Our occasional contributor Joel Mowbray reports on the trial of Naveed Haq in Seattle:
This week was significant in the fight against terrorism. The case against Naveed Haq went to verdict. Haq is the Muslim man who walked into the office of the Seattle Jewish Federation in 2006 and went on a shooting rampage moments after uttering, “I’m a Muslim-American, and I’m angry at Israel.”
The case is important because of what it says about how ordinary Americans view fundamentalist Islam. Many in the media have excused murderous behavior in the name of Islam as the actions of a “crazy” person. For proof, look no further than the reaction of the chattering classes to Maj. Hasan’s murder spree at Ft. Hood last month.
With Haq, the jury had the “crazy” label handed to them on a silver platter. Even the prosecution acknowledged that Haq suffered from a history of mental illness.
The twelve men and women in proudly liberal Seattle, however, rejected the politically correct cop-out. Though Haq was not facing terrorism charges, the jury found him guilty on Tuesday of aggravated first-degree murder, five counts of attempted first-degree murder, one count of unlawful imprisonment and one count of malicious harassment, which is Washington state’s hate-crime law.
The verdict suggests that even in deep blue pockets of the country, a terrorist’s stated motives will be taken at face value. Even if that isn’t the same as those same people willing to make terrorism a political priority, it does at least indicate that delusional denial isn’t as widespread as we might fear.
It helped that in this trial the prosecution was able to play damning audiotapes of phone calls Haq made to his family after the shooting. In one of the ten recorded phone calls, Haq told his mother that he was “a soldier of Islam.”
In the 911 tape, Haq told the dispatcher, “I don’t care if I die.” Haq explained that the world was ignoring the suffering of Muslims, so his reason was “just to make a point.”
By finding Haq guilty when the insanity defense could have won so easily, the Seattle jury “made the point” that common sense can prevail when it’s needed most.