Why Don’t Police Care About “Allahu Akbar” in Fresno?

Kori Ali Muhammed. (Photo: Screenshot from video)

Please write to local newspaper The Fresno Bee to express your concern that terrorism is not being properly investigated. You can reach opinion editor Bill McEwen here: bmcewen@fresnobee.com

A gunman shouting “Allahu Akbar” killed three people on a rampage in Fresno, California, on Tuesday morning local time. The suspect, Kori Ali Muhammad, 39, surrendered to officers at the scene and said “you guys are looking for me.”

At this point the FBI is not treating this as a terrorist incident.

Muhammad fired 16 rounds in two minutes. The first victim has now been identified as 34-year-old, father-of-two Zackary Randalls, who was shot while sitting in the passenger seat

Police said Muhammad was wanted for the murder of a white security guard Carl Williams at a Motel 6 on April 13, and decided to kill as many white people as possible.

“Immediately upon the individual seeing the officer he literally dove onto the ground and was taken into custody and as he was taken into custody he yelled out ‘Allahu Akhbar,’” according to Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.

However, Dyer added that the attack had “nothing to do with terrorism in spite of the statement he made” saying “this is solely based on race.”

Mohammed went by the nickname “Black Jesus” and had posted many inflammatory statements about race on social media.

Director of the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno Reza Nekumanesh swiftly issued a condemnation of the attack saying “We condemn the acts of the criminal in the strongest terms and stand with our community and city in support and brotherhood … and we call upon our law enforcement agencies and our officials to properly investigate the motives of this man and hold him accountable accordingly.”

The imam said Muhammad was not a member of the congregation and that he did not recognize him.

It is troubling that more focus is not being given to the fact that the gunman shouted Allahu Akbar.

If a gunman shouts Allahu Akbar, even if the attack had related causal factors (in this case racism and a history of mental illness and criminality), that merits attention.

Islamist ideology has previously attempted to hijack discussion on race in America to push its agenda. Any given incident can have multiple causes, and racial tension in America has been spiking recently. Arguing that Islamism seems to have played a role is not to dismiss the influence of racial factors. Yet the fact that the gunman chose to shout “Allahu Akbar” shows that he was at least partially influenced by jihadist attacks where that battle-cry is used.

That avenue deserves to be explored properly in assessing the motives for this atrocity.

Please write to local newspaper The Fresno Bee to express your concern that terrorism is not being properly investigated. You can reach opinion editor Bill McEwen here: bmcewen@fresnobee.com