More brainless sheep?

In researching Labour attack ‘brainless sheep’ I came across another use of the term ‘brainless sheep’ that was used recently – at Whale Oil.

SB posted: The National Party on Immigration and the refugee quota

I contacted National, Labour, Act, The Maori Party, NZ First, the Greens, the Opportunities Party, the Conservatives and United Future to ask them all three questions. The fourth party to respond to my questions was the National Party. My questions and the Minister of Immigration Michael Woodhouse’s answers are published below in full and un-edited.

Question:

The perception of many of our readers is that left-of-centre political parties prefer immigrants from low socio-economic countries who are highly dependent on the state and poorly educated because immigrants like that will naturally vote for the left-of-centre parties who allowed them in. Which immigrants get priority under your party’s policy and why?

Why do many Whale Oil readers (SB doesn’t quantify or say how she knows) think “that left-of-centre political parties prefer immigrants from low socio-economic countries who are highly dependent on the state and poorly educated because immigrants like that will naturally vote for the left-of-centre parties who allowed them in”?

This poorly informed political generalisation is as brainless as Labour Tauranga.

Answer:

Majority of our immigration policies are based on skill level and the Government is constantly making changes to improve the skill level of migrants coming to New Zealand.

Perhaps SN could learn about the objectives of Immigration New Zealand and educate her WO readers:

INZ Operational Manual – Residence

a The objective of New Zealand’s residence programme is to contribute to economic grow
th through enhancing the overall level of human capability in New Zealand, encouraging enterprise andinnovation, and fostering international links, while maintaining a high level of social cohesion.

b This objective is achieved through selecting a broad mix of migrants on the basis of either their skills and experience or their family links to New Zealand.

https://www.immigration.govt.nz/documents/ops-manual/residence.pdf

Question:

Many of our readers do not trust the UN to decide which refugees we will get and are concerned that they are not being vetted properly. There is also the problem that Christian and non-Muslim refugees who are more easily able to integrate and assimilate into New Zealand are not safe inside the camps and flee them which results in an almost 100% Muslim refugee intake for New Zealand. Given that we are a Christian and secular country where does your party stand on our refugee quota?

SB seems to state as fact “an almost 100% Muslim refugee intake for New Zealand”. I would be interested to know how she knows this, and if it is accurate.

Answer:

In regards to refugees, refugees are referred by the UNHCR to New Zealand for resettlement based on need for protection and are robustly screened by NZ Government agencies.

I thought this screening process (by NZ immigration) was common knowledge.

Question:

Our readers would also like to know if your party would support putting persecuted minorities such as Christian and non-Muslim refugees at the front of the queue?

Answer:

Under international conventions, religion is not a criterion that can be used for selection.

Using a poorly informed blog like Whale Oil to determine which religions were acceptable for consideration for refugee intakes is unlikely to happen, fortunately.

The ‘brainless sheep’ reference came up in comments.

Win: The answer “Religion is not a criterion that can be used for selection” – so why are all of these so called refugees muslim?

That SB states they are does not make it fact.

Shalice: That phrase only means “if we choose Christians we will be accused of not being diverse enough and being PC is infinitely more important than the safety of NZ citizens”

deja vu: At best it’s lazy thinking – at worst cowardice.

Who’s lack of thinking is lazy?

deja vu: Actually they’re not so private agendas. Can’t be, if even we stupid brainless sheep can find out what they are. There has to be another explanation which dares not speak its name in public – surrendering to the ultimate ambitions of the NWO.

I presume NWO refers to New World Order (conspiracy theory). That went unchallenged.

Trevor Hughes appears to have some detail:

Under the 1951 UN Convention a refugee is a person with a well founded fear of persecution because of their race, religion, social group or political opinion. New Zealand is free to take whichever refugees it wishes. Currently in the Middle East religious minorities like the Christians and Yazidis are the most severely persecuted groups.

Yazidism is an ancient religion in northern Mesopatamia (mainly Iraqi Kurds) and they have been persecuted by ISIS. Some of their own practices aren’t that flash either, with recent reports of stonings and ‘honour’ killings.

One of the largest Yazidi populations outside the Middle East is in Germany, something around 100,000 of them have gone their as refugees. Germany has been strongly criticised on Whale Oil for it’s immigration policies.

They have suffered unspeakable atrocities at the hands of radical Islamists and they dare not enter the UN run refugee camps which are largely muslim.

Many have suffered in the Middle East in Syria, Iraq, Yemen – mostly Muslims.

There won’t be many Muslims in the Yazidi refugee camp either. See “The first thing one notices upon entering the Yazidi refugee camp is the children. They seem to be everywhere—chasing each other between the UN tents…”.

Yet these people at present make up only about two percent of our refugee intake, the overwhelming majority of the intake being muslim.

Perhaps because most refugees currently in dire need are Muslim? Interesting he has quantified Christian and Yazidi refugees but not Muslims.

New Zealand could easily bypass UNHCR, which has a history of corruption running the camps, and work with agencies like the Barnabas Foundation to redress this travesty. Perhaps however we are afraid of upsetting our Saudi mates and the free trade deal?

Odd comment. Bypassing UNHCR and bypassing refugee camps would require a lot more work and vetting by New Zealand.

ISIS try to capitalise off Trump

This isn’t surprising – ISIS and Al Qaeda are trying to capitalise off the actions of Donald Trump in immigration and refugee restrictions targeting Muslim countries.

There was always going to be a risk of escalation.

The Independent: Isis hails Donald Trump’s Muslim immigration restrictions as a ‘blessed ban’

Al Qaeda, Isis and other jihadi groups are thrilled with US President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration targeting Muslim countries, describing it as proof that the US is at war with Islam.

The new legislation signed by Mr Trump on Friday temporarily suspends the US’ refugee programme and bans citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen) from entering the country on the grounds of national security.

Isis-friendly channels on the Telegram messaging service described the ban as “blessed”, echoing how the US 2003 invasion of Iraq was called a “blessed invasion” for reinvigorating anti-US sentiment in the region.

One user greeted the news of the “Muslim ban” as “the best caller to Islam”, hoping it will draw Muslim Americans to their cause.

Several posts suggested that the prediction of Anwar al-Awlaki – a US-born al Qaeda leader killed in Yemen in 2011 – that “the West would eventually turn against its Muslim citizens” was coming true.

Of course this may be exactly what Trump wants – here’s a real risk he will use this as justification for strengthening his restrictions and perhaps increasing US military attacks in the Middle East.

Some in the US, and ISIS and Al Qaeda and other jihadi groups, seem to want an all out war between the West and Muslim countries.

This is a high risk game. If it does blow up big the only certainty is there will be unintended consequences, and it could get very ugly for many parts of the world.

Muslim ban askew

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Berlin attacker may be still at large

Twelve people were killed in the horrendous truck attack in Berlin, and another 48 injured, 18 of them severely.

While it looks like an Islam extremist related attack there’s some uncertainty. Police arrested a Pakistani asylum seeker but admit he may not be the attacker.

RNZ: German police say arrested man may not be Christmas market attacker

German authorities say they cannot be sure if a man in custody was behind the truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market that killed 12 people.

Police arrested a Pakistani asylum-seeker but have said he may not be the attacker and the real perpetrator could still be on the run.

The Pakistani man was captured in a park after reportedly fleeing the scene. He has denied involvement.

The 23-year-old arrived in Germany from Pakistan at the end of last year.

“According to my information it’s uncertain whether he was really the driver,” Police President Klaus Kandt told a news conference.

Berlin police tweeted that they were “particularly alert” because of the denial.

Die Welt newspaper quoted an unnamed police chief as saying: “We have the wrong man. And therefore a new situation. The true perpetrator is still armed, at large and can cause fresh damage.”

The truck belonged to a Polish freight company and its rightful driver was found dead in the vehicle. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said a pistol believed to have been used to kill him had not yet been found.

“We have to entertain the theory that the detainee might possibly not have been the perpetrator,” federal prosecutor Peter Frank told reporters.

The style of attack and the target suggested Islamic extremism, he said.

That’s an obvious assumption to make.

The attack makes things even more difficult for Angela Merkel, already having difficulty with the influx of refugees and asylum seekers into Germany.

Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters: “There is much we still do not know with sufficient certainty but we must, as things stand now, assume it was a terrorist attack.”

She added: “I know it would be especially hard for us all to bear if it were confirmed that the person who committed this act was someone who sought protection and asylum.”

The attack fuelled immediate demands for a change to Ms Merkel’s immigration policies, under which more than a million people fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere have arrived in Germany this year and last.

“We must say that we are in a state of war, although some people, who always only want to see good, do not want to see this,” said Klaus Bouillon, interior minister of the state of Saarland and a member of Ms Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU).

Horst Seehofer, leader of the CDU’s Bavarian sister party, said: “We owe it to the victims, to those affected and to the whole population to rethink our immigration and security policy and to change it.”

It’s not going to be easy to change things quickly. There are already a large number of  immigrants in Germany, and Europe’s open borders make it easy for people intent on inflicting death and mayhem to move from country to country.

And when individuals or small numbers of Islamic terrorists launch successful attacks – and it’s impossible to prevent them completely – it raises tensions and makes things more difficult for the majority of Muslims who are not involved in extremist acts.

Threat of extreme Islam

Nicolas Pirsoul, a doctoral candidate in politics and international relations at the University of Auckland, writes in the Herald about Salafism, an extreme and intolerant strain of Islam that inspires terrorists organisations like Isis, Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram.

He warns of this risks this poses to New Zealand, and why extremism thrives on division, so “New Zealand should remain an inclusive and tolerant nation by embracing its diverse Muslim community”.

I wouldn’t use the term ’embrace’, I have no intention of embracing Islam or Catholicism or Brianism or and other religion.

But tolerance of religious practices,and encouragement of the peaceful practicing of religion here, are important things that New Zealand should stand for.

Nicolas Pirsoul: Warning for NZ in rise of extreme form of Islam

Salafism is an extremist, literalist, and intolerant form of Sunni Islam. Its origins are hard to trace, but it is commonly argued that 13/14th century theologian Ibn Taymiyyah strongly influenced the development of modern Salafi thought nearly five hundred years later.

Salafism obtained the important political power it continues to hold today when Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab formed an alliance with the al-Saud family during the 18th century to give birth to the Saudi version of Salafism, Wahhabism, the state religion of the current kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

As Saudi Arabia developed as a major political force, due in large part to its oil production and its status as one of the West’s principal allies in the Middle East, Salafism further expanded its political and geographical influence. Saudi Arabia has continued to use its wealth to propagate Wahhabi ideas thorough the Islamic world and Muslim communities in the West.

New Zealand needs to be wary of the threats of extreme Islam.

It is important to recognise the existence of a problem and not to underestimate it. The recent hate speech controversy, involving a cleric from the at-Taqwa mosque in Manukau, is only the tip of the iceberg and follows a well-established pattern of other events involving Salafi clerics preaching in New Zealand, such as Egyptian cleric Sheikh Abu Abdullah a couple of years ago. It would be naïve to think that our nation’s Sunni oriented mosques are immune to Salafi ideology and its intolerant and sometimes violent interpretation of Islam.

It would equally be naïve to believe that New Zealand is free from economic ties with the Saudi Kingdom, as the controversial Saudi farm deal recently underlined. The extent to which these economic ties influence the ideological makeup of Islam in New Zealand is uncertain.

It is important that New Zealand does not imitate the leniency of other Western nations towards these issues.

We don’t have the same problems that European countries have. We have a fairly thorough immigrant checking system, and we distance, and we have a very large natural moat.

Second, it is important to understand and adopt the right attitude towards the problem of Islamic extremism. Extremism thrives on division. Mainstream stereotyping and discrimination against Muslims has helped Salafism, and its Manichean worldview, to grow in Europe. It is therefore critical that New Zealand should remain an inclusive and tolerant nation by embracing its diverse Muslim community.

The majority of Muslims, conservatives or not, reject violence and intolerance. They are allies in the fight against terrorism.

By creating a New Zealand model of multicultural citizenship, where Kiwis of all ethnic groups and faiths live with and are supportive of each other, we can become a role model for the world and avoid replicating other nations’ mistakes.

We need to avoid division and driving Muslims in New Zealand towards extremism.

Extremists and terrorists want to provoke extreme reactions. We need to understand this and avoid being used by them to increase hatred and fear.

We need to promote positives like peace and tolerance as Kiwi ideals to be aspired to, and this will reduce the chances of negative and violent reactions to ostracism.

Most people want to live in peace and harmony. If we advocate strongly for this we are more likely to achieve it.

FIANZ stands down cleric

In response to the Muslim cleric Dr Anwar Sahib’s controversial comments – Awful from NZ Muslim leader – the FIANZ has issued a statement:

The Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ) condemns and rejects any form of anti-Semitic and hate speech. In addition, FIANZ will not tolerate any derogatory comments and speeches made against Women.

FIANZ wishes to advise that Dr Anwar Sahib has been permanently stood down from his position as the Secretary of FIANZ Ulama Board (Religious Advisory Board) effective immediately.

FIANZ reassures all New Zealanders that we vehemently oppose all teachings promoting intolerance, prejudice and discrimination against the followers of any faith including Jewish.

FIANZ is aware that complaints have been laid with the Human Rights Commission and we wish to inform the New Zealand society that FIANZ is extending its full cooperation to the Commission.

We thank New Zealanders for their feedback, solidarity and support.

I think that’s a good and an appropriate response.

More prejudices than burkini ban

New Zealand born Lamia Iman claims that we are fooling ourselves if we think New Zealand is a tolerant society.

To an extent at least she is right. There has been intolerance and prejudice expressed (and set in law in some cases) against Chinese, Irish, German,English, Dutch, Japanese, Pacific Island, Asian, Chinese, South African, Somalian, Maori etc throughout our history of occupation.

RNZ: Balking at burkini bans misses nearer prejudices

In response to recent terrorist attacks on French soil, several towns have banned the burkini – swimwear often worn by Muslim women and people avoiding the sun.

This week, New Zealand responded by putting a burkini on the runway at New Zealand Fashion Week.

We Kiwis may pat ourselves on the back for our small act of defiance and its representation of our tolerant society but we would only be fooling ourselves.

Islamophobia is on the rise in the Western world and Muslims and ethnic minorities who “look Muslim” are feeling the brunt of it. New Zealand is certainly not immune.

There are genuine concerns in New Zealand about the potential risks from Islamic radicals, but we have to take care not to over-react to something that hasn’t happened, and we should take care not to ostracise many people in New Zealand for the actions of some on the other side of the world.

Islamophobia is a confronting term that doesn’t encourage better understanding, it isd more likely to entrench opposing views.

We have blamed Chinese immigrants for the housing crisis, barred a woman from applying for a job because she wore a hijab, defaced the billboard of a Sikh candidate running for City Council with “ISIS”, and have barely increased our refugee quota in response to a massive crisis in Syria.

Do we really deserve that pat on the back?

In general yes I think New Zealand deserves some credit but we are far removed from the heat of the problems in the Middle east and Europe, and there have been notable signs of intolerance.

New Zealand actually has a party in Parliament called New Zealand First.

One of its MPs Richard Prosser suggested back in 2013, well before Brexit or Donald Trump’s presidential bid, that Muslim men should not be welcome to travel on Western airlines.

He eventually had to apologise, conceding most Muslims were not terrorists, but then suggested most terrorists were Muslims – despite FBI figures showing non-Muslims make up 94 percent of terrorist attacks in the US.

Muslims make up 0% of terrorist attacks in New Zealand – ironically considering the burkina issue in France at present the most publicised terrorist attack here was done by the French government.

The party’s leader Winston Peters has since called for immigrants to be interviewed “to check their attitude” if they come from countries who “treat their women like cattle”, while ACT’s David Seymour has called for refugees to have to literally sign up to “Kiwi values”.

Both might be talking around race and religion to escape accusations of bigotry, but there is no doubt they refer to Muslims.

To an extent at least they are referring to Muslims, or at least addressing concerns of people who target Muslims.

The primary effect of the burkini ban in France is not reduced terrorism or liberation of women – it is removal of Muslim women from public spaces.

That’s an important point. Some in France claim that the burkini is a sign of the oppression of women with no proof that the women wearing them feel oppressed, but banning the wearing of (targeted) traditional clothing in public may well deter some women from appearing in public. As does public mass blaming.

This might not be successful as it gets tested in the courts but if it were, it would only further marginalize the Muslim community, which can only lead to more radicalization.

It may lead to more radicalisation, but it is at least likely to marginalise Muslim women and children.

Islamic clothing is wrapped in cultural, national, religious, and gendered connotations and the effect is marginalization of women but also Muslims in general, especially non-white Muslims.

It doesn’t matter that nuns can go to the beach or that people can still wear wet suits. What matters is the racial association with Muslims devalues all who don’t fall into the narrow white definition of a “liberated woman”.

A different angle to this is that in New Zealand there have been claims that females wearing too few clothes puts them at risk of sexual assaults so they should dress more safely. Damned if they clad, damned if they don’t.

North and South magazine in its June issue covered refugees and Muslims in New Zealand, but the cover had a menacing photo subtly equating the niqab to something sinister and dangerous with the headline “Radical Islam”.

Nobody has a problem with a white woman in Wellington covering up from head to toe on a cold July morning as the wind and rain comes in from all directions.

There were many heavily clad people at the rugby test in Wellington last night, many wearing highly visible symbols of their culture.

But a Muslim woman is somehow seen as a threat to society by virtue of her modest clothing choices.

 

Beachwear bull

There is international commentary on the dress of Muslims after a Muslim woman was forced to remove clothes at a beach in France.

Guardian: French police make woman remove clothing on Nice beach following burkini ban

Photographs have emerged of armed French police confronting a woman on a beach and making her remove some of her clothing as part of a controversial ban on the burkini.

NiceBurkini

The photographs emerged as a mother of two also told on Tuesday how she had been fined on the beach in nearby Cannes wearing leggings, a tunic and a headscarf.

Her ticket, seen by French news agency AFP, read that she was not wearing “an outfit respecting good morals and secularism”.

What is more oppressive, a person wearing clothes due to religious beliefs, or laws forcing dress standards on one religion?

Do they also ban Sikh turbans?  It is highly ironic that people are being forced by law to wear less on beaches in France “respecting good morals”

The Daily Beast asks Where’s the Outrage Over Nun Beachwear?

Go to any public beach in Italy and chances are you’ll eventually see a woman wearing a veil and long skirt. But she likely won’t be a Muslim in a version of the controversial burqini. She will almost certainly be a Catholic nun in her summer habit either watching children in her care or, God forbid, just enjoying some sun, which is considered a human right here in Italy, where the sea defines the majority of the borders.  

NunsBeach

Some Nuns are required by their religion to wear certain clothing. As far as I’m aware in most modern countries Muslim women wear what they want to wear.

How immoral is this:

president_reagan_and_queen_elizabeth_ii_1982

The French intolerance is being challenged and causing divisions up to Government level.

Guardian: France’s burkini ban row divides government as court mulls legality

France’s prime minister, Manuel Valls, has clashed with his education minister amid growing divisions in the government over the controversial burkini bans on some beaches.

The education minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, one of the Socialist government’s leading feminist voices, was highly critical of the growing number of burkini bans.

France’s highest court – the state council – began hearing arguments on Thursday from the Human Rights League and an anti-Islamophobia group, which are seeking to reverse a decision by the southern town of Villeneuve-Loubet, near Nice, to ban the full-body swimsuits.

Vallaud-Belkacem, who was born into a Muslim family in rural Morocco before moving to France aged four, told Europe 1 radio the proliferation of burkini bans was not welcome.

She said: “I think it’s a problem because it raises the question of our individual freedoms: how far will we go to check that an outfit is conforming to ‘good manners’?”

She warned that the bans had “let loose” verbal racism.

But moments after Vallaud-Belkacem spoke, her comments were flatly contradicted by Valls, who reiterated his support for mayors who have banned the garments.

Asked if the decrees amounted to racism, Valls said: “No, that’s a bad interpretation.” He said the full-body swimwear represented “the enslavement of women”.

Are Muslim women complaining of ‘enslavement’ in France due to what they wear? It is particularly ironic that authorities and politicians are trying to dictate what they can and can’t wear.

The various mayoral decrees do not explicitly use the word burkini; instead they ban “beachwear which ostentatiously displays religious affiliation”, citing reasons such as the need to protect public order, hygiene or French laws on secularism.

Laws on secularism that single out one religion?

beach-beanie-beautiful-beauty-boy-colors-favim-com-714571

I don’t know if he or she is Muslim or French. Should it matter?

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Authorities in France claim that some beachwear is provocative, but their narrow intolerance is what is provocative.

And two things it has provoked is ridicule and protest. Deservedly.

Could extreme actions wipe out extremism?

SB asks Does it take extremism to stop extremism? at Whale Oil. An interesting question, but I don’t think there’s an easy answer.

If an ” extreme ” action or actions could make us 100% safe from Islamic terrorism in the West should we consider it if it would kill no one and physically harm no one?

If the West took the “extreme” action  of passing a law that legally defines Islam as a political ideology, stopped further Muslim immigration and closed mosques and Islamic schools, would terrorism be reduced and eventually stopped? Would removing the practice and proselytizing of Islam from the West make the West safe from Islamic terrorism again? Does it take extreme reactions to stop extreme actions?

No one would be killed by the extreme action.No one would be physically harmed but like all ” extreme” actions there would be a cost. Peaceful Muslims would lose the right to practice their religion inside a Western country because it will have been redefined as a political ideology that is unacceptable in the west.
This ” extreme ” action would take away their western given right to freedom of religion. A right that they either did not have themselves  in the countries they left ( Ahmadiyya in Pakistan for example ) or a right that they did not allow other religions such as Christianity in their Muslim countries.

When you look at it in a purely scientific or logical manner we have the choice:

  1. Allow freedom of religion for Muslims and we all ( Muslim and Non-Muslim alike ) continue to suffer from Islamic terrorism which means death, slaughter,violence, fear and terror or…
  2. Take away freedom of religion for Muslims and they get to keep all other western rights and freedoms inside the West and terrorism is eradicated.

It’s hardly a scientific or logical approach, and it is hardly a simple choice like that.

And it raises another extreme – naivety.

It seems to suggest that waving a magic wand that erases all Muslin beliefs and practices is somehow possible.

And it seems to believe that wiping everything Muslim out will somehow magically sort out the Middle East and stop all disputes, all disenfranchisement, and all terrorism.

Only one option involves loss of human life.

That’s neither scientific nor logical.

You have three things now to consider.

  • Would it actually work?
  • If you think it would work is it morally wrong to fight extremism with extremism?
  • Does the right to freedom of religion apply to something that is also a political ideology?
  • Is terrorism committed by Muslims undeniably linked to Islam?

That’s actually four questions, and I wonder if the last one is tacked on as an afterthought,  perhaps revealing Spanish Bride’s main target.

A starting point in trying to answer whether an extreme worldwide action against one and a half billion people would solve all the problems created by a few extremists and a few tens of thousands of followers is whether anything like this has ever worked before.

Oh, and the problems created by colonising powers over the last few hundred years. Would it be extreme to wipe out interference by major powers in other countries? Would that actually work?

Or has too much damage already been done?

ISIS perhaps but hardly Islam

As details appears that the Nice mass murderer emerge it appears that he was not even a moderate Muslim let alone radical, but despite no evidence of any connection ISIS claim he was acting for them.

And the French defence minister blames ISIS regardless of whether there was any actual links or not.

Some accounts of Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel conflict and some are vague and unsubstantiated, which will provide enough ammunition for people with a variety of views to claim what happened in Nice fits their opinion on who and what was to blame.

From New York Times: France Blames ISIS for Inspiring Terrorist Attack in Nice

The Islamic State had kept silent on the Nice attack until Saturday morning, when it declared, in a bulletin issued in Arabic and in English on its Amaq News Agency channel: “Executor of the deadly operation in Nice, France, was a soldier of the Islamic State. He executed the operation in response to calls to target citizens of coalition nations, which fight the Islamic State.”

 The claim must be greeted with caution, because there was yet no evidence suggesting that the driver was radicalized, or had even been exposed to the Islamic State’s propaganda.

ISIS are using it for their propaganda whether there was any actual connection between them and the killer or not. We may or may not ever find out whether ISIS involvement was actual before the attack or opportunist after it.

In 2014, the Islamic State’s spokesman, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, called on the group’s followers to attack Westerners in retaliation for strikes by the United States-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. He has repeatedly singled out France, which is part of the coalition, as a main enemy.

However, no evidence has emerged that Mr. Lahouaiej Bouhlel got training or orders from the Islamic State. The Islamic State has blurred the line between operations planned and carried out by its core fighters and those carried out by sympathizers inspired, only at a distance, to commit violence.

The defence defence minister blames ISIS anyway.

But on Saturday, France’s defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said: “I remind you that Daesh’s ideologue, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, has for several weeks repeated calls to attack directly, even individually, Frenchmen, in particular, or Americans, wherever they are, by any means necessary,” using an Arabic name for the Islamic State.

 “It is murder, and Daesh’s claim of responsibility comes later, as has happened in other recent events,” Mr. Le Drian added. “Even if Daesh doesn’t do the organizing, Daesh inspires this terrorist spirit, against which we are fighting.”

Obviously ISIS/Daesh may influence and ‘inspire’ nutters to do terrible things. It’s just as feasible that inspiration and encouragement came from social media or was simply a copycat type of attack with ISIS being an excuse.

Mr. Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31, a native of Tunisia, had a history of petty crime going back to 2010. He received a six-month suspended sentence this year for assaulting a motorist, but was not on the radar of French intelligence agencies. Indeed, he seemed more like a surly misfit — he beat his wife, until she threw him out — than a prospective terrorist.

The country’s top law enforcement official, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, said Saturday: “The individual who committed this absolutely despicable, unspeakable crime was not known by the intelligence services, as he had not stood out over the past years — whether through court convictions or through his activity — for support of radical Islamist ideology.”

But Mr. Cazeneuve added: “It seems that he radicalized himself very quickly. In any case, these are the first elements that have come to light through the testimony of his acquaintances.”

It seems that Bouhlel was nothing like a model Muslim of any type, not moderate and certainly not radical. More of a petty criminal with a history of violence.

In Msaken, Tunisia, the attacker’s father, Mohamed Mondher Lahouaiej Bouhlel, told Agence France-Presse on Friday night that his son had depression, but that he “had almost no links to religion,” and that “he didn’t pray, he didn’t fast, he drank alcohol, and even used drugs.

The elder Mr. Lahouaiej Bouhlel said of his son, “From 2002 to 2004, he had problems that caused a nervous breakdown.”

“He would become angry, and he shouted,” he said, adding, “He would break anything he saw in front of him.”

However, The Huffington Post quoted Rabab Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a sister of the attacker, as saying the brother “did not drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes, but he also did not pray and never entered a mosque in his life.” She added: “He was just not stable psychologically and mentally. His wife and her mother both complained about his violent behavior toward her.”

Regardless of the conflicting claims about some of his habits it sounds like his religious practice, or lack of,  is such that ISIS might execute him for it.

ISIS propagandists will know that ‘ISIS attack’ will get headlines and the contradictions won’t be noticed by most people.