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White Supremacist Converts to Islam, Kills Nazi Friends

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Illustrative picture. (Photo: Thoughtcatalog/Creative Commons)

A former white supremacist in Florida murdered his two white supremacist roommates after they objected his conversion to Islam.

Devon Arthurs, 18, reportedly murdered roommates Jeremy Himmelman, 22, and Andrew Oneschuk, 18, after the two criticized his conversion to Islam, according to Raw Story.

The three men were reportedly all white supremacists prior to Arthurs’ conversion. Police said he carried out the murders “to bring attention to his cause.”

After murdering his roommates, Arthurs took three hostages at a nearby smoke shop in Tampa Palms, Florida. Police arrived on the scene and convinced him to release the hostages and turn himself in.

“I had to do it,” he told police. “This wouldn’t have had to happen if your country didn’t bomb my country.”

When police searched the apartment, they found a garage full of explosives and a framed photo of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. This led to explosives charges being leveled against the fourth roommate, National Guardsman Brandon Russell, 21.

The decision to become a white supremacist and then an Islamic extremist seems to indicate a troubled mind. The fact he switched so totally and so fast speaks to the probability that there were underlying psychological and emotional issues that drew Devon Arthurs towards extremist positions. However, both ideologies provided a ready-made package for emotionally disturbed potential recruits and clearly were able to sell their message easily to Arthurs.

While emotionally-disturbed individuals will always exist, we can and ought to act to shut down hateful ideologies which play on existing insecurities and promote and inflame pre-existing hateful tendencies to the point of violence.

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Elliot Friedland

Elliot Friedland is a research fellow at Clarion Project.