certainly didn’t help things by writing unclearly. Your last comment made your intention much clearer:

    I merely referred your own mention of having a special knowledge and compassion for people with mental illness, possibly through experience with someone in your family…

    I therefore suggested that your experience and compassion for those with mental illness has led to an overly emotive assessment of this particular tragic incident

    I accept that you did not intend to impugn my mental stability & I have unbanned you.

    …at the risk of clouding your judgment about possible motives of religiously-based incitement to anti-Semitism

    My judgment has not been clouded in any way by my personal family experience with mental illness. I am not blind to the threat of anti-Semitism in our world. But I am careful, unlike you, in making judgments about when such charges are applicable & when they are not.

    My experience with mental health issues leads me to understand that Haq is a very sick man whose emotions & actions are guided by his sickness. His expressions of anti-Semitism and his violence are much more the products of his illness than any sort of ideological, theological or political motivation.

    …as a first generation Aussie, with parents who survived the Holocaust and lost nearly all their relatives in that atrocity, you may understand why I have little time and appetite for appeasing racist, intolerant and murderous ideologies like radical Islam.

    No, you don’t get off so easily on this one. I have written about and know personally many Holocaust survivors and their children who do not share your views of Islam. I have several relatives killed in the Holocaust. You are still trapped in a Holocaust mentality that does not allow you to see the world & Muslims for what they are. They are, overall, not a threat to Jewish or Israel’s existence.

    Certainly there are Muslim anti-Semites (some even leave comments here at this blog) and their views must be combatted with full force. But to use the Holocaust as an excuse to condemn an entire religion, race or ethnicity is a misuse of that sacred experience of suffering.

    Haq was raised by a father heavily involved with Islamist mosques in the US,

    WRONG. His father founded a single mosque in Richland, WA a small eastern Washington town not known by a longshot as a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism. It is NOT an ‘Islamist’ (whatever that means) mosque. It is a mosque plain & simple. Provide even a single shred of evidence to prove that the mosque he created is “Islamist.”

    he may (?possibly) have broken away to briefly dabble in Christianity, and then came back to his Islamic roots with a vengeance.

    WRONG again. He hadn’t been seen at his father’s mosque for months before the attacks. You say he “may (possibly)” have come back “to his Islamic roots with a vengeance.” Again, pure, rife speculation. Provide even a shred of evidence that this is what really happened.

    Perhaps this shooting was his way of overcoming guilt and emphatically proving to himself and others that he really was a pious Muslim after all

    “Perhaps,” indeed. And perhaps the moon is made of green chees. Please, don’t ever consider becoming a lawyer as judges would laugh your unfounded speculation out of court. You’re not a psychologist and not a lawyer & yet you pretend to be one with this wild-eyed supposition not founded in reality or proof.

    the early Isalmic jihadi indocrination undoubtedly played a big part in his decision to kill on behalf of his religion, as he himself stated.

    There IS NO “early Islamic Jihadi indoctrination.” It is purely a figment of your fevered mind & those twisted sources like LGF which may fuel your fever dreams.

    Why is that so hard for you to accept when so many other Muslims worldwide have been doing the same?

    You & I have one fundamental difference. You have no problem extrapolating from the particular to the general while having no evidence for doing so; while I only make such extrapolations when evidence warrants doing so. You use Jewish suffering to cloud your judgement while I use it to inform my views of the world when that is warranted.

  • L Moglen September 4, 2006, 8:06 PM

    Mr. Silverstein has resorted to the dead end labyrinth of semantics and gratutitous insults couched in multisyllabisms. His tour de force is claiming not to know what an Islamic mosque is. Well Mr. Silverstein, let’s give you a crutch. An Islamic Mosque is blogging literary license analogy to a Jewish synagogue. They both contain redundancies, but have adjectives that reinforce the idea of what the houses of worship represent. Mr. Silverstein has nailed himself through his own empty logic. By the time one has to explain to Mr. Silverstein what an islamic Mosque is, one is stooping to cretan speak.
    Miriam has it right. The Muslim (meaning Islamic, Mr. Silverstein) religious extemists can pass for “insane” based on our western standards. Whether Naveed Haq was seeking to curry favor with his Muslim compatriots or indeed buying into the notion of a free pass to heaven by pleasing Allah with Jewish blood is an issue worthy of discussion & debate. There is a context of “Lone Muslim” murdering Jews in America & world wide. Mr. Silverstein may find comfort with his conviction (assumption?) that Haq et al are crazy people acting alone. But, somewhere in the Muslim world they are memorialized as heroes carrying out the will of Allah.

  • Richard Silverstein September 4, 2006, 8:26 PM

    the dead end labyrinth of semantics and gratutitous insults couched in multisyllabisms [sic]

    Oooh! I hope you didn’t hurt yr head too much in coming up w. that loo-loo of a sentence. Talk about multisyllabilism! BTW, why don’t you leave the neologisms to people like lexicographers & others who actually know how to speak & write the language.

    His tour de force is claiming not to know what an Islamic mosque is

    But you, my doltish one, didn’t read what Miriam wrote: “ISLAMIST mosque.” Not “Islamic.” Whew, where did you learn to read? Why would Miriam have written the unnecessary redundancy “Islamic mosque?” You didn’t stop to consider that, did you?

    But I have a question for you: are all mosques Islamist by defintion? Or are certain mosques Islamist & others not? I’d guess that for Miriam & brainy boy here, there’s no difference & they’re all going to Hell in a handbasket as the Muslim terrorists they are.

    one is stooping to cretan [sic] speak

    How true, how true.

    Mr. Silverstein may find comfort with his conviction (assumption?) that Haq et al are crazy people acting alone.

    I never said that all Muslims who engage in acts of violence against “non-believers” are “crazy” & therefore not culpable for their actions. Only you said that. I said that Hag is mentally ill and therefore doesn’t deserve the death penalty. Only a dolt like you doesn’t get the difference.

  • Miriam September 4, 2006, 9:03 PM

    Thanks for your reply Moglen. Only one clarification to make i.e. I referred to the mosque as being ‘Islamist’ (not ‘Islamic’, which is obviously is). Islamist, as you probably know, is another term for having a radical or extreme Islamic agenda. While Richard Silverstein is technically correct in that I cannot be sure that ‘this particular mosque’ is run by Islamic extremists, I have based my presumption of the fact that the majority of mosques worldwide are of this nature, certainly here in Australia, UK, Europe etc. In fact, in Islam more than any other religion, there is a direct correlation between religiosity and extremism, and hence violence, the latter often directly inspired by clerics, who base their teachings of course on the violence of the Koran, an intolerant war document, with the later suras abrogating any peaceful earlier ones, as all scholars know. Go to the site http://www.pmw.org.il and see some evidence such as the clerics who teach “Kill a Jew and Go to Heaven” and use quotes from the Koran to support their bile. There are numerous sites on the web showing clerics giving sermons in which they exhort their audience to ‘Kill non-Muslim infidels and apostates” who they dehumanise by naming them as pigs and vermin. They are trying to outdo the Nazis in their vitriolic diatribes, and it is a known fact that almost all suicide terrorists in the Mid-East and in the West have been inspired or indocrinated by Islamic clerics in the name of Islam. (So much for the myth that this terrorism is not religiously inspired.) And now we have the mad mullahs in Iran threatening the non-Muslim world by aiming to gain nuclear weapons. It is time to name world terrorism for what it is — radical Islam!
    While there are certainly Muslim individuals who are moderate and modern, they are the minority out of the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims. They are usually the least religious or have turned away from religion almost comletely and live secular lives, as there is no official moderate or reform Islamic ideology. (Any thinkers who have tried to reform Islam have been attacked or killed or live in fear of their lives.) Even the small percentage of Muslims that live in the West, say 40 million or so, are not all moderate, with many supporting attacks on the West. A poll of UK Muslims after the July 7 underground bombings horrifyingly found that about 17% as least admitted (!) to supporting the terror bombers regardless. In the Muslim middle east 70% support suicide attacks on innocent civilians and it is a brutal and blood-thirsty mindset, justified as being done in the name of Allah.
    This is the influence (subliminal or otherwise) that impressionable young men often pick up from their mosques, and it isn’t healthy for their host communities, as we tragically saw in Seattle. That is why I said the mosques and clerics should be held accountable for the minds they twist and warp.

  • Richard Silverstein September 5, 2006, 12:49 AM

    Richard Silverstein is technically correct in that I cannot be sure that ‘this particular mosque’ is run by Islamic extremists

    No, I am not “technically correct.” I am CORRECT period. The mosque is not run by Islamic extremists. I’ve done my research. Local journalists have written about the mosque and Haq’s father. Not a single word in tens of thousands published here in Seattle on the subject claims the father or the mosque are Islamic militants.

    In fact, Haq’s family delivered a personal note to the local Richland synagogue apologizing for their son’s act. They also delivered through a local Seattle Muslim, a note of apology to the grieving families on the day of Pam Waecheter’s funeral. But of course for all you Muslim haters that’s all posturing since no Muslim can ever be sincere in expressing wishes for peace between Islam and other religions & nations.

    But I ask my other more reasonable readers whether it sounds like a family steeped in Islamic fanaticism would do such things as this one has done??

    And until you can present proof of such Islamic fundamentalism in Richland’s mosque, you do not get the right to insinuate anything other than it is a house of worship like any other. You don’t even earn the right to say that the latter contention is ‘technically correct.’ It is correct till you prove otherwise plain & simple.

    the majority of mosques worldwide are of this nature [extremist], certainly here in Australia, UK, Europe etc.

    Bless my soul, you are a ranting lunatic. How did you learn this to be true? What is your source? Where is your proof other than that it is a “well known fact” in your circles?

    In fact, in Islam more than any other religion, there is a direct correlation between religiosity and extremism, and hence violence…as all scholars know

    You are full of crap. You know nothing about Islam. Where do you find any proof that this is so from any reputable source? I love the “as all scholars know.” Who are “all scholars?” Bernard Lewis, Daniel Pipes and who else?

    What proof does dear Miriam’s provide for these contentions? Palestine Media Watch. Now, this my friends is a wholly non-partisan organization with impeccable credentials for objectivity in its coverage of Islam. Let’s take a look at PMW’s own explanation of its mission:

    Palestinian Media Watch analyzes Palestinian Authority culture and society from numerous perspectives, including studies on summer camps, poetry, schoolbooks, religious ideology, crossword puzzles, and more.

    Palestinian Media Watch has been playing the critical role of documenting the contradictions between the image the Palestinians present to the world in English and the messages to their own people in Arabic.

    Leave aside the tortured syntax of this passage (how do you analyze the “Palestinian Authority culture and society”?). But by its own admission, it “studies” Palestinian society via summer camps and crossword puzzles, among other ‘critical indicators’ of a nation’s culture and ideology. Now that’s a credible source, don’t you think?

    it is a known fact that almost all suicide terrorists in the Mid-East and in the West have been inspired or indocrinated by Islamic clerics in the name of Islam.

    I love it when ideologues & demagogues talk about “known facts,” by which they mean “speculation that passes for truth in our circles.” And if clerics indoctrinate suicide bombers, this proves what, precisely? That Islam in its entirety is a religion of extremism and violence? Where do you get that from? Even if “almost all” suicide terrorists were inspired by Islamic clerics (a contention that is neither provable nor credible), this “fact” does not prove that the entire religion believes in such barbarity. It proves that there are barbarous clerics among Muslims just as there are barbarous rabbis among Jews.

    BTW, how do you explain that one of the world’s largest Orthodox rabbinic organizations last week called for the IDF to kill Lebanese civilians with no moral compunctions? See Rabbis: Israel Too Worried Over Civilian Deaths (you see unlike you I provide reputable sources for my claims). As far as these rabbis were concerned, all Lebanese civilians were terrorists and deserved their fate. Don’t know about you, but that sure made me proud to be a Jew.

    While there are certainly Muslim individuals who are moderate and modern, they are the minority out of the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims.

    And again, you know they are the “minority” how? By demographic polling data you collected? Or some other sociologist or polling expert collected? You are one of the most ignorant people I’ve ever come across when it comes to this subject. You make sweeping generalizations about everything Muslim under the sun & yet present no proof or evidence whatsoever that it is true. What a wonder life must be for you to have so much certainty in your opinions about the world. Don’t let a little reality get in the way of those fever dreams, you hear? It would be so untidy & inconvenient to let that happen.

    there is no official moderate or reform Islamic ideology

    And you’re an expert on Islamic theology (or “ideology” as you mistakenly call it) now too. Your intellectual skills are a marvel!

    Any thinkers who have tried to reform Islam have been attacked or killed or live in fear of their lives.)

    Again, I fall in obeisance before yr superior knowledge. BTW, I’ve documented in this blog numerous Islamic theologians who present precisely the perspective you claim is non-existent or endangered in Islam. And guess what–they haven’t been attacked or killed & don’t even live in fear of their lives. Imagine that.

    A poll of UK Muslims after the July 7 underground bombings horrifyingly found that about 17% as least admitted (!) to supporting the terror bombers regardless.

    First, you don’t present a source or link for this claim & until you do I don’t find it credible. But even if it is–40% or more of Israelis favor expelling all Israeli Arabs (who are Israeli citizens no less) from Israel. Besides being racist, this would be a violation of international law. I find that horrifying too. Further, I bet close to a majority of Israelis felt no compunction about Israel’s mass killing of (at least 1,000) Lebanese civilians. I find that too horrifying. But unlike you I don’t use this statistic as a means of vilifying the entire nation of Israel (though others may).

    In the Muslim middle east 70% support suicide attacks on innocent civilians

    You have truly lost yr marbles. A source to support this ludicrous claim?

    This is the influence (subliminal or otherwise) that impressionable young men often pick up from their mosques, and it isn’t healthy for their host communities, as we tragically saw in Seattle.

    You do drone on & on so. Again, you have no proof whatsoever that any of this applies to Haq. You haven’t proved his mosque instilled hatred in him. You haven’t even proven that his mosque provided any influence at all over his life. Does a man who converts to Christianity sound like someone for whom Islam plays a key role in his life?

    And how did we get from the mad mullah in Iran threatening the world with nuclear weapons to a pitiful mentally ill loser in Seattle? In your mind, that jump is easy to make. In the minds of the rest of us, it’s a leap we’re not willing to take because the two issues have next to nothing to do w. ea. other.

    I’m getting profoundly bored by your rantings. I reserve the right to discontinue them w. no prior notice. If you reply to this & say the same thing over again I will exercise my discretion to end this lovely dialogue of the deaf (you being the deaf one).

  • L Moglen September 6, 2006, 8:55 AM

    When a Jewish person has mental illness, the Jewish community does what it thinks best for him: get him medical atttention & see to it that he does no harm to self or others. When a Muslim is mentallly ill, he & the militant Islamists find each other. The militant Islamists also seek to do what they think is best for the mentally ill young man: steer him into killing others (especially Jews). If he can get himself killed in the activity, that’s a bonus & he goes straight to heaven with Allah. The main regrets of Naveed Haq & the Islamic extremists is that he did not kill more Jews & that he did not get killed in the process. Now he will have to wait a little longer to get his 72 virgins. It can and is hapenning here. Bottom line: Jews hold all life precious; Islamic extremists actively seek maximum destruction of life. Naveed Haq’s activity looks crazy to Western culture, but looks inspired to Islamic extremists.

  • Richard Silverstein September 6, 2006, 12:16 PM

    When a Jewish person has mental illness, the Jewish community does what it thinks best for him, get him medical atttention & see to it that he does no harm to self or others

    That’s utterly preposterous. What you can say is that when a Jewish person is mentally ill there are resources in the community that he/she may turn to for help. However, if you lived in a small community like Richland, WA (there may be no immediate resources available unless there is a Jewish communal presence there). Certainly in Richland there would be almost no organized communal presence of the Muslim community & hence few such services.

    And another thing you neglect to understand in your smugness–most ethnic communities are NOT organized as well as the Jewish community is. It is unusual for many ethnic communities to provide the array of services that we do for those in need. I speak from extensive experience having been a Jewish Federation fundraiser in two communities for a total of four years.

    When a Muslim is mentallly ill, he & the militant Islamists find each other.

    Again, you provide absolutely no evidence that this happened in Haq’s case. You provide no evidence that this happens in any case. Everything you’re saying is utter useless drivel.

    Bottom line: Jews hold all life precious; Islamic extremists actively seek maximum destruction of life.

    Of course that is absolute truth. Jews hold all life precious–except Lebanese, Gazan & anyone who is Arab or Muslim. Then we hold those lives worth mere pennies compared to Jewish blood which is sacred. And pls. explain the Rabbinic Council’s decree linked in my comment above which chides the IDF for giving too much respect to the lives of Lebanese civilians. So we don’t hold ALL life precious, only Jewish life. I shouldn’t say “we” since that’s not what I believe. I should say “you” meaning you and other Muslim-haters.

    You have a bit of a problem. You’ve managed to set up the world in such a neatly compartmentalized way–except for one problem. Your compartments don’t in any way correspond to our real world. They correspond to what you see. But what you see isn’t what IS. In other words, you’re full of crap.

  • L Moglen September 17, 2006, 7:29 PM

    No, no, I am not full of crap. I am investigating this matter without any assistance from the authorities. I have determined which gun shop at which the guns were purchsed. Finding the truth is like pulling teeth. Soon you will be eating your words. So, Mr. Silverstein, bring it on.

  • Richard Silverstein September 17, 2006, 8:01 PM

    I have determined which gun shop at which the guns were purchsed [sic]

    Good work, Sherlock. Now let’s see you prove that a vast jihadist conspiracy funded his purchase of the gun & whipped him into an anti-Semitic frenzy which led to the shootings.

  • S Merahn September 22, 2006, 6:48 AM

    I stepped in this thread while trying to research the Jewish community in Washington State….and I sure learned a lot. However, as someone with some expertise in mental health (physician, therapist — not psychiatrist), advocacy and policy (public health/special needs children) I have to say that the source of Mr. Haqs weapons is totally relevant and cannot/should not be dismissed…the path of a weapon from manufacturer to use is critical to understand the “how” of such events. This is not about conspiracy, but could be simple interpersonal manipulation — which makes such person culpable to the event. With both Mr. Haq and Mr, Gibson we are seeing their unconscious become material, in one case as a result of mental illness and in the other under influence of mind-altering substances, but regardless, these are not moments for forgiveness. We did not forgive Mr. Schickelgruber his mental illness in the Shoah and those who do not remember history are sure to repeat it. Finally, while we can disagreee as to the use of punative measures such as the death penalty, criminal acts cannot be excused by mental illness — and we have an obligation to find those who may — note I said may — have influenced, provoked or supported a mentally ill person into crossing the line to criminality.

  • Richard Silverstein September 22, 2006, 10:56 AM

    criminal acts cannot be excused by mental illness — and we have an obligation to find those who may — note I said may — have influenced, provoked or supported a mentally ill person into crossing the line to criminality.

    I have never said that criminal acts can be excused by mental illness. Only my opponents here have erroneously claimed that was what I said. However, punishment for the mentally ill should not be the same as for the mentally competent. It must take into account different circumstances.

    You say we have an obligation to find anyone who provoked Haq to criminality. But there IS NO SUCH PERSON. Why do people look for conspiracies where there are none? I assure you that with the level of news coverage of this event if there were even a hint of such a conspiracy the outlines of it would be known by now. Since you claim to know something about mental illness are you claiming that such individuals cannot or are likely not to engage in criminal acts without the motivation of an outside party?

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