Free Press Journal

Ohio attack: Time ripe to make US campuses safer


Ohio Campus attack

It is borne out by events time and again that American society is a troubled one with materialism writ large in the systems and way of life. Mental derangement and psychiatric imbalance are an unhappy consequence for many as the violence on student campuses gets triggered off by what seem to be minor incidents.

The latest case in point is the incident involving an Ohio State University student who carried out a knife attack on campus Monday and said in a Facebook post that he was “sick and tired” of seeing fellow Muslims “killed and tortured.” Abdul Razak Ali Artan, the Somali immigrant, urged America “to stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah,” a term for Muslim people at large. “By Allah, we will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims. You will not celebrate or enjoy any holiday.”

Artan rammed his car into a group of people on the campus before exiting the car and charging at others with a knife. Eleven people were hospitalised as a result of the attack. An Ohio State police officer then shot Artan dead after he failed to obey orders to stop.

Significantly, Artan had a Pakistan connection like many others before him who were found to be involved in violent incidents or terror attacks. Artan was a legal permanent resident originally from Somalia. He was reported to have come to the country in 2014 with his family via Pakistan. Artan left Somalia in 2007 with his family for Pakistan and they were admitted as refugees as part of a minority sect of Somalis.

Also read: Ohio campus attacker had Pakistan links

Seven members of the family applied for refugee status in the United States and were admitted in 2014. Today, they are all legal permanent residents and green card holders. Whether the fact that he had spent time in Pakistan would ring a bell in the US decision-makers’ ears is a moot point considering that a proposal to declare Pakistan a terrorist state is already under deliberation.

The other big question is whether President-elect Donald Trump’s stand early in his presidential campaign that if he comes to power he would stop visas for some time to all Muslims from coming into US had anything to do with Artan’s evident feeling of insecurity, so much so that he was apprehensive about praying in the parks.