A British court Monday heard yet another first-hand statement that jihadist terrorist attacks are motivated by radical Islamic religious beliefs.
Michael Adebolajo is one of the two men charged with hacking British soldier Lee Rigby to death in a brutal, daylight attack in London last May. He testified Monday, telling the court he did kill Rigby.
While Islamist groups and even the United States government argue religion should not be part of the conversation when it comes to terrorist attacks, Adebolajo – a convert to Islam – made it clear it was the driving force behind his actions.
"My religion is everything," he said. "When I came to Islam I realised that... real success is not just what you can acquire, but really is if you make it to paradise, because then you can relax."
'To fight Jihad for the sake of Allah, it's not something that is to be taken lightly, fun or something like this," Adebolajo said.
That is consistent with what he said moments after Rigby's murder. "But we are forced by the Qur'an, in Sura At-Tawba, through many ayah in the Qu'ran, we must fight them as they fight us," he said, still carrying the meat cleaver, his hands covered in Rigby's blood.
And it is consistent with what other killers and would-be terrorists have said for years.
Faisal Shahzad's car bomb parked in Times Square in May 2010 turned out to be a dud. But he told his sentencing judge that he had hoped to fire a salvo in "the war against people who believe in the book of Allah and follow the commandments, so this is a war against Allah ... which will only give rise to much awaited Muslim caliphate, which is the only true world order."
Naser Jason Abdo was caught before he could try to bomb a restaurant popular with personnel from Fort Hood, Texas in July 2011. "The reason is religion, Mom," he later said in a jailhouse visit with his mother.
Farooque Ahmed scouted Washington, D.C. area Metrorail stops, believing he was helping an al-Qaida terrorist plot.
"There's an incessant message that is delivered by radical followers of Islam," his own lawyer told the judge at Ahmed's sentencing, "that one cannot be true to the faith unless they take action, including violent action, most especially violent action … that is a message that can unfortunately take root in individuals who feel like if they don't do something, that they literally will not find salvation under their faith."
Too often, the reaction to such brutality is to say it has nothing to do with the terrorist's interpretation of Islam.
So whose message should we heed – the bureaucrats and activists promoting a politically correct ideal? Or the individuals who attempt to kill, or succeed in killing people because they believe Islam compels it?