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In Light of Ft. Hood Shootings (Nidal Hasan): Growing Religious Influence in the Military & PTSD

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Excerpt:
Instead of pointing fingers at the imaginary Muslim fifth column, it is more relevant to discuss what would push a man to commit a treacherous act, not to justify it, but rather to prevent another serviceman from committing a similar act, perhaps a Jew or an atheist or other non-Christian, someone similarly frustrated and harassed, as Nidal allegedly was.

Please read this important note on this post

Strict moderation will be applied to all comments. Any comments relating to the topics of (1) permissibility of Muslims working for the military or (2) whether this murderous spree should not be condemned and, (3) of course, any celebratory comments (an unfortunate reflection upon some in our Ummah) will be deleted. Please stick to the topic: Growing religious influence in the military or PTSD or any other cause/effect thoughts.

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Even if your comments are respectful, I will apply strict control; please accept my apologies in advance.

———————

In light of the recent tragic events at Ft. Hood, where a military officer, Nidal Hasan, shot thirteen of his fellow servicemen dead, we have seen the Islamophobia thermometer rise once again with the news media exploring every angle of Nidal’s Muslim background.  While some (not enough) attention is being paid to Nidal’s career, ironically a psychiatrist himself who was assigned to a position to help others with psychiatric problems, not enough is being paid to the important question of “what about the army’s religious background”?

This post aims to discuss these two issues, the effect of PTSD (posttruamatic stress disorder) upon those whose job is to treat it, and the increasingly religious character of the US military that is leading to hostility towards non-Christians. Of course, the goal of the post is not to justify the actions of Nidal. I write, just as others are writing about why a psychiatrist would suddenly go postal on his comrades. As a Muslim though, I have to increasingly be careful of how my words are perceived in this day and age, as unfortunate this might be. So, before I discuss the topic, I would like to prelude it with an important message to clarify and delineate between justification and root-cause analysis.

One of the unfortunate machinations of the Islamophobes post-9/11 was to stifle any discussion of the root-causes of the tragedy. These Islamophobes (a combination of right-wingers and pro-Israel hawks) found the uptick in discussion of the Israel-Palestine conflict and its contribution to global terrorism (including 9/11) as a disturbing trend that had to be stopped. The point was “don’t blame the Israel occupation” and the way that this plot worked is that if you brought up Israel, you would be accused of justifying 9/11. Of course, the logic behind this is flawed. As an example, suppose there was a severe increase in the number of pedaphiles from a certain community. Just examining the sociological reasons towards this increase would not be a justification for the pedaphile’s actions, rather this would be a critical exercise in order to stop and reverse this disturbing trend. Similarly, understanding the root-causes of global terrorism is an important exercise, designed not to justify terrorists, but to prevent their next big bumper crop.

Growing Religious Influence in the Military

Nidal’s cousin had something to say about it, which needs to be paid particular attention to:

Perhaps it was the combination of being a Muslim and an Army counselor that set Hasan off. His cousin Nader Hasan said Maj. Hasan had his own stresses to deal with, as a Muslim army officer.

“It was the harassment that, I think, was what got to him … him being referenced for his Middle Eastern ethnicity, even though he was born and raised here,” Nader Hasan said.

NPR confirmed this with other members of Nidal’s family:

In interviews, members of his family have suggested that the modern military had become an especially uncomfortable place for Muslims and Arab-Americans like Hasan. It was then, they say, that the newly minted doctor first began complaining of harassment over his Muslim religion and talking about a way out.

Why the harassment, possibly so severe, that it would lead a man to go against everything he stood for?

The easy answer would be to simply point out that this is to be expected after 9/11. But the men in the military represent a sample of the general American population, and in general Muslims are not harassed in their daily life, with exceptions of course. While Islamophobia is real, there is not another example of an average American Muslims going into a rampage like Nidal did.

In the words of another Muslim in the military, Ahmed Shama, mentioned [NPR]:

“During boot camp I was referred to by the phrase ‘al-Qaida terrorist’ by one of my drill instructors,”

Now, imagine this for a minute. Imagine if you work for any organization, and that you are repeatedly accused of being a spy or an agent of your competitor. How would that affect your psyche? How would you feel about coming to work everyday? Now imagine if you are put in a HR position in this organization, designed to address the issue of discrimination for others. Could you imagine the cognitive dissonance in play? Could you imagine the conflicting messages in your head?

“There are no words to express my feeling upon hearing my religion referred to as Satan,” says Shama, who is currently studying Arabic in Cairo. “Even worse was watching footage of mosques being blown up by U.S. forces and hearing reports of the Quran being shredded.”

Why is the military then any different? Is it more suspect to harassment and Islamophobia than the general public?

The deeper answer may lie in the growing influence of fundamentalist, evangelical form of Christianity in the military, and the likely increasing peer pressure on non-Christians to “assimilate” or face implicit or explicit harassment.

The book, With God On Our Side: One Man’s War Against an Evangelical Coup in America’s Military, examines some of these evangelical trends, and how the American army is more and more becoming the Christian army, on a mission from God.  In an excerpt posted on alternet,  Birth of the Christian Soldier: How Evangelicals Infiltrated the American Military, the authors point out,

It took decades for evangelicals to infiltrate the military, but eventually fundamentalist theology adapted as its entry points the culture of authority, duty, and sacrifice in the armed forces.

Instead of pointing fingers at the imaginary Muslim fifth column, it is more relevant to discuss what would push a man to commit a treacherous act, not to justify it, but rather to prevent another serviceman from committing a similar act, perhaps a Jew or an atheist or other non-Christian, someone similarly frustrated and harassed, as Nidal allegedly was.

Watch the excellent documentary that sheds more light on “Fault Lines-Religion in the Military” pasted below the post.

PTSD

The irony of Nidal’s profession as a psychiatrist has not been lost on most. However, the media continues to make only passing remarks as to how the profession itself could have been a catalyst for Nidal’s own mental breakdown. Rest assured, if Nidal was not a Muslim, this aspect of the shootings would be front and center, and by unfortunately focusing on the Muslim issue, it is possible that perhaps the main underlying issue in this may be lost.

Fortunately, I was able to find some relevant materials on the outskirts of the MSM.

NPR mentions it in passing only:

Psychologists say there is such a thing as “vicarious traumatization,” in which someone can be affected just by hearing what someone else has gone through.

Michigan’s Newschannel 3 asked the doctors how they cope and what their training is. “We learn to separate our own emotional stuff from what the patient presents to us,” said Dr. Bloem. Another doctor, Dr. Lieggio, stated, what needs to be paid particular attention to:

If you immerse yourself, then you get blurred too.

Could Nidal have not been able to separate his own emotions from his patients?

In an excellent article, Kevin Camp writes about “Re-evaluating war and its lasting effects“, and immediately hits it dead-center:

The media framing implies, but can’t bring itself to mention directly, whether the psychological cost of warfare might be a deeply destructive force that erodes the emotional health of those who serve.

While holding back ultimate judgement, Kevin aptly addresses the issue and brings up important questions:

Like everyone else, I concede that at this early stage in the investigation substantial details are few and far between. As a result, I am not going to idly speculate as to the motives or plan of action of Nidal Malik Hasan. One does, however, have to concede the irony that a psychiatrist, one who treats mental illness as a vocation, might have been ill himself with the very disease he sought to treat. Whether Hasan serves as the miner’s canary for us all or is simply another severely troubled individual with a gun in the grips of a debilitating disorder may never firmly be established. Still, that there might be some doubt between these two perspectives is damning critique enough. I have always found the disconnect between embracing violence and hardhearted cruelty towards one set of humans while behaving with mannerly restraint to another nonsensical at best. Though we might have the ability with enough societal conditioning to thread that needle, I question whether it is a healthy perspective for anyone to take on and in so doing, justify.

And ultimately ends with another telling observation

Treating the causes in this regard would rattle too many cages, threaten the livelihoods of too many wealthy people, necessitate a shift in major industries that drive our economy, require a completely different cultural outlook, and above all force us to be self-reflective and introspective, two qualities few people wish to take on for any extended length of time. Yet, for those seeking answers, here is one. Until we ask hard questions like these of ourselves and the world around us, one interrogative which we ought not need to ask is “Why?”.

And in the final article on TRUE/SLANT, Todd Essig, a psychologist and psychoanalyst with a full-time therapy practice for 20 years, states it quite bluntly:

But when I learned that the likely shooter was an Army psychiatrist who treats PTSD, himself on the cusp of deployment, I thought, “I’m not surprised.”

One fact we do know is that treating PTSD is itself traumatic. Before you judge or maybe make a joke about some shrink wigging out–or indulge ugly racist fantasies–I want you to imagine a work day spent bearing witness to traumas so horrific media outlets won’t even show the videos. Imagine every day trying to help young men and women somehow put their lives back together despite their night terrors, flashbacks, and chronic sleeplessness. While you reach out to help,  they mistrust your every move and respond with hair-trigger tempers, not to mention all the physical symptoms, alienation, and hopelessness. Surrounded by thoughts of suicide–and homicide–you try and keep faith with the honor and challenge of providing care.

But soon the line between their experience and yours starts to blur until, well, something like what happened at Fort Hood today becomes an all too real possibility.

The doctor then mentions a couple of other important references in this must-read article.

the problem of vicarious traumatization (VT), which they defined as the cumulative transformative effects upon therapists resulting from empathic engagement with traumatized clients.

The good doctor has since penciled in another article, “Talking about Hasan reveals ugly racism“, and I borrow his concluding paragraph in closing:

In the absence of evidence, the hateful character of some on the right has been revealed. What we need to keep in mind now, before the information is available, is that everything being said is based on the same evidence as is finding a clown in the clouds. Information will emerge. An explanation will get developed. Some of today’s fantasies will be proved correct. But today what is being said are really just fantasies that reveal the character of the speaker. Being correct about vicarious traumatization having a role in Hasan’s motivation will not make my politics any more correct, nor would an eventual revelation of terrorist motives make today’s racism any less racist.

Related Posts:

See Also:

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TME6X9LQ4y8&feature=channel[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UI7evXxWHTs&feature=channel[/youtube]

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Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").

114 Comments

114 Comments

  1. Pingback: “Why didn’t Major Muslim Resign his Commission?” and related posts « Twitter

  2. Tech

    November 8, 2009 at 5:48 AM

    Regardless of why it happened it’s altogether a sad event to take place. 13 people lost their lives.

  3. Shoeb K

    November 8, 2009 at 7:44 AM

    I do like the “editorial control” you stated.

    13 people lost lives; and this act, whatever may be the reason, will marginalize us further. All Muslim soldiers (and non-soldiers) will be viewed with suspicion; no rationalization, but that is how people are.

    I am sure many people will be criticizing the “system”, blaming others, if u did not have the editorial control you mentioned.

    -Stick to the topic pls. -Editor

  4. Joachim Martillo

    November 8, 2009 at 8:02 AM

    High-ranking military evangelicals seem to believe that Jesus is the answer to PTSD.

    That said, I have worked with many doctors in the past.

    I provide a likely hypothesis to explain why Dr. Hasan went postal in Fort Hood and Self-Medication.

  5. ukhti

    November 8, 2009 at 8:17 AM

    Are we seriously blaming this on PTSD. The guy never went to war, he was in a cushy position in MD. This guy had mental issues, was a coward and like a lot of Muslim men became more religious as a older person maybe to deal with his lack of money, status and prestige. He reminds me of that Sodini guy, frustrated, loser in the marriage/dating market and took out is issues on innocent people.

    Please do not join with atheists in attacking Christians, I hate that about Muslims, you never know how to pick your battles. Thank God there is some religion in the Military, its a place for men to go to develop leadership skills, to be men, yes I hate the foreign policy of this country but Evangelicals don’t dictate policy (lets look at the religion or lack there of of who dictates this policy), they are just men who want to serve their country. Doesn’t Allah tells us the Christians are closer to us of the Ahlul Kitab. Why do Muslims constantly side with Athiests (true Kafirs..completely reject God) against people who actually fear God and want to try and live by his law? We should be building bridges with them. I just don’t get it.

    Lastly, it is embarrassing that Muslim men are blaming teasing and racism for this cowards behavior. Really, are you guys men or fifth graders. Men tease each other, its the military, men are going to say stupid stuff but yet they work together for a common purpose. The military is in fact on of the places where Racism is not that bad, there is lots of friendship amongst all the races. It really makes Muslims look weak to constantly harp on this.

    • Amad

      November 8, 2009 at 8:36 AM

      “Ukthi”, a few questions:
      1) Have you served in the military?
      2) Are you trained in psychology or psychiatry, since you wish to easily dismiss a psychiatrist with 20 years experience?
      3) Have you worked in a hostile environment before?
      4) Did you watch the documentary?
      5) Do you understand that many from the evangelical movement posses the strongest hatred against Islam? Do you want me to provide you some examples?

      In other words, please refrain from passing judgment on matters where you clearly don’t have the full picture. It is not a matter of having religion in the military, it is a matter of a type of Christianity that is being promoted that is not very Muslim-friendly. And yes, in some cases, atheists do make for better allies than the Islamophobic ahl-kitaab types.

      • ukhti

        November 8, 2009 at 8:17 PM

        My point is that this article is poorly timed and seems to provide implied sympathy to the shooter.
        Why the need to provide some justification at all. The guy had opportunity to leave and didn’t. The guy was never in a war zone and really just finished his medical training(paid for my kafir uncle sam), so yeah, compared to deployed soldiers, he had a cushy job.

        Your comment about Islamiphobic evangelicals is so telling. Typical tribal mentality “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”…. So funny, like Atheists love Muslims (lets go ask some Chechens or Uiygurs). I was hanging out with some “scary” white evangelical Christians today and they were nothing but kind and gracious to my family even though I wear hijab and live within an hour of Fort Hood.

        Please do your own research and tell me the background and religion of those who keep pushing our country to war with Muslims. Its not the evangelicals thats for sure.

        • Joachim Martillo

          November 8, 2009 at 8:40 PM

          Not all white Christian evangelicals are Zionists, but the Christian fundamentalist Zionists are almost invariably white apocalyptic evangelicals: Backgrounder on Christian Zionism.

        • Umme Ammaarah

          November 8, 2009 at 10:00 PM

          The guy had an opportunity to leave and he didnt…?? u seem to be ill-informed. hw wanted out, he even hired a lawyer, but because he received his undergrad and MD degree from the schools he did, probably made it difficult to leave. The army pays for your education and other expenses if you join, but you sign on to having to serve for a certain amount of time.

          Allah knows best what was going on in his mind. I wish it hadn’t happened, but it did. I just kept thinking that this guy prayed regularly, helped out people, was active in community service, so what went so wrong that he had to take this route out even after it surely must’ve crossed his mind that his actions would have big and bad repurcussions for the Muslim community, the same kind of repurcussions he was a victim of ?

          …how do we fix this? up till now, it was the ‘crazy foreign exotic Taliban, Al-Qaeda Muslims’, now every Muslim neighbor, co-worker is suspect? :(

          we aren’t praying enough guys, not doing enough…. Rabbaaa aatinaa milladunka rahmatan wa hayyi’ lanaa min amrina rashada.

          • ukhti

            November 9, 2009 at 7:42 AM

            Ok, I am sorry but apologist comments like this do nothing for our community. Are we children that have to be treated with kids gloves. The guy could have left, went awol and dealt with the consequences. I am sorry but to expect the army to take care of you for 10 years and then you dont do your duty is wrong. He made a bad decision joining the army and should have left pure and simple. Or he should have just offed himself. Why kill all the those innocent, unarmed people, some of them barely out of their teens, some who could have been Muslim. Why the need to make any excuse for him.

          • MW_M

            November 9, 2009 at 8:59 PM

            There’s always an opportunity to leave, he could’ve refused to be deployed and jailed. If his convictions were so strong, why didn’t he take that route??? So don’t even start with, “he didn’t have a choice…”

        • Amad

          November 9, 2009 at 1:04 AM

          Here you go, ukhti, statistical data on what Evangelicals think about Islam and Muslims. With over 70% believing that Islam is a religion of violence, and all sorts of other stereotypes, I hope you can see the issue. It is not that you will find good evangelicals (20-30% is still a lot of good people who don’t believe in the garbage), but having such a large majority become so Islamophobic, as well as their leaders (which is critical, as people are generally “sheep”, it is the leaders who affect things) is quite scary.

          http://www.beliefnet.com/News/Politics/2003/04/Evangelical-Views-Of-Islam.aspx

          If you are really interested in researching this topic, you should also consider reading the book by Kevin Phillips, American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century. It will help you understand the situation better.

          Quotes from Evangelical leaders:

          Jeff Fugate: Islam and America are opposites. They hate us. They want to kill us. I’m not anti-Jewish or anti-Catholic. I’m anti-Islam because that religion right there is anti-American.

          Jerry Vines:Islam was founded by Muhammad, a demon-possessed pedophile who had 12 wives, the last one of which was a 9-year-old girl. And I will tell you Allah is not Jehovah either. Jehovah’s not going to turn you into a terrorist that’ll try to bomb people and take the lives of thousands and thousands of people.

          This is what I found in just a minute. I am sure you will find a million more. And finally, before you reply, please do answer the questions I posted to you in the previous message.

          • ukhti

            November 9, 2009 at 8:05 AM

            This is a Christian country, with a very, very small Muslim minority. Most Christians never, never met any Muslims. All they hear is what is on tv. Also Christianity has a strained relationship with Islam so I fully expect there to be prejudice. So what, it does not excuse this behavior at all. So I completely understand why Christians would not like Muslims, and….. Lets do a survey in Egypt about Jews or Coptic Christians…… People have prejudices, so what. Despite their feelings the overwhelming majority of Christians treat Muslims extremely fairly , they follow the rule of law, they are not attacking or killing us on the street in the US. The war situation in complicated and I submit that both Muslims and Christians are victims of being pawns in sick military games but thats another topic.
            ====================

            1) Have you served in the military?No, but have relatives who have. I still know that grown men should be able to take teasing and criticism without shooting 40 people.

            2) Are you trained in psychology or psychiatry, since you wish to easily dismiss a psychiatrist with 20 years experience?
            No, but this guy was never in a war zone so why do people keep talking about PTSD, post what, he never went to war.

            3) Have you worked in a hostile environment before?Yes, and I am a woman in the south who wears hijab. Also I was in the fifth grade, which was torture, my hijab got pulled off a lot… I guess I would have been justified in violence…..

            4) Did you watch the documentary?
            Nope, is Nidal in it, again he never went to war and he is an adult man who should have had a backbone.

            5) Do you understand that many from the evangelical movement posses the strongest hatred against Islam? Do you want me to provide you some examples? So what, its so funny because some Muslims would say they feel a lot of hate when they go to the Masjid for not being religious enough. How do you guys feel about Shia, Muslim women married to non-Muslim men or who want to lead prayers. Just because a group is disliked, as long as their rights are not violated what is the problem? Its no excuse for his behavior.

            I don’t blame Islam but HE used Islam as an excuse for the fact that he was a loner, couldn’t get married(there is a discussion…how hard it is for Muslim men to get married), lacked career success (did you notice he never passed his medical boards). Its not uncommon, just like the Sodini guy. But its not an excuse, if anything they (Army)made too many excuses for him because they didn’t want to discriminate against a Muslim but he should have been gone.

      • Some Guy

        November 8, 2009 at 10:29 PM

        “In other words, please refrain from passing judgment on matters where you clearly don’t have the full picture.”

        So just because you don’t agree with ukhti, Amad, she clearly doesn’t have the full picture? Who’s passing judgments now? Watch yourself.

    • Ibn Abid

      November 9, 2009 at 1:21 PM

      I think both ukhti and Amad have good points. However, I think its still too early to pass judgement. I think we’re forgetting that the guy is STILL ALIVE and TALKING. So let’s see what HE has to say and then pass judgement. Let him provide his reasoning for the crime. Obviously he was out for a suicide attempt but didn’t succeed. So before we make any unqualified judgements regarding him, let him speak so we can realize his intent for the madness.

  6. Holly Garza

    November 8, 2009 at 9:00 AM

    Salaamu alaikum Very sad, very frustrating, and anger provoking tragedy. As a grieving sister, daughter, and mother my heart truly goes out to all the families who lost a life.

    When this happened, I didn’t know him {the shooter} (still don’t), nor the situation; and I was angry, Very angry. I mean, here is everyone saying “a Muslim” did this, and all I could think about was how terrible the family members left behind thanks to murder felt; and how now we; the day to day, going-about-our-business will be scrutinized even more. Then I started thinking how someones sister would be having a service, someones mother would have to say good bye, and someones father will never get to hug and pat his son on the back again, I got back to reality and felt for them instead of me and them.

    That said, this goes above and beyond him (the shooter) “having a cushy job” as one of our commentators said. I wasn’t aware that talking to traumatized, hurt, depressed people was easy. I didn’t know that seeing grown men crying for helping his Country and being forced to serve longer while missing his family was an easy task to live with day in and day out.

    Maybe he wasn’t packing a weapon walking through marshy lands and dessert sands but oh he was drained believe that. I beg of you all to remember he wanted too leave. He wanted to not go. When he was given the assignment that made him snap (because he is human and all races, and Religions do have people who “loose it” not because of him being an Arab Muslim man) he cried he was suffering already.

    Does the above VERY SMALL insight forgive the atrocious behavior that followed? NO. However, the Army is having more, and more suicides, violent attacks, and people running away from their “duties”. It’s time they wake up and do something about our men and women fighting. Time to send them home, counsel them and take them serious. If a Mexican was sent and told to go to Mexico to witness killing of his people or to possibly be killed, or to go against his beliefs unless he was heartless he would have issues with it. If a German was sent to Germany HE would have problems.

    I am not saying we should go and kill people whenever we don’t like one of our freedoms America has granted us, NO, not at all. What I am trying to do is bring him {the shooter} down to a Human level so maybe we can work on thinking of him as a person and not just that Muslim.

    As far as Muslims being able to serve in the military…well….. I don’t really have an opinion some have been great “soldiers” but at what expense? Some have been discriminated for that. This worl is an ugly place only in the hereafter will things make sense and be easy.

    • Amad

      November 8, 2009 at 9:05 AM

      Good comment. thanks for sharing.

      • Holly Garza

        November 8, 2009 at 10:25 AM

        Assalaamu alaikum, Thanks for the opportunity

    • Joachim Martillo

      November 8, 2009 at 9:22 AM

      Fort Hood has had a tremendous amount of violence that has included a good number of spousal killings with at least one case of dismemberment as I remember.

      There are real problems at that military base.

      That said, I have to add that my Polish Tatar Muslim ancestors served the first Polish Republic with great distinction: Reinterpreting History to Serve Islamophobia.

    • v

      November 8, 2009 at 11:41 PM

      Salam and thank you for your reply.

      We shouldn’t be condemning brother Nidal Hassan. There is no point condemning him. Everytime one of our brothers end up committing these horrendous acts, we are quick to disassociate from them. Why do we do that? Are they not Muslims?

      I’m not suggesting that we should support their actions. Whatever he did was wrong and my sympathy goes out to all those people affected by it. We cannot make excuses for sins committed by our brother, but we should be helping him in another way. There was clearly something very wrong with him, he was obviously stressed up, he was afraid. And he did not have anyone to turn to for support? Not even his Muslim community?

      What does it mean by turning to Allah for support in times of need- in this context? What is mercy? What is compassion and love for one another?

      Ultimately he is responsible for his own actions, Allah will hold him accountable for his deeds, but let’s evaluate our role as a community in this carnage. This reminds me less of Sept 11 but more of the Columbine shootings. Should we blame the boys completely for committing such heinous acts?

      I think to start highlighting the military’s increasing Evangalism at this point is not very helpful. It turns this whole incident into us vs. them. And drives suspicion, misconception and distrust about one another. It also breeds ill feelings because the sight of an evangelist attempting to proselytize another Muslim is unnerving. But before we curse them, let’s understand that proselytizing is the foundation of their faith, without which there is no religion. They believe in saving souls. We on the other hand, have done nothing to support our own troubled brother except to cast him away.

      But to make this into an entirely Muslim issue is also wrong because, it is obvious that Brother Nidal Hassan’s community is bigger than the Muslim community.

      Many of us belong to a wider group than the Muslim community, and to suggest that the non Muslims are against us. Or the Non Muslim community as a whole is having a conspiracy against is ridiculous and absurd and also very unhelpful in curbing this sort of incidences.

      Why is it an increasing number of our promising young Muslim brothers from Western upbringing are choosing this path? This remains to be studied seriously. Is there something within Islam or their preachers that is causing them to turn towards violence and self destruction? Is there somehow no opportunity for them to rationally self evaluate and develop coping strategies in trying times?

      Why did Brother Nidal Hassan shout AllahuAkhbar while he killed people? Did he think that Allah was going to consider him a martyr?

      How can our Muslim Americans display their patriotism and love for country and yet be Muslims? Many people in majority non muslim nations have to think about this.

      What do our Muslim leaders do, with our bright young Muslims who are encountering deep conflicts between understanding of faith and the context that surrounds them? If we as a muslim community do not have the resources to support our own, should a non muslim intervene? And how does faith affect intervention in this case?

      may allah forgive us all. may he give us strength. Especially for those who are like Brother Nidal, frustrated and broken, more taqwa and for all of us peace. Ya, Allah provide us with the light to guide us towards the straight path. Amen.

      I realize that its much easier for me to be in this position, sitting down, and typing out on a monitor, but i honestly feel the pain every time another blood is shed.

      Peace and Love for all..
      x

      P.s: please respond if you feel the same way as i do.. i want to know that there is another way we can talk about this.

    • umtalhah

      November 9, 2009 at 11:16 AM

      i liked your comment. very well said. thanks for sharing.

  7. Iesa Galloway

    November 8, 2009 at 10:01 AM

    Army Tests Sole-Killer Theory as Details Emerge

    Major Hasan also told family members that he had experienced anti-Muslim harassment in the Army and had tried for several years to be discharged. But the Army, which had paid for his education and was in great need of psychiatrists, refused, family members said.

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation became aware earlier this year of Internet postings by a man calling himself Nidal Hasan. The postings drew attention because they favorably discussed suicide bombings. But the investigators are still not clear as to whether the writer was Major Hasan.

    “General Casey sent a directive to commanders to keep soldiers informed about the case and urge them to avoid a rush to judgment, saying he wanted to avoid a backlash against Muslims. There are 1,977 soldiers in the active-duty Army who identify themselves as Muslims, of a total of 553,000 active-duty troops, according to the service.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/07/us/07forthood.htm?scp=3&sq=Army%20Chief%20of%20Staff%20&st=cse

    • Shabana

      November 8, 2009 at 3:02 PM

      Why not go A wall! There are so many solidiers who have left the military. If you oppose the war, then you get out or become a conscientious objector. I think he had other options but he was mentally not stable.

  8. MM Associates

    November 8, 2009 at 10:10 AM

    To be fair, I think the major media outlets–other than Fox “News”–are being pretty good about their coverage, and making sure not to demonize Islam or Muslims. People like Anderson Cooper, Rachel Maddow, Wolf Blitzer, and even Oprah Winfrey have been doing a pretty good job of covering the attack without smearing an entire faith community. I honestly can’t expect anything better, because it was after all a Muslim who did it, and he *did* yell “Allahu Akbar” unfortunately.

    -J.Hashmi

    • Shoeb K

      November 8, 2009 at 10:21 AM

      Let us not criticize media even if they say “muslim Major”. That is not the issue. We always go for the “comparison” — how come we are aclled Muslim terrorists while the others are called simply terrorists. That is not the issue.

      We do have several issues among ourselves. We should not join the army if we do not believe in fighting, be it against Muslim countries or any other country. We cannot have this belief that there is this sacred rule thatw e should not fight Muslim countries. For Gods sake, we killed so many of our own in Bengla Desh.

      -Edited. Any more references to mullahs and 650-700AD will force your comment to remain unapproved, as that has nothing to do with the topic. You never fail to bring it up in almost every post on MM thus far.

  9. Holly Garza

    November 8, 2009 at 10:32 AM

    Assalaamu alaikum I wanted to add also, that if you speak another language for example Spanish, Polish, Urdu, German, or whatever sometimes it’s best too watch the news coverage on these situations in that language as well to get a little more unbiased information since they have no vested interest either way. Thats what I did the first day, I saw the different English channels; and then 2 Spanish ones-and received a little more information on day one about it that way, such as his wanting too leave the army before the other news channels told me. I’m not saying nothing good or bad for either but as Americans when Americans get hurt, we generally get hurt too. Unfortunately Patriotism turns into Nationalism too many times.

    Also I’d like to advise my fellow Muslims to stay Off the comments sections online in the “articles” about this as there are many Idiots who just write their first thoughts no matter how stupid or incorrect and truly think they are right, let’s avoid fighting with them as my grandma used to say in Spanish “Con los Idiotas y los Borrachoes no se discute” {With the Idiots and the drunks better not too argue} You will become either UnIslamic, annoyed, hurt, angry, sad, discouraged, or all of the aforementioned

  10. MR

    November 8, 2009 at 11:00 AM

    When I first heard it, I was praying that it wasn’t a Muslim, then I saw the name and I turned off the TV.

    What I find really interesting is that many of these Muslims who support groups like Al-Qaeda would have said this Nidal Hasan is a “kafir” but then when he committed his crime, he is now a “mujahid”. LOL @ these idiots. The guy went from a kafir to a mujahid by committing a crime. This straight up proves the stupidity of Muslim thugs. They don’t even follow the Quran and Sunnah when it comes to this. You don’t need a shahada to them. SubhanAllah. May Allah guide them.

    Another thing, if the Military knew Nidal Hasan’s views were different than what the military was doing, why the heck would they send him to Iraq or Afghanistan. He probably just wanted to stay in America work and get paid. It’s clear he was afarid to go and kill his brothers and sisters overseas.

    Yes that what the military does, see the news for details. Most recent attack on civilians WHO WERE EVEN WORKING with America were killed by a NATO strike. Pathetic. If America wants Americans to stop dying, then get out of the wars. Usually when your not fighting a war, you aren’t being attacked. I wish Ron Paul had more power and influence in American politics. He’d save our country.

    • Amad

      November 8, 2009 at 11:21 AM

      The guy went from a kafir to a mujahid by committing a crime. This straight up proves the stupidity of Muslim thugs.

      That’s called retarded logic 101…

      I really believe that Nidal’s psyche was dangling at the end of the line, and he was looking for a way to end the crisis brewing in his mind, the conflict between what his job entailed him to do, and having to go into the war-zone that brought him those stories…

      At the end, he wanted OUT. His mind couldn’t handle it. And somehow he felt that if he went out blazing, draping his OUT in Islamic lingo (use of Allah Akbar for instance), he was getting his “honorable discharge”… if the military wasn’t giving it, he used his warped logic to try to take another form of “honorable discharge” from this world. If it wasn’t Islamic, it would be any other form of mental refuge.

      What was going through the mind of Virginia Tech killer or a number of others who go postal? Undoubtedly, all of them had some sort of mental justification to sort out the overwhelming cognitive dissonance. Really, there is no mental state to better describe this than cognitive dissonance— I urge everyone to take a few moments to understand this phenomenon as it will be a useful understanding in many other aspects of life.

      • Holly Garza

        November 8, 2009 at 12:01 PM

        I wholeheartedly agree with both of you. I also agree when someones at the edge the craziest things seem sane and make sense at the time.

        May Allah guide us all, and I ask Him to keep our brothers and sisters safe from Hurt people who associate this with being Muslim, and just want to lash out “back” and attack Muslims unnecessarily. Ameen

    • Muslim

      November 8, 2009 at 7:19 PM

      What I find really interesting is that many of these Muslims who support groups like Al-Qaeda would have said this Nidal Hasan is a “kafir” but then when he committed his crime, he is now a “mujahid”

      What are you even talking about? Muslim thugs?? I haven’t head anybody calling him a “mujahid” have you? Pretty big assumption to make….I find it very difficult to think anybody would call any member of the US military a “mujahid”

      • napa

        November 8, 2009 at 8:59 PM

        Actually, the guys at RevolutionMuslim have posted up a eulogy in support of him. I prefer not to link to the disgusting site.

      • Iesa Galloway

        November 8, 2009 at 9:38 PM

        I don’t think you are getting the idea behind the comment. Other forums are celebrating what happened and calling Maj. Hasan a “Mujahid” because of this tragedy… not because he was in the military.

        I have read these comments personally and was expecting them from that crowd. They are cheerleaders for each other and make excuses for groups that commit atrocities, target civilians and utilize suicide/homicide missions.

        They are as quick to ignore the possibility that this case may have significant roots in a stress and mental instability as those who wish to use this incident to smear all Muslims as a 5th column.

  11. Muslima02

    November 8, 2009 at 12:42 PM

    As’salaam Alaikum Wa’Rahmat’Ullah,

    I think for now a simple “we are sadden and our thoughts and sympathies are with those at Fort Hood…etc” would suffice for the entire Muslim Matters staff. As someone stated above we do not know all the information (except that he was Muslim, Doctor, Major). He is communicating with investigators according to CNN so like everyone else, let’s wait.

    My husband served at Fort Hood Army Base as an E5 Signal (Tech) Specialist, meaning his company are the first to be deployed to set up battle-field communications. We were one of thousands of Muslim families on the base. Going to and from the PX and accompanying my husband to formation in the morning was apart of life for a while. I never even with Niqab experienced any anti-Islamic undertones in anyone’s grettings. Even men in uniform who worked in the Defense Department smiled at me, or opened the door for me. My husband and his Muslim brothers in arms never had any occurrences like this. That is not to say it doesn’t happen, Allahu Alim.

    As a Major in the armed services to reach the level of Major is pretty MAJOR. Meaning he has spent a great deal of his life serving. My husband came to the understanding for himself that it was no longer for him and his goals religiously so he filed religious objection, attended his ceremony and we left – end of story.

    My point, let’s send out sympathies and remain silent. Muslim these days only speak up when it’s in reaction to something out there. Let’s keep the lines of communications open with Non-Muslims all the time and not just in these sad circumstances. Let’s be patient and see what the man has to say everyone is speaking for him except him.

    Jazzak Allah Khair

    • ukhti

      November 8, 2009 at 8:03 PM

      Thank you! I find this article to be in poor taste.

    • Joachim Martillo

      November 8, 2009 at 8:32 PM

      Doctors enter the US army as captains. Advancing to the rank of Major is not so impressive when one starts as a captain.

    • Holly Garza

      November 8, 2009 at 11:45 PM

      JazakAllah Khayer Muslima02! very true and I agree I hardly ever get too much negativity but then again my experience is not everyone else Muslim experience. I want to see what the Man says when it’s all said and done.

    • amad

      November 9, 2009 at 12:48 AM

      Sr. Muslima02
      Thank you for sharing your comments. I do appreciate that not every serviceman harbors ill will towards Muslims. In fact, one of my friends in College as recently as last year was an ex-marine, and you couldn’t find a nicer guy.

      But my point is that there is growing influence of a very hardline type of Christianity in the army, as chronicled by the author of the book mentioned in the article and the very telling documentary. Furthermore, we cannot deny that Nidal was indeed facing these problems as well as the words of the other soldier quoted in the story. Just because your husband was fortunate enough not to face harassment does not imply that those who do face it are lying or not being truthful. Even if we were to contend that the problem of harassment and discrimination isn’t serious yet (which i disagree), it is clear that it is heading that way. And it is more in your interest, being someone who is associated with a serviceman, to recognize it and work towards ensuring that it doesn’t become completely pervasive throughout all ranks.

      My point, let’s send out sympathies and remain silent. Muslim these days only speak up when it’s in reaction to something out there.

      There are only two options. We stay silent as you suggest and let the narrative be hijacked who want to make this an Islam-motivated murderous spree. Or the other option is to make an alternative, less prejudiced narrative available for those searching for an answer. I can assure that in these times, remaining silent and letting “things pass” is no longer an option. News spreads quickly. Rumors and opinions become facts before you know it.

      So, I respectfully disagree with you. Silence is not an option for Muslims any longer.

  12. Iesa Galloway

    November 8, 2009 at 12:55 PM

    http://query.nytimes.com/search/sitesearch?query=terror&x=14&y=8&type=nyt

    Investigation Into Fort Hood Shootings Turns Up No Link to Terror
    November 8, 2009 – By DAVID JOHNSTON and ERIC SCHMITT – US

    Investigators believe that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the suspect in the mass shooting at Ford Hood, acted under emotional, ideological and …

    “The officials said a continuing search of Major Hasan’s computer indicates that he had logged on to Web sites that celebrated radical Islamic ideologies and that he had exchanged e-mail messages with like-minded people, some possibly overseas. In addition, they believe that he may have written inflammatory Internet postings that justified suicide attacks, though that has not been concretely established.”

  13. Zeinab

    November 8, 2009 at 1:47 PM

    When I first heard about this terrible event I cringed and prayed that it would not be a Muslim. When I heard the shooter’s name I was shocked. I then braced to face the terrified looks from my colleagues. Islam would again be put on the spot. My hidjab and everything that I stand for would, again, be looked down upon. We are back to square one. My heart goes out to all of those who have been victimized. It is tragedy for those who have been killed but it is also a tragedy for our ummah. We have yet the hard task of trying to change people’s perceptions about our deen. May Allah help us – Ameen!

    • Shoeb K

      November 8, 2009 at 8:05 PM

      It is not Allah. It is ourselves, and what we are taught. I recommend that families teach their children the righta nd wrong, and not nadrasas. These Mullahs do not teach how to coexist in modern world in antion states, with people of other afiths. So rigidity causes inablity to cope up.

      And, a you said, there will be more scrutiny on jhijab, burquah, skullcap,airline travel, removing from some jobs etc.. We bring it to ourselves.

      • F

        November 9, 2009 at 9:43 AM

        Br. Shoeb, every time you use word ‘mullah’ to denigrate people, it doesn’t harm them at all. But it does lower you in the sight of Allah(swt) for insulting someone else.

        • AbuSulaiman

          November 9, 2009 at 10:29 AM

          Well it could have been worse. He could have referred to them as “Stalinist-Mullahs” as the Independent’s columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown always does.

          Now thats offensive, but also for some reason, quite amusing.

  14. Thomas Sawyer

    November 8, 2009 at 4:25 PM

    i will never believe that this doctor did the shooting.
    i smell something very fishy.
    1-he was dead
    2-he is not dead
    3- 2 more suspects
    4- how did he get the auto-gun
    5-where are the security cameras
    6- how can he go from very nice to killer in afew short hours
    7- why all the anti muslim coverage.
    8- how did they know his name immediately within minutes
    9- the seven eleven video clip is at night and not at 6 in the morning as they claim.
    10- the guy hired an attorney witch indicates he is a law abiding man
    11-they said he was looking for a wife.

    i don’t know about all of you but alot of things are not adding up

    • Holly Garza

      November 8, 2009 at 11:48 PM

      the news reports sometimes get a bit confusing becasue admist the chaos, heartache, and anger sometimes they are informed wrong, also let’s remember If I say “and then the lion roared” it sounds a lot less attention getting than if I said “And Then you Want to know what happened?!? the Lion, goodness, The Lion ROARED!

      Their job is too inform us of events but also to outdo the other guys informing us.

    • Abu Arsalan

      November 9, 2009 at 11:50 AM

      I also think we should wear aluminum foil hats at ALL TIMES

  15. Organica

    November 8, 2009 at 8:07 PM

    I think the article shed the light on what we know so far. It’s sad that the media is focusing so much on the religious aspect of things and ignoring the obvious: the man was disturbed. A day after the FT Hood shootings was a similar shooting in Florida. The shooter was quickly identified by name but his religion nor his obvious Hispanic roots were mentioned.

    I realize that evidence thus far demonstrate Major Hasan’s passion for Islam (giving out Qurans, holding workshops in the workplace about Islam, etc).

    I think non-Muslims find it difficult to understand the mentality of a practicing Muslim. Once a Muslim’s Iman is on the rise + any hostility because of the Muslim identity= persecution and a ticket to seek revenge in many ways. Some choose to isolate themselves although they live in the West, others choose to migrate and some choose the unfortunate route.

    I think what makes this story unique is the Major’s vocation.

  16. anon

    November 8, 2009 at 9:37 PM

    typo? “This post aims to discuss these two issues, the ‘a’ffect??? of PTSD”…

    • Amad

      November 9, 2009 at 1:28 AM

      good catch. fixed

  17. BrotherMuslim

    November 8, 2009 at 10:13 PM

    This blog makes me sick sometimes.

    Why would Nidal yell “AllahuAkbar”! We can’t ignore that he may have had religious reasoning for doing this.

    Let us not blind ourselves or be apologetic. What happened happened.

    Obviously he doesn’t represent all of the muslims. but he may have thought he was doing the right thing (islamically).

    I wold love for the MM mashaykh to speak up and shed some “light” or “understanding” about what happened (Islamically speaking).

    • Amad

      November 8, 2009 at 11:19 PM

      This blog makes me sick sometimes.

      I am sorry that we are responsible for your sickness. Please advise the person who forces you to type in MM in the browser to refrain from such actions in the future.

      Why would Nidal yell “AllahuAkbar”! We can’t ignore that he may have had religious reasoning for doing this.

      I have already provided a short response for this. But this isn’t the topic. If you really would like everyone to know that this was religiously motivated, I am sure there are many other channels out there who will agree with you, ironically the Islamophobes are all over that angle. But this isn’t the post for that discussion.

      thanks.

      • F

        November 9, 2009 at 9:46 AM

        When the little girl who was kidnapped and held for 18 years or so was finally found, the man who had done the crime was handing out religious literature at the time.

        So by extension, since Nidal’s alleged shouting of Allahu Akbar means his act is Islamically motivated, then the kidnapping and abuse was also religiously motivated.

        • Amad

          November 9, 2009 at 1:52 PM

          good response “F”.

  18. antiextremist

    November 8, 2009 at 10:21 PM

    Looks like this coward murderer liked to go the strip clubs too.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,573052,00.html

    • Shoeb K

      November 9, 2009 at 2:24 AM

      What else!
      well, it is worth recollecting that Mohamed Atta (of 9/11) also used to go to strip clubs! All in the name of God…

      • F

        November 9, 2009 at 9:48 AM

        Do you trust everything you read?

    • saleem

      November 9, 2009 at 4:55 AM

      Just because you find information on Fox or CNN or other Anti-Muslim American Media, doesn’t make it true. Yes parts of the story may be true and some could be lies. Just because its on TV doesn’t make it true.

      SO before we join the Islamophobes in condemning Nidal…for all the actions alleged by Corporate American Media….are we not supposed to make 70 excuses for our brothers?

      Lets let Allah be the judge and jury on this? before labeling fellow Muslims. We are always quick to condemn Muslims for their alleged actions…. but I hardly hear any Imam or person condemning the wars started by America or the millions of innocent lives they took. Is there any on this blog?

      The Muslims are living in fear. Free speech is only for non muslims

      • Amad

        November 9, 2009 at 5:02 AM

        I hardly hear any Imam or person condemning the wars started by America or the millions of innocent lives they took. Is there any on this blog?

        I suggest you first look for it on this blog, before jumping to conclusions. What happened to 70 excuses… does it only apply to murderers?

  19. Umair

    November 9, 2009 at 1:08 AM

    I don’t know what actually went wrong with the shooter, either he was traumatized in any way or what but I do know that if you corner a cat it will attack, finally. Surely, if he would have shown patience, it would have gained him much more blessing from Allah.

    • Amad

      November 9, 2009 at 1:10 AM

      good thought, Umair.

    • Norma Loquendi

      November 10, 2009 at 3:19 PM

      I had also been thinking that the poor sap just snapped, until I read that he had been haranguing his peers and insulting all non-Muslims by saying we should all be beheaded and have boiling oil poured down our throats! This is not a comment that could be made by someone who is afraid and put to the wall by evil others. This is hate speech in its essence, uttered by someone who hates.

      If he’d been an evangelical Christian who went around saying murderous trash like, say, “all Muslims should be sewn alive into the bellies of pigs and then left to rot” (pretty much an equivalent comment to what Hasan DID say about us!), then the comments here might more likely be what they usually are when non-Muslims commit some outrageous crime against Muslims. You people keep talking about how this isn’t a Muslim thing, but you keep giving this murdering psycho the benefit of the doubt by insisting that he must have been driven to it, just because he’s a Muslim! Not logical at all, folks!

      He’s just a common everyday ordinary psycho killer who decided that his sense of pique was enough to justify taking lives of people who did nothing to him. Please do let us all stop going on and on about his religion, because it didn’t have anything to do with his decision to murder. He’s just a common murderer who will die as one – executed by lethal injection – and be forgotten. Let it be soon.

  20. Amad

    November 9, 2009 at 1:22 AM

    The Zionist Israel-over-America Senator, Lieberman, who has betrayed Democrats over and over, yet continues to get a significant chairman position, couldn’t miss the opportunity to spew his anti-Muslim venom:

    http://trueslant.com/toddessig/2009/11/08/liebermans-shouts-fire-resilience-undermined-soldiers-at-risk/

    Look at how Lieberman has positioned himself in this position where he can continue to undermine efforts by Muslims to integrate and to continue promoting Islamophobia.

  21. Haroon

    November 9, 2009 at 5:00 AM

    Asalaamualaikum

    If the strip club frequenting by the Major is true then I believe this sheds more light on the situation and his state of mind.

    As a person who listens and deals with the personal issues of Muslims in the West I have found that a growing problem with Muslims especially in the West is that they feel that they are being pulled in two directions. One is that the Muslims are becoming more religious due to things like more Islamic classes, talks and literature being available and then on the other side is the pull of the Western way of life.

    Now this on its own won’t drive someone to do what he did but don’t underestimate the anxiety and frustration this confusion causes. Someone who is trying to be “practicing” but is then doing things like going to strip clubs and working for an organisation which is at war with Muslim countries will cause a massive guilt complex. This complex if not handled can have serious consequences.
    May Allah grant us all patience.

    • Amad

      November 9, 2009 at 5:09 AM

      Summary of your message – massive cognitive dissonance. Can’t say it enough.
      The practicing vs. fitnah conflict could be part of it, but definitely can’t begin to explain this sort of killing spree. Because then you’d see this happen on a daily basis with the millions of Muslims in the West. Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t disagree with you. I think this part of the issue may have been gravely amplified by his job, listening to horror stories everyday, perhaps admittance by servicemen of the murder of innocent Muslim civilians in Iraq or Afghanistan & suffering from guilty consciences, and so on and so forth. One of the articles I linked talks about how much killings can weigh on the souls. If this doctor wasn’t able to separate himself from the gloom and doom of his patients, then he in essence experienced it without actually going there.
      wallahualam

    • muslim sister

      November 9, 2009 at 7:04 AM

      This is one of the most interesting and productive discussions about this topic on the web imo. Jazakum Allahu khairan.

      The pulled in 2 directions and cog. diss. analysis is very apt. Obviously it doesn’t fully explain the individual action of Hasan, but it does help understand maybe one of the root causes.

      Caught in the severe inner conflict, with no relief systems (he was without family, a loner), and with no escape route from one of his most severe problems (didn’t want to be deployed and military wouldn’t release him), trapped in a professional persona that perhaps didn’t allow him to admit his own troubles, perhaps getting 3rd party trauma by seeing traumatized patients. He was also, after all, in the military – not exactly a garden club – with weapons training and easy access to guns.

      We can take from this some clue about prevention, even though this tragedy happened and we can’t second guess what might have stopped it – qadr Allah.

      But it seems there have to be socially acceptable, healthy relief mechanisms and support systems in place to resolve or at least alleviate these kinds of inner conflicts, such as.

      – strong and extended family ties
      – robust and widely accepted non-violent protest movements dealing with “our” issues
      – alternative entertainment options

      We need to be able to be ourselves, and break through these conflicts in socially accepted formats – without it being castigated as being “emotional” or necessarily requiring counseling or being fringe.

      There are real social issues, and injustices, and ethical puzzles that everyone is facing, and the pathology is in not facing them squarely, and in trying to fit a Disney mold onto a morally complex world.

      On top of this, social isolation and fragmentation is a huge problem in US society so the problems get even more twisted in isolation.

      Shaytan goes for the lone sheep.

      If we can deal with it in our community, we can also help others…in sha Allah

      Thank you for this forum

      • Amad

        November 9, 2009 at 7:14 AM

        Thank you for your positive contribution to this post. It really helps the conversation move forward when we are able to stay on course, and related to the topic.

  22. Umme Ammaarah

    November 9, 2009 at 7:35 AM

    Assalamu-alaikum all.
    I don’t know how much to trust the news sources out there, but his ‘single’ situation kept popping up all the time. Maybe I’m going off on a tangent here, but the fact that he was single seems like a substantial part of his problem. It was reported that he had been trying to find a wife for sometime now, but he didn’t meet anyone he liked well enough to marry. He had been more inclined to practise and preach after his mom passed away. Do any of you think that maybe the lack of family support made him more vulnerable? Is there a lesson for us here, regarding this aspect of his life ?

    ..and that Fox News story…what? he went to a strip club, but he behaved well, he tipped well!? is that ‘news’? are they trying to sound ‘impartial’? lol. ridiculous!!

    • Joachim Martillo

      November 9, 2009 at 7:45 AM

      Here is another point that possibly relates to self-medication.

      If Dr. Hassan was having a problem with lack of sexual satisfaction, selective serotonin uptake inhibitors in correct doses not only help overcome depression and assist in stressful situation, but they also tend to depress sex drive. If he felt guilty about visiting strip joints, he would have had another reason to self-medicate. Unfortunately, in improper doses, these drugs can cause psychotic and even murderous or suicidal episodes.

  23. abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

    November 9, 2009 at 9:49 AM

    As a tragedy for America, this shooting is one dot on a graph of violence by military personnel, violence directed at other members of the military (fratricide included), domestic violence against spouses and children, and violence against others — here in America and abroad — against more or less random people.

    This graph of violence I describe, along one axis is time, and along the other is the toll of death, pain, and loss. The time axis is long: some eight years ago President Bush took America down the road of continuous war — America has now been fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for more years than it fought in WWII, and many soldiers have not been released from service even after their commitments to the military had been fulfilled.

    Add up all the dots. The amount of damage and suffering that America has endured from its own soldiers who have been traumatized or barbarized by war is staggering.

    What happened at Ft. Hood would have been a tragedy of huge proportion in its own right. Yet, subhanAllah, it is a small speck when one contemplates the sum of tragedy that America has brought upon itself through its own soldiers.

    Should America focus on the Islam of Nidal? Religion is not the point. Human tragedy and suffering are. The uniform is. The war is.

    End the war. Begin the process of resocializing and reintegrating American soldiers so that their own families can heal. That will benefit all of America (and the host countries of its overseas military bases).

  24. Pingback: Another shooting in America « Peace, Bruv

  25. Anonymous

    November 9, 2009 at 10:24 AM

    First and foremost, there should be no mention of PTSD in this article at all. Nidal Hasan never served a day in active duty in his life for him to have “post-traumatic” anything. The real issue is what nefarious elements are creeping amongst our communities that are radicalizing the average Muslim. This is an uncomfortable subject no one wants to address. We all want to point the finger at the monolithic “West” and stick our heads in the sand. Unless, we address these nefarious elements and eradicate them, we will see more situations such as this and may God protect us.

    Regarding PTSD, I have been suffering from it for a number of years now, and I can tell you first hand that what people attribute to PTSD is almost NEVER actual PTSD. It is almost always other underlying conditions that likely already existed before the trauma alleged to have caused PTSD. When I first got married (10 years ago) my wife would get scared. Before her, naturally, I had never slept in the same bed with anyone before so I never realized that I would growl and grind my teeth in my sleep and a few (very few, thank God) occasions would throw punches in my sleep and hit her a few times. I came to know that other brothers who I knew, who had been in similar circumstances to my own, had been suffering from the same thing for the same reason.

    When you witness a situation wherein you are 100% positive you are not going to survive, the aftermath can take a life time to get over. HOWEVER, I have NEVER known anyone actually suffering from PTSD who had any outbreaks of violence in a conscious state. We have all become violent in our sleep due to flashbacks in our sleep. Yet, no one has “snapped”. I get really annoyed when I see people excusing their mental instability with PTSD. They didn’t face what I, and other brother I know who are suffering from this, faced. They’re usually just spoiled people who just didn’t know how to keep their nafs in check. THat’s not to say that you don’t suffer adverse effects in your day to day life as well. You do. Its usually social isolation, paranoia, failure to trust anyone, and finding it difficult to avoid arguments. Yet, it is never violent from what I have seen in my life.

    The American soldiers coming back from Iraq are usually NOT suffering from PTSD. They are suffering from a God Complex! They aren’t suffering trauma because they witnessed and/or faced death. They are returning from a scenario wherein they were conditioned that they could do WHATEVER THEY WANTED. It is NOT PTSD. It is being a spoiled brat who needs to be UNconditioned from their mental state of unaccountability. However, if you see the light sentences they get after they commit crimes, you see the exact OPPOSITE is being done. Their sense of “I can get away with anything” is perpetuated. We are producing a breed of highly trained criminals and throwing them out into the American public. The more terrifying statistic is how many wind up in LAW ENFORCEMENT.

    For people who are actually suffering from PTSD, I have found that immersing yourself in tazkiyyah, tasfiyyah of the nafs and perfecting adab and tarbiyyah are extremely, extremely therapeutic. Studies into the purification of the soul as explained by the likes of Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah are an excellent start for the beginning and advanced students of knowledge as well as the scholars alike.

    • Umme Ammaarah

      November 9, 2009 at 12:15 PM

      brother, you are right, maybe some who come back suffer from a God-Complex, but they’re all human beings and no matter how much you brain-wash them, I’m sure atleast some of them can think, analyze, see facts for what they are, have a heart, have a conscience. For such soldiers, who weren’t very sure why they were sent out to kill/fight/bomb, flash-backs, night-mares, depression, mood-disorders would be a very real possibility don’t you think? Not everyone who joins the Army does it out of patriotism or because they believe in the cause…. a LOT of them do it for economic stability, to get a job, to get an education, a lot of them probably do have a conscience. I KNOW of muslims who sent their teenage sons into the army against their wils for economic purposes, i know those teenagers are ill-equipped mentally to handle such situations, i know that such teenagers cry on the phones to their mothers to let them come back. If such people are forced to go and serve in the battle-fields, PTSD is a definite possibility. Not all of them have strong moral backgrounds, not all of them can see a reason to NOT resort to a violent outburst.

      Alhamdulillaah, u seem to be a strong soul, and may Allah Ta’Ala give the moral strength to us all to deal with our demons with patience and goodness, whether they be big/small, more evil or less.

  26. Sirat

    November 9, 2009 at 11:28 AM

    Salam,

    Its interesting that he wasn’t just depressed about going to war himself, he was also frustrated at his colleagues going overseas. All those he killed were about to be sent abroad.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8351032.stm

    Witnesses to Thursday’s attack said Maj Hasan opened fire on fellow soldiers at a processing centre for troops about to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

    May Allah guide us all.

  27. antiextremist

    November 9, 2009 at 11:48 AM

    anwar awlaki is now praising Nidal on his website, another fake scholar praising suicide killers in the name of Islam.

    • MW_M

      November 9, 2009 at 9:05 PM

      hmmm, is that blog even awlaki’s? I know it’s ascribed to him but can he really be the same man who gave this interview?

  28. Shafkat

    November 9, 2009 at 12:48 PM

    As salaam alykum,

    Very very sad.. this whole saga… I feel sad for my Muslim brothers and sisters who join the Army .. Where you are forced to obey orders … Cannot opt ‘out’ unless you AWOL … Extremely Impossible to remain a practicing Muslim … Unless you join to do Dahwa work… But then who are you kidding ?? … DO NOT JOIN THE ARMY … If you have a choice.. Put your full trust and faith in Allah (SWT) .. HE will ALWAYS look after you, NEVER let you down .. You just have to have SABR and TAQWA..
    If you do not have these two virtues… start working on acquiring them … The results will AMAZE you .. TRY IT ! You will be happy in THIS world and the HEREAFTER… This is ALLAH’S promise…

    Ma asalaam.

  29. BintB

    November 9, 2009 at 12:58 PM

    SubhanALLAH, this is just one more test from Allah… Ya Rabb help Us!

  30. Thomas Sawyer

    November 9, 2009 at 2:56 PM

  31. IsmailBhai

    November 9, 2009 at 5:32 PM

    wow amad! you allow filth from this ‘antiextremist’ but you edit all the comments from muslims speaking haqq. selective freedom of speech.

    • Sis

      November 9, 2009 at 10:56 PM

      He probably left it because the response given to it is food for thought to all of those who are thinking similarly.

      • IsmailBhai

        November 11, 2009 at 12:32 AM

        then he needs to leave all comments. what you think?

  32. Tayyab

    November 9, 2009 at 8:52 PM

    I have no doubt that the suspect was stressed and can believe that he experienced extreme discrimination and prejudice for his faith. However, let’s be clear…his former classmates, people who went to the same masjid as him and even intellgence agencies paint a much clearer picture. I don’t see how abuse and stress can lead to weird off topic comments during class presentations (when he was getting an MPH) about how America is waging a war against Islam when the topic is about environmental damage of war. Or years old conversations where he claims suicide bombers are like soldiers. Or the fact that he had attempted to make contact with Al Qaeda.

    The bottom line is that Islam did not drive this person to the crime, but no amount of stress or abuse can explain his pre meditated attack on people he didn’t even know. I have no sympathy for him and reject any argument to use PTSD or abuse as justification or explanation for his evil act. Just like I don’t think it right to justify the actions of US soldiers who are really under attack in Iraq and may very well have PTSD who then go and kill civilians or abuse suspected insurgents.

  33. ar.m

    November 9, 2009 at 9:04 PM

    Allahu Akbar, no doubt,

    …from directions they perceive not.

  34. Baasel

    November 9, 2009 at 11:51 PM

    I like the majority of MM posts, but sometimes MM gets out of hand, condemning this condemning that (I’m referring to others posts mostly), doesn’t the media do that for us already? we don’t need imams to condemn events for public relation purposes, we need them to work as ADVISORS for the Ummah. And if they don’t deem it wise or don’t have the courage to openly support resistance movements (overseas/wherever), then isn’t it better to keep quiet?

    come on guys, the media wants us to talk about the fort hood shootings, but FORT HOOD takes place in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine all the time, that’s what we needs MM to post…

    • Amad

      November 10, 2009 at 12:36 AM

      Which post were you reading Baasel?

      This wasn’t a condemnation post, even though I do condemn the shooting… it was discussing possible cause-effect issues.

      • Baasel

        November 11, 2009 at 5:58 PM

        As salamu alaykum

        Br. Amad, I was referring to the “reclaiming Islam…” posts….the point I was trying to make was that, when Rasul’Allah salalahu alayhi wasalam saw mistakes by the people engaging in fighting, did he condemn them or did he advise them?

        Secondly, not to be rude but rather to provoke some thinking here, I wanted to ask everyone: As we openly “condemn” certain actions BY NAME, would we openly “support” certain actions BY NAME? (I.E. if a resistance movement was struggling to push out foreign occupier)

        We all accept the struggle of the Sahaba, Omar Mukhtar, and Salahuddin, right? Do we accept their struggle because it’s “acceptable” to do so (i.e we won’t get in trouble), or because we realize the Islamic implications of their struggle, and the obligation for resistance?

        Have we considered the thought that in the last 100 years, our religion has been breaking apart into different ideologies, each preaching their own version of Islam? Think about it. Alhamdulilah, I attend the courses offered by the fastest growing Islamic sciences institute (may Allah grant them success), but (I assume) they don’t teach certain subjects due to the fear they may be shutdown…Allahu Alim.

        • Hassan

          November 12, 2009 at 7:02 AM

          You know I was thinking same thing, jihad was so cool in 80s against Russia in Afghanistan (although Russians came on request of Afghan president, and throughout their stay, they had puppet president, just like America has Karzai), but its not cool at all against America in Afghanistan. And why is that? I really do not know, we should ask people of knowledge.

  35. Stinger

    November 10, 2009 at 12:03 AM

    Salaam,

    We need to encourage our community to show true Islam to the American people, this should be our First Priority no matter what. We still have the freedom to worship and practice our faith here despite some injustices that people have faced. We also have the freedom to disagree with this nation’s policies in a peaceful way. In many ways it is easier to be a real Muslim here than many so-called Muslim countries where, due to socio-historical factors knowledge about the true message of Islam and a culture of learning are lacking.

    Finally, the leaders of this Ummah and our community in America need to have strategic vision. We are like the Muslim community in Mecca not Madina, any other way of thinking will be disastrous. As a minority in this nation we are in a very precarious position and there is a breaking point to the restrain we have been seeing among the American people. They have been ignoring the hateful calls to expel or worse massacre the Muslim community here while we’re still containable. We need to oppose this type of thinking no matter what.

    I am not a pacifist but the use of violence is contextually based, and in Islam only someone with the caliber of a national leader can call for it. Individuals simply don’t have that right in Islam, this would cause anarchy as we’re seeing today. I’m not a scholar of Islam only a humble student but I do know of a teaching for Muslims to live according to the “laws of the land” if they live anywhere. Let us uphold these teachings and be true Muslims among ourselves and others, if somebody can’t do this they should leave so that no harm will come to the rest of the community.

    Peace

  36. Umm Reem

    November 10, 2009 at 12:15 AM

    i recommend everyone watch:

    In the Valley of Elah
    http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1809805319/details

  37. john smith

    November 10, 2009 at 2:39 AM

    Why are most of the articles on this webstite in support of the interests of America and her allies.

    Why do the authors go out of their way to write articles excusing America yet condemning muslims.

    …come on guys at least be a little critical of America and her allies so peoople are not fooled in believing that you are coming across as stooges.

    and REMEMBER…

    THE GUIDANCE IS FROM ALLAH (SWT) ALONE.

    …AND IF ALL THE PEOPLE WERE TO GATHER TO MISLEAD SOMEONE THAT ALLAH HAS GUIDED THEY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO DO SO

    WHAT A MERCY FROM ALLAH!!!!

    • Amad

      November 10, 2009 at 4:26 AM

      “John Smith”,
      Please take a few minutes and review the articles in our politics folder. The entire last week was dedicated to discussing injustices committed by our government. It is important to be fair, even in criticism.
      waslaam

  38. john smith

    November 10, 2009 at 2:50 AM

    is Antiextremist saying all the TALIBAN are going to hell??

    …now that’s extreme

    You are a KHAWARIJ and just make kuffar on muslims only because they say “we believe”.

  39. Abu Adam

    November 10, 2009 at 4:32 AM

    Salaam aleikoem,

    I pray for you all in America that Allah will protect you from Islamophobia.
    There’s already enough hate crimes in the Americaagainst Muslims and others, I pray to Allah that every man and women and children will be save from these thing. May Allah protect you all.

    Aleikoem Salaam wr wb,
    Sincerely your brother Abu Adam, Ibrahim Dahou

  40. Idris82

    November 10, 2009 at 4:56 AM

    He should have never been in the United States Armed Forces to begin with. Then all of this could have been avoided. America is unjust in this war. It is haram to help them. Just because you are not pulling the trigger or drooping bombs dosen’t mean you are not helping them. If you are cooking for them you are helping them. If you do mechanical work you are helping them. Providing them with medical attention is also assisting them in there sin. An as we all should know it is haram to assist someone in there sin. The fact of the matter is that most of these muslims and so-called muslims in the military are ignorant of the rules of the religion. You actually have muslims fighting along side America in this war. I’ m not just talking about the American muslim soldiers. There are muslim countries letting America set up military bases in there land so they can attack muslims. So they can bomb muslims. There is something seriously wrong with this picture. Either these contries are ignorant of the rules of the religion, they may be corrupt, or there just straight up cowards.

    This is why spreading the knowledge of the religion is so important. Right now instead of strapping bombs to our chest blowing ourselves up we should be spreading the religion. And sucicide bombings do not work religiously anyway but thats another topic.

  41. Pingback: The Tragedy of Nidal Hasan’s Fort Hood Shootings: Media Discipline & Muslim Condemnations | MuslimMatters.org

  42. Pingback: 12 shot dead at US millitary base - Page 4 - IB Islamic Forum

  43. Hassan

    November 10, 2009 at 10:00 AM

    • Amad

      November 10, 2009 at 10:56 AM

      Wow. If he really gave that presentation, isn’t it amazing how desperate the military was/is to keep disaffected qualified people in its ranks?? Esp. bilingual ones?

      Secondly, the guy basically put out his own internal conflict on paper… goes to prove further that Nidal was suffering from severe internal psychological battles that he didn’t just internalize, but also tried to “warn” others about.

  44. Abu Adam

    November 11, 2009 at 12:57 PM

    I believe that all those Extremists work for the Zionist agenda. So when we here An Abdullah or other Muslim name praising terror, be aware that he works for the CIA or FBI trying to get some stupid Muslims to talk extreem. so that they can lock them up. So Be Aware and don’t listen to these pseudo Muslims with terroristic ideas. Those who tell you not to trust real scholars. They want you to trust the terorists. So that they can bust some Muslims. Dear Muslims live in peace and be in peace. Don’t go to extremes.

    Elhamdulileh we are Muslims we need no terror to practice good Islam. Islam is peace by submisson to Allah. May Allah guide those wicked killab ahlal nar.

    Abu Adam

  45. Hicham Maged

    November 11, 2009 at 2:46 PM

    Aside from his roots and faith, I personally find hard to understand how an American born citizen can do this unless something wrong went with him. He is not a normal citizen but a psychiatrist in the army so maybe the investigation show this up either he went to the end or belived in radical thoughts or worst to have link with radicals. On the other hand, it is not a surprise for me al the reactions but this is out of the post’s scope.

  46. Joachim Martillo

    November 11, 2009 at 11:51 PM

  47. shafkat

    November 12, 2009 at 2:16 AM

    As salaam alykum,

    Something I read today, which I would like to share :

    SCAPEGOATING ISLAM BECAUSE WE ARE TOTALLY SCREWED UP AIN’T GONNA WORK

    By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor

    Today, in Tampa, Fla, a Navy reservist tried to murder a Greek Orthodox priest from Crete as a “terrorist.” The reservist claimed the non-Arabic speaking Greek had yelled “Allah Akbar.” (God is Great) When arrested, Naval Reservist Jason D. Bruce told police the priest had tried to rob him. Thus, America’s honor is defended again. Two idiotic wars, two phony invasions and lots of hate crimes, the number, we will never know. We do know 99% of what we hear is lies. Vietnam was a lie. Iraq was a lie and Americans are dying in Afghanistan over more lies. Perhaps we could spread the hate out a bit. We seem to have so much of it.

    Now when I hear about 9/11, no matter what I saw, the insane coincidences, the suppressed intelligence and the childish lies told the Commission by Rumsfeld and Cheney make me feel like we have all been “had.” The Iraq lies, thousands of them, were not enough. Now we have the fiasco of a war in Afghanistan where everything is destroyed, everything except poppy plants. They must be invisible, bullet proof, something. One pattern emerges, lies, money, lies, killing and more lies. I am sick of it. Scapegoating Greek priests or Islamic Americans isn’t justified, even after incidents like Ft. Hood shootings.

    [Read rest here]

    -Edited to provide link to full article, instead of copy/pasting into comment

  48. Yusuf

    November 18, 2009 at 6:42 PM

    The first thing, was it PTSD, that drove him to this or ebing exposed to others PTSD, I do not think so. I believe to begin with he was unbalanced.

    Can someone get out of the military as an objector. Yes, I have seen it done multiple times in my unit, and no, none of them were Muslims, just people who did not want to be in the military-He had an option to get out, he chose not to pursue it, maybe because he did not want to be concerned about paying back the schools that the Army had payed for him to go. Maybe there was some insulting actions towards him, but at his level as an officer, he is very easy to remedy that situation.

    I know, that within my unit, I had heard a few comments, because I am allowed to grow a beard in the military (one of the few:), the comments made were out of ignorance, the average non-Muslim military person has no clue outside of what they hear on the news (if they even watch the news). So once i address their comments and throw a little education there way, things are fine. This more or less proves my point that the average person in the military given a little education can Case in Point: I was in pre-deployment training to go to Iraq to train Iraqi Police, I do pray 5 times a day, even when I am doing military things, training or whatever, my unit here is used to it, and seem to enjoy the “multi-culturalism” I bring with me (hahaha). Anyway, I was with about 100 people that for the most part never had a face to face conversation with a Muslim, in my squad, after a few guys saw me praying, they became really curious, and were very open to hear about what Islam is. We grew together throughout the training to the point, when they could tell when it was salat time, and when we were in the field they would be tripping over each other, to get out their GPS’s or compasses and point me in the right direction to Qibla.

    So are there people in the military with an Anti-Muslim agenda-I would say it is a very small number. As far as actually, really hating Muslims and that sort of thing. Are there are alot of ignorant people? Yes, but not out of an sort of Islamaphobic agenda, but more in part due to lack of education. On the enlisted side, the insults that are thrown around are for everyone, I have heard disparaging terms about African-Americans, Latinos, women, Christians, Jewish people etc. These insults usually have as much venom in them as a copy of Mad magazine,a juvenile attempt at humor-

    • Amad

      November 19, 2009 at 2:19 AM

      Yusuf, what are your thoughts on the documentary about the growing evangelical influence in the military? Don’t you feel that would be a difficult, persistent pressure, esp. considering evangelical leaders’ fighting words?

      • Yusuf

        November 19, 2009 at 3:11 AM

        To be honest, I haven’t really been exposed to anything evangelical. Maybe it is hammered in to my unit, that the concept of proselytization is very frowned upon. The people that work with Military Equal Opportunity, which I guess is like the military version of ACLU are quick to jump on anything that supresses or discriminates one based on religion, race, sex etc. Which as we know the evangelicals are pretty notorious for doing, anyone who has tried to take their evangelical message to others within the military, usually end up having some sort of disciplinary action taken against them.

        Honestly, I think every recruit when they are in basic training becomes “religious”, and I will further say that the minority of those people retain that “religiousness” after basic. When I went through basic training, the majority of other enlistees, would go to a different religious service every weekend, not because they were on a quest or something of that nature, but just to get out of having to clean up the dorm. In Air Force basic training, there is a multitude of worship opportunities available for recruits in basic training, everything under the sun is represented, and maybe I just had a very positive experience or it is the norm, but no religion was ever forced on me, no one tried to force Christianity on me. The chaplins that I dealt with, as a rule, would try to be a “spiritually neutral” as possible, (if that makes sense).

        Maybe in the Air Force, in which I serve things are a tad bit different in comparison to the Army, Marines, Navy etc. The Air Force tends to attract people that are usually a bit more open-minded, so the evangelical fascism is usually something that is poked fun at, and/or not taken seriously. Outside of the proselytizing episode that went on at the US Air Force Academy, which was discussed in the documentary Constantine’s Sword, I haven’t heard of that much. Once it was found out what was going on at the Academy, the US Air Force immedialty addressed the issue and released a regulation barring that behaviour.

        The majority of that video seemed to address the Army, which the people in it that were involved in proselytizing have been punished, as that is a violation of General Order Number One, which goes into effect in deployed locations, most briefings that are recieved upon arrival in the Middle East or Afghanistan, include the caveat, “Do not discuss religion with host nation people”. The people that do this evangelical thing, I can def say are in the minority, and stick out like a sore thumb.

        • Amad

          November 19, 2009 at 8:26 AM

          Yusuf, I want to again thank you for your comment. Your perspectives provide a window that is rarely known or heard of. Who would imagine a practicing, orthodox Muslim in the army being not only tolerated, but welcomed (at least that’s the flavor I get from this). I think it helps create shades of gray for those who want to make murtads out of every Muslim serving.

          Did the Ft. Hood incident have an impact on how you being dealt with (officially and by peers)?

          Pls feel free to provide any other perspectives as a Muslim in the US military. I at least am finding these comments quite enlightening.

          • Yusuf

            November 19, 2009 at 4:27 PM

            That shade of gray is something that other Muslims need to take a long hard look at-within that gray area there are also non-Muslims, who maintain a very positive view of Islam, from having positive interactions with the populations of Muslim countries, give a little dawah, these people inshallah, could easily become Muslims.

            Myself? I am a revert of mixed Mexican/British descent, who reverted while deployed to the Middle East years ago.

            One morning, I heard the adhan, and found it very beautiful-I started my studying and a few months later made my Shahada amongst Kuwait Air Force and Army men. It was the positivity that I encountered within the Muslim community in Kuwait that helped me the most.

            I still believe that Muslims in the military can only be a positive, who would you rather have in your country? Think about it, think of the role that Muslims in the US military can play when in a country such as Iraq, or Afghanistan, they can be a bond between the local nationals and the US, where they can truly be considered “Peace Keepers”.

            Plus, it is Muslims in an influential role within the American society. There are people that have never met a Muslim, and their attitudes develop from whatever tripe that see or hear on right-wing media outlets, we as Muslims need to be more visible, more open.

            What was it that contributed to the prejudices and pogroms on the Jews? the fact that for the most part they were an inuslar community that was hostile at times to outsiders, over time it developed suspcions amongst the Christian populations, this is where we need to be a tad different and show that we have nothing to hide, battle all the right-wingers with words, show the error in their ways, and show them to be the true extremists they are.

            As far as the shootings at Fort Hood, As soon as I heard about it, I was worried, my wife called me and she was worried as was her family (she is Iraqi, but that is a whole other story:). So i drove to the base, expecting higher security postures, etc, Nothing, nothing different from any other day, got into my section, nothing different at all, no stares, no foaming at the mouth from any of the other guys, nothing-The media has grasped onto the possibility of backlash occuring, has it happened? I am sure, at the hands of some unbalanced extremists, just like Post 9/11 the insane people that would try to take the law into their hands are in the minority.

            I also want to address what Idris82 said above, “This is why spreading the knowledge of the religion is so important. Right now instead of strapping bombs to our chest blowing ourselves up we should be spreading the religion.”

            What better place than the US Miltiary to spread the religion?:)

          • Holly Garza

            November 19, 2009 at 5:38 PM

            Asalaamu Alaikum I agree with Amad here. I’m really liking this dialogue so that everyone can see the different sides of the issue.

            So many times people forget there are Muslims of many origins, colors, races, Nationalities, Ethnicities and even social statuses. I don’t understand why other people are either American or Mexican or Mexican American (in my case) whenever a topic or issue arises, however be a Muslim and all that goes out. We Muslims are not super heroes (I’d like to be) We are human, and unfortunatly we have baggage, issues, and cultural and well as social issues that affect us even though Only religion teaching should.

            Unfortunatly the reality is when I voice my opinion or act a certian type of way, it is because of EVERYTHING I am that shaped me and my views not because I am a Muslimah only. That goes for all Muslims and all of humanity as well.

            I also agree with Br Yusuf’s last comment about the shade of grey.

            We all as God’s creations need to use the brain he gave us and stop doing what we accuse others of, which is boxing everything up into black and white generalizations, There is a grey.

            BTW Mabrook on you’re Shahadah.

  49. Layla Cook

    June 30, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    Public Relations is all about pleasing the common people.~~’

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