The Great ‘Workplace Violence’ Epidemic

As if Ebola were not serious enough, a new, and perhaps more lethal, epidemic appears to be spreading throughout the world from the Middle East to North America. It goes under the rubric “workplace violence.”

The possibility of such an epidemic first came to our attention in November 2009 when Major Nidal Malik Hasan – an Army psychiatrist who corresponded with the late Yemen-based imam Anwar Al-Awlaki and who lectured his fellow doctors on jihad — shouted “Allah Akbhar” and fatally shot 13 people, injuring 30 others, at Ft. Hood, near Killeen, Texas. The U.S. Department of Defense and federal law enforcement agencies classified the shootings as acts of “workplace violence.”

(Some scholars, however, say the first true instance of “workplace violence” was the September 11, 2001 aviation incident at the World Trade Center, since the vast majority of the people in those structures were at work. Calling this a terror attack was a misnomer instigated by Islamophobes.)

For a few years, the potential epidemic seemed to be in abeyance but of late there have been disturbing signs of a resurgence. And then, this September, Alton Nolan, a young man in Moore, Oklahoma, who, for his hobby, liked to post photos of beheadings of Americans by the Islamic State on Facebook and had been a student of Islam during his prison term (aka most of his adult life), shouted jihadist imprecations in Arabic while himself beheading a 54-year old female co-worker on the very day he was fired. There you have it — “workplace violence” at its purest was back…

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