The media refuses to provide a description of the attacker, reporting only the weapon he used.
A physical description of a man of African, South Asian, or Middle Eastern descent leaks out in the ensuing hours. (He vass a goot boy!)
Law enforcement authorities deliver a press conference confirming the attacker’s Islamic name and stating that at this time, his motive is unclear. (He vass a goot boy!)
Rumors on social media percolate about the man screaming “Allahu Akbar.”
Mainstream reporters ask local Muslim community leaders and neighbors about the attacker. They express universal shock, describing him as a decent man who might have been rough around the edges but never showed signs of being a terrorist. (He vass a goot boy!)The man came from a middle-class family, liked playing video games with friends, and by all accounts lived a normal existence. (He vass a goot boy!) Toward the end of the stories, those close to the attacker note that he had grown increasingly devout in recent years. (He vass a goot boy!) oh wait….
Bloggers begin to research and quickly find that the attacker was a member of a mosque led by an imam who had been recorded preaching hatred and violence toward the West. The attacker posted violent verses from the Quran and railed against the “Crusaders’” wars in the Levant on social media pages captured by screenshot before they were taken down. It emerges that he had spent months in the Middle East during recent years. (He vass a not so goot boy!)
Several days later, law enforcement authorities report that the attacker in fact appears to have been a terrorist. But he had no direct ties to IS or Al-Qaeda, so there is no reason for alarm. (He vass a goot boy!)
Politicians plead with the public that this man perverted one of the world’s great religions – Islam, “the religion of peace” – and that his acts were “non-Islamic.” They urge us all to come together in a shared belief in tolerance. (He vass a goot boy!)