By Garner Ted Armstrong

What “pushed him over the edge?” What was it that “caused him to explode in violence?”

 Millions of normal, average people in America, regardless of race, creed or religion, have great difficulty getting into the mindset of a vicious, heartless serial killer.

 For weeks, as thousands of law enforcement officials sought to track down the infamous “beltway sniper,” dozens of “experts” were interviewed by the media, attempting to inform the public about the possible motives and mind set of the killer or killers. Criminologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, former FBI officials, detectives and police officers were asked to express their opinions about the why of all the vicious killings.

 Not a one of them was able to indicate the true motives of the killers. They compared him to the “Son of Sam,” to the “Unabomber,” and to other serial killers. He wanted the attention, they said. He wanted to “go out in a blaze of glory.” He wanted to “make a statement.” He “wanted to get caught.” No doubt, they opined, some domestic disturbance in his life; perhaps being fired from a job, had “triggered the violence.”

 But once the sniper and his so-called “son in law,” John Lee Malvo from Jamaica, had been caught sleeping in their specially modified rifle platform, a Chevy Caprice, all the theories fell through. Not a one of them had put their finger on the sniper’s hatred. Will we ever know? Will even John Muhammad deign to articulate his innermost motives?

 As the information continued to flow in, police learned that John Allen Williams had been in the National Guard; that he had twice been court-martialed, once for striking an officer. The media descended on his former home and birthplace, and spoke to his aunt who had raised him, and to a fellow National Guardsman.

 Soon, it was revealed he was a “troubled” young man. The use of this expression is misleading. It immediately gives the impression that some thing, or some one, or some set of circumstances beyond his control caused these “troubles.” It therefore turns the troublemaker into a victim; lays the blame for his irrational, violent, cruel nature on others, or on circumstances, and claims him innocent!

 John Allen Williams, like millions of other young black boys in America, grew up without the comforting and normal support of a father and mother in their appropriate positions as breadwinner and homemaker. While this is not the “fault” of such children, neither is it the fault of society as a whole. It is the direct fault of the thoughtless young girl who thought more of passing sensual thrills than the life-long responsibility of marriage and child-rearing, and of the young man who traded a momentary love tryst for a lifetime of a young child who would grow up to become a killer of his fellow human beings.

 John Allen Williams had been in the Army. He had become an “expert marksman” with the M-16, a .223 caliber rifle, which is standard for the U.S. Army, and was entitled to wear the expert marksmanship medal on his military tunic. He is a veteran of the Gulf War.

 But at some point John Allen Williams became, instead, “John Muhammad.” Such a change is not merely cosmetic. It is not superficial. It is, instead, profound. It is called “conversion” to Islam. In this case, conversion to the “Nation of Islam,” headed by “Elijah Muhammad.”

 Eventually, he became the bodyguard of Louis Farrakhan, the very famous spokesman for the Nation of Islam, and organizer of the well-publicized “million man march” in Washington D.C., where Farrakhan, in a rambling long speech, punctuated by numerology and a mixed bag of references to the Koran and the Bible, appealed to racist emotions, and fanned the rage of every black man present. Perhaps time will tell whether John Muhammad, the body guard of Louis Farrakhan, was somewhere near by his leader, and heard his words, along with hundreds of thousands of other black men.

 The following are but a few of the statements Farrakhan made on that sunny day October 17, 1995 on the Washington Mall:

 You've got Arabs here. You've got Hispanics here. I know you call them illegal aliens, but hell, you took Texas from them by flooding Texas with people that got your mind. And now they're coming back across the border to what is Northern Mexico, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California. They don't see themselves as illegal aliens. I think they might see you as an illegal alien. You have to be careful how you talk to people. You have to be careful how you deal with people. The Native American [”American Indian”] is suffering today. He's suffering almost complete extinction. Now, he learned about bingo. You [whites] taught him. He learned about black jack. You taught him. He learned about playing roulette. You taught him. Now, he's making a lot of money. You're upset with him because he's adopted your ways. What makes you like this? See, you're like this because you're not well. You're not well. And in the light of today's global village, you can never harmonize with the Asians. You can't harmonize with the islands of the Pacific. You can't harmonize with the dark people of the world who outnumber you 11 to one, if you're going to stand in the mind of white supremacy. White supremacy has to die in order for humanity to live.”

He also said, “Now brothers, sisters, I want to close this lecture with a special message to our President and to the Congress. There is a great divide, but the real evil in America is not white flesh, or black flesh. The real evil in America is the idea that undergirds the set up of the western world. And that idea is called white supremacy. Now wait, wait, wait. Before you get angry. Those of you listening by television. You don't even know why you behave the way you behave.”

 On the same theme, he said, “I'm not telling you I'm a psychiatrist, but I do want to operate on your head. White supremacy is the enemy of both White people and Black people because the idea of White supremacy means you should rule because you're White, that makes you sick. And you've produced a sick society and a sick world.”

And a final quotation: “Any great invention we made you put white on it, because you didn't want to admit that a Black person had that intelligence, that genius. You try to color everything to make it satisfactory to the sickness of our mind.

 “So you whitened up religion, Farrakhan didn't do that. You locked the Bible from us, Farrakhan didn't do that. Your sick mind wouldn't even let you bury us in the same ground that both of us came out of. We had to be buried somewhere else, that's sick. Some of us died just to drink water out of a fountain marked White. That's sick. Isn't it sick?

“You poisoned religion. And in all the churches, until recently, the master was painted white. So, you had us bowing down to your image. Which ill-effected our minds. You gave us your version of history. And you whitened that up. Yes, you did. Yes, you did.

“You are a white Shriner. The black Shriner don't integrate the shrine. Why don't you black Shriners integrate the shrine? Because in the shrine, you are the essence of the secret. They don't want you there. They'll have to tell the world, it's you we been thinking about all along.”

 Such inflammatory rhetoric could only resonate deeply in the hearts and minds of many of those present, and millions more who watched on television.

 Today, moderate Muslims loudly decry the “stereotyping” of all Muslims based upon “the actions of a few.” They say, over and over again, that Islam is a religion of love and peace. They point out, quite correctly, that Christianity and Judaism have also had (and do have) their violent fringe elements, who, under their own warped interpretation of the Old Testament or the Christian scriptures, justify attacks against blacks or Muslims.

 The deeply sad element in all this is that race war has a very real potential. Look at the conditions in this world today! In Indonesia, Muslims and Hindus hate one another; Muslims hate the West and everything it stands for, and both groups hate the United States and Britain.

 Many Muslims hate other Muslims; Sunnis and Shia’s are traditional enemies. When Saddam Hussein attacked Iran, he attacked a Moslem country. He also attacked and occupied Kuwait, a fellow Arab country and a Moslem country. He sent SCUD’s crashing down on Saudi Arabia’s capital, and sent his army into northern Saudi Arabia, a fellow Arab and Moslem country.

 The truth is that it is not merely a tiny fringe element of Islam that hates the west. Literally millions seethe with such hatred, and the weak excuses of Imams and apologists can never paper over that fact. The acts of terrorism and hate-filled rhetoric are simply too poignant to ignore.

 Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. It grows very rapidly among angry young blacks in the American prison system, where up to 65% of the inmate population is black.

 Whatever the innermost motives of John Muhammad and his young protégé, John Lee Malvo, his conversion to Islam; his adoption of the most revered name in Islam; his violent background and his domestic failures must all have played their part. Some will be quick to point out that he made no distinction in his victims; that one of those shot was a black man. Law enforcement may also be quick to point out that such brutal killings may have been a deliberate red herring to deflect any accusation of racism. Over the next months, we will no doubt learn much, much more about these two. But will we ever learn the true innermost motive?

 Meanwhile, millions of Americans in Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia have been heaving collective sighs of relief. Let us pray there are no copycats out there who will take up where these brutal, vicious killers left off.  Let us also be thankful for the tireless efforts of law enforcement and average citizens who finally helped capture the pair.

Garner Ted Armstrong

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