That Elusive “Allahu Akhbar!”

Update: The Daily Mail has photos.

The first news story I saw when I opened the computer this morning concerned a woman at a Moscow Metro station who had been arrested for murder after she held up the severed head of a child.

You’re a news junkie in the year 2016. What’s the phrase you’re most likely to hear in association with someone holding a severed head? “Allahu akhbar”, right?

Let’s take a look. I opened the article in the Washington Post. Nothing about allahu or akhbar there. Just this description:

The woman, a 38-year-old native of one of the former Soviet republics in Central Asia, was believed to be the nanny and appeared to be mentally unstable, the statement said.

Central Asia, eh? Hmm.

“Mentally unstable” has become a sort of code phrase for “Muslim” in news reports about certain grisly events. How many times have we heard that a guy carrying a bloody machete — who we later learn is a Muslim — “has a history of psychological problems”? Either lunatics are attracted by Islam, or the tenets of Islam induce madness in its adherents. Take your pick.

Reuters was more forthright. The woman carrying the severed head was wearing a hijab and yelled you-know-what:

Woman charged with murder after brandishing child’s severed head in Moscow

MOSCOW Russian police wrestled to the ground a woman in a hijab brandishing the severed head of a child outside a Moscow metro station on Monday and charged her with murder, in an incident that stirred fears of an Islamist terrorist attack.

The macabre episode was caught on camera by passers-by, with footage showing the unnamed woman in a black hijab wandering around in the street holding an infant’s severed head high in the air.

“I am a terrorist, I want your death,” she can be heard screaming in heavily accented Russian in a rambling tirade in which she appears to criticize democracy and talk about the end of the world.

Investigators said they thought the woman, who they said was from a Central Asian country, had been working as a nanny for a Moscow family and had murdered a child in her care before setting fire to the family’s flat and fleeing.

The child was three or four years old, they said.


One eyewitness, a reporter from the news portal, said she heard the woman screaming “Allahu Akbar” (Islamic phrase meaning God is Great or Allah is Greater).

“I was on my way to the metro station from home,” Polina Nikolskaya, the reporter, told Reuters.

“She was standing near the metro entrance and caught my attention because she was screaming Allahu Akbar. I saw that she had a bloodied head in her arms, but I thought it was not real. People in the crowd said it was real.”, an online news portal with close contacts to the police, said a policeman had first approached the woman to check her documents near the Oktyabrskoye Pole metro station in the north-west of the Russian capital.

The woman had responded by removing the child’s head from a bag and shouting that she had killed the infant, it said, saying she had also threatened to blow herself up.

Footage of the incident showed a policeman wrestling the woman to the ground before a group of colleagues helped restrain her.

And what are human rights activists most concerned about at this point? You guessed it — a “backlash” against Muslims:

Some rights activists warned of a possible backlash against migrant workers from Central Asia who have in the past been targeted for beatings by far-right groups.

Fox News had a similar report, but used slightly different sources:

Nanny arrested in Moscow for carrying child’s severed head, reports say

Russian police arrested a nanny Monday and charged her with murder after she was found at a Moscow subway station holding the severed head of a child, yelling “Allahu Akbar,” according to media reports.

The woman is believed to be from Central Asia, investigators said, and was captured on CCTV footage holding up what appears to be a head near the Oktyabrskoye Pole station in Moscow, The Guardian reports.


In the video, the woman, dressed in a hijab, can be heard yelling “for a terrorist, for your death,” The Guardian reports.

Russian investigators said in a statement that the head was from a 3 or 4-year-old girl whose body had been discovered in a nearby apartment.

“Having waited for the parents to leave the flat with their older child, she killed the child for unknown reasons, started the flat on fire and fled,” the statement said, according to The Guardian.

“She was standing near the metro entrance and caught my attention because she was screaming Allahu Akbar,” RBC Daily reporter Polina Nikolskaya told Reuters. “I saw that she had a bloodied head in her arms, but I thought it was not real. People in the crowd said it was real.”

The nanny also was yelling that she would below herself up, but no explosives were found on her, LifeNews reported. A police officer wrestled her to the ground and took her into custody.

The woman later told police that she was upset over problems with her husband, the newspaper added.

The motive for the killing is unknown and the woman is undergoing psychiatric testing to see if she is mentally sound or aware of the crime she had committed, authorities said.

And here’s the most alarming aspect of the event:

The phrase “Allahu Akbar”, Arabic for “God is great”, began trending on Russian social media after the incident, the BBC reports.

This is how backlash begins. Xenophobes begin circulating stuff like this, and the next thing you know, Islamophobic people commit hate crimes against innocent Muslims. That’s why most news outlets are doing their civic duty and removing all the “allahu akhbars” and similar details that might incite hatred and prejudice.

C’mon, Fox and Reuters! Get on the stick!

35 thoughts on “That Elusive “Allahu Akhbar!”

  1. My heart goes out to the family and friends who will be devastated by such savagery being inflicted on their little one. It is beyond comprehension that this insanity is allowed to continue on like this. I trust Russian justice will be harsher, swifter, and made public to demonstrate that they at least will avenge their citizens with all the might they can summon.

    • There’s no indication that Russian justice is significantly any less PC MC than the rest of the Allahdamned world. But there are many indications that Counter-Jihad folks perpetuate this urban myth.

  2. What parent would hire a Muslim nanny? My mother-in-law had a Muslim cook. The cook demanded that all the food be Halal, because she couldn’t eat it otherwise. That was the end of her employment.

    • This is a new AND SPREADING attitude.

      Among the older generations, I’ve met somewhat religious Muslim women (complete with hair covering), willing to cook pork for others, even though they won’t consume it themselves. “You have to earn a living” is how they justify it. Obviously those are NOT the kinds of Muslims that are a worry at all!

      (Or another, to whom I jokingly handed a bottle of Israeli-made spirits and said: “This is what you drink if you ever want to stop being Muslim.” – he thought it was funny. No, I don’t do this to everyone: I know this guy *very* well.)

  3. Mental illness is becoming increasingly hard to pin down these days because it’s increasingly being defined by the communist idea of “anyone who criticizes the state is mentally ill”.

    Right now we seem to be at the stage where anyone who is critical of some sort of great social consensus is accused of being mentally ill, at least by some people (who are usually leftist “researchers” out to discredit their ideological opponents).

    The idea that any significance to someone’s words or actions can be dismissed simply because they’re “mentally ill” is fundamentally a ridiculous communist idea. It’s very disturbing, but not surprising, to see the press pushing it.

  4. What? No politician, no ‘newspaper’ stating that this had nothing to do with Islam?

    Fancy that…

      • Right on Lady D., purveyors of lies and political correctness.
        Long gone are the days when newspapers were neutral; when the BBC was regarded as THE unbiased news source.
        And when the unbiased news came from North, East, West and South.

    • As the owner of the Bare Naked Islam blog reported in a comment at Jihad Watch:

      …the official report of the government-owned TASS ends with the following:

      “Moscow Muslims ask to not associate this brutal murder with Islam. “This is an absolutely inadequate personality, so it’s completely wrong to associate any actions with Muslims and Islam on the basis of apparel or some slogans.” – said the chairman of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Moscow, the chief imam of the Moscow General Mosque Ildar Alyautdinov.”

      Which leads to the question: Why are there any “Moscow Muslims” at all? The rumors of Russia being immune to PC MC have been greatly exaggerated…

      • Hesperado: When I was in Moscow before the fall of Communism, I saw Muslims from their central Asian ‘SSRs’ (eg Tajiks) there. I should imagine that Muslims have been in Moscow for as long as the Russians ruled their lands.

        • As a Moscow-dweller, I beg to disagree. In Soviet times, there were far fewer people from Central Asia living in Moscow or anywhere in the Russian Federation than nowadays. It is after the collapse of the USSR, when the economies of Tajikistan and Kirghizia totally collapsed and that of Uzbekistan fared just a little better, that masses of labour migrants started moving to Russia en masse from these three countries. There are also quite a lot of Azeris, but they are mostly traders and not unskilled labour.

          As the economy of Kazakhstan is in much better shape, there are practically no Kazakh migrants. It is interesting to note that Kazakhstan was the most Russified and the least Islamic of the Central Asian republics. There are still a lot of Russian-speakers (Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Armenians, Koreans, etc.) there, though they have been gradually leaving the country. Most ethnic Germans have left for Germany.

          There are also very few Turkmens in Russia, but for a different reason: Turkmenistan is the most totalitarian of the post-Soviet States and it simply does not allow its residents to leave the country.

      • Hesperado, your query appears to demonstrate a lack of understanding re the old USSR and the current Russian federation. The latter has deep and abiding desires to re-establish some kind of hegemony in both its near and its far abroad. Many of Putin’s behaviors can be understood in that light.

        When the Imperium of the Soviet Socialist “Republics” were finally locked up tight after WWII, they stayed under Russian control until the dissolution of the USSR. That dissolution was due not to anything we did, but to the implosion of their abysmally inefficient central command economy. China got smart in time enough to avoid the same fate, permitting limited private economic activity. Like Russia -and any other centralized command polity, corruption is endemic (as is becoming the case here due to growth of central government which allows the machinations of the financial sector).

        Some of those seized states had previously long been under Ottoman control; there were -and still are- sizeable numbers of Muslims in their populace.

        The Soviet Union was a state comprising fifteen communist republics which existed from 1922 until its dissolution into a series of separate nation states in 1991. Of these fifteen republics, six had a Muslim majority, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.[1] There was also a large Muslim presence in the Volga-Ural region and most of the population of North Caucasus of the Russian Federation were Muslims and a large number of Tatar Muslims lived in Siberia and other regions.

        The Bolsheviks wanted to include as much as possible of the former Russian Empire within the Soviet Union. This meant they were faced with a number of contradictions as they set out to establish the Soviet Union in regions with strong Islamic influences.

        Although actively encouraging atheism, Soviet authorities permitted limited religious activity in all the Muslim republics…


        Those Boston Marathon bombers were from where, sir??

        Russia is anxious to have ethnic Russians join the Russian Orthodox Church. Like the Chinese tyrants and their Han ethnic population, they see value in having a large religiously-grounded populace. They realize that religion means both a more docile populace and more babies, whereas atheism means fewer children in each succeeding generation. Unfortunately both want state churches – a sign they haven’t learned from Europe’s experience with state-affiliated national/ethnic churches.

        The footnotes and bibliographies at the bottom of wikis are a goldmine of information. Also, the accompanying map is ummm, “graphic”…

        • Religion does not mean just ‘a more docile population’. Religion also means a meaningful existence, a spiritual foundation for society and State. Different religions make different societies.

          Atheism cannot be a firm foundation for any society. The main reason of collapse of the USSR was not its economic failure, but the fact that its people, indoctrinated by atheist dictatorship, began to feel that their lives had no real meaning. The same happens everywhere, where atheism spreads. Including in the West. It is atheism (aka materialism) that makes the West such a soft target for jihadis and its ruling elites so stupid and full of hubris.

          • Anton-

            I’ve said for quite some time that the West’s collective shunning of God is one of the worst things it could have done.

            Heck, there are even some prominent atheist commentators who have admitted that Christianity is a good bulwark against something far, far worse.

          • Let me get this right then; believing in fairies is going to save the western world?

            Yet some of you religion pushers probably tell your kids condescendingly “no dear, there isn’t really an Easter bunny or Santa Claus!”
            In any case, how is your god any more real than Thor and Odin? Or the tree gods of jungle tribes in the Amazon?
            I could, with damned good reason, go on; but surely any rational person would concede the point.
            But not you?

      • Muslims appeared in Moscow long ago – originally they were mostly Volga Tatars. There are quite a lot of them still, but you would not notice – in everyday life they are indistinguishable from Russians. They often have quite “Russian” faces, wear the same clothes, and speak Russian more fluently than their own language. Relations between Russians and Tatars are, for the most part, peaceful.

        It was only after 1917 that noticeable groups of Muslims from the Caucasus and Central Asia appeared in Moscow, but few of them settled there permanently. Those who did usually integrated very well into society. It was only after the collapse of the USSR (and of Central Asian economies) that large communities of Muslim ethnic groups appeared in Moscow and all over Russia. They are more religious and culturally much more different. Some of them are illegal migrants. Their relations with natives are more problematic. Besides the problem of Islam, there is also the drug problem – for Central Asia is on the opium route from Afghanistan to Europe, the problem of infectious disease (TB and even polio), criminality.

        But different ethnic groups behave differently. Uzbeks and Tajiks are more humble and quiet and often do not cause much problem. The most difficult are Chechens, Ingushis and Daghestanis who are very macho, despise Russians (and, in fact, everyone who does not belong to their ethnic group) and also despise hard work preferring to live by commerce and crime (which in Russia often means the same thing).

  5. Either lunatics are attracted by Islam, or the tenets of Islam induce madness in its adherents. Take your pick.

    Then there is 14 centuries of islamic inbreeding……

  6. This woman is indeed a terrorist – she has terrorised millions of parents I should think. What a world we now live in.

  7. How long until we can infer the phrase “mentally unstable” to pushback on the apologists, and declare that Muslims are mentally unstable . If every sick, twisted crime such as this one involves Muslims and mentally unstable… The shoe fits!

  8. My local online broadsheet had a link to a headline that began ‘Russian nanny’ . . . No, she’s not ‘Russian’, Mr Subeditor. Not Russian’s backside.

    • It is the usual trick. Whenever an ethnic Albanian from Serbia or Montenegro commits a crime abroad, he is always called ‘a Serb’ or ‘a Montenegrin’ respectively. A Chechen or a Dagestani would be called ‘Russian’, etc.

  9. “Either lunatics are attracted by Islam, or the tenets of Islam induce madness in its adherents. Take your pick.”

    What about – Islam is evil, it attracts evil, and it was spawned by evil.

    • The modern West tends to see no evil, at least in any serious sense. Explanations for any and all human intentionality, motivation, and behavior have been co-opted by the anti-religious philodoxy of what philosopher Eric Voegelin called modern “Scientism”.

      Along comes (back) on our collective radar the mass pathology of Islam, and we have no analytical tools to explain it — but plenty of reasons, mostly emotional and cultural, to explain it away (statistical bouts of mental illness to explain the various outbreaks of SJS; political & economic grievances to explain the broader outbreaks of jihad).

  10. A clue; a BBC report referred to the ‘fear of a backlash’ – make of it what you will.

  11. I have seen the RT report and feel compelled to point out how soft if not totally unexistent Europeans’ reaction is in front of a terrorist threat. Same example in Paris concert attack. Almost every major country has seen a terrorist incident so far, there is a long list with terrorist incidents including shootings and bombings around Europe. Russia had its share lately. When you see a “mentally unstable lunatic” claiming (s)he is strapped with explosive, you either run for cover and alert everybody else of the danger (and calling the emergency number when you’re in the clear) or try heroicly to smash the threat on the pavement. I would definitely not laugh and grab a video to post it on youtube and then stupidly say, like the eye witness outside of the Russian metro station commented to RT reporter about the severed child head, “I thought: it must be a replica.”

  12. I have just read that the Uzbek nanny who committed this murder said that she had a family problem: her husband found a lover. She tried to console herself with drugs and alcohol and went amok. So, this particular murder seems to have nothing to do with jihad. It is more connected with widespread drug addiction in Uzbekistan, which, like many other Muslim countries, has a long tradition of hemp smoking and using other mind-altering substances.

  13. It has everything to do with islam, mentally ill, or only adhering to the koran.

    If islam hadn’t taught beheading, why would a muslim kill non-muslims – in that particular way?

    On the other hand, why was this muslima a baby-sitter for this unfortunate girl, in the first place?

    • Of course, she must have heard about beheading, jihad and all that sort of thing and may have been fascinated by it. So, when she went off her rocker, she did it the Muslim way. However, for fairness sake, I should argue that non-Muslim drug addicts are as dangerous.

      Migrant women work as baby sitters in Moscow because most Russian mothers have to go out to work and modern Russian grannies are not always willing to babysit. And, of course, migrant women are satisfied with lower wages. Not every Moscow family can afford a respectable Russian nanny with good references.

      By the way, again for fairness sake, it should be mentioned that Central Asians often make good nannies because, having been raised in a traditional society, they are more fond of children and more skillful with them, than modern Russian women – who are much more like women of the West – individualist, cold, and self-centred.

  14. She is muslim… she worked as nanny… she killed russian 3-4 years old girl (Nastya was poor childs name)… and burned down apartment of people who hired her and whos child she killed… after that she went to the entrance to subway station (while wearing islamic clothes) and started waving severed head of child in her arm (holding her by her hairs)… and started screaming that she has bomb and that she is terrorist…

    People in comments said… police didn’t done anything to her for some long time from 20 minutes to 1 hour… after that time she sadly was captured alive (when she was captured she dropped severed head of child on dirty road).

    Some russian maintream media is completely silent about such horrible crime. “1st” tv channel and such.

    And even in places where news appeared – they brainwash people with typical lies…. they said that it has nothing with religion….. and that she was drugged… or provoked by child… or that she is mentally ill ( = will not go to prison).

    And that police will do its best to protect multinational peace from …… quote”extremist russian nationalists”……… .Yeah like last remaining one has dosen of pending lawsuits against him…… for several pictures and sentences in social media.

  15. The self censorship of the Western media was very evident in this case. I think it was the BBC I first read the story, the tone of the narrative was a deranged woman beheads baby. The almost incidental sub plot of black Islamic dress, “Allah Akbar” and “I am death” statements made by the woman to onlookers, were not enough for media to even suggest a link to “Islamic terrorism”. But the average punter is no fool and can read between the lines even if the media won’t say it.

  16. Latest news about the case: According to the Russian web site, the Police Chairman of the Samarkand region of Uzbekistan, from which Gulchekhra Bobokulova (the nanny) hails, has interrogated her parents and her husband.

    The relatives were shocked but not surprised. The woman was diagnosed with schizophrenia, she had been several times hospitalised in a mental hospital. That was why she could not find employment in her native land. Her condition worsened in spring. Her husband divorced her in 2000, because of her mental illness.

    She came in Moscow illegally and soon found employment.

    So, let us be fair. This particular crime is the result of mental illness, probably made worse by drugs. And of the lax control of illegal migration in Russia. And, of course, the parents seem to have been a bit careless about the choice of nanny and watch her behaviour more carefully.

    This is not an Islamist crime.

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