George Graham

In the Service of Allah?

I know that Sayfullo Saipov (photo) didn’t notice the irony when he mowed down a crowd of strangers on a Manhattan bicycle path yesterday. He obviously wasn’t in a contemplative mood.

But what on earth did he think he was doing?

Serving Allah?

I don’t know much about Allah, but I assume he is the Muslim equivalent of our Jehovah. And I am sure Jehovah wouldn’t welcome that kind of tribute.

How can anyone believe this barbaric act was religiously motivated?

It was obviously the Devil’s work, not God’s.

I could understand someone committing random slaughter as an offering to Satan. But to Allah?

According to a web page I found:

“Compassion” is the most frequently occurring word in the Quran. Each of its 114 chapters, with the exception of the 9th, begins with the invocation ‘In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful…’ 

Of course there is the tradition of a vengeful God both in Islam and in Judaism. But mass murderers are not agents of any god. Not even the Thuggee’s god, Kali.

In my religion, God specifically says, “Vengeance is mine. I will repay.” And I understand the Quran has much the same message.

Islamic extremists make much of the Quran’s call to jihad, but as far as I could find out, jihad does not condone blind assaults on the guiltless. And when terrorists strike, they kill the just along with the unjust.

Anyway, I consider it blasphemy to appoint oneself as God’s avenging angel.  As puny humans, our bitterness and resentment are ours alone. Egotistical bombast and mindless rage have nothing to do with the Almighty – by any name.

More on the terror attack

More on Muslim compassion

On pondering jihad

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for