Terrorism

When Cultures Clash

How the Fort Hood shooting tests our values

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The tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas earlier this month—the murderous rampage by Army major and military psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan, who fatally shot 13 people and wounded 28 on the military base—has reignited a complex and thorny debate: Does the danger posed by Islamist radicalism justify some "religious profiling" toward millions of ordinary, non-violent Muslims?

Many commentators, primarily on the right, charge that misguided sensitivity has caused the mainstream media to downplay Hasan's apparent radicalized Islamic beliefs as a factor in the shootings and to focus instead on mental illness, anxiety about deployment to Afghanistan, or the stress of counseling returning soldiers. And indeed, whether or not Hasan's killing spree officially qualifies as "terrorism," that it was linked to religious zealotry is almost certain at this point. Not only did Hasan, by eyewitness accounts, shout "Allahu Akbar!" ("God is great!") during his attack; previously, he had corresponded with a jihad-preaching cleric and had been openly preoccupied with the conflict between Muslim faith and service in the U.S. armed forces when the U.S. is at war in Muslim countries.

The son of Palestinian immigrants, Hasan was born and raised in Virginia, and until recently seemed to exemplify a successful American life as a college and medical school graduate and an Army officer. For some, his actions will no doubt boost the claim—long advanced by critics of Islam such as JihadWatch.com blogger Hugh Fitzgerald—that virtually any Muslim American, no matter how seemingly well-integrated into our society, should be regarded as a potential violent extremist. Rejecting such prejudice, the "anti-jihadists" argue, imperils our survival.

Embracing it, however, would be profoundly destructive to core American values—not only religious tolerance but the principle of treating people as individuals. Fortunately, while the events at Fort Hood do suggest that "political correctness" may be detrimental to our safety, they also show that a prudent response to the risk of violent radicalism does not have to be a bigoted one.

One need not be an advocate of wholesale ethnic and religious profiling of all Arabs and Muslims to see that Hasan's behavior before the shootings should have set off all kinds of alarm bells. It also seems very likely that these alarm bells went unheeded in part for "politically correct" reasons. According to The New York Times, In 2007, Hasan gave two presentations, one at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and one in a master's program in public health, that many his colleagues and classmates found shocking, inappropriate, and sympathetic to "radical Islamist views." The first advocated that Muslim soldiers should be able to claim conscientious objector status if required to go to war against fellow Muslims, expressly prohibited by the Koran; the second was titled, "Why The War on Terror is a War on Islam."

Yet it is unknown whether the concerns of many residents and faculty at Walter Reed were even reported to Army officials. Some staff members, the Times reports, did not want to appear insensitive to Muslim culture. As Forbes.com columnist and Hoover Institution fellow Tunku Varadarajan has noted, "We don't have to be paranoid about Arab males; we just have to avoid the opposite: Being fearful of coming across as Islamophobic, and thereby failing to look straight at a situation." A no-nonsense response to actual warning signs of extremism would not only avoid the injustices of across-the-board profiling, it would also be far more efficient.

Still, the dilemma remains a difficult one. While all religions have their zealots and extremists, it is a little-disputed fact that today, the streak of extremism and zealotry is much more prominent and closer to the mainstream in Islam than in other major faiths. The FBI estimates than 10 percent of mosques in America preach jihad. A 2007 Pew Research Center survey found that about a quarter of American Muslims under 30 believe that suicide terrorism in defense of Islam is at least sometimes justified.

Terrorism is not the only form of risk to consider. This year, a 17-year-old Ohio girl, Fahtima Rifqa Bary, became a minor cause célèbre when she ran away from her Muslim parents and took refuge with a husband-and-wife couple of pastors in Florida, claiming her father had threatened to kill her for converting to Christianity. She has found support among conservative Christians and others critical of Islam, who point to Islamic teachings that prescribe death for apostates and to "honor killings" of Muslim women seen as having shamed their families. Forcibly sending the girl back home, they argue, could be a death sentence.

Meanwhile, Bary's parents, neither of whom has any record of violence or extremism, staunchly deny her allegations; their attorney has noted out that all their children are Westernized and that Rifqa herself was a cheerleader. The family claims that the pastors, whom the girl met on Facebook, have brainwashed her into believing she was in danger. Last month, a Florida judge ordered the teenager returned to Ohio, where she is in foster care pending further hearings. Her outraged supporters, over 100 of whom turned out for a rally in Columbus on Monday, insist that Bary's pleas for protection must be taken seriously, and that public officials are dismissing her legitimate fears out of either ignorance or bias.

It is hard to disagree with the argument that judges in such cases should, to some extent, consider the cultural context in assessing the credibility of a threat. Yet, if taken to its logical conclusion, the position of Rifqa Bary's champions means that any Muslim parent, no matter how law-abiding, could be stripped of parental rights on a mere accusation. That is a deeply disturbing prospect.

Clashes of culture, especially when combined with the danger of violence, can sorely test our values. In the years to come, we will have to walk a fine line between common sense and prejudice. And, if society's more enlightened segments eschew common sense and hide from the facts, they will ultimately leave the field open to bigots.

Cathy Young writes a weekly column for RealClearPolitics and is a contributing editor at Reason magazine. She blogs at http://cathyyoung.wordpress.com/. This article originally appeared at RealClearPolitics.

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  1. I think it’s pretty clear at this point that there were enough warnings about Dr. Hasan’s behavior that it seems like people went out of their way to ignore the signs. It’s hard to know whether the Army would have been as quick to ignore the obvious warnings were he a white supremacist, or even just someone who had voted for Ron Paul or attended a Tea Party. In fact, I’m not entirely sure which I’d hope for– that the Army is leaning so far away from profiling Muslims as to ignore obvious signs, or that the Army would just ignore multiple extremely obvious warning signs from anyone.

  2. Does the danger posed by Islamist radicalism justify some “religious profiling” toward millions of ordinary, non-violent Muslims?

    It wasn’t only that the guy was Muslim – there were more obvious and highly disturbing features, like his Islamic rants, for instance.

    Clashes of culture, especially when combined with the danger of violence, can sorely test our values. In the years to come, we will have to walk a fine line between common sense and prejudice.

    Maybe people should just judge other people’s actions, for a change, instead of relying on touchy feely rationalizations, like the reliance of political correctness.

    1. Disturbing features? Check out the waxed uni-brow, now that is disturbing.

      1. Dammit, somebody more speedily pithy than I got to it first.

        1. That’s a racist comment!

      2. For days I racked my brain trying to think of who this guy reminded me of. Finally realized it was the Evil Grimace, for those old enough to remember that character.

    2. The Western civilization is still not knowledgeable enough about Islam to distinguish a potential killer from a normal Muslim. Therefore, it tiptoes around people like Hasan, because it does not want to hurt its “religious feelings”.

      Guy like Hasan would not be acceptable for army in Turkey or Tunisia anywhere above the Sergeant level. They would quickly discern him as troublemaker and potential jihadi, and give him the boot.

      But if we are to obtain the capability to distinguish between loyal Muslims and traitors in name of Islam, we can’t possibly consult people like CAIR or imams from Salafist-mosques. The consultants must be knowledgeable about Islam, but without any significant positive bias towards it.

      And finding such consultants in today’s PC world, where Middle-East studies are largely funded by sheik’s oil money…? Good luck with that.

  3. Is it just me, or does Hasan look kind of like a muppet?

    1. Evil Bert!!

      1. Holy shit, that’s perfect.

        Fuckin’ yellow skinned unibrow havin’ bastard.

        1. Don’t ask, don’t tell about his relationship with Ernie (NTTIAWWT).

  4. ” even just someone who had voted for Ron Paul or attended a Tea Party.””

    Is that a warning?

    1. Happened here in Missouri:

      http://www.scribd.com/doc/1323…..a-Movement

  5. I’m often perplexed by these issues, being an atheist and what not doesn’t help. For a long time I thought well let them believe what they want to believe in and I’ll be comfortable knowing I’m right, no need to rub it in eh?.. I think part of that came from having to take religion classes in school (I went to a Catholic University). Since 9/11 though I’ve taken a different view… If you believe some normal stuff, I’ll give you a pass, if you believe in something I perceive as wackadoodle, I will discriminate against you and challenge you beliefs.
    To be fair though, I don’t limit myself to crazy Islamists. Mormons(except for the polygamy thing, which is way rad), Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s witnesses, Hindi’s, Quakers and many other fall into this category. Things like not believing in modern medicine and evolution also irk me to the point where I’ll scorn you for having the temerity to believe such utter nonsense.

    1. Go fuck yourself.

    2. Yeah, you gotta watch out for those Quaker extremists, man. They’re vicious little bastards.

  6. No it is not just you X.

    It is only a clash of values if you think Hassan is a typical Muslim. As Old Mexican points out above, this guy was out of his tree for a long time.

    How about this idea, when someone goes around saying crazy shit, why don’t we pay attention regardless of how said crazy shit is justified.

    1. Depends on how you define crazy shit, and what you think you should do about it.

      DHS thinks supporting the “Don’t tread on me” flag is crazy shit. What do you want them to do about it?

      Think about it, what you are advocating for would get most Ron Paul fans, Constitution believers, tax haters, anti-fed, troops in trouble, or on a possible terrorist list. Is that how we want to treat our troops in the future?

      Almost every day someone on H&R makes a post the could be considered crazy and threatening. Most of those would rise to the level of being a obvious sign if viewed in hindsight resulting from mass murder.

    2. Who is ‘we’? You mean law enforcement (i.e. the government)? Think it should police people’s speech and associations?

      1. When that speech and associations involve the endorsement of killing people, yes.

        1. John you are aware there are people here that endorse such actions, and by you being a regular on H&R, you have an association with them.

  7. On the Fahtima Rifqa Bary case. A seventeen year old of any religion who claims their parents intend to kill them is coming from from such a dysfunctional family environment that only an idiot would attempt to reunite the family.
    ________________________________________
    Nidal Malik Hasan is assimilated enought to allow his attorneys to present an insanity defense. So much for his heartfelt religious beliefs. He’s a murderer, plain and simple.

    1. On forcing the kid back to her parents – what he said.

  8. “While all religions have their zealots and extremists, it is a little-disputed fact that today, the streak of extremism and zealotry is much more prominent and closer to the mainstream in Islam than in other major faiths. The FBI estimates than 10 percent of mosques in America preach jihad.”
    ———————-
    Perhaps someone would dispute that claim. First, however, you’ll have to define your terms. “Jihad” is a theologically complex term, so let’s leave that aside for a moment (by the way, and please correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t all mosques technically “preach jihad”). How about extremism? Since you haven’t offered any definition, I’ll try: Would it be fair to say that extremism is the conviction that one’s particular political and religious ends justify inhuman, violent means?

    If so, perhaps you can find out how many churches would fit the definition of “extremism.” How many pastors think it’s A-Ok for the US to bomb the hell out of whoever they want (because, hey, our bombs are “smart”)? How many congregations would enthusiastically applaud waterboarding?

    This is no defense of bastards like Hasan or of Muslim extremists as a whole, but don’t you feel the mote poking your eye just a little bit, Cathy?

    1. C’mon, do you seriously dispute that adherent of Islam are more given to violence in the name of their beliefs than any other mainstream religion? Look at what happened in Europe over the Muhammad cartoons. Look at the discrimination that Jews and Christians suffer in every Muslim majority country. Look at the way the vast majority of Muslims treat women.

      Unlike Christianity or Judaism, Islam encourages conversion through conquest, it requires theocracy, and it mandates an inferior political status for women and unbelievers. That’s not just a historical artificact either – it’s the reality in every Muslim majority country.

      Islam is illiberal at its core and, unless that changes, it will be very difficult to assimilate large numbers of Muslims into Western society.

      1. Yes, I seriously doubt that “adherents of Islam are more given to violence in the name of their beliefs” than the adherents of Judeo-Christian American exceptionalism–our national faith. We are deluding ourselves with a false morality that draws an arbitrary line between terrorist acts and the day-to-day operations of our military. According to the polls I’ve seen, the more often you attend church, the more likely you are to support this murder and its resultant abuses (torture, etc.).

        And it’s just bullshit to say that Islam demands theocracy, the subjugation of women, and other “illiberal” acts while Christianity and Judaism don’t. There are a multitude of varieties of all three faiths, and it’s impossible to claim that “true” Judaism and Christianity are peaceful while “true” Islam is illiberal.

        1. OK. You defend Islam and try to find a moral equivalent where there is none. Do keep on trying. For reasons unknown, it is the balm that your soul needs rather badly. So be it. Reality, of course, will not change but you can throw your lot with the Islamists and then grin and bear it.

        2. “it’s impossible to claim that “true” Judaism and Christianity are peaceful while “true” Islam is illiberal.”

          Yes absolutely

          That’s why Larry David is witness protection for mocking Christians on His Show.

          And thats why the movie 2012 depicted the destruction of Kaaba not the Vatican

          And its why christians are so angry at moslems that they blow up christian strangers to vent their anger.

          And its why christians kill their own daughters if they allow themselves to be raped.

        3. Confusing religion with nationalism is a big sin in conversation. Nationalism is a secular ideology, well like socialism or juche. If you, aspushkin, insist on mixing these two, you are never going to learn anything about either.

          There are some tribal religions like Zoroastrianism or Judaism where ethnic and religious elements are intertwined, but the main faiths of the world are rather universalist.

          And as for religious extremism, it is pretty sure that from the next 100 bombs that go off in incidents with overtly religious subtones / setup / context, about 98 will be accompanied by “Allahu Akbar”, and not “Deo Gratias”, “Hail Mary” or “Om mani padme hum”.

        4. People like you are the real problem. You’re nothing but an apologist for a nasty, violent religion.

    2. How come you automatically assume that if a christian in pro war, then that attitude must come from their Christianity? Also, their is no moral equivalent between what we’re trying to accomplish (whether you are for or against the government, you have to admit that nobody just wants to lay waste to Iraq and Afghanistan “so that those heathens can drown in their blood!”) and the senseless slaughter that is involved terrorism. Terrorism to me is violence with no tactical basis. The only purpose of terrorism is to cause horror in the hearts and minds of the afflicted. Warfare is generally about achieving tactical goals meant to aid a larger objective.

  9. Way to take a clear and bold stand, Ms. Young.

  10. The problem in this case doesn’t result from either the family’s religion or the credibility of the daughter’s accusation, but on the daughter’s legal age. Should she be denied freedom of movement and association simply because she’s a minor?

    The article talks about the potential loss of “parental rights”, but a philosophy of freedom would declare that there are no parental rights OVER the rights of the child. Instead there are parental responsibilities which the child has the right to decline.

    Despite being a minor this girl is still a person, and should have the right to make decisions about her own life.

    1. It’s a sliding scale kind of thing. Were she five it’s one thing, as she’s less than a year from alleged adulthood (no drinks for you Fahtima) it’s another thing altogether. We elect/appoint judges to sort these difficult things out and it appears that this one is fucking clueless.

  11. lol oops wrong article ^

  12. ^ or not. I need to get more sleep.

  13. What I fail to see is what could have realistically been done in this situation. Kicking him out of the military for those two presentations would have been a lawsuit waiting to happen. His defense of conscientious objector status for Muslims doesn’t sound any more out there than a Quaker claiming they don’t want to take any lives. And I’m pretty sure that multiple liberal talk shows have argued that the Iraq war is a war on Islam… that’s half of the left’s point about the war, isn’t it? That this is a modern day fundamentalist crusade? I’d be surprised if there aren’t a few liberals who are working in other non-combat roles in the army or for defense contractors who feel similarly (I certainly wasn’t asked about my political views when I used to work for one).

    I guess what I’m saying is that none of his Islam-related warning signs would have precluded his owning (let alone acquiring illegally) a gun, and only a very constitutionally sketchy version of them could lead to him losing his job and therefore access to a military base.

    Now, the rest of his psychological profile in regards to being sent back to Iraq I could definitely see limiting his job or his access… but even that is taking a very strict view. There are a lot of guys who are very conflicted about being sent into a war zone who *don’t* decide to shoot everybody.

    We have to be wary of false positives. There has been *one* guy since this war on terror started who decided to go nuts and start killing fellow American soldiers in Allah’s name. There are thousands of troops who are Muslim, or who might disagree with Iraq, or who might be very psychologically disturbed about being sent into a war zone. Counseling sounds like a good idea – but I can’t think of anything that will stop someone from committing this sort of crime short of imprisonment, and up to his actual crime Hasan had done *nothing* to indicate that he deserved that.

    1. To many, practicing Islam is enough.

    2. “His defense of conscientious objector status for Muslims doesn’t sound any more out there than a Quaker claiming they don’t want to take any lives.”

      I think there is a difference between “I don’t want to take any lives” and “I don’t want to take any Muslim lives…”

      1. Particularly in light of the fact that pacifism is a core Quaker belief. For Islam, not so much.

        1. Actually, not taking Muslim lives is supposed to be a very core part of Islam. It’s why the Muslim caliphs for hundreds of years employed non-Muslim mercenaries/slaves to fight their local wars for them.

          Judging from a purely neutral point of view, they are both arbitrary religious beliefs based on whom one is allowed to kill. One may personally judge that one is better than the other, but from a pure standpoint of how well someone is following their religion, neither is particularly far out there.

          1. “Judging from a purely neutral point of view, they are both arbitrary religious beliefs based on whom one is allowed to kill.”

            That’s a false premise–Wayne already mentioned this above. The Quaker belief that taking a human life is wrong is not arbitrary at all, it is a complete prohibition. The Muslim belief that taking a another Muslim life, on the other hand, is nearly the opposite of that belief.

            1. How is any religious rule not arbitrary? Obviously most other Christians consider it arbitrary, as they ignore it.

          2. “Actually, not taking Muslim lives is supposed to be a very core part of Islam.”

            That must be why the main victims of moslem terrorists are other moslems.

            Also explains the Iran-Iraq War, Gulf War, the rise of Saudi Arabia by conquest etc.

            1. That is the core of the takfiri argumentation; namely, that most of the “fellow Muslims” are not Muslims enough to be under protection of Islam, but rather apostates that deserve to be killed.

              No wonder that takfir is explicitely prohibited by the newly written Iraqi constitution.

            2. So obviously “thou shalt not kill” is not as a valid part of Christian belief because of the thousands of people who have been killed by American troops? I’m not trying to make a value judgement on Christians killing versus Muslims killing – I’m trying to point out that many adherents to religion find some way to rationalize their way out of their religious teachings. That doesn’t change original teachings, which are the supposed justification for allowing *any* conscientious objector status to begin with.

              1. The correct translation is “thou shall not murder”.

                1. So would God call the killing of infidels murder? Probably not.

                  1. Certainly not, if they are guilty of pissing against the wall.

    3. What I fail to see is what could have realistically been done in this situation. Kicking him out of the military for those two presentations would have been a lawsuit waiting to happen.

      They could have kicked him out for gross violations of patient privacy, when he kept trying to get war crimes charges against people he was supposed to be counseling.

      1. Very true! So much of the coverage of this has focused on his radical beliefs that I hadn’t actually read about those acts. This article, for example, never mentioned them.

      2. Or telling his patients that converting to islam could save their sole.

        http://www.npr.org/templates/s…..=120313570

        Would a born again christian proselytizing his patients during therapy be tolerated?

        1. I fail to see how this would have prevented him from killing anyone, it might have just prevented him from killing servicemen.

    4. His defense of conscientious objector status for Muslims doesn’t sound any more out there than a Quaker claiming they don’t want to take any lives.

      Actually, given that we currently have an all-volunteer military in the U.S., Hasan’s defense of conscientious objector status for Muslims is so “unclear on the concept” as to cross well into batshit-crazy territory. I mean, he was basically saying that people who voluntarily enlist in the military should be free to “opt out” of certain missions whenever they felt too much ethnic or religious affinity with the enemy.

      That’s no way to run a military, to put it mildly.

    5. “His defense of conscientious objector status for Muslims doesn’t sound any more out there than a Quaker claiming they don’t want to take any lives.”

      This in defense of a guy who murdered 13 people. This in defense of a guy who volunteered to serve in the US Army. The iron in the irony of this statement is strong indeed.

      If he was so conscientious, he might have declined his fully-paid-by-the-US Army medical school scholarship and simply remained a civilian.

      1. I agree 100% with this statement. I in no way think that this asshole should have gotten out of going to war because he was Muslim. It is an all volunteer military – you know what you’re getting into when you sign up. But as an intellectual argument, it makes as much sense to me as anyone’s argument that they shouldn’t have to go to war because of their religious beliefs.

        The Koran says that Muslims shouldn’t kill other Muslims. The Christian Bible says that Christians shouldn’t kill people, either. If you’re going to allow anyone to get out of military service because it’s against their religious belief system, in a secular nation, you don’t get to pick which religious beliefs you find reasonable and which ones you don’t.

        1. So when are muslims going to pay attention to the Koran and stop killing each other?

    6. “Now, the rest of his psychological profile in regards to being sent back to Iraq…”

      He was not being sent “back” to Iraq. He never deployed, ever. All of his “war time” was spent at Walter Reed, Ft. Hood, his mosque and conversing with jihadists on the internet.

    7. “And I’m pretty sure that multiple liberal talk shows have argued that the Iraq war is a war on Islam… that’s half of the left’s point about the war, isn’t it? That this is a modern day fundamentalist crusade?”

      I don’t usually listen to Liberal talk shows so I will take your word for it, but to call the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan “fundamentalist crusades” is ridiculous.

      1. And yet you’ll easily find many liberls who claim just that or some equivalent (i.e. that it’s just white christian americans being bigoted)

        1. See Tony’s reply below. It’s scary.

  14. Meanwhile, teabaggers are all but advocating domestic terrorism and armed rebellion. Those are not warning signs, though, it’s freedom!

    1. I am not aware of “teabaggers” advocating terrorism or armed rebellion. Just as a bit of a refresher though, armed rebellion is how this country was born, and the main point of the second amendment is to ensure against a tyrannical government by… armed rebellion.

      1. “Tyrannical government” being something other than a legitimately elected government such as the one we have, right?

        1. Tony, if McCain had won, your side would be talking the same talk.

          Unfortunately, McCain lost. More unfortunately, Obama won.

          We traded one regime for another. The slide continues.

    2. I advocate death for all left wingers. Every traitorous one of them. But, I’d hardly call restoration of our constitution “rebellion”. The rebels are the traitors.

  15. Mike you’re right except that there have been two. Remember that guy who threw the grenade in his commander’s tent in like 2003?

    But yeah, I don’t think this one or two guys constitutes a trend big enough that policy needs to worry about it.

    1. My bad, I had missed that incident.

      My uncle served in the first gulf. He said the first dead body he saw was while he was still in training, and someone decided to go crazy with a .45 on the local base. It’s a sad thing, but it isn’t a new thing.

  16. Does the danger posed by Islamist radicalism justify some “religious profiling” toward millions of ordinary, non-violent Muslims?

    Not any more so than the murder of Dr. Tiller would justify religious profiling of ordinary non-violent Christians.

    Neither group should be tainted by the actions of the most extreme among them.

    In fact, after the murder of Dr. Tiller, I didn’t see too people pondering whether we should start profiling Christians. Why is it ok though when the religion is Islam?

    1. In fact, after the murder of Dr. Tiller, I didn’t see too people pondering whether we should start profiling Christians. Why is it ok though when the religion is Islam?

      You did see people saying that traditional rights of free speech and protest in front of clinics should be restricted because some nut might shoot a doctor, though.

      1. That doesn’t make them right.

  17. Dude, it is what it is, someone or something pushed this guy over the edge and he went postal. No biggie, no major terrorist plot, just a single dude that got fed up.

    Jess
    http://www.complete-privacy.se.tc

  18. Try as we might, there is no way to reasonably justify Islam and ALL it stands for. No way at all.

    Some people try to appease Muslims by blaming Western nations for their endless problems, backwardness and totally uncivilized mentality and behavior. Also, unbelievable as it might sound, some blame that speck of a country (with less than 6 million Jewish population), called Israel, for all the problems of 1500 million Muslims spread throughout the world.

    Most everybody in the West, but also in China and India, would like to see Muslims go back to the countries where they, or their ancestors, came from rather than live in our midst as the implacable enemy within.

    By and large, the cursed “ISLAM UBER ALES” jihadist battle cry against all civilized nations must be eradicated forthwith and without hesitation – not only from Muslims’ mentality but also from our very own.

    Fort Hood murders were not an accident but rather a crime waiting to happen at any moment. This is the sad reality that we must all accept and act against, without hesitations.

    1. So how do we act? Give me an action?

      Do you want to round up every Muslim and throw them in a camp? Kick them out of the country? Is there any possible solution that does not involve ignoring every single sentiment this country was founded on? That does not involve the needless persecution of millions of innocent people?

      What do you want to do? Give me some logical solution to this problem of the “enemy within” that *doesn’t* make you sound worse than the Jihadists.

      1. Here is a “solution” that might have prevented the Ft. Hood incident: when a clear and present danger is identified don’t be so cowed by political correctness that reasonable action is precluded. If a muslim is exchanging friendly emails with known jihadists, and calling his traumatized patients war criminals, sack him.

        1. What if they were war criminals?

          Their shrink would know, right?

      2. Here is another solution:

        Identify those who are advocating violence against Americans, and those who condone violence against Americans, and deport them if they are not born citizens. This would change many mosques from terrorist recruiting grounds into places of peaceful worship.

      3. Another option would be to restrict immigration from muslim countries.

        http://www.minneapolisfoundati…..africa.htm

        I feel sorry for the conditions in their home countries too. But why is the US shipping them 1/2 way across the world and supporting them on welfare?

        1. GET RID OF THE WELFARE FOR IMMIGRANTS. (and most citizens too)

          1. Just get rid of all national social programs. Let states and communities take care of their own less fortunate.

  19. “The FBI estimates than 10 percent of mosques in America preach jihad. ”

    Those 10% should be shut the fuck down. Since when does freedom of speech include the right to advocate for a violent religious war? IE, isn’t that fighting words etc?

    Also, if any child tells someone in authority that they believe thier parents are trying/going to kill them, that should be taken seriously right?

  20. Shortly after the 9/11 attack a poll was conducted amongst the citizens of Muslim countries (Saudi Arabia, etc), where the question, “do you approve of the 9/11 attack?” was posed. A large majority, something like 80%, approved.

    This sort of shows what we are up against.

    1. Maybe if you are fighting public opinion. But 80% of mulsims are not at war with the west.

  21. “By the time 9/11 terrorist attacks took place around 80% of all Muslims were hateful, resentful and envious of America simply because they became adherents of Neoislam. To measure the reaction of the educated Egyptian-Muslim middle-class to 9/11, the Free Egyptians conducted opinion polls on a sample thereof on 9/11 and during the ensuing days when an atmosphere of euphoria and rejoicing took control of and overwhelmed the Muslim street. Release of results at an earlier date was not possible for security reasons. Part of the findings is outlined below….”

    http://www.free-press-release……63738.html

  22. Actually, I would heartily dispute that his action was “jihadist”.

    To me, a “jihadist” is someone who wants to impose Muslim rule on non-Muslims by force. Like the Little Green Football types are so happy to tell us, “jihadists” want a worldwide caliphate and theocracy, with the rest of us as dhimmis.

    There’s absolutely no evidence Hasan wanted any of that. No evidence he wanted a theocracy, no evidence he wanted a worldwide jihad.

    The best evidence we have is that he was a fairly typical, if somewhat maladjusted, American citizen until he was politically radicalized by the Bush-era wars.

    He politically opposed our war policy, and committed an act of mutiny in opposition to it.

    Or are we “defining down” jihad now to the point where Muslims who are perfectly content to live in a secular United States, but who oppose elements of our foreign policy, are now “jihadists”? Because if we are, that’s fucking stupid.

    I’m pretty sure that at various points in the last eight years, extremist anti-Muslim political voices have called for things like mass detention of Muslims, nuclear strikes on Muslim holy sites, mass bombings of civilians in areas held by insurgents, the suspension of the first amendment, etc. You put enough of those things together, and you could convince me that the time had come to consider revolution. Would that make me a “jihadist”, notwithstanding my virulent and militant atheism?

    1. “He politically opposed our war policy, and committed an act of mutiny in opposition to it.”

      He did not commit an act of mutiny, he murdered 13 people.

    2. “To me, a “jihadist” is someone who wants to impose Muslim rule on non-Muslims by force.”

      No, jihadist is anyone who fights “lesser jihad” (or “jihad of sword”, today of bomb or AK-47) against non-Muslims for any religious reason.

      “Defense of Islam” counts as righteous jihad which does not even require caliph’s permission, while offensive jihad that you seem to be concentrated on, in fact, does require caliph’s permission.

      No wonder that the observant types in the jihad camp insist that they wage defensive jihad all the time.

      1. OK, I can see in the comments below that you have the problem of applying the jihadist label to non-jihadi types who mouth about Islam while killing for other purposes.

        Let us add “credibly” to the definition, do we?

        And yes, I am aware that “credibly” is an imprecise word and that some idiots will give credit to everyone and some paranoiacs to no one, but, given the fact that we talk about inner motivations of men, we must accept some degree of indetermination.

  23. “Or are we “defining down” jihad now to the point where Muslims who are perfectly content to live in a secular United States, but who oppose elements of our foreign policy, are now “jihadists”? Because if we are, that’s fucking stupid.”

    Murdering 13 people is a bit beyond opposing elements of US foreign policy.

    1. Thanks for not answering the actual question, you fucking cunt.

      1. Fluffy,

        I don’t know of anybody calling peaceful Muslims jihadists. Disagreeing with foreign policy is acceptable from Muslims and others. I disagree with some US foreign policy, and, like you, I am an atheist.

  24. “The best evidence we have is that he was a fairly typical, if somewhat maladjusted, American citizen until he was politically radicalized by the Bush-era wars.”

    Thanks for that. I hadn’t noodled through how it was actually Bush who did it, and not Hasan.

    1. Again, you are such a worthless cunt that you can’t even address the actual question.

      Is a “jihadist” someone who wants to impose Muslim dominion over the world by force?

      Or is anyone who makes the political decision that they oppose the actions of the United States, and undertakes violence as a result, a “jihadist”?

      Because if it’s the latter now, then the word has no fucking meaning at all.

      1. If you keep calling me “cunt” I am going to have my feelings seriously hurt.

    2. BTW, I think Bush already has plenty of dead Americans to keep him warm at night. He doesn’t need credit for any of Hasan’s 13. He can spare 13.

  25. “Or is anyone who makes the political decision that they oppose the actions of the United States, and undertakes violence as a result, a “jihadist”?”

    The fact that Hasan was shouting, “Allah U Akbar”, leads me to conclude he was a Jihadist. What does it make you conclude?

    1. I don’t conclude anything from that other than the fact that he’s a Muslim, which we already knew.

      Look, we can dispense with the cunt-calling and dispose of the side issues you keep trying to raise very nicely if you can answer the quite simple question at the core of what we’re discussing:

      Is a “jihadist” someone who want to impose Islam over the world by force, via a jihad of conquest? [There are groups with this explicit goal.]

      Or is any Muslim who commits an act of violence with any political motivation whatsoever a “jihadist”?

      Just let me know which one you pick. Then we can both understand what you mean.

      Because the only reason I’m in this thread is because Cathy Young said that no one could dispute that Hasan was a jihadist, and that depends entirely on what a jihadist actually is.

      1. Shouting the phrase, “Allah U Akbar” does give some indication that his motivations were more than just “political”. What would you call him?

        That Hasan is deranged is beyond dispute, but that just means that he is not a deranged Jihadist.

        What do you think a Jihadist is?

        1. I think I’ve said several times now that I think a jihadist is someone who wants to wage jihad to establish the rule of Islam over nonbelievers by force.

          I don’t think, for example, that someone sitting around in Iraq thinking, “I hate Americans, I think I’ll plant a roadside bomb,” is automatically a jihadist. [That doesn’t happen a lot any more, thankfully.]

          “Jihadist” has become a catchall term employed to describe quite disparate groups.

          If Hasan was a jihadist, he should have been one before the war[s]. And there’s no sign that he was. Or at least none that have been made public to date.

          The problem here as far as I am concerned is that if I do a PowerPoint presentation entitled “Why the War on Terror is a War on Islam”, it’s just another political statement. If Hasan does that, he has “radical Islamist views”. If I was in the army and turned against the war, or didn’t want to be deployed, or thought that my fellow soldiers were confessing war crimes to me, and I went postal and shut the joint up, I’d be hung as a murderer and mutineer, but no one would say that I was a “jihadist”.

      2. “Look, we can dispense with the cunt-calling…”

        Who is this “we” you speak of? I haven’t called anybody a cunt.

    2. Pretty low standard of evidence.

  26. I detest threaded comments.

  27. “Is a “jihadist” someone who want to impose Islam over the world by force, via a jihad of conquest? [There are groups with this explicit goal.]

    Or is any Muslim who commits an act of violence with any political motivation whatsoever a “jihadist”?”

    IMO, a Jihadist is a Muslim who commits a violent act against an innocent person and justifies that act based on his belief in Islam.

    1. That’s a stupid definition.

      Just about anyone who employs violence against another human being will try to claim a moral justification. That means that if the person is Muslim, they will inevitably do so in the context of their own religious beliefs. So as a result, you’ve expanded the term “jihadist” to mean any Muslim who commits an act of political violence, and the term was never intended to mean that. Yassir Arafat was not a jihadist, despite his many political murders. Nasser was not a jihadist. Saddam Hussein was not a jihadist. They all probably shouted “Allahu Ahkbar!” now and again, though.

      1. So, what standard of differentiation do you propose?

        Obviously, there is a difference between:

        1) a skirt-chasing, whisky-drinking nationalist Arab terrorist like the types from the 1970s, who in some speeches utters the word “Allah” as a justification, and

        2) a bearded zealot who prays fervently up to the point of having a spot on his forehead (from banging it on the floor), would never touch anything haram, and who constantly utters the world “Allah” as a justification of his violent actions.

        The fact that there cannot be made any razor-thin, exact criterion does not mean that the latter is not a jihadist.

      2. “That means that if the person is Muslim, they will inevitably do so in the context of their own religious beliefs”

        Yes, Absolutely,

        Around these parts Hispanic gang bangers always shout “this is for the Virgin Mary” as they do drive by shooting.

        In South Central, the prelude to a shooting is now “Jesus Saves” instead or “Where you from”

        Asian gangs are known to lecture their victims on the merits of Confucianism.

        Indian criminals are known to yell “For the Entiltened One” as they gun people down.

  28. “The problem here as far as I am concerned is that if I do a PowerPoint presentation entitled “Why the War on Terror is a War on Islam”, it’s just another political statement. If Hasan does that, he has “radical Islamist views”. If I was in the army and turned against the war, or didn’t want to be deployed, or thought that my fellow soldiers were confessing war crimes to me, and I went postal and shut the joint up, I’d be hung as a murderer and mutineer, but no one would say that I was a “jihadist”.”

    Probably true, assuming you are not a Muslim, and you have not been in email contact with Muslim clerics who are avowed Jihadists, and you did not shout “Allah U Akbar” while you were dispensing with 13 infidels, and you had not lectured your fellow soldiers (and patients) about how converting to Islam would save their souls, and you had not made a presentation to your peers in medical school about “Why the War on Terror is a War on Islam” when your presentation was supposed to be about a medical subject, etc, etc.

  29. “Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the gunman who killed 13 at America’s Fort Hood military base, once gave a lecture to other doctors in which he said non-believers should be beheaded and have boiling oil poured down their throats…”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new…..s-cut.html

    Sounds like the words of a Jihadist to me.

    1. Factually incorrect.

  30. “He also told colleagues at America’s top military hospital that non-Muslims were infidels condemned to hell who should be set on fire. The outburst came during an hour-long talk Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, gave on the Koran in front of dozens of other doctors at Walter Reed Army Medical Centre in Washington DC, where he worked for six years before arriving at Fort Hood in July.
    Colleagues had expected a discussion on a medical issue but were instead given an extremist interpretation of the Koran, which Hasan appeared to believe…”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new…..s-cut.html

    Do you really want to keep up this denial that Hasan was a Jihadist?

    1. “”””He also told colleagues at America’s top military hospital that non-Muslims were infidels condemned to hell who should be set on fire.”””

      Baptist preachers use to tell me the same thing. If I didn’t accept Jesus as my savior I would be condemed to hell. Hell, by the way comes with fire, isn’t not something al a carte.

  31. Lt. Gen. Robert Cone claimed that soldiers or occasionally a soldier have said that Hasan yelled allah u akbar. So far I have yet to see an actual witness make that claim, and the Lt. General has not named any of the people who gave him that information.

    Your supposition that Hasan was a Jihadist rests nearly entirely on the hearsay of one man. He was in pistol range of 30 something people…seems like we should have a couple dozen witnesses making that claim.

    1. How about telling his neighbor that he was “going to do the work of God”, the morning of the attack.

      What’s the deal with you willfully ignorant dipshits?

      Are you people on the Saudi payroll or just dumbfucks?

      1. Christians believe we are doing God’s work in Iraq.

        “”What’s the deal with you willfully ignorant dipshits?””

        The ignorant dipshit might be you failing to understand that people of faith always believe they are doing their God’s work.

        Whether they are or not will be judged at a later date.

        1. If a christian cult was mass murdering people I would call for their prosecution and extermination of the cult.

          There are many people in US that fall for and advance the meme that “islam is a religion of peace and these people aren’t real islamists’. The problem is that almost none of the people advancing that position are moslems and most moslems don’t condemn the attacks or attackers.

  32. “Fellow doctors have recounted how they were repeatedly harangued by Hasan about religion and that he openly claimed to be a “Muslim first and American second.””

    go read the article if you’re not too close-minded to be persuaded.

    1. Loads of Christians are Christians first and Americans second. Openly.

      1. This is of serious concern for Army, because the Army should be loyal to America first and religion second.

        I would accept no one into the Army, who would say that his first loyalty is not with the country.

        1. Actually it’s expected that people should be loyal to their indvidual moral/religous code first. And people that aren’t can be tried later.

          See of example Natzi’s that were tried even though they were “just following orders”.

          1. Hey, WE’RE following orders!

          2. I understand your position, but US Army is a volunteer corps, and Hasan was not a forcibly drafted person.

            If my loyalty is divided, I should either avoid joining the organization, or leave it once it becomes clear that I cannot condone its methods or aims. If there is a huge personal danger from leaving, then, well, sabotage from inside.

            But first of all, if I am Muslim first and American second, WTF I am doing in a non-Muslim army which is likely to operate against Muslims as well?

        2. Marian K.,

          Your standard would bar any serious Christian (or Jew) from the military. “No gods before me” and all.

  33. K-Y,

    My conclusion that Hasan was a Jihadist rests on a great deal of evidence, not the least of which the Telegraph article that I linked to above. If you conclude otherwise based on evidence I have not seen, I am willing to be persuaded otherwise.

    1. That isn’t evidence…it’s an article. Evidence might be if you went and read the power point presentation yourself (it isn’t difficult to find) instead of the Telegraph’s reliably anti-muslim take on it. Reading the newspaper is not research.

          1. no shit.

            He also gives the definition to Jihad in that presentation.

  34. “One of Hasan’s neighbours described how on the day of the massacre, about 9am, he gave her a Koran and told her: “I’m going to do good work for God” before leaving for the base…”

    sounds like he was going on a Jihadi mission.

  35. “One Army doctor who knew him said a fear of appearing discriminatory against a Muslim soldier had stopped fellow officers from filing formal complaints…”

    Fluffy, you sound like you are operating under the same PC constraints those fearful doctors were under.

    1. “One Army doctor who knew him…”

      “One of Hasan’s neighbors described…”

      “Fellow doctors have recounted…”

      Maybe you could be less specific, but it seems like it would be difficult.

      1. wayne is easily sucked in by stuff like this. Ask him about circumcision sometime.

      2. I do not think that this is a fair argument right now.

        This is not a closed case where an extensive investigation would be done, finished, published and everyone could recite official testimonies of witnesses to support their positions.

        We can either argue the case on the fuzzy and incomplete, probably also partly false, information that we have right now, or we can be silent about it.

        Fortunately, no one of us is in a position where his opinions would carry great weight.

  36. Well no matter what anyone else things, it’s pretty clear that Hassan thought he was on Jihad.

  37. A large part of this country worships the islamlic prophet Isa.

  38. People do not want to know the nature of mainstream Islamic belief, and so they accept the immigration, which has only begun to result in the kind of intimidation that is absolutely characteristic of a growing Islamic presence.

    Would you embrace an immigration of white supremists? But Islam, too, is a political system (as well as a religion); the two aspects cannot be separated, were never meant to be separated.

    Stop the immigration and spend the money (more and more) not just initially, to protect against the immigrants, but forever, to protect against their descendants, into eternity.

    Cathy Young mentions Hugh Fitzgerald at jihadwatch.org. He is one of the best writers on the subject: please check out his thought at jihadwatch.org, and consider the implications of Robert Spencer’s latest work, The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran.

    What happened in the 8th century, to Iran, can happen to us. Find out more, please.

  39. Was Hasan doing What Mohammad Would Do?
    YES.
    Was he doing what Mohammad did?
    YES. (albeit with modern tools.)
    Was he doing what Mohammad commanded his followers to do?
    YES.
    According to the Quran, Sira, and every last one of the Godforsaken ahadith?
    YES.
    What’s the difficulty here?

  40. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight.

  41. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books.

  42. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane

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