Skip to comments.ABC News: 'Ismail-Ax': Breaking the Riddle
Posted on 04/18/2007 5:35:28 PM PDT by jdm
Apr 18, 2007 "Ismail-Ax." These two words were scribbled in red ink on the arm of Seung-hui Cho, the 23-year-old Virginia Tech student who killed 32 others and then himself in a bloody rampage Monday.
Cho was an English major and poet whose writings had raised eyebrows in the past. But what could "Ismail-Ax" mean? Is the phrase spiritual, poetic or just a bizarre expression of a troubled student?
Watch the full story on "Nightline" tonight at 11:35 p.m. EDT
One "Nightline" viewer recognized "Ismail-Ax" from a poem he had read by Drum Hadley, the 1960s beat poet. The poem is called the "The Goat Ranchers" and in it Hadley, under the pseudonym Yonder Ridgeline, writes about "Ishmael's Ax."
Here's the excerpt:
Went where they'd herded goats when they were kids,
Went where they were lovers,
Went where they were married here, those fifty years ago.
Traces of Ishmael's ax on the scarred trunks of the cedar trees,
Crossing the canyons and winding arroyos.
Do you know the meaning behind "Ismail-Ax?" Let us know on the "Nightline" message board.
While some may see a parallel, this poem does not have a disastrous ending like the tragedy in Virginia. Hadley writes of a couple, married 50 years, reflecting on their time together.
Others recognize the name Ismail for its religious significance . A similar name, Ishmael, is widely known as the name of the eldest son of Abraham, father of the Israelites. He appears in the Christian, Muslim and Islamic faiths, and his character is both revered and criticized throughout all three religions.
According to Strong's Dictionary, the name "Ishmael" literally translates as "God will hear."
With the origin of "Ismail-Ax" still unknown, the Internet has erupted with people trying to decipher its true meaning. Perhaps they hope that unlocking the secret behind "Ismail-Ax" will explain how a troubled kid could commit an act so terrible.
FYI, ABC News is still very much interested in the “Ismail Ax” hypothesis.
Muslim AND islamic. LOL
So now "muslim" and "islamic" are two different things? I *think* he meant to say Jewish but with reporters these days...
So ABC is going to ignore the spelling difference and the meaning there of: Ismail/Ishmael
“Others recognize the name Ismail for its religious significance . A similar name, Ishmael, is widely known as the name of the eldest son of Abraham, father of the Israelites.”
It’s the same name, different language.
“He appears in the Christian, Muslim and Islamic faiths,”
Well, it’s ABC after all.
I’m as intrigued about this as anyone, but doesn’t it seem kind of unseemly to present a special about this?
Ratings from massacre.
I don’t believe they want the hypothesis offered by the lovely Debbie Schlussel. She quotes a New York paper saying Ismail’s axe may refer to an obscure part of the Qu’ran where Abraham takes an ax and chops down all the idols except the one of his (illegitimate) son, Ishmail.
I wonder if he was in contact with any jihadist influences? With a name such as that it sure sounds that way.
I sent you a pm...what is the return address cho used? it isnt the dorm address.
Wow. Kind of a double whammy.
I read it as “is mail a ten”, the answer is no.
Maybe the guy had been reading up on his possible mental illness diagnosis.
Professor Ismail AK,M.D. Head, Department of Psychiatry, KTU School of Medicine, Trabzon, Turkey
Ismail AK is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Head, Department of Psychiatry, KTU School of Medicine, Trabzon, Turkey
He is an experienced on clinical psychopharmacology of schizophrenia and bipolar disorders.
He wrote his name as “A. Ismail” on the package he mailed NBC.
I can’t make it out.
It’s 88 something.
Like 88 Revol Dr, Blacksburg, VA 24*60 (I can’t make out the third number).
ahmadinejad’s always talking about the return of the 12th,
or hidden or expected imam, that will return as the mahdi.
NBC had a news “exclusive” they held until their evening broadcast.
They all want a “scoop” and are playing this for ratings. Wonder if any of them will sit on a bombshell until May sweeps.
One is the religion and one is the political system of government. < /s >
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