Friday, April 26, 2019

When a terrorist isn't a terrorist

Isaiah Joel Peoples, 34, faces eight counts of attempted murder for injuring eight people, including four who remain hospitalized. The most seriously injured is a 13-year-old Sunnyvale girl of South Asian descent who is in a coma with severe brain trauma. He deliberately drove into a group of pedestrians because he thought some of the people were Muslim. 

“New evidence shows that the defendant intentionally targeted the victims based on their race and his belief that they were of the Muslim faith,” police said. “There is very appalling and disturbing evidence that at least one or two of these victims were targeted based on the defendant’s view of what their race or religion may have been.” 

He told investigators he intentionally drove into a group of men, women and children, police said. Peoples showed no remorse after his car plowed at high speed into a group of people in a crosswalk before hitting a tree.

The APnews report does not refer to him as a terrorist. Rather the news report concentrates on exonerating Peoples, an Iraq War veteran, deployed to Iraq in 2005 and 2006.

"The former U.S. Army sharpshooter experienced post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq, his family said.

 Peoples’ attorney, Chuck Smith, said Friday that the crash was in no way deliberate...He served our country, honorably and admirably, and he’s led an otherwise blameless life,” Smith said, “So there’s no explanation for this other than his service, the things he saw and what happened to him mentally while serving our country.”

"Family and friends described Peoples as quiet and polite and expressed shock at his involvement. His mother, Leevell Peoples of Sacramento, said her son had “a bad episode” with PTSD in 2015, for which he was hospitalized."

"Peoples was honorably discharged from the Army, and police were investigating the PTSD report, Ngo said. Peoples had no criminal record and owned one weapon, a disassembled and inoperable shotgun that was in the trunk of his vehicle"

Do visitors to this blog believe that such a sympathetic reporting would have taken place if Peoples was a muslim and drove his car into innocent victims? Of all Islamic terrorist cases, I rarely come across any that tries to explain the act by citing the trauma a perpetuator may have suffered.

https://apnews.com/52086898e86e4887a54b4884a0a6e586

5 comments:

Gramsci's cat said...

It may be a hate crime but to call it terrorism devalues the word and obscures the organisational and political aims of terrorist organisations
a socialist needs to value language as a tool not use it for cheap jibes

ajohnstone said...

The posts is drawing attention to the fact that a distinction is being made by the media, that a hate-crime committed by a Muslim is frequently described as an inspired terrorist act but if perpetuated by a white, it is down-graded to a hate-crime with more focus on the aggressor's mental health state. A lone-wolf attack by a Muslim is ascribed to radicalization yet rarely do they investigate the politically inspired motives of a white attacker.

Both are usually designed to inspire fear in others so I think we can still describe it as creating terror.

As an aside, a co-worker who got into a bar-fight called the other guy an English bastard during the melee and the charge was raised to being a hate crime.

gramsci's cat said...

but he isn't 'white'

Matthew Culbert said...

"Anonymous gramsci's cat said,but he isn't 'white'"

How do you know that?


ajohnstone said...



But you are right, Gramsci, I used the wrong terminology...Instead of "white" I should be saying "non-Muslim" and although there are often very obviously racist undertones, we should remain within the parameters of religion.