The attacker’s name has been reported as Abdalmasih H. (European news reports frequently withhold the surnames of violent attackers.) He is reportedly 32 years old and arrived from Syria in November 2022. A spokesman for the French Interior Ministry said, “He arrived in France in 2022, and had refugee status.”
Is he a Christian? It’s certainly possible. He not only yelled “In the name of Jesus Christ,” but he was wearing a cross necklace, which he fingered ostentatiously, as if he wanted to make sure it was noticed, in between stabbings as he ran around the playground. His name, Abdalmasih, means “Slave of the Messiah,” or “Slave of Christ.” Jesus is, however, referred to as “al-Masih” in the Qur’an, so this is a name Muslims could have as well.
A French-language report in the French paper Le Figaro says that “the assailant, who was wearing a Christian cross when he was arrested, presented himself as a ‘Christian from Syria’ when applying for asylum at the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (Ofpra) on November 28, 2022.” Thus it would seem to be an open-and-shut case: Abdalmasih is a Christian who went on a stabbing spree. Certainly, there are Christians throughout history who have committed acts of violence, as well as many who have done so in the name of Christ. Yet, in this case, troubling questions remain.
If he is a Christian, he did not stab these children in accordance with any Christian teachings, as there are no Christian teachings that call for such violence. Despite the best efforts of Islamic apologists and their Leftist allies to weaponize various passages of the Hebrew Scriptures that neither Jews nor Christians regard as applicable to all people or to today’s world, there is no Biblical equivalent to the Qur’an’s command to “kill them wherever you find them” (2:191, 4:89, cf. 9:5).
One possibility is that he is a Muslim who is claiming to be a Christian, in accordance with Muhammad’s dictum “War is deceit” (Bukhari 4.52.268). He may have decided to shout about Jesus Christ during the stabbings in order to confuse authorities and the media, and to deflect attention away from Islamic jihad. Remember the case of Enzo Almeni, who converted to Christianity to get asylum in Britain, then returned to Islam and became a jihad suicide bomber; after his attack, he was widely reported as being a Christian, without much attention given to his return to Islam.
There are other possibilities as well. Some Muslims entering European countries in recent years have claimed to be Christian because they believe that doing so will strengthen their claims for asylum. Abdalmasih H. may also be a convert to Christianity who later returned to Islam, and then had to do something to outweigh his sin of apostasy on Allah’s great scales of his good and bad deeds (Qur’an 21:47). A hadith has a Muslim asking Muhammad: “Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward).” Muhammad replied, “I do not find such a deed.” (Bukhari 4.52.44)
Unfortunately, given the state of the establishment media on both sides of the Atlantic today, we may never know the real story of what happened in Annecy on Thursday. Abdalmasih’s claim to have stabbed young children in the name of Jesus Christ will get him a great deal of media attention, as there is a certain man-bites-dog aspect to it, and it will be used to aid the frequently repeated Biden regime claim that white supremacists constitute the nation’s biggest terror threat. Abdalmasih, of course, is not a white supremacist or even an American, but he claims to be a violent Christian, and that’s close enough. Will anyone pause to investigate long enough to discover whether or not he really is what he claims to be? Almost certainly not./Robert Spencer
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