Man runs over people, claims he did it for reasons pertaining to Islam, his religion, says he did it because he's a muslim doing something required by Islam, and Islam is his motivation for trying to kill people at random, and it's all to do with Islam and Islam is the reason according to him. So, what's not to get? Well, the Islam part.
The Pit attacker ready for life term
March 14, 2006
By BETH VELLIQUETTE, The Herald-Sun
Mohammad Reza Taheri-azar, the UNC graduate who told police he intentionally tried to kill people in the university's Pit by running over them with a Jeep, is ready to spend his life in prison for what he did, he says in a letter to The Herald-Sun.
"With Allah's help, I am prepared and will be prepared for a life sentence," he wrote. "I only fear and only respect Allah."
Taheri-azar is being held in Central Prison in Raleigh under a $5.5 million bond on nine counts of attempted murder and nine counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.
He responded to a series of written questions sent to him last week by The Herald-Sun. His letter arrived Tuesday.
In his responses, Taheri-azar claims that when he tried to run over and kill people in The Pit, he acted out of love for Allah, not out of hatred for the students at UNC.
"I have no hatred for anyone," he wrote. "I never hesitate to do as Allah has commanded in the Koran, which I have read all 114 chapters of approximately 15 times now, beginning in June 2003."
Taheri-azar, 22, admits to driving a rented Jeep Cherokee on March 3 into The Pit, an enclosed area where students like to congregate. As people scrambled to get out of the way, he tried to run them down, sometimes swerving sharply to try to hit someone, witnesses said.
Taheri-azar hit and injured nine people. Six were taken to the emergency room at UNC Hospitals but were treated and released the same day.
After driving away from The Pit, Taheri-azar called 911 and told the dispatcher that police could find him in a neighborhood off East Franklin Street.
He told the dispatcher he hit the people to punish the U.S. government for its actions around the world against Muslims.
He gave up without resistance and told police he was disappointed that no one was killed, police said.
"The Koran, the truth from Allah, the creator of all things, dictates in numerous places, e.g. Chapter 'Muhammad,' that Allah's followers have permission to attack those who have waged war against them, with eternal paradise as an expected reward so long as Allah's followers abide by all commandments listed throughout the Koran," Taheri-azar wrote to The Herald-Sun. "The fact that the Koran is a scientific and mathematic miracle proves that it is from a supernatural source."
But Carl Ernst, a UNC professor in the Department of Religious Studies whose specialty is Islam, said Taheri-azar's letter does not reflect the attitudes of most Muslim students at UNC.
"I know a lot of Muslim students who have taken my classes or who I've gotten to know, and that's simply far away from anything they are thinking about," said Ernst, author of "Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World."
"They are like any other students at UNC," he said. "They have their concerns, but I've never seen students at UNC express this kind of attitude."
Taheri-azar's statements express an extremist point of view of Muslim beliefs, just as the Ku Klux Klan expresses an extremist point of view of Christian beliefs, Ernst said.
Yes, he said, there are passages in the Koran that may appear to give Muslims permission to attack their enemies, just as there are passages in the Bible that appear to give Christians the command to kill -- but both are extremist points of view.
Still, many people think Taheri-azar's point of view is how most Muslims think, Ernst said.
"The way that we talk about Muslims, we sort of assume they're extremist, and they have to prove that they aren't," he said. "It's a burden we don't place on Christians."
In his letter, Taheri-azar goes on to say that he chose to attack in the United States because attacking in the Middle East wouldn't change anything.
"Judging by the U.S. government's continuing invasions and killing of my fellow followers of Allah in Islamic territories in the Middle East, even after the deaths of more than 1,000 U.S. soldiers, I concluded that I didn't want to attack in the Middle East since there would likely be no significant change in the U.S. government's military presence in Islamic territories," he wrote.
He also wrote that he hopes his attack shows the U.S. government that followers of Allah will do anything and give up everything to defeat their enemies.
"I therefore decided to attack within the U.S. borders, hoping that the U.S. government would understand that my fellow followers of Allah will do everything necessary to defeat our enemies, even giving up a college degree from UNC Chapel Hill, as I did myself," Taheri-azar wrote.
The Iranian native, who grew up in Charlotte, told police he began thinking about some type of attack two years ago and began planning the attack in The Pit a couple of months ago.
"I discussed my plans with no one but Allah when I prayed to him in the days prior to March 3rd," he wrote in the letter.
The reason he turned himself in to police after the attack, he wrote, is that he wanted to let everyone know he wasn't crazy.
"I turned myself in to assure the world that I wasn't some insane person who went on a killing rampage suddenly," he said in the letter.
The young man that friends and neighbors have described as shy, smart, studious and quiet now apparently seeks worldwide attention.
"Please see to it that this letter is broadcast throughout the world in its entirety," he wrote. "Sincerely yours, Mohammad Taheri-azar."
How stupid do they think we are? And how stupid are we if we don't object to this kind of monstrous behavior on the part of our intelligentsia?