Monday, November 9, 2009

The inner conflicts of the Fort Hood shooter

As reports like this one begin to appear about Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychotherapist who killed 13 and wounded 29 at Fort Hood, questions are being raised again about the loyalties of Muslims in the US, and especially in the US military.  Evidently a number of people - both fellow officers and fellow Muslims - had talked with him in the months before and could see that he was agitated about the conflict between his religion and his citizenship.  He's quoted in one report as saying that he felt himself to be a Muslim first, and an American second.

I suppose that we're supposed to be shocked by that.  But, tell me, if you asked them, how many US military officers do you think would identify themselves as Christians - or Jews - first, and Americans second? 

I also wonder about the impact on Hasan's thinking when (as the Salon report notes) a fellow soldier tore up his "Allah is Love" bumper-sticker?  Hasan evidently took a lot of abuse from his fellow soldiers because he is Muslim.

Complicated, no?  I had hoped that Americans had begun to ratchet down the Islamophobia that was so rampant in the months right after 9-11.  I fear that we may be in for a new round of ethnic profiling and demonization of Muslims, or of anyone whose name doesn't sound like that of a "real American."  More fuel, then, for anti-American sentiment all over the Muslim world - including, of course, Pakistan, the security of whose nuclear weapons is again under scrutiny with the appearance of Seymour Hersh's latest investigative piece in the New Yorker.

Unfortunately, Hasan's emotional breakdown is also likely to ramp up the old canards about Muslims as "fanatics."   I'll leave it to all of you to connect the dots between that and the Hersh report.

No comments:


Blog Archive

Cluster map

Search This Blog

ICAHD - 18,000 Homes Campaign (large banner)