April 24, 2010

Is radical Muslim the new Goth?

You can upset your parents and teachers by masquerading as a zealous devotee of other people's religion.
[Zachary Adam Chesser] was a "loner," a former classmate said, one who frequently drew pictures of Satanic figures in his notebooks and had just a few friends, most of them male.

"He was definitely sort of weird," the classmate told FoxNews.com. "He was very into violent industrial music, borderline Satanic bands and stuff like that. He had dark undertones in his interests."

Two years later, Chesser is literally a changed man. He now uses an alias and has a new set of hobbies. He now likes to be called Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee, and his primary interest in this world appears to be Islamic radicalism.
This is a much greater mockery of Islam than a drawing of Muhammad! Nice work, Chesser, you loser.

ADDED: Eugene Volokh notes the historical resonance.

72 comments:

garage mahal said...

I think we should get 10 heavy duty cargo helicopters and rip Mecca right from the ground, haul it away, and tell these assholes they can have it back in 5yrs if they chill the fuck out. There, that's my plan for world peace.

cokaygne said...

SO WHAT. This prankster's jokes are working because Comedy Central and this country's political, journalistic, and artistic establishment has laid down the law by example over and over again: You may offend anyone you want to with any form of "speech" EXCEPT MUSLIMS. Our establishment knows full well that there are Muslims out there, maybe not this guy, who will kill anyone who offends their religion. Why take chances?

David said...

He's from Centerville! Center of the Horsey set.

Loser?

No, he's a raving bigot. All he lacks is the sheet and the burning cross.

Philip M said...

Where is there any evidence that this is parody?

Other than the attempt by a CAIR spokesman to plant that doubt in the media without actually disagreeing with any statement the group has made.

There is no indication that the man isn't sincere in his beliefs. (aside: why do we treat young adults we condescend to, soldier's and outcasts as someones children rather than respecting them as thinking individuals?)

You have no more right to question his sincerity without actual evidence of it than to question others right to be an artist, or pick which artists are important enough to be allowed to be offensive or not.

A poster on the last thread had it wrong, America isn't an eye for an eye, tit for tat sort of place. And notably that isn't what depicting mohammed in response to death threats for depicting mohammed is.

It is not OK to say you kill one of my friends, I'll kill you. It is dangerous to dismiss those who seriously believe this as doing so in jest. Particularly when they have said nothing to indicate they are serious and the people urging not taking them seriously are the same group who defend Muslims no matter what they do.

cokaygne said...

Comedy Central and the establishment have laid down the law.

Issob Morocco said...

Correction "Or since becoming one?

Thanks!

Philip M said...

cokaygne, your statement is patently untrue.

You are also not allowed to offend any minority if you are a white person, any liberals if you are a conservative, any gay people if you are straight. And women if you are a man. That last one may be the strongest rule in our country.

Protected speech includes bashing white people (particularly in flyover states and the South), Christians, Jews, and men (particularly in shorts :P)

Palladian said...

There's always something... off about people with three names, especially if the first of the three names is Zachary....

PatCA said...

That's exactly the same life trajectory of one of our local losers, Adam Ghadan, who grew up to be an AQ 'bigshot'. Still a loser.

The story of a loser

wild chicken said...

Well hell I knew this years ago. A religion that elevates men over women, lets you wear cool robes and headgear and carry guns and take exotic names and shit - what could be more appealing to a stupid boy who hasn't done anything with himself yet?

Win-win for him.

Keith said...

The truth about the birth of Moo-ham-et

MOO-HAM-ET

Slow Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

The attraction to it must be based in the boredom that Western political culture breeds.

Most of our internal battles have been fought, won and are over.

In the Islamic world, this is not yet clearly the case. The realm of politics and the realm of theological belief still clash and are fraught with tension.

That makes things interesting, to say the least.

Islam also has an explicitly multicultural mission; it doesn't seek outwardly to remove superficial, ethnic differences between adherents. This may also be the case in Christendom, but not explicitly so.

The Western world is very ordered and empirically orderly. It has achieved a lot. But for someone young looking to explore what there is out there, the confident sense of resolution with which the West claims to know everything about the world is probably very stifling.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Most of the important ones, anyway.

Lincolntf said...

I'd guess that given a choice, 90% of American Liberals would rather hang out with this shithead than with Tim Tebow.
Nice country we've got going here...

Fen said...

Well, its definately a pig more equal than others.

If I convert to Islam, I can get away with literally bashing women, gays, and anyone who is promiscuous with anyone but me.

"Hey Baby, get on your knees and suck it, or risk the wrath of Allah"

Doug Wright said...

Ever consider the change in prayer procedures if Mecca were blown off the face of the earth by 15-superduper A-Bombs, with just a dust cloud carrying away the powdered debris? No need to face East since the dustcloud would circle the planet. Mecca would be everywhere!

Cheers!

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Is radical Muslim the new Goth?"

No, it's the same old radical Muslim issuing terror threats.

Where is the FBI?

Why has this kid been allowed to make terror threats - threats which worked to actually shut down speech!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I'm sure the physical bulk and the number of balls punted between two sticks or carried into an area of a field makes Tim Tebow an incredibly interesting person to find out about - especially for some young adolescent still defining their own identity. Such as this one.

edutcher said...

This is a dilettante thing, not unlike those people who joined the Communist Party in this country during WWII to show their "solidarity with the gallant Soviet people". Our little neo-Moslem is no different than the twerp captured in A-stan back in the early days of the war (can't remember his name) studying with Al Qaeda to be a good little jihadi.

PS garage, you really sound like a fool on this one.

garage mahal said...

You didn't like my idea edutcher?

ricpic said...

Never use a hammer when there's a sledgehammer lying around, garage.

A loner is a timid soul
Contrary to the cliche;
It's always life of party types
Who enact the killer role.

Alex said...

The Western world is very ordered and empirically orderly. It has achieved a lot. But for someone young looking to explore what there is out there, the confident sense of resolution with which the West claims to know everything about the world is probably very stifling.

Wow, for once Ritmo said something that was intelligent and not designed to bash whitey. It's a miracle!!!

ricpic said...

Oops, bad punctuation.

A loner is a timid soul --
Contrary to the cliche
It's always life of party types
Who enact the killer role.

ricpic said...

Ooh, the big bad West, crushing sensitive souls wherever it finds them.

Rialby said...

Garage - you're a modern day Jonathan Swift.

Rialby said...

Unlike being a Goth, this is not a belief system that falls away when you get bored playing dress-up with your mother's eyeliner. This is something far more deep and not as easily shrugged.

There are no Goth-study centers funded by foreign governments popping up from Maine to San Diego. There are no communities of Goths immigrating from the shadowy underbelly of Gothia (where is that, Romania?)

Rialby said...

We may laugh at the losers who seem to make up this movement - richard reid, ksm, bin laden, muhammed atta - but that doesn't prevent them from doing damage. Don't get me wrong, we should laugh at them. Let's not dismiss them though just because they can't or don't want to get laid by the head cheerleader at Secular High. This is an asymmetrical war fought by suicidal losers not a traditional war fought by the most charismatic general on the battlefield.

Awesome said...

Radical Chic! Just like it was once cool to be in the SDS or the Baader Meinhof gang - remember Ann?

Ann Althouse said...

@Riably True, but I think the message that they are losers is a good one. It might stop some losers from fulfilling their loserhood in that manner.

Titus said...

This ignorant, weak man boy needs to receive his punishment.

Liberals do not like Radical Muzzies FYI.

lemondog said...

His parents must be proud.

He also speaks to the people of Poland

David said...

Issob--He was a loser before. This is just the current guise of his loserdom. That's why it's a mockery. He's making a fashion statement.

The radical Muslim from Centerville. I can virtually assure you that this guy does not know shit about Islam.

But shame on us and particularly Comedy Central for letting this guy get 15 minutes of fame.

jamboree said...

Isn't this essentially the same as the John Walker from Marin back in the day? Wannabes all the way. OTOH, it's probably the same kids that used to pretend to be Nazi punks, etc.

David said...

Ritmo sez: "Most of [the west's] internal battles have been fought, won and are over."

Man, Ritmo, that's taking stupid to a new level.

Chip Ahoy said...

Speaking of Richard Reid, those were actually some pretty cool shoes. Six eyelet chuckkas if they were leather, if they were canvas then forget it.

Chip Ahoy said...

John Walker was actually Muslim. He was attempting to connect with his actual heritage, not just assuming the costume and manner.

Chip Ahoy said...

I feel a photoshop session coming on. If only there was something actually funny about this.

A British friend photoshopped the game Stratego with all the little stand up cards depicting Jyllands-Posten's Muhammad cartoon and other cards with bombs. It didn't make any sense. That was kind of funny.

themightypuck said...

The statements about the dude by his classmates don't seem that dispositive. Here is a guy who is on the crew team and apparently doing pretty well in school. It may make us feel better to be able to pathologize his behavior but people join religions all the time and new converts are the worst kind of zealots.

Fred4Pres said...

Yeah, radical muslim in the new Goth.

Methadras said...

He's so Goth, he shits Mohamed.

Fred4Pres said...

Chip, what do you mean John Walker Lindh was actually Muslim?

Chip Ahoy said...

Kurt Westergaard involuntarily retired by Jyllands-Posten for security reasons. Here we see where just threatening to kill someone effectively ends their career because their employers cave.

Titus said...

Sometimes I have a strong desire to rip off a Muzzie women's scarf.

Is that bad?

Chip Ahoy said...

Fred, I see that I have that wrong. Apologies. When this John Lindh's story was first reported, I read his father, Frank's, family was originally Muslim and that when John learned of this he converted and sought to reconnect. That is wrong. But here's Frank.

From the time he was a baby, he was very centered, peaceful and content. Later, after he converted to Islam, I told John that I thought he had always been a Muslim, and he simply had to find it for himself.

Frank later went on to San Francisco to live with his boyfriend, but that's according to Wikipedia and irrelevant to John's conversion and spiritual quest.

Meade said...

Titus said...
"Sometimes I have a strong desire to rip off a Muzzie women's scarf.

Is that bad?"

Not if you're the one wearing it.

Titus said...

I have secretly wanted to walk around in a burka with just a slit wear my eyes show just to get a reaction and for artistic purposes natch. I would like to have it videotaped and put in a gallery because I am real artsy and shit.

I am going to experience a park with my husband now.

Titus said...

My sense is that Muzzie women don't shave or doing any pruning of their bushes. That could make things challenging and unruly.

Titus said...

Do you guys ever have really big boogs in your nose that when you pick them they cover up your entire pinky finger?

It is such a release and feeling of accomplishment to get that thing out.

You breath better and you are ready to enjoy the great parks of this country.

Michael Hasenstab said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Hasenstab said...

Radical Islam is the new gang for disaffected and dateless white males in America to join.

It's where white youts go when everyone else got a BJ, and the girls laughed at you. It's where you can pose and look ferocious and make demands that would otherwise be ridiculed.

It's where a yout can express his individuality by looking and behaving like one trillion other people.

Goth kids at least do pot and get laid. Muslim convert wannabes, not so much.

Titus said...

Michael Hastenstab clean up that post please. No one needs to be reading about "BJ's". That is completely in appropriate for a blog comment.

Children could be reading this. Employ some standards and restrictions please.

Titus said...

Alright I am going to get my pussy to the park now to enjoy nature and my uncut Indian husband.

Michael Hasenstab said...

It could have been a triggering event that Chesser was always listening to a rapper called Mo-Diddy.

Joe M. said...

I think we should get 10 heavy duty cargo helicopters and rip Mecca right from the ground, haul it away, and tell these assholes they can have it back in 5yrs if they chill the fuck out. There, that's my plan for world peace.

Hahaha! Thanks, Garage.

@ Althouse. Yup, sounds about right. Too bad radical Muslims aren't into cutting and non-violent suicide.

ErnieG said...

Anyone can claim Gothhood at will. or quit being a Goth at will. To quit being a Muslim carries the death penalty.

traditionalguy said...

The good in the USA is still alive in people's willingness to respect other men and their knowledge sets, put aside religion differences and work together. The Muslims cannot match that. But every religion, including the Green Religion, can easily bond together to attack and kill other people to steal their property. This war is far from over. President Obama acting as the Double Secret Head Mullah of the USA is seriously hurting the war effort. Authority runs down like water.

ken in sc said...

Yes, radical Islam is the new Goth on more than one level. The modern high school outcast, who seeks to establish an identity that flies in the face of everyone else and says I don’t care what you think, could not choose a more outrageous and threatening role than to be a radical Islamist.

On another level, the original Goths were not only outside the walls of Rome but inside as well. Roman Goths opened the gates to let the barbarians in. They served in the Roman military as well. Their leader, Theodoric, attacked Rome, in part because he had been turned down for promotion in the Roman Army.

My point is that radical Islamists are inside our gates and serving in our army.

Milwaukee said...

This is very serious. For one, Islam is not to be played with. One joins a country club, or a Christian church, but one "enters" Islam, and becomes a new being: which is why many converts take new names. They also sign a statement saying that they are voluntarily joining. Should they change their minds later, and decide to revert to Christianity or just quit, the penalty can be death. Further, radical Muslims are at war with decadent Western culture and are willing to take extreme measures against it. Part of the joy of being a teenager is that they can try out so many personalities and interests: be Goth this year, preppy next year, artsy the year after that. But once they become Muslim, becoming something else isn't going to be so easy.

I've heard that one of the problems with converts to Christianity is that they insist being more focused and passionate than those who have been around awhile. I imagine this could also be true of converts to Islam. A person of Third World origin with darker than Caucasian skin might trigger alarm among those worried about a terrorist. But a white boy from these parts? Who would a thunk that? No, this is very serious.

Almost Ali said...

South Park was punked. Period.

Lincolntf said...

South Park was censored. Terrorism won. Period.

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

People to back the strong horse. Even Bin Laden understands that. Christians and Jews are bowing to homosexuality, foreign domination, Islam, affirmative action minority groups, Christians suffer jokes and blatant discrimination.

Muslims are treated with fear and at least fake respect. All bow to them, certainly our president, and our military and our press.

Why wouldn't a loner go that road to make sure that he gets treated well, and with at least fake respect? He gets to make people squirm and has an army of do-gooders to fight for his battle?

AST said...

Ah, well. I never watch SP, but I got their point. I prefer the idea of everybody drawing Mohammend on May 20. Make it an annual event: Mohammed Day. It'll make the jihadists feel like the Grinch hearing the carols coming up from Who-ville.

When I was 19, I went on an LDS mission. Then I came home and finished college, got married and raised two sons. Never got any piercings or tats. I've never wanted to kill anybody for dissing my religion.

I've never had any regrets for any of that.

How did such a strict religion as Islam become an attraction for kids who just want to rebel against their parents? Where did the Weather Underground go wrong?

bagoh20 said...

Another example of falling standards among our youth. Why can't they follow the high road of sex, drugs and Rock n Roll. It pisses off your parents and you only have to pray once a night...right at the end.

Patrick said...

I can understand the desire to haul Mecca out into the ocean: I grew up in Ireland, and when I was growing up I prayed every day for Derry and Belfast to be hauled away and used for naval gunnery practice.

Anyway, it's my understanding that Mecca goes underwater in 2012.

The guys who have film of the event didn't release it for dear of getting their heads sawed off, but apparently the evidence is out there. Yay!

So, good news! Less than two years 'til the deluge.

With any luck every Muslim drowns, and peace breaks out around the world.

Joe said...

IF it's the "New Goth" I do hope that the Rebels looking for a cause realize THIS:
Technically, as I understand it, as Muslim "Once in NEVER out"-don't mean to say Islam = the Mafia, for those who get the vapours easily.

So once a Muslim ALWAYS a Muslim, and to decide, "Oh that was just a phase of my life." only works for you and your parents/friends/etc. to the Muslim it's not a phase of your life, it's now APOSTASY!

And, again as I understand it, Apostasy=Death in Islam! Sure your local Islamic Society isn't going to be taking out a contract on you-they'll be disappointed, saddened, mayhap angered that they were only a "phase"-,but to the Adam Gadahn's of the world, the Nidal Hassan's you are living under a DEATH SENTENCE.

So be a New Goth, if you want, just realize what happened to Theo Van Gogh, angering the wrong Muslim Fundamentalist, and can equal a Death Sentence.

Become Muslim, but realize, you can't just wipe off the eye-liner, rinse the colour out of your hair, and laugh at all the old pictures...MUSLIMS may take your conversion a whole lot more seriously than you do!

And that may be hard for Westerners to "get"...generally; being gay/lesbian/Goth/Emo/Republican/Catholic/Jewish can all be "phases" of "personal growth" in the West, not so much other cultures. Only try to tell an 18 y.o that, or anything for that matter.

RebeccaH said...

I think it's pretty obvious that Zachary Chesser is one of those borderline personalities without the normal social inhibitions. No wonder he was drawn to Islamic fundamentalism. He can still do a lot of harm.

spunky said...

Radical Islam is the new gang for disaffected and dateless white males in America to join.

The new wiggers. Heh.

I wonder if this will this put a speed-bump in the use of Islamic names among people who aren't really Islamic?

I know, I know, I'm a racist.

Jim said...

There is no First Amendment in the Sharia Law.

Comedy Central was neither punked nor censored. They just faced East and submitted to the Dhimmi-Crats.

A.G. said...

Sigh. Waste all my motherfuckin' time defending this POS.

I'm still against depicting Mo, though. Maybe we could settle for a softer approach: waterboard Zachary.

Meade said...

Can't we just torture him instead?

A.G. said...

Torture Zachary by making him talk to a girl.