Mike Kueber's Blog

October 1, 2014

Workplace violence, terrorism, and hate crimes

Filed under: Law/justice — Mike Kueber @ 6:30 pm
Tags: , , ,

Because Islamic extremist groups have recently beheaded several Westerners, there was initially some concern that the beheading of a woman in Oklahoma at the hands of a Muslim convert, Alton Nolen, might be a terrorist act. But the Obama administration quickly characterized the act as workplace violence – a la the Fort Hood massacre – and an article in the NY Times dutifully declared that no links could be found between the Oklahoma murderer and the Islamic extremist groups.

But the article did report that Nolen, a recent convert to Islam, had been suspended by his employer because he made “inflammatory comments about white people,” and the employee who reported these comments was injured, but not killed, during the attack.

Nowhere in the article is there any mention of prosecution for hate crimes. Although I am not a fan of special prosecution based on racial/sexual bias, I suspect that if a white racist did the same things as Alton Nolen this would already be labeled a hate crime and all white Americans would be partially blamed for creating an environment that would produce such a criminal.

p.s., when I attempted to confirm that the authorities have ignored the hate-crime aspect of this matter by Googling “Alton Nolen and hate crime,” I learned that Breitbart.com had noticed the same thing:

  • Two federal law enforcement sources tell the Washington Post that the FBI is also treating this case as workplace violence, not terrorism. The Post cites the FBI’s definition of terrorism which focuses on attempts to achieve political ends, i.e. influencing a government’s actions. If racism rather than religion was a motive in the crime then it could presumably be considered a hate crime. Neither the AP nor the Post mention any intent to charge Nolen with a hate crime.”

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