What Does 'Allahu Akbar' Mean? How Arabic Phrase Became Associated With Terrorism

Lower Manhattan: Police say several dead after vehicle plows into people on bike path

Lower Manhattan: Police say several dead after vehicle plows into people on bike path

"God is good, God is great", the translation from the Arabic, is similar to the war cry Pope Urban II urged on the Catholic Crusaders in 1095 when he sent them to wrest the Holy Land from Muslim control. "You can say 'Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, '" explaining that in such a context the phrase can be understood to mean "Go for it, go for it, go for it".

Muslim Media Network's Abdullah reiterated that the term was being misused and told LA Times: "And when terrorists use this 'Allahu Akbar, ' they are hijacking this term, they're hijacking religion, hijacking God".

At least eight people were killed and over 10 seriously injured today after a man in a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists along a busy bike path near the World Trade Center memorial.

The city's police chief, James O'Neill, confirmed that the suspect made a statement that suggested terrorism as a motive when he exited the vehicle.

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On Tuesday, Donald Trump Jr. shared a tweet by New York City Alerts, which said Saipov was heard shouting "Allahu Akbar", with the comment that he hoped the report was inaccurate.

'As an Irishman I see nothing wrong with praising potatoes!' wrote one.

According to the News, visible tire tracks on the bodies of two of the victims told the grisly tale. "There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!" he tweeted.

That's why it hurts that on Tuesday, "Allahu" and "akbar", those two simple words so close to our hearts, instantly shaped the entire news coverage and presidential response.

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It's easy to forget that language is often hijacked and weaponized by violent extremists. And in January, a truck attack in Jerusalem killed several people. "Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!" It's the sort of reaction that was conspicuously lacking with respect to gun control after the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Honestly, I'm not sure Americans are as ignorant about this phrase as the NY Times seem to think. We all shared smiles and sweets with strangers, with open hearts, without fear.

As Chaudry explained, 'For the record, "Allahu Akbar" has no inherent political/violent connotation meriting instant terror diagnosis.

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