It has been almost a week since the Chattanooga terrorist Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez issued the equivalent of an Islamic declaration of war on America in a text message before killing four U.S. Marines and a Navy petty officer. Yet there are still some

It has been almost a week since the Chattanooga terrorist Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez issued the equivalent of an Islamic declaration of war on America in a text message before killing four U.S. Marines and a Navy petty officer.

Yet there are still some Americans refusing to see the writing on the wall, and wondering about the 24-year-old jihadi terrorist's "real" motives.

On July 15, the night before the mass murder, Abdulazeez texted a declaration on behalf of Allah, quoting from Prophet Mohammed's sayings in the Hadith titled "The loyal friends of Allah." It reads: "Whosoever shows enmity to a friend of Mine, I [Allah] will indeed declare war against him." This particular Hadith is from a collection of the 40 most important sayings of Prophet Mohammed.

The text message was not the only clue to Abdulazeez's jihadi frame of mind. In a "manifesto" posted in early July, the mass murderer quoted the Prophet Mohammed as saying for Muslims, life on earth should be seen as a life in a prison, but for non-believers (Christians, Jews, Hindus, pagans and atheists) earth is the paradise.

Some Americans are still wondering about the 24-year-old jihadi terrorist's 'real' motives.

This is a common call by Islamists when recruiting suicide bombers or jihadi fighters for the Islamic State, al-Qaida, the Taliban and Boko Haram. In essence, they claim earth is merely a transit lounge in a journey that will take Muslims to eternal life in Paradise, surrounded by all things that were forbidden to them in this world.

Abdulazeez mocked Muslims (like me) who separate Islam from politics, saying such a separation was contrary to Islamic practice.

He wrote in his manifesto:

So this picture that you have in your mind that the Prophet's companions were people being like priests living in monasteries is not true. All of them [were] leaders of an army at the frontlines ... very involved in establishing Islam in the world ... Every one of them fought Jihad for the sake of Allah. Every one of them had to make sacrifices in their lives.

All of this evidence stares us in the face, yet we are now being asked to believe a statement from Abdulazeez's family claiming that their son was a depressed youth on drugs. The family claims they sent him to Jordan, so he could get away from the influence of the bad company he kept.

I find that hard to believe given Abdulazeez's own declarations, plus the fact his father was investigated twice by the FBI for sending money to questionable charities in the Middle East (he was eventually cleared) and wanted to marry a second wife in the Palestinian territories, saying this was allowed by Islamic law.

Former FBI Assistant Director Tom Fuentes claimed not to be sure if "Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez" is a Muslim name.

There is something wrong in America when as senior a person as Tom Fuentes, former assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is unwilling to conclude the mass murderer was a Muslim. John Berman of CNN asked Fuentes "Now that we have the name (Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez) the key questions are what?" Fuentes replied, "I know ... what the name sounds like, but we don't know that it's a Muslim name. We know it's an Arabic name."

On the opposite side are those like former Democratic presidential candidate Gen. Wesley Clark, who has proposed the internment of U.S. Islamists identified as anti-American.

For 15 years now the question of "how to combat Islamism" has been avoided in the West so as not to offend the powerful urban Islamist lobbyists and vote banks.

Here are three suggestions:

  1. Interview and debrief every adult male arriving alone from Arab countries, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Somalia, irrespective of religion, colour and nationality.
  2. Tell every mosque in North America to end any and all derogatory references to "kufaar" (Christians, Jews, Hindus and atheists) including in ritual prayers, or lose their charitable status.
  3. End cash donations in mosques and overseas donations from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab sources.

If we do not take these steps now, there will eventually be a very large appetite for Clark's harsh prescription to prevent Islamist terror on Western soil.

Tarek Fatah is a founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, a columnist at the Toronto Sun, and a Robert J. and Abby B. Levine Fellow at the Middle East Forum. He is the author of two award-winning books: Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State and The Jew is Not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Muslim Anti-Semitism.