Not only has it lost almost one hundred people to a senseless rampage, but legitimate criticism of Islam has been profoundly discredited by association with a murderous lunatic.
Exactly. This whole thing is such a blow to the opposition to Islam the ideology that it’s hard to resist donning the tinfoil hat and wondering if we actually do know the real motivations of this terrorist.
On the other hand, Charles Manson had similarly whacked strategic notions (recall that he hoped to start a race war that would bring down the United States by stabbing white people with forks), and that seemed perfectly sane not only to him but to several followers of his.
It’s easy to write this guy off as a lone lunatic, just as apologists for violent Islam write off the hundreds and thousands of deaths at its hands as the work of lunatics. I don’t believe lunacy in any real sense – the babble-wabble, lip flubbering, listening to dogs from Venus stuff – is the issue in either case. Both this man and Islamists who seek to impose Sharia and Islam on the world by violence are acting out the dictates of an ideology as they personally understand it. Giving either the simple out of insanity seems to me to deliberately mis-state the reality of the situation.