I was walking downtown Monday evening when a police cruiser waiting to turn into the SLPD HQ parking lot on 200 South suddenly turned on its lights and sirens and sped eastbound. Within seconds, at least ten more cruisers pulled out of the station following the first, joined by a fleet of ambulances and fire trucks along the way. I knew whatever happened must have been big, but I had no idea it would be the bloodiest day in this sleepy city’s history.
A teenage gunman opens fire in a crowded mall full of families buying Valentine gifts and enjoying Family Night. It hits close to home. Literally. Reports started streaming in as soon as I got home, and I’ve been glued to the TV/Internet/AM radio waiting to find out how this could have happened here.
So far, nobody seems to have a clue what the killer’s motive was. Not a clue. But of the 24+ hours of continuous coverage so far, there is one minor detail absent in any of the reports- the fact that Sulejmen Talovic is a Muslim. KNRS AM’s Bob Lonsberry opines in his daily column (emphasis mine):
He was an 18-year-old Muslim. A high school dropout who lived with his mother and brought two guns, a bandoleer and a backpack full of ammo. He got up and went to work on Monday, completely normal, and then he drove over to the mall and killed two people before he was 10 feet from his car.
Is it relevant that he is Muslim? Absolutely. Is it a factor in his crime? It’s too early to tell. But in this day and age, when a young man named for a Muslim sultan who delighted in killing Christians ends up killing some Christians of his own, it’s not out of line to ask.
Why is his religion relevant? First, had he been a Mormon, the headlines would have read “Mormon Madmen on Killing Spree,” or “Mormon Shoots Nine- More Trouble for Mitt Romney?” If he were LDS, his religion would have been front and center. And since his religion has been conveniently ignored, the rest of the nation who saw the headline on Drudge last night probably assumed it was “just another crazy Mormon.”
But young Sulejmen was a Muslim. Which means the news media walks on eggshells. Just like the reports of “youths” torching cars in France and the UNC “student” gone wild, no mention has yet been made about his religion. It’s just too politically dangerous to do so. The PC media won’t touch the M-word with a 40 foot pole. I’m not saying his religion played a role in the terror he wrought in my backyard last night. But I’ll go ahead and stick my neck out and say what everybody else is thinking-
You have to wonder, don’t you?