Muslims and Mass Murder

Understanding the Fort Hood attack

Mass murders are usually a mystery. When Maj. Nidal Hasan allegedly committed one last week at Fort Hood, though, there was no time wasted in solving the mystery by blaming the massacre on his religion, which is Islam.

Maybe Hasan is just a homicidal lunatic set to work by fevered demons inside his brain. But post-9/11, you can't be a killer who happens to be a Muslim. If you're a killer, it has to be because you're a Muslim.

In this case, the claim of a religious motive has some evidentiary basis. Hasan had contacts with an extremist imam. The Army psychiatrist had been known to rail against the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and to argue that Muslims should be allowed to leave the military rather than fight against other Muslims. He reportedly shouted, "Allahu Akbar!"—Arabic for "God is great!"—as he began his rampage.

In spite of his views and e-mail buddies, neither the Army nor the FBI (which monitored his correspondence with the cleric) found enough grounds to take action against him. Maybe they were blinded by "political correctness" not to do anything that might offend Muslims. Or maybe his past comments are being exaggerated with the benefit of hindsight. Or maybe those who noticed simply concluded he posed no more danger than other cranks.

It's also possible, as so many insist, that the slaughter was a direct product of a violent brand of Islam that encouraged and sanctioned his deed. But even if that's the case, it doesn't tell us what to do about it.

Is the Pentagon supposed to refuse induction to Muslims? Do extensive vetting before accepting them? Continuously monitor their Internet use? Generally treat them as suspect, which almost none of them is? Blustering about "political correctness" doesn't offer practical solutions to a malady that is about as common as a two-headed cow.

The Defense Department says there are 3,572 Muslims in the American military. The American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council puts the number at more than 15,000. Either way, the overwhelming majority must be loyal and true, or the Fort Hood massacre would not be unusual.

Obviously, a soldier who expresses a radical anti-American ideology demands intervention. But if all military authorities have to worry about is getting rid of every service member who applauds suicide attacks, they will not have much to do. No one thinks "political correctness" obligates the Army to treat Muslims more leniently than anyone else. But it's just as simple-minded to think they deserve to be treated worse.

Hasan's views are way outside the mainstream of American Muslims. A 2007 poll by the Pew Research Center found that very few of them hold radical beliefs. Eight percent think suicide bombings can sometimes be justified, which means 92 percent do not. Only 5 percent said they had a favorable opinion of al-Qaida.

Does that sound like a lot? Keep in mind that 13 percent of Americans have a favorable view of North Korea. That's right: North Korea.

Some commentators insist that Islam is inherently aggressive, intolerant, or bent on taking over the world by force. But contemporary terrorism, which is supposed to prove that, doesn't. As University of Chicago scholar Robert Pape has documented in his research on suicide attackers, most are motivated mainly by non-religious concerns.

Of 41 people who carried out suicide attacks in Lebanon between 1982 and 1986, he noted in his 2005 book Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism, 30 were affiliated with groups opposed to Islamic fundamentalism, including secular communist, socialist, and Baath organizations. Three of the attackers were Christians. What the perpetrators shared was not a religion but an intense resentment of an occupation by foreign powers (the United States, France, and Israel).

This motive, Pape says, is characteristic of suicide attackers wherever they emerge, including Iraq and Afghanistan. The terrorists' quarrel with the U.S. is not that it is an infidel society but that it's seen as occupying Muslim countries.    

Osama bin Laden has made the point himself. Dismissing President Bush's assertion that "we hate freedom," he once said, "Let him tell us why we did not strike Sweden."

The al-Qaida leader likes nothing better than to portray the United States as waging a crusade against Muslims. We would be doing ourselves no favor to confirm the accusation.

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  • ||

    "Does that sound like a lot? Keep in mind that 13 percent of Americans have a favorable view of North Korea. That's right: North Korea. "

    If you want to start discriminating against people who have a favorable view of North Korea, I am all for it.

    This really isn't that hard to figure out. About twice a year or so, some loser goes bizerk and shoots a bunch of people. It seems about a quarter of the time the last few years, that loser has been a radical Muslim.

    I don't see what we can do about it. If a a suicidal loser wants to go shoot a bunch of people and not care if he dies, you can't really stop them. It doesn't matter if they are doing it because they want to kill the unbelievers or all the women who won't go out with them. Right now, at least in the US, the typical murderous loser is pretty rare and no more likly to be a radical Muslim as he is to be anything else. If that ever changes and there is a Ft. Hood type attack where a Muslim pops a cork and kills a bunch of people say once a month rather than once every couple of years, then things change. Then you do start looking at the Muslim community and what they are saying in their mosques and what is going on. But until that happens, you treat the Fort Hood shooting just like you do the Va Tech shooting or any other mass shooting; the product of one lone nut.

  • Mad Max||

    You know who else had a single lone nut?

    They should have stopped him before he took the Sudetenland!

  • Mike M.||

    In the old days, if you joined the military and took the oath to defend America, and then turned coat and joined the other side during a time of war, it used to be considered treason.

    Hassan is a slightly lower ranking modern day Benedict Arnold. He deserves the full ceremonial firing squad.

  • JB||

    Agreed. Anything less than treason is another reason to view Obama as a complete and total bitch-boy.

  • ||

    I agree to. But I bet the Army fucks it up. I bet he doesn't get the death penalty. Or if he does, it will never be carried out. He will live out his life in federal prison.

  • Jon||

    Oh he WILL get the death penalty whether by the military or just Uncle Sugar.

  • Attorney||

    Somebody else here was just telling me that the media was running away from the blame-it-on-Islam storyline.

    I just don't know whom to believe anymore!

  • KingTaco||

    This column is high-handed concern trolling about pitchfork-and-fire reactions that don't exist. There have been numerous domestic Muslim-terror plots (foiled or successful) over the last six/seven years, and at no time has any politician or large swath of the public rose to support draconian push-back of Muslim citizens.

    The anger stems from MSM/political leadership/opinion merchants who are so paralyzed by protecting elite narratives, no one checks in to a person who publicly and continually advocates violence against a section of his fellow countrymen. These types of decisions are covered for by increasingly bizarre explanitions, such as 'second hand PTSD'.

    Being treated like children is what angers the American public, not Muslim citizens. This empty, holier-than-thou column is a perfect example of the form.

  • ||

    "These types of decisions are covered for by increasingly bizarre explanitions, such as 'second hand PTSD'."

    You have to remember it is much more comforting for people like the Reason staff to think all soldiers are damaged and liable to snap than it is to think that a radical Muslim might go kill some people.

  • JB||

    Radical Islamists hurt so many people's vaginas that they just refuse to think about them.

  • Underzog||

    Islam is responsible for this massacre! It is certainly okay in the Koran to kill us wretched kaffirum.

    Libertarians are basically anti-America (and anti-Semitic), so that is why they try to obsfucate this issue.

    Like Pat Buchanan with his most recent, incoherent article about Major Hasan, it must be a great embarrassment to anti-Semites that they're trying to write vicious lies about the Jews and the massacres and depredations done by Muslims interfere with these attempts to incite a pogram against innocent Jews. It's hard to constantly smear the Jews and Israel when your Muslim buds are slaughtering all over the place.

    Like that great enemy of the neo cons, Josef Stalin (he had an ice axe smashed into alleged neo con, Leon Trotsky) said, "facts are stubborn things." And the facts of reality cannot so easily be erased by anti-Semitism against the Jewish state and smearing little old me.

    "There's no need to fear. Underzog is here!"

  • Mad Max||

    Stalin's Red Army bore much of the brunt of defeating the Nazis.

    But you're *criticizing* Stalin!

    That can only mean . . . you're a Nazi!

  • Monk||

    Nice try.
    That comment was too stupid to be believed as an actual opinion.

  • ||

    You're not familiary with underzoggy's work then.

  • Spanish Bombs||

    Like that great enemy of the neo cons, Josef Stalin (he had an ice axe smashed into alleged neo con, Leon Trotsky) said, "facts are stubborn things."

    LOL IRONY!!!

  • ||

    It is standrad operating procedure for the government to lie about what happened during tragic events to benefit their own crusades(and budgets). Look at the Pat Tillman case. It seems the government is lying again(big surprise). Let's not be surprised this time and let's not ignore it.

  • ||

    This article has so many themes mixed in together, I hardly know where to begin commenting...but, Steve Chapman asked if we should, "Continuously monitor their internet use?" Sadly, several pundits have said essentially that. In the great, "Who's to blame?" game, one way of diverting responsibility for this world class screw-up is to for the authorities to claim that they just didn't have enough power to do anything about this problem and if we will just cede ever more privacy and freedom to them, then maybe they can protect us from the next Dr. Hasan. They will offer no guarantees of course, and if the next Dr. Hasan like figure succeeds in killing Americans, the authorities will point to that as proof that they need even more intrusive power.

    By the way, if you've ever worked in a teaching hospital as I do, the idea that the authorities were reluctant to deal with the Hasan problem due to political correctness will be distressingly familiar to you. Had Hassan been a white Christian male of working class background, as I am, and verbalized even vaguely similar opinions, he would have been sacked long before this incident.

  • Attorney||

    Yup

  • ||

    +1

  • JB||

    Peopled died for political correctness.

  • alan||

    Or if Anita Dunn had expressed her admiration for Robert Bork, she would have not had a job to come back to the day after she expressed it.

  • MadBiker||

    Chapman is off the mark here.

    Warning signs that this guy might pop were apparently everywhere, yet fear that it might be "muslim-profiling" kept people from intervening.

    Could intervention have stopped this from happening? We don't know for sure, but to say that the MSM is all over an "Islam is the reason" angle is ridiculous. If anything, stress is being placed on the idea that we must not jump to the conclusion that he-was-a-muslim-that's-why-he-did-it.

    The press is disgusting, though, with their precious paternalistic nonsense that coddles certain religious and ethnic groups. Chapman suggests that there is enough evidence (the communiques with a radical imam, public declarations against US military presence, etc.) to suggest radical Islam and religious zealotry were the motivations for the slaying. Why not call a spade a spade? Stop being pussies and lay into this guy for being a radical, Muslim, homegrown terrorist who decided to deliver his message the only way people of his ilk ever choose to: slaughtering innocents.

    When a Christian religious whacko bombs an abortion clinic or kills a doctor who performs abortions, his religious views are always taken into account as motive for his actions. Why not do the same with "other" religious groups who are similarly motivated to commit heinous crimes?

  • Space Fiend||

    Is the Pentagon supposed to refuse induction to Muslims?

    Yes, just like they should refuse induction to active KKK members, revolutionary communists, or Latino separatists.

  • Hacha Cha||

    religion in general helps create the suicidal terrorist. that is because these people don't have reality based world views. most rational people, be they atheist or non-fundamentalist theists, are less likely to do something like this because they have a better grasp of reality and humanity. most religions are anti-human and foster delusional beliefs.

  • Hacha Cha||

    religion has been the cause of many mass murders but delusional devotion to the state can result in similar circumstances like the kamikazes committing suicide for the emperor.

  • creech||

    Wasn't the emperor thought to be divine and an object of worship? If so, kamikaze were religiously motivated, not doing it for their secular leaders.

  • ||

    Indeed the emperor was a god, and kamikaze also worshipped the Hachiman deity, considering themselves warriors of Hachiman.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hachiman

  • ||

    Indeed the emperor was a god, and kamikaze also worshipped the Hachiman deity, considering themselves warriors of Hachiman.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hachiman

  • Thomas||

    Religion is never the cause; it's the excuse.

    I think South Park covered this concept well in their three-episode "Go God Go!" arc.

  • ||

    "Religion is never the cause; it's the excuse."

    That is true, but some religions attract more crackpots than others. Radical Islam is definitely a good magnet for bloodthirsty types, just like the Albigensian crusades were 800 years ago (note that I am talking about the counter-Cathar crusades, not the Holy Land ones, whose motivation was a bit more complicated).

    Think of Carlos the Jackal converting from Marxism to Islam in prison. Theoretically, the two teachings are completely in opposition; but they share the same objective of world domination through (armed at times) struggle.

  • ||

    I have read a number of books and accounts by WWII Japanese pilots, and I knew two of them. Most were not particularly religious. The first Kamikaze, Yukio Seki, wrote that he did it for his wife and family, not for the Emperor or country. Most of the pilots were elite intelligentsia. One of the leading IJN officers (I don't recall his name) wrote that it is ridiculous to think that technically trained officers believe in absurd religious fables such as the Emperor as God.

    These men were military professionals doing their job the only way possible. I do not believe they were fanatics. The initial round of Kamikaze attacks were remarkably effective -- far more effective than conventional bombing. The "exchange rate" of Japanese versus Americans killed was heavily in their favor. If the U.S. Navy had not devised effective countermeasures, the Japanese could have destroyed every capital ship with pilots left to spare. I believe that if the U.S. had been pushed into a similar desperate state on the verge of losing a war and being invaded, our pilots and soldiers would not hesitate to use similar suicide tactics if they thought they might win by doing so.

  • ||

    Stupid people do stupid things. So?

  • ||

    Yes, many massacres have been justified by religion, but - especially concerning Judeo-Christian religions - those massacres were never the natural and logical conclusions and outworkings of the religious teaching. Ghandi said of Christianity "I like their Christ, but I don't like their Christian."

    Also, remember that the bloodiest century in human history was largely driven by the teachings of atheistic philosophers such as Nietzsche. Hitler gave Stalin a copy of Nietzsche's writings before the war broke out. The Nazi justification of the Holocaust can be traced back to the idea of the Superman, eugenics, etc.

    There's a reason why communist (and most totalitarian governments) states try to crush religion out of everyone - because it provides a law higher than the government. Citizens can see themselves being accountable to God instead of the government.

  • Nietzsche||

    I said 'embrace hybrid vigor',
    not 'go forth, and annihilate the wiggers!'

  • ||

    "Sadly, several pundits have said essentially that. In the great, "Who's to blame?" game, one way of diverting responsibility for this world class screw-up is to for the authorities to claim that they just didn't have enough power to do anything about this problem and if we will just cede ever more privacy and freedom to them, then maybe they can protect us from the next Dr. Hasan."

    They had plenty of power. They just didn't use it. The guy apprears to have gone around and told everyone who would listen how great Islam was and how it was okay to kill anyone who didn't beleive. Yet, not only did the Army not kick him out, they promoted him. They saw the guy's emails to a radical Imam in Yemen and didn't do anything. He was doing a "research paper". WTF? Are you kidding me?

    The system almost worked here. They guy gave himself away. They picked up the e-mails. The FBI shared the information with the Army. They should have put his miserable ass out on the street and under serious surveilance until he fucked up and did something criminal and then put him in a cell for the rest of his life. But, they didn't do any of that. The FBI is too busy trying to frame people for picking up hookers in Memphis to worry about some radical Islamist threatening to kill people. The Army is too worried about "diversity" to worry about getting rid of traitors in their ranks. No amount of additional power is going to change that.

    The government should not get anymore more power or surveillence authority until it figures out how to properly exercise the power and authority it has now.

  • ||

    ""Yet, not only did the Army not kick him out, they promoted him.""

    Tunnel vision. The Army wanted a return on their investment so they were not going to discharge him without a good enough reason. Complaints generally are not good enough to get kicked out, even more so when the Army feels deeply invested. Nothing short of an actual crime would have done the trick. It appears that Hasan committed no crime to warrant a discharge prior to his shooting spree.

  • ||

    Oh they will pass people over. Even doctors and lawyers. They have no problem passing people over who are not part of the club or are not PC enough. In this case Hassan was a protected minority, so it didn't matter if he was in the club or a nutjob. He was getting promoted. The needs of diversity required it.

  • ||

    Pass people over??? I'm talking about discharges not promotions.

  • ||

    He didn't just get kept in, he got promoted to major. And if you don't make major, they pay you to leave.

  • ||

    But if he was as awful at his job as some of his co-workers claimed, why not boot him out? The fact is the Army wanted to keep him probably because they wanted a return on their investment.

    """They have no problem passing people over who are not part of the club or are not PC enough."""

    Sure, I have personal experience with that one. But they will act quick to keep someone in. If he had to be promoted to major to stay in, then they would give to him for that reason alone. But consider it means that the Army thought he was worth keeping, for some reason.

  • ||

    IMO, Hassan's promotion was likely due to the fact that he was in a small, yet "critical" MOS, combined with a healthy dose of CYA to satisfy the Army E/O officers.

    His subsequent PCS to Ft. Hood probably was probably the easiest way of his chain of command at Walter Reed to rid themselves of their problem child.

    Hassan's former CO likely ok'd the PCS on the assumption that Hassan would simply ETS in a couple of years, or at worst he'd save everyone the grief and just go AWOL.

    The reality is that killing sprees like Hassan's are pretty fucking far from the norm, and I'm willing to bet that Hassan's former CO is nervously counting the days until the post commander suggests that he resign his commission for the good of the service.

    All in all, I'm certain that his CO assumed that Hassan's views and actions were suspect, but that Hassan wouldn't cause too many headaches.

    So he decided to take the path of least resistance and ok'd Hassan's PCS to 1st Cav, as opposed to deal with the very real probability of an extended attempt to forcibly muster a fellow Officer out of service.

    Unfortunately for 40+ people, his judgment proved to be flawed beyond all recognition. However this is a matter of hindsight now.

    Speaking from my own experience as a retired NCO (E-8p), cases of disaffected soldiers expressing some rather dangerous statements, having persecution complexes, or committing low-end criminal behavior aren't exactly a rarity.

    The problem soldiers don't normally pose a threat to anyone outside of themselves, and are usually dealt with by a quick trip to the office to receive a verbal warning of an impending Article 15, or explaining to them that any prospective employers and their immediate family would end up being made very aware that they've been Dishonorably Discharged from the service.

    As for Muslims I've had many under my direct command during several deployments to the Middle East and North Africa. They typically posed no more threat to anyone around them than any other soldier did.

  • JB||

    The US government is full of incompetent fucks who would rather harass people than do their fucking jobs.

  • ||

    "Then you do start looking at the Muslim community and what they are saying in their mosques and what is going on."

    Maj. Hasan attended the same mosque that two of the 9/11 hijackers attended. A mosque whose Iman is a known recruiter for Al Qaeda. I think that's sufficient probable cause for an investigation.

    "No one thinks "political correctness" obligates the Army to treat Muslims more leniently than anyone else. But it's just as simple-minded to think they deserve to be treated worse."

    The author is missing the point. What concerns people like me is the absolute refusal to say ANYTHING negative about Islam at all. Bomb an abortion clinic and the media IMMEDIATELY starting talking about how fundamentalist Christian rhetoric encouraged the attack. But when a Muslim starts shooting people the media is afraid to so much as utter the word "Muslim". This is not healthy for society.

    But I do take exception to someone saying that Libertarians are anti-American and anti-Semetic.

  • ||

    I also take exception, especially as many libertarians are Jewish (like myself) and generally have sympathy for Israel (without endorsing everything any particular Israeli government does). But I think a few of our contributors here have gone a little over the edge..

  • Alias||

    "underzog" is one of those embarrassing, nerdy hyper-nationalistic Jews.

  • creech||

    So what he attended the same mosque as 9/11 hijackers. Didn't some dude recently attend a church for 20 years where the minister himself was God-damning America from the pulpit? Whatever happened to that dude?

  • james||

    He took it as his personal mission to destroy the fundamentals of American society.

  • JB||

    Much worse damage than anything Al Queda could hope to do.

    Another fucker who should be tried for Treason.

  • highnumber||

    EllisWyatt,
    As far as I can tell, what has got you upset is that not EVERY media outlet is saying what you want to hear. Some are but that ain't enough, it seems.

  • ||

    "No one thinks "political correctness" obligates the Army to treat Muslims more leniently than anyone else."

    No one? Does Chapman honestly believe that if Hassan had been a white supremicist talking about how it is okay to kill people who marry other races, he would not have been kicked out of the Army? Is he really that stupid or does he just think his readers are?

  • prolefeed||

    Link to the site showing that Hassan's views are comparable to a "white supremicist talking about how it is okay to kill people who marry other races"?

    Not seeing any such statement in the article.

    Are you just talking out of your ass, or have you read something pertinent that you neglected to share with us to back up these assertions?

  • ||

    Hassan gave a presentation at a medical conference saying that it is okay to behead and pour oil down the throats of apostates and non believers. No kidding. That was his presentation during his graduate work.

    From NPR

    : Earlier today, I spoke to a psychiatrist who worked very closely with Hasan and knows him very well. And he said, you know, from the beginning -and Hasan was there for four years - the medical staff was very worried about this guy. He said the first thing is he's cold, unfriendly. At least that's who he came off. He did not do a good job as a psychiatrist in training, was repeatedly warned, you better shape up, or, you know, you're going to be in trouble. Did badly in his classes, seemed disinterested. But second of all - and this is, perhaps, you know, more relevant. The psychiatrist says that he was very proud and upfront about being Muslim. And psychiatrist hastened to say, and nobody minded that. But he seemed almost belligerent about being Muslim, and he gave a lecture one day that really freaked a lot of doctors out.

    They have grand rounds, right? They, you know, dozens of medical staff come into an auditorium, and somebody stands at the podium at the front and gives a lecture about some academic issue, you know, what drugs to prescribe for what condition. But instead of that, he - Hasan apparently gave a long lecture on the Koran and talked about how if you don't believe, you are condemned to hell. Your head is cut off. You're set on fire. Burning oil is burned down your throat.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/s.....=120162816

    I think that is just as objectionable and crazy as being a white supremecist who thinks people who intermarry should be killed. No, I wasn't talking out of my ass. An apology would be appreciated.

  • ||

    ""Hasan apparently gave a long lecture on the Koran and talked about how if you don't believe, you are condemned to hell. Your head is cut off. You're set on fire. Burning oil is burned down your throat. ""

    Do you know if this was the 2007 conference?

    "Other colleagues had a more benign view of Major Hasan. Nancy Meyer, a social worker who attended the 2007 presentation, described it as a scholarly explanation of why “Muslims should not be in a position to harm other Muslims,” saying she did not take it as “at all threatening."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11.....e.html?hpw

  • Mike||

    Judging from some comments I've read on the internet, if we locked up everyone who expressed opinions that extreme we wouldn't have any jail cells left.

    Nutjob speech is STILL PROTECTED SPEECH. As a military psychologist, the guy was in no more position to massacre people than nearly anyone else. He just happened to be able to massacre soldiers instead of, say, coworkers or teachers or random ass people at a mall.

  • ||

    White supremacists who haven't been kicked out of the army.

    http://www.salon.com/news/feat.....index.html

  • ||

    If Hassan had been a Christian who shot up an abortion clinic, there is no way REason would be doing any hand wringing wondering if maybe religion was involved and how everyone is running to far with the Christians are violent meme.

  • prolefeed||

    Some commentators insist that Islam is inherently aggressive, intolerant, or bent on taking over the world by force.

    If by "some commentators" you mean, "people who have actually read the Quran and noted passages advocating aggression, intolerance, and taking over the world by force of arms", then sure.

    I could quote passages, if there are any skeptics.

    That being said, I could also quote passages from the Old Testament showing a similar strain of sociopathic thought.

    And yet, some if not most Muslims and Christians are peaceful people. I suppose a selective reading of these religious tracts helps.

  • ||

    Christians believe in the New Testiment, which is anything but aggressive.

  • MadBiker||

    Well, Paul wasn't exactly a pacifist and his misogyny is fairly well noted.

  • ||

    Paul wasn't a pacifist? Really? I guess that is why he started a violent gurilla movement aimed at over throwing Rome. Or maybe he just went around writing letters and preaching to people and eventually got himself crucified in Rome.

  • ||

    IIRC, it was actually orangutan-warfare.

  • prolefeed||

    Before or after the road to Damascus?

    Are you being disingenous here?

  • ||

    Aren't you? Paul wasn't even Paul before the road to Damascus. Claiming his actions before his conversion to Christianity as a part of Christianity is incorrect.

  • prolefeed||

    Jesus said, "I come to bring not peace, but a sword".

    But, the rest of the New Testament is extremely pacifistic -- more pacifistic than, say, YOU.

    Some Christians follow the New Testament. Some take their hints from Old Testament passages. Maybe you could argue that such people (including, arguably, you) are fully grasping Jesus' message.

  • prolefeed||

    @ 10:18 should read "are NOT fully grasping Jesus' message"

    Preview!

  • ||

    Jesus said, "I come to bring not peace, but a sword".

    Which was, arguably, NOT an exhortation that his followers should pick up the sword, but rather a heads-up to them that they themselves might be put to the sword.

    Note that in the same speech (which makes up Matthew Ch. 10), Jesus tells his disciples to go forth as healers, and to be "wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." And in the event that people reject the proselytizing, the disciples are instructed merely to "depart out of that house or city and shake off the dust from your feet" -- not to forcibly subjugate the infidels at swordpoint.

  • ||

    Wouldn't you call those, dirty hippies?

    Christians believe in both testiments.

    I've had christians explain to me that Jesus is going to kick ass when he returns. It's in the book of revelations I'm told.

  • ||

    I would define a Christian as one following the teachings of Christ. That means the New Testament would be the primary source of those teachings.

    The Old Testament tells the story of the coming of Christ, ie Adam, David, Mary, Joseph, Christ.

    It's also important to remember that, theologically, the coming of Christ changed the relationship between man and God, so many of the traditions, customs, and laws of the Jewish people became unnecessary. Baptism replaces circumcision, the Ten Commandments were replaced by "love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind [...] love your neighbor as yourself", etc.

  • Mike||

    You can define Christians that way, sure. Quite a few people define Islam as a completely peaceful religion, and practice it that way.

    At least a large minority of people of both religions commit or support acts of violence while still considering themselves good Christians/Muslims.

    It's the "no true scotsman" fallacy - you can't just keep changing the definition. You can claim that Christians have been misinterpreting their religion for two thousand years, but that doesn't give your claims any more weight than theirs that they were interpreting it correctly.

  • ||

    I don't think I'm changing the definition. I think I'm going back to the original meaning and root of the word itself.

    If a "Christian" who bombs an abortion clinic and murders the doctors and nurses inside, claims that he was doing it because of his religion, I'd point out that nowhere does Jesus Christ support, encourage, or otherwise teach that such action is morally right.

    My point is that crimes committed in the name being Christian are NOT in agreement with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    There's a much stronger argument that crimes committed in the name of Islam ARE in agreement with the teachings of the Koran and Mohammad.

  • ||

    Quite a few people define Islam as a completely peaceful religion, and practice it that way.

    You are definitely right, but these people find their backs against the wall in almost all crucial parts of the Islamic world, being overpowered by Wahhabi / Salafi fanatics.

    Think Pakistan. The traditional Pakistani Islam was mostly of harmless Sufi tradition; a lot of singing and dancing dervishes in the street, to say. But the Deobandi school, which is very austere, seems to be on ascent now. Not in polls, but in power. Everyone is freaking afraid of them.

  • Space Fiend||

    I don't know how you can equate ancient commands dealing with, say, the Amalekites, and the Koran's explicit commands to continual perpetual war.

    The Old Testament contains a lot of commands from God about what to do about specific groups in Canaan that no longer exist. The Koran contains commands to subjugate all non-believers on an on-going basis until there are none left.

  • prolefeed||

    Those "specific groups in Canaan that no longer exist" vanished because they were slaughtered in Yahweh-sanctioned genocide that said to kill everything that moved -- men, women, children, and even the fucking cattle.

    And then Yahweh got pissed because his subjects weren't genocidal enough and showed some mercy (OK, saved some of the pussy for their own pleasure).

    Yes, the Koran is even more violent than the Old Testament. Not disputing that. But, both religions laud some rather horrific acts -- and yet, some if not most of their followers reject this violence and advocate peace.

  • ||

    I think it is a blind alley to discuss the aggressiveness of the original religious texts.

    What matters is how the said religions interpret them today in 2009, and now you have a big difference. Salafism is a major stream in contemporary Islam; you do not have anything similar in contemporary Christianity.

  • Hacha Cha||

    oh yeah it was an army base and it was a GUN FREE ZONE.

  • JohnD||

    Again Chapman writes drivel.

    There is plenty of evidence that the killer is a Muslim extremest. No amount of PC bullshit can hide that fact.

    Chapman is a moron.

  • ||

    It is PC to call him an intellectual celibate.

  • JB||

    Chapman is generally a moron. I think he is the worst writer/thinker that reason publishes.

  • Mad Max||

    Here's a Washington Times editorial on the whole 'you can't have guns here - this is a military base!' policy.

  • ||

    And there is no fighting in the war room either!!

  • ||

    Somethin clearly set this guy off. I guess well never know cause he sure aint talkin. You just never know what might send someone "Postal" now days.

    Jerry
    www.ultimate-privacy.cz.tc

  • ||

    To me there seems no doubt there is an issue with a radical species of Islam. It also seems to me there is no doubt that the vast majority of American muslims reject this species of islam.
    But damn... The DC shooter was muslim. Yeah, I know, that doesn't necessarily mean that Islam was why he killed those people. He was just a lone nut.
    But it seems as if there are a lot of lone nuts in the world and they are all muslims. I don't hear about christian fathers running over their daughters because they are too westernised(Phoenix). I don't here about women in the west being stoned to death for adultery. (Saudia Arabia). I don't here about christians, buddist, or HIndi, blowing the shit out of people like in Pakistandand Iraq. I don't hear about christian terrorist in the Phillipines.
    I do read a whole shit load of crap caused by muslims world wide. When ever I see a story, I make a little bet with myself, "bet they are muslim." And I am right more than wrong.
    It seems to me that there is no doubt that we have a religious war between a SPECIES of Islam and western liberal values. And it bugs me that everyone, even here, are too PC to call it like it is.
    And I have no problem wiping these child killing, suicide bombing, wife stoning cocksuckers off the planet

  • Neu Mejican||

    So, you are a rare species of non-muslim who advocates violence to eradicate those who believe differently than you?

  • highnumber||

    It seems to you that all the lone nuts in the world are Muslims?

    You read the news quite selectively.

  • prolefeed||

    Hassan gave a presentation at a medical conference saying that it is okay to behead and pour oil down the throats of apostates and non believers. No kidding. That was his presentation during his graduate work.

    Does it say that in the Quran? And in what context did he say that? And did this link that you have yet to provide say he agreed with this command, and intended to follow it?

    If you're gonna make assertions like this, please provide a link so we can see if your interpretation of it is credible.

  • ||

    He made have said those things, he may have said them in the context of what is wrong with radical Islam and that you shouldn't do these things.

  • ||

    Actually, I think Hasan said these things in the context of "Islam tells Muslims (such as myself) to behead Muslim-killing infidels and pour boiling oil down their throats, so if the Army persists in its stubborn refusal to give me a Conscientious Objector discharge like I done been axin' for, don't blame ME for what happens next."

    And here's a link to support my interpretation -- it's the actual slide-show presentation that Maj. Hasan gave to other Army doctors in 2007. Initially, it seems as though he's just filling them in on what radical Islamists believe, but as the slideshow progresses it starts to sound more like flat-out religious apologetics -- and finally (it's about 50 slides long) he wraps up with the recommendation that Muslims in the U.S. military should be exempted from combat operations against Muslims in other countries. (Just as Lutherans and Catholics in WWII were exempted from service in the European theater, lest they be forced to shoot fellow Lutherans and Catholics fighting for the Axis -- except, oops, they weren't.)

  • ||

    I did provide a link. And the presentation was so out of context to where he was it was bizzare. Yeah, the NYT found some people who didn't think it was a big deal, but a lot of people did. The other Muslims in the room were offended. The guy was a radical nut. Why is that so hard to admit?

  • ||

    You don't like the NYTimes, but you will back the crediblity of NPR making a statment on hearsay? What are you only agreeing with the liberals that agree with you?

    From your link
    "They have grand rounds, right? They, you know, dozens of medical staff come into an auditorium, and somebody stands at the podium at the front and gives a lecture about some academic issue, you know, what drugs to prescribe for what condition. But instead of that, he - Hasan apparently gave a long lecture on the Koran and talked about how if you don't believe, you are condemned to hell. Your head is cut off. You're set on fire. Burning oil is burned down your throat. "

    Nothing about that is a real threat. If you don't obey the bible you will burn in hell for enternity. Would that actually be a threat if said by a devote christian in a presentation?

    Also, the guy making the claim that he said that wasn't there, nor does he name the person that gave them that information. The NY times article does. And your "lot of people did" was only one muslim in the NPR transcript. Your article does not support all your conclusions.

  • Shannon Love||

    Mass murders are usually a mystery.

    No, they're not. The patterns and motivations in such murders are well understood and documented. Major Hasan's rampage does not fit any of the patterns observed in previous shootings.

    "Work place" shootings are usually committed by a white male, older than 25, often under employed for his IQ/education. They have a long history of anger issues. They are narcissist and constantly blame others for any life reversals they suffer. They use that blame as their justification for killing those they believe have ruined their lives. Telling, such shootings always start with a specific individual or group of individuals and only then does the shooter attack targets of opportunity.

    Neither Major Hasan's life story nor the details of his crime fit the profile of mass killing motivated by personal issues. He was highly educated, intelligent and employed in his profession. (Indeed, he might be the first actual degreed professional to commit such an act. I certain he is the first M.D.) He appears to have no history of anger issues or general impulsive behavior.

    Most importantly, Hasan targeted random soldiers. Unlike work place killers, he did not target his own superiors or colleagues. He did not target the people who assigned him to Afghanistan or refused release him from military service. Instead, he picked a time and place where he would find the densest concentration of random, largely low rank soldiers and then tried to kill as many of them as possible.

    Hasan killed like a solider. Soldiers impersonally kill as many people wearing the enemies uniform as he can. They don't kill out of personal animosity but rather to weaken and disrupt the organization to which the individual enemy belong. Soldiers are trying to shift events on the large scale not redress wrongs done to them personally.

    Clearly, the jihadist's subculture created the moral justification for Hasan's beliefs and actions. Only in the jihadist's framework do the wars in middle-east appear to be directed at Muslims in general. Likewise, the jihadist's framework provides the moral justification for attacking random members of an infidel population and for carrying out such an attack in a suicidal manner.

    Without that framework, he would not have opposed being assigned to Afghanistan. Without that framework, he would not have believed himself part of a group under attack. Without that framework, he would not believed he was justified in carrying out such an attack. Without that framework, Hasan would not have killed.Without that framework, Hasan might have had a successful military career like thousands of other Muslims.

    There are no easy answers but pretending like this was an utterly random and inexplicable act doesn't help anyone.

  • JB||

    Very good post.

  • Neu Mejican||

    People are missing the point, methinks. Yes, it is possible that this man justified his actions to himself based on his views about what Islam means. Yes, it is very likely he is bat-shit crazy. These two things are not incompatible.

    The problem, it seems, is people who move the blame away from him and his crazy ideas and over to his religion.

    The blame needs to be kept firmly focused on the man who acted. Shifting this blame arbitrarily to some group with which he can be associated is unjustified.

    Personally, I think he did it because he was bald. A small, but important, percentage of bald men commit mass murder.

  • ||

    I am actually partial to the cueball theory myself. Look at Andrew Sullivan and tell me cueballs can't become derranged.

    You are right. This guy was a homocidal nut. Had he not found Islam for an excuse to be a homocidal nut, it probably would have been something else. It is not like he was some normal good guy who just happened to go nuts and kill people because he was a muslim. No. He was a nut who became a Muslim. But a nut first.

  • JB||

    As far as I know he was raised a Muslim.

  • Neu Mejican||

    You are right. This guy was a homocidal nut. Had he not found Islam for an excuse to be a homocidal nut, it probably would have been something else.

    That's not, exactly, my point. It is possible that he would have been a harmless nut without influence from aspects or radical Islam.

  • ||

    Makes sense. When you join the Marines they cut off all your hair. And we know what *those* guys are like...

  • ||

    The part of this narrative that I still can't wrap my head around is the idea that this might not have happened if the Army had just fired him or counseled him.

    Let's suppose the army said, "Dr. Hasan, you are not allowed to have those opinions in the Army. Get out of here!" Then Hasan would have left the post and just got on with his life. Nothing bad ever would have happened after that. Or, "Dr. Hasan, we really think you need to see a shrink. Oops, forget, you are one". Or, "Hasan, we really don't like the opinions you hold. The Constitution really doesn't allow you to have those opinions. Won't you change them before you come back to work tomorrow?"

  • ||

    You are right. If the Army had kicked him out, he probably would have done the same thing just to different people. The Army not kicking him out is a problem because it makes you wonder what the hell is going on with their promotion policies, not because they could have stopped him by kicking him out.

  • JB||

    I disagree.

  • ||

    Chapman makes a big assumption in his article- namely that the actions and beliefs of American Muslims mirror the standards set for them by Islamic Sharia. Unlike most forms of Christianity, many religions (such as Judaism and Islam) have entire legal systems derived from their religious beliefs.

    In the case of Judaism, this legal system was defanged with the dissolution of the Sanhedrin almost 2000 years ago, but in the case of Islam, it exists in full force in Sharia states like Saudi Arabia.

    What is missing in Chapman's analysis is an understanding that while individual Muslims themselves may not advocate religious apartheid, restrictions on freedom of speech, slicing the hands off of thieves and other gross violations of human dignity, this does not mean that Islam itself does not advocate these things.

    If you want to make a correlation between Muslims and terror, it's fine to limit yourself to cataloging the behavior of Muslims, but if you want to make that logical leap to correlating Islam and terror, you have to go to the authoritative sources: the Qur'an, the Ahadith and the commentaries to those works that forge Islamic Law.

    This article gets a D-.

  • ||

    while individual Muslims themselves may not advocate [bad things], this does not mean that Islam itself does not advocate these things

    This misses the more important fact that just because US Muslims don't advocate these things in public doesn't mean they don't desire them. All devout Muslims desire them, but as a matter of strategic necessity do not publicly say so here. That's not so in Great Britain, where Muslims publicly and on camera proclaim they're going to conquer it and install a Sharia state.

  • ||

    while individual Muslims themselves may not advocate [bad things], this does not mean that Islam itself does not advocate these things

    This misses the more important fact that just because US Muslims don't advocate these things in public doesn't mean they don't desire them. All devout Muslims desire them, but as a matter of strategic necessity do not publicly say so here. That's not so in Great Britain, where Muslims publicly and on camera proclaim they're going to conquer it and install a Sharia state.

  • ||

    Considering 1. his job put him in the position of hearing the worst of the worst about what is going on in the conflict zones, thing that were done to our side, and things we did to the enemy, 2. he was told he was going to the horrible place where these stories occured and, 3. He was a believer that Muslims shouldn't hurt other Muslims. It's quite possible that he decided, out of fear, that he would rather die than be put in the combat zone and end up like one of his patients. Once you've decided to kill yourself, it's a small jump to get even with the organization that helped lead you to your decision on your way out.

  • ||

    Bullshit. There are tons of people who actually experience the worst of the worst and don't do this. Further, if he wanted to get even with the Army, he would have gone and shot his boss and the people that were actually sending him overseas. Instead, he went to the mobilization center. It was the one place where he knew he would find a bunch of people who were deploying, yelled "God is Great" and started killing people.

    Stop making excuses for this asshole. Stop slandering veterans. And just admit the obvious truth that he was a radical nut Islamic shitbag that did this to become a martyr.

  • ||

    And i'm not making excuses for this asshole, you asshole. And I'm not slander vets. Again you are making shit up as usual.

    You must suck as a lawyer.

  • ||

    "his job put him in the position of hearing the worst of the worst about what is going on in the conflict zones, thing that were done to our side, and things we did to the enemy"

    When you said that, you slandered vets. To claim that the fact that he had to listen to bad stories made him more likely to kill and was a contributing factor in him doing it, is slandering vets. Bullshit. This guy's job had nothing to do with this. To say otherwise is to slander everyone in that job.

  • ||

    """To claim that the fact that he had to listen to bad stories made him more likely to kill and was a contributing factor in him doing it, is slandering vets."""

    Bullshit. Hearing stories about the horrors of war and how that affects the listener is not slander to anyone in uniform period.

  • ||

    Saying that it helped make him into a murderous nut is slandering the hell out of veterans.

  • ||

    No it doesn't, John, not matter how much you repeat it.

    Stories of the horrors of war, moving someone to go nuts to the point they kill people, does not reflect anything on our troops like you are claiming.

  • ||

    War is hell, and people flip out.

  • ||

    "Stories of the horrors of war, moving someone to go nuts to the point they kill people, does not reflect anything on our troops like you are claiming."

    Of course it does. If it can move this guy to be a nut, why can't it move everyone else? It is just the "all vets are damaged and are liable to go cazy" slander. You didn't intend to slander them. But, by buying that line of bullshit, you have.

  • ||

    ""It is just the "all vets are damaged and are liable to go cazy""

    When did I ever say or imply that? You are making shit up. War is hell, that is a fact, it can and does screw with those who fight, not all, but some, those who do could use some help.

    You seem to think we people talk about the mental issues of war it equates to all vets are damaged.

    You are making shit up in your head and then trying to claim it's coming from me.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Would it be slander to say that John's reaction to your post makes me worry about his mental state?

    There is nothing in it that perpetuates any myth about damaged soldiers, and there is nothing in it that says that those who are traumatized by war are weaker or crazy or whatever.

    In fact, I would say John's "If it can move this guy to be a nut, why can't it move everyone else? It is just the "all vets are damaged and are liable to go cazy" slander." Is the slander...against those soldiers who suffer from PTSD or other mental injuries that result from the extremely stressful situations they are asked to endure as part of their job.

  • Upstater85||

    Your third point would show that it is unlikely that fear alone was his sole motivation.

  • ||

    """Your third point would show that it is unlikely that fear alone was his sole motivation. ""

    Not a sole motivator, but the prime motivator.

  • Upstater85||

    Eh, well, I perhaps. I'm not sold on it though.

  • ||

    I'm not fully sold on it either but it's best theory I've seen so far. And I put forth an AQ infiltration theory in an earlier thread.

  • ||

    It's possible that once he decided to end it all, he did choose to do it extemist style.

  • Upstater85||

    Without any religious motivation? Just because he could?

  • ||

    I'm not disagreeing that there is a religious component. He didn't want to go where horrible things were being done, especially to Muslims, including himself. I'm not the only one presenting his deployment as the prime motivator.

  • ||

    If that is true, why didn't he just kill himself or dissert? Or, if he was that pissed off, why not go kill his boss or the people who were responsible for his deployment? Why go and kill a bunch of people at the mobilization station unless you are doing it as an act of terror?

    None of those explanations wash with his actual actions. The only explanation that does is that he is a radical nut Islamic.

  • ||

    I'm putting forth a logical theory, I would not claim I know the truth, only an idiot would do that.

    It wasn't a far leap for him to do it extremist style once he decided to off himself.

    I have a question for you, if he desired to be a terrorist or was terroist connected, why would he do a bigger operation that kill more people. And if he wanted to contribute to the terrorist side of this war he could have passed information as a mole if he stayed in his job.

    """The only explanation that does is that he is a radical nut Islamic.""

    As you would say John, things are more complicated than that.

  • ||

    "As you would say John, things are more complicated than that."

    No they are not. There is nothing complicated about it. Why you feel the need to find complications is beyond me. Why didn't he stay in and try to do more damage than he did? Because he was a nut. He is insane and figured shooting as many people as possible was the best way to go.

    Again, it is beyond me why you want to view this guy as some kind of complex character. Is it that hard for you to admit that some radical islamics are violent? You sure as hell don't have a problem admitted radical members of other religions are violent. Did you spend time contemplating Eric Rudoph's complex character? Or did you just admit the obvious that he was a murderous sociopath who used religion as an excuse to blow things up?

    Pull your head our of your PC ass and just admit the obvious. It is not that hard. And it doesn't mean you hate Muslims. It just means that you admit that this guy is what he is.

  • ||

    Yeah John, it's not that complicated, and you are better than all the intel agencies, the FBI and DoD, put together.

  • Upstater85||

    I'd say he actually carried out a pretty big mission. It was no small feat and 13 is a non-trivial amount of deaths.

    Further, do you agree that he is most likely a religious fanatic? That doesn't have to be the sole motivation for this massacre, but do you agree that as a person he is a religious fanatic?

  • ||

    He may be a religous fanatic, I would say yes. but they are many of those in this country of all religions. There are fanatic Jews in Crown Heights Brooklyn that have rioted because a cop arrested one of them a few years ago, but they live in peace far more than in violence. Religious extremism does not equate to violence in and of it's self.

    I believe religious extremism did play a role in the attack.

  • Upstater85||

    So was/is he a dangerous religious extremist? Perhaps a religious fascist (little-f).

    That asked, do you believe that he had a desire to impose his believes/views onto others in an aggressive manner?

  • ||

    Is there any evidence that supports he was doing so prior to learning he would be deployed? The best I can tell so far, is he was a lousy worker that spoke about religion in a way any devoted religious person would.

  • Upstater85||

    I don't know. I know a lot of "devout religious people" that may not have used the wording he used.

    Is it your position that he was not an individual that would aggressively (perhaps violently) pushed his religious views or do you just not have enough evidence?

  • ||

    Is that a trick questions? In light of current events I must agree, that in the end he was as such. But is there any proof that he was actually dangerous prior. He did pop up on the intel radar, and we didn't think so. Dangerous is different for holding extreme views.

    When I was growing up there was this guy, Markel, people claimed he was a great guy, a loving family man, yet one day he decided to kill his whole family. They never understood why he did it, but it opened my eyes to idea that people just snap and we never really know why.

    I'm just trying to look at all of the evidence we have so far and make a reasonable conclusion based off the facts. I'm not stopping with proof he had extreme views and was Muslim.

    His extreme Muslim views was a factor in his action, just not the only one.

  • Upstater85||

    Even trick questions should be able to be answered "logically." That said, it isn't a trick question. It might reflect more or less what I myself think, but it is an honest question.

    I never claimed that holding extreme views is the same as dangerous. In fact, I was very clear to ask you if you thought that he wanted to aggressively impose his views on others. That, arguably is dangerous, right?

    I also realize that people "snap," but even from the evidence that we have, if Hasan "snapped," it happened over a period of time. I think of snaps as being rather quick. Secondly, even if he "snapped," it doesn't mean that he didn't then believe he should/could violently impose his beliefs.

    I'm fine with you considering the evidence, but there is a reasonable amount of evidence that Hasan was no Conscientious Objector or pacifist. In fact, the evidences seems to suggest he was anything but a pacifist.

  • ||

    """I never claimed that holding extreme views is the same as dangerous. In fact, I was very clear to ask you if you thought that he wanted to aggressively impose his views on others. ""

    Not saying you claimed that, didn't mean for it to sound that way if it did. I was just pointing it out.

    I have seen no evidence that he was aggressive to the point of committing violence prior to the act. If that evidence comes to light it will be considered.

  • ||

    Back in the 19th century,when Americans took their religion seriously, there was a psychiatric diagnosis called "religious mania." It was applied to people who became suicidally depressed, went uncontrollably manic, or who otherwise lost touch with reality, apparently due to their obsession with religious concepts. You won't find any of this in the latest DSM because most of the symptoms also occur in people who aren't necessarily religious. If a person is very devout and then becomes mentally ill, they might understand and express their suffering in religious terms. They might seek religious answers to their problems, blame their illness on failure to fulfill their religious obligations, or even attribute it to other, "sinful" people in their lives. I'm wondering if any of this applies to Hasan. For someone who supposedly received psychiatric training, he didn't seem to have a lot of self-insight.

  • Upstater85||

    Eh... this is a stretch. I'm all for a thorough investigation, but Chapman is really reaching here.

    "But post-9/11, you can't be a killer who happens to be a Muslim. If you're a killer, it has to be because you're a Muslim."

    This in itself seems to generalize a tad too much.

  • ||

    John Allen Mohammad was a Muslim. But, no one blammed his killing spree on being a Muslim. When you are a Muslim and go and kill a bunch of people who are about to deploy to Iraq and yell God is Great when you do it, then yeah people are going to blame what you did on your religion. Chapman, like most of Reason, is too much of a PC liberal to write anything but crap on this subject.

  • Upstater85||

    No one? Or no one that you subscribe to?

  • ||

    I don't remember anyone making a big deal about him being a Muslim. And I don't think there is any evidence that he did the crimes for any reason other than he was just a sociopath who liked to shoot people. Maybe they did, but I don't remember it.

  • Upstater85||

    Another thing to keep in mind is that there are a lot of Muslims in prison (probably Muslim before current prison time). I don't hear a lot of people chanting that they are criminals because of their religion. Maybe what Chapman means is that people make these calls when, well, there are religious elements to the crime.

  • Upstater85||

    You may be right, but I think I've seen/heard many people say the opposite.

  • ||

    In reference to the end of the article... Bin Laden's gripe against America IS primarily religious. I immigrated to the USA some 12 years ago so I have somewhat the perspective of an outsider. What I have never understood about the Muslim discussion here, primarily by liberals, is the failure to grasp that this is really all about Jews. Extremists hate the Jews/Israel. They hate the USA because we are the primary reason people of Jewish decent still get to live in the geographic region of Israel. The UK has digressed to a pussified version of tolerance, which is really the ghost of Neville Chamberlain. Historically Islam hasn't co-existed well with others (remember Turkey used to be one of the main centers for Christianity). So call a spade a spade: the extremists, including Iran, want us to sell out the Jews. Then they will be happy... for awhile. Every "peace plan" in the mid east is a version of selling out Jews, in slow measured pieces. Anyone who shouts Allahu Akbar is motivated by his ideology. We aren't picking on Muslims. For that matter, can someone cite a specific example when a person who happened to be muslim committed mass murder that wasn't at least connected to hatred for those who support Israel and/or failed to support the killer's radicalism?

  • monolith||

    i thought that the ottomans were by the standards of the time reasonably mild? many of the countries that they occupied stayed christian anf for a long time there were lots of christians in turkey?

  • ||

    I spent the month of May living in Turkey and there were two Saudi's on the trip with us - we were a student group.

    I actually had a calm discussion with one of the Saudis about the situation in Israel.

    According to his arguments, Hamas and the other militant groups in Palestine are considered to be the armed forces of the Palestinian state. Also according to him, the Koran contains instructions on how to wage war - these contain laws forbidding the killing of women and children.

    I brought up the argument that if Hamas and company are indeed the armed forces of the state of Palestine, why are they launching rockets into malls and markets (full of women and children) when the Koran rules of engagement specifically forbid it.

    An army attacks other armies and chooses targets for military reasons. Terrorist groups attack civilians.

    While Palestine may have a legitimate political argument for their own state/nation, their tactics in striving to achieve that goal are holding them back.

    A little off topic, but I thought I'd share.

  • ||

    Also according to him, the Koran contains instructions on how to wage war - these contain laws forbidding the killing of women and children.

    The proper response would have been, "but what Qur'anic verses abrogate those verses forbidding the killing of women and children?"

    Like I said before, there is a difference between what Muslims do and believe and what Islam demands all Muslims to do and believe. The only way to find out what Islam demands of its followers is to study Islamic Sharia itself, not hear what Yahya Sixpack's interpretation of it is.

  • ||

    To be fair, we became really good friends and I don't think him capable of hurting a fly.

    I wasn't trying to pick a fight with him and just walk all over his religion. I also haven't done enough reading of the Koran to put forth sensible arguments, so all I had to go one was what he told me.

    I just took issue with him supporting Hamas and claiming it wasn't a terrorist organization after he had just told me that the Koran forbids the killing of women and children during a war.

  • icarus||

    @ Tim:

    Exactly. The same people peddling the "why not Sweden/Holland?" argument seem to forget how Bin Laden has 'invited' the west to embrace Islam over and over.

  • ||

    The Islamists haven't attacked Sweden yet, but they attacked a Danish embassy. And I believe they murdered a Dutch journalist.

  • Binky||

    Is the Pentagon supposed to refuse induction to Muslims?

    Why not? Islam is a religion of peace.

  • ||

    Hey if we can't do anything about neo-nazis it doesn't surprise me we can't do anything about radical muslims.

    http://www.salon.com/news/feat.....index.html

    But those gays.. oh my.. they are dangerous!

  • Michael K.||

    This is fairly disingenuous. I found the Pew research study that I assume Chapman is citing. In fact Chapman is incorrect, only 83% of US Muslims said suicide bombing was only rarely or never justified. 9% said they didn't know or refused to answer.

    Perhaps more disturbing is that 28% of US Muslims do not believe Arabs caused 9-11 and another 32% refused to answer. 47% think of themselves as Muslims first and Americans second.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Nationalism is the root of more death than any other human trait in the last 200 years.

  • Kroneborge||

    Actually the fact that many of them consider themsleves to be Muslims first, and Americans second doesn't bother me. I think a lot of Christians would respond the same way.

    We are first supposed to obey God's laws, then Man's. For example, those Nazi's that obeyed man's law first, and God's second were later tried for war crimes when mans law changed.

    That being said, I do agree that the number of US Muslims that might support sucide bombing is distrubanly high.

  • ||

    This is the Christian Anarchist view. That any law that a government can make will at best repeat whatever law God has given and at worst restrict freedom.

    The difference is that Christians don't go on jihads - at least not since the crusades, and that was politically motivated and used religion to recruit everyone and justify it.

  • ||

    Actually the fact that many of them consider themselves to be Muslims first, and Americans second doesn't bother me. I think a lot of Christians would respond the same way.

    A lot of Christians might indeed say "I'm a Christian first and an American second," but few if any of them say it with the intended meaning that they'd take up arms alongside foreign Christians to fight against American non-Christians.

    But some Muslims, obviously including Hasan, mean it in precisely that sense when they say they're Muslims first and Americans second -- in a life-or-death situation, they'd side with foreign co-religionists over American infidels.

  • Kroneborge||

    agreed. the furthest most Christians would take it would be to refuse orders.

    And I think most people wouldn't have had a problem with the major if he was in combat arms, and refused to go over there to kill other muslims because it was against his religion. He could have left, the military, and no harm/no foul.

    Course he didn't do that.

  • Neu Mejican||

    I believe the army of god would take up arms with foreign christians to kill American abortionists. Does this count?

  • Neu Mejican||

    I believe the army of god would take up arms with foreign christians to kill American abortionists. Does this count?

  • Tim Starr||

    Chapman equivocates between holding a "favorable" view of an evil group and advocating mass murder of Americans. Recruits into the US military are vetted for drug use, but evidently not for advocating the mass murder of Americans. Servicemen are disciplined and/or discharged for drug use, but not for advocating the mass murder of Americans (as Nidal Hassan did). This proves that servicemen can be disciplined for failing to live up to the military's standards, and that the military's standards are out of whack, as it is fastly more important that servicemen not incite or commit mass murder of their fellow countrymen than that they smoke a joint every once in a while.

    Chapman also gets Pape's research wrong, and Pape's research is crap. First, Pape studied only suicide terrorism, not all terrorism. Many terrorists have been motivated by things other than foreign occupation. Secondly, Pape doesn't study the dog that didn't bark, i.e, foreign occupations not correlated with suicide terrorism. He attempts to explain away the complete absence of suicide terrorism in places such as Chinese-occupied Tibet or Soviet-occupied Europe by restricting his claim to foreign occupations by "modern democracies." However, that still doesn't explain the absence of suicide-terrorism in such places as Northern Ireland, which was occupied by the UK - a "modern democracy" if there ever was one. Nor does it explain the 30-year time lag between the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the first Palestinian suicide terrorists.

  • ||

    Why is he also silent on the subject of Palestinian suicide bombers during the Egyptian occupation of Gaza and the Jordanian occupation of the West Bank?

    Now I remember, because there were no suicide bombers and the potential suicide bombers were more interested in killing Jews via fedayee guerilla groups than killing Egyptians and Jordanians (not to say they didn't kill Egyptians and Jordanians before and after 1967).

    Better yet, why are you, Tim, calling the territories "occupied" to begin with? A Palestinian state has never existed and the borders by which Palestinians define themselves as Palestinian were imposed by the British.

  • Neu Mejican||

    The occupied territories are recognized as such by the majority of countries in the world.

  • ||

    So if a majority of countries in the world recognize the American Southwest as "Occupied Aztlan", does it mean that there really exists an "Occupied Aztlan" like there was an occupied Germany post-WW2 or an occupied Tibet?

    Please...

  • Neu Mejican||

    Well, for the sake of communication, usually the consensus terminology is the most efficient.

    And, of course, there is this...
    http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/FULL/195

    which I think is still the prevailing legal definition.

  • ||

    But this document details laws between actual states, not when one nation has de facto sovereignty over terra nullius.

    And yes, the West Bank is terra nullius because Jordan renounced sovereignty over it in 1988. There are currently no sovereign nations that claim the region de jure.

  • Mike M.||

    It's being reported that the Army is expected to announce later today that Hassan will be formally charged with premeditated murder.

    I still say it should be treason.

  • ||

    I just posted this link in a reply halfway up the thread, but here it is again: The actual slide presentation that Hasan gave to other Army doctors in 2007.

    It's 50 slides long, and worth flipping through the whole thing, but here are two choice quotes from his concluding remarks in slides 49 and 50:

    • Muslim Soldiers should not serve in any capacity that renders them at risk to hurting/killing believers unjustly

    • Department of Defense should allow Muslim Soldiers the option of being released as "conscientious objectors" to increase troop morale and decrease adverse events.

  • ||

    Shouldn't those things be taken into account by the individual BEFORE joining a branch of the military?

    Once in the military, you've taken an oath. Any deviation from that oath is grounds for dishonorable discharge or at worst treason.

  • ||

    I would be curious to the definition of unjust. Muslims have been killing other muslims for almost as long as the religion has been around.

    We disposed of Saddam to benefit the people of the region, we used the fact he gassed his own people, and him violating a ceasefire (UN res 1441) as reasons. Muslims worked in the World Trade Center. I believe muslims shouldn't kill other muslims too. If they didn't we wouldn't be in two wars.

  • Pepe||

    No one thinks "political correctness" obligates the Army to treat Muslims more leniently than anyone else.

    Actually PC does do exactly that!

  • JB||

    Chapman is wrong: Hassan had Soldier of Allah on his business cards -

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/.....id=9065692

  • Voton||

    Absolute bullshit. The man openly expressed sympathy for the enemy. The whole tale is a picture-perfect of John Derbyshire's bon mot: "Better dead than rude."

  • ||

    Mr. Chapman must be reading different articles or watching different news programs that have I. Commentators have scrupulously avoided blaming Islam for this act, while trying to explain what happened in the sense of terroristic acts in the name of Islam. It is not the same thing.

    When a Muslim reads the Quran and notes that infidels must be converted or killed in Jihad, not every Muslim goes out to find and kill a westerner, anymore than a fundamentalist Christian reads Leviticus and kill someone he/she considers a witch (although fundamentalist Christians have done so). This perversion of faith is part and parcel of the actions of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

    It is not an indictment of Islam to say that Hasan's interpretation of his faith led him to kill 14 (remember the unborn child) infidels while screaming Allahu akbar! To read/hear this in the "abounding" commentary is more imagination than fact.

    I am more concerned, however, that no one seems to want to call this an act of terrorism -- it surely is, no less than the suicide bomber's "selfless" act in the name of Islam.

    سلام لكم.

  • ||

    Leviticus is Old Testament, it was abrogated by the coming of Jesus.

    Killing infidels in the name of Islam is not a "perversion of faith", it fulfills it. Killing infidels is not an "interpretation" of Islam. The Quran, Hadith, and Sunna say what they say, and they say that endless warfare (note I did not say combat, while that is indeed popular lawfare is also a popular tactic against the West) against the unbelievers until Islam rules, everywhere, is the highest duty a Muslim can have. And it is a duty, the Quran and Hadith have many nasty things to say about Muslims refuse it.

  • ||

    Islam considers Jesus a prophet of Allah. Hasan includes that in his slide show.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_in_Islam

    A follower of Jesus could not be an infidel if you take Islam at its word.

  • ||

    Muhammad made Jesus a prophet in order to delegitimize Christianity. Islam claims two important things about Jesus: (1) he preached Islam, but the Christians perverted his teachings, and (2) on the Last Day, Jesus will slay all the unbelievers and cast their souls down to hell as payment for the souls of the believers he will resurrect. If you believe that, then it obviously follows that Christianity is a fraud, never mind that it predates Islam by 6 centuries.

    A Christian rejects Muhammad's claim of prophethood, as well Allah himself. Christianity also claims God to be a Trinity. All of these Islam considers heresy. We all know what Muhammad's penalty for heresy is: death.

  • Tim Starr||

    I only called Gaza & the West Bank "occupied" to accept Pape's pap for the sake of argument. The correct description of them is "disputed" territories, not "occupied."

    The first suicide-terrorists were Hezbollah in Lebanon in the early 1980s. Shi'ite Islam, being a cult of martyrdom, was needed to make the conceptual leap to terrorist attacks requiring the death of the terrorist in order to succeed, as opposed to attacks that merely risked the terrorist's life. Hezbollah then trained the LTTE to use the same tactic in Sri Lanka, and the LTTE invented the suicide-bomb vest as their great contribution to world civilization.

    It wasn't until the 1990s that the Palestinians took up suicide-terrorism, and that was as an offshoot of the power struggle between Hamas and Fatah within the Palestinian Authority's jurisdiction; the faction that could produce the most suicide attacks on Israelis was thought to have the most credibility with the Palestinian people.

    The usual pretexts for terrorism are: collateral damage, sanctions, and unsavory alliances. However, there's no positive correlation between the two:

    * The USA has killed a lot more collateral casualties around the world than it ever has in the Middle East, but no foreign terrorists from anywhere else have ever killed civlians in the USA. Meanwhile, the USA has never killed civilians in Saudi Arabia, where most of the 9/11 hijackers came from.

    * The USA has imposed sanctions on countries in every region outside the Middle East, but no foreign terrorists from anywhere else have ever killed civilians in the USA. Meanwhile, the USA has never imposed sanctions on Saudi Arabia, where most of the 9/11 hijackers came from.

    * The USA has allied with evil dictators in every region of the world besides the Middle East, but no foreign terrorists from anywhere else have ever killed civilians in the USA.

  • Vlad||

    LOL,How long do you think Pape had to look for statistics that would support his evasions of what motivates terrorists? I mean he narrowed it down to 4 year period, in lebanon in order to pull those out. I bet those took a while to find.

  • Bill||

    C'mon Steve, you're citing suicide bombing statistics that are more than 20 years old to make a point that most are not extremist Islam based? I've come to expect more from you than that. I would suggest that there has possibly been an increase in the proportion of extremist Muslim terrorist attacks in the past 20 years and that stats from the 1980's may not bear that much relevance to today's discussion. I could be wrong, but I think more recent statistics would be helpful here.

  • ||

    Not every moslem hates the USA. And not everyone who hates the USA is a moslem. But anyone who has a sense of justice and humanity will agree that moslems, in particular, and Arabs, in general, will feel a strong antipathy for US politics and the misuse of military power and a Goebbels-like media policy against their brothers and sisters in these wars which seem guided by an apartheid-like spirit of superiority, as has come to surface, especially in the USA and its protectorate Israel. These wars of infamy and their open "justification" of crimes which were thought to have been dealt with sucessfully in Nuremberg after WWII have upset many good people around the world. Most of these will not fall into the despair Maj. Hasan fell into, being part of the force that had become one of evil. But the distrust and caution towards these convulsions of a decaying Empire will last for a long time to come.

  • Morley Evans||

    Of course, Nidal Hasan is insane and his insanity was doubtless cultivated by his religion. Hasan finally resorted to violence. Shocking, but not surprising. So what about the ten or fifteen thousand soldiers at Fort Hood, TX? Are they there to meditate on the gospel? Is peace and love their main preoccupation? Well actually, no. They are there in the final stop before they are sent off to kill and maim people in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan and someday soon Iran. They wear uniforms, march around, shoot at targets, undergo indoctrination, learn how to inflict pain and death, and do their best to become homicidal maniacs. At least that is what their trainers would like most. Hasan wanted to get out of the Army. Doubtless many other soldiers want to get out of the Army. But they will all go off to "do their duty" anyway. Who is crazy here?

  • nike shox||

    is good

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