The list of Islamic terrorists heard shouting the phrase before launching attacks is long. The 9/11 hijackers themselves screamed "Allah Akbar!" before crashing their planes. More recently, Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was heard crying "Allah Akbar!" before massacring 13 fellow soldiers at Fort Hood.
Never mind all that, say apologists intent on separating Islam from terror. The expression is benign, they insist.
"The guy who gets up on the plane and says 'Allah!' or whatever and then blows the plane up is not making a statement about his faith," American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee head James Zogby said last year, speaking to congressional staffers.
Zogby says it's more an expression of frustration, like Christians blurting out their Savior's name after accidently hammering their thumb. "Somebody says 'Jesus Christ!' they're not making a statement of faith," he explained. "They're saying, I'm really mad right now."