In the Middle East, beheading is pretty much de rigueur, a favorite home video subject and a hallmark of the Islamic State. Thankfully in America, beheadings are rare – the horrifying work of serial killers or Mexican drug lords.
So when a beheading occurred Thursday at a food plant in Moore, Oklahoma, reasonable people wondered if there was a connection to Islam. There was.
The killer, Alton Nolen had recently converted to Islam and called himself Jah’Keem Yisrael. He’d tried to convert co-workers. By some accounts he was fired on Thursday for arguing that stoning was an appropriate punishment for women. According to the Christian Science Monitor there was “little doubt that Mr. Nolen was deeply sympathetic toward extremist Muslim groups, posting rambling Islamist invectives, photos of Osama bin Laden, and an image of a decapitation to his Facebook page.”
On ABC’s “Good Morning America” Saturday, Ron Claiborne noted that “Authorities are investigating whether Nolen posted a series of jihadi rants on Facebook.” On the Friday CBS “Evening News,” reporter Bob Orr related:
Police say Nolen, an ex-con with a long record, recently tried to convert some of his coworkers to Islam and sources say a variety of religious materials were recovered from his car. Now, with almost daily threats from Isis and Al Qaeda U.S. Officials are on high guard for possible homeland attacks. There is particular concern that recent terrorist propaganda tapes celebrating the execution of hostages, could inspire loan-wolf American radicals to act out violently.
In NBC’s sole report on the incident on the Friday “Nightly News,” host Brian Williams didn’t mention Islam. Segueing from a report on ISIS that, ironically, mentioned beheadings, Williams said “The FBI is investigating an absolutely awful attack in our country.” Williams went on:
Police say a man who was fired yesterday from a food processing plant went on a rampage there beheading a co-worker then repeatedly stabbing another before a company executive who happens to be reserve deputy in the area shot and subdued him. The suspect is expected to survive his wounds and face multiple charges.
So as far as NBC viewers know, Nolan could be a Methodist, a devotee of Wicca or an atheist. And, given that beheading seems to be in vogue among Oklahoma Muslims, the network is doing those viewers a grave disservice. Maybe when ISIS-style crucifixions start popping up in Tulsa NBC will make a connection.