Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

USA: Fort Hood massacre puts spotlight on Muslims in Army

A shooting rampage carried out by US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan that killed 13 and injured 31 in Fort hood, Texas has once again put Muslims in America under the spotlight – especially those serving in the army.

Moments after Major Hasan was announced as the suspected shooter, there was clear discomfort among newscasters and commentators regarding his religious and ethnic background. It's also been widely reported that Muslim service members have sometimes faced attacks from fellow services members.

Howard M. Friedman, Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of Toledo, says in his blog ReligionClause:

“The military has been actively recruiting Muslims with the linguistic skills and cultural understanding needed to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However Muslims in the service face suspicion by some of their officers. “

Whatever suspicions of Muslim service members existed before the shootings, one can only fear that they may have been heightened by the mass murder in Fort Hood. Questions are still being raised as to whether Major Hasan was an extremist who carried out the attack based on religious ideology or he was simply mentally ill.

In Canada, writer Gwynne Dyer, at Vancouver weekly free paper Straight.com, argues that pointing out the murderer's religion overlooks some very serious issues:

“After a few days while the commentariat hesitated before competing narratives, the media are settling on the explanation that it was ethnic/racial/religious abuse that drove Nidal crazy. Bad people doing un-American things were ultimately responsible for the tragedy, and there’s an end to it.

The one explanation that is excluded is that America’s wars in Muslim lands overseas are radicalizing Muslims at home. Never mind that the homegrown Muslim terrorists who attacked the London transport system in 2005, and the various Muslim plotters who have been caught in other Western countries before their plans came to fruition, have almost all blamed the Western invasions of Muslim countries for radicalizing them. Never mind, above all, that what really radicalized them was the fact that those invasions made no sense in terms of Western security.”

Fox News, often criticized for its bias on issues related to immigration and conservative politics, is reportedly calling for the “screening of Muslims” in the army. At the Veterans Today website, a retired officer of the United States Coast Guard, Tom Barnes, says the news channel is playing up the stereotype to create “us versus them” tensions:

“… the news channel is being very “unhelpful” to say the least if this initially reasonable question soon turns into another Fox Channel crusade against “them”. This stuff is not only getting old, it is dangerous. The story is here.

As I have previously pointed out, this kind of thing has happened before in the U.S. Armed Forces. I am getting tired of Fox News telling me who my enemies are. All the time. Non stop. I had no idea there were so many “thems” out there!”

A number of newspapers are now examining how Major Hasan's actions will affect Muslims serving the in US army, and Muslim residents around Fort Hood.

Here is a video report by euroamericannews on YouTube about how some Fort Hood Muslims view the events.

As the investigation of the massacre continues, the spotlight on Muslims serving in the army will likely continue.

7 comments

  • MASH message for Islamic terrorist Nidal Malik Hasan:

    Mr. Hasan,

    May you be swiftly executed, may you rot in Hell for eternity, and may your family be ashamed of you for as long as they shall live.

    With utmost contempt,

    Muslims Against Sharia

    http://muslimsagainstsharia.blogspot.com/2009/11/fort-hood.html

  • Zach

    First!!!

    I highly doubt nobody @ that mosque had a clue about his radicalism. Maybe if Muslims who supposedly don’t agree with radical views were more vigilant, things like this wouldn’t happen, and Muslims in general wouldn’t be blamed. Who should we blame? White people? They’re not the ones blowing themselves up. Why is that? I suspect it has something to do with the religion. I don’t buy it when Muslims say it is not the way of Islam to blow up innocent people. If that is true, they why is it ONLY Islamic people who are doing it????

    • Hey Zach,

      Are you aware at all on the origins of suicide bombing? The Russians did it, the Japanese kamikazes, the Tamil Tigers. But, I guess in your little universe it’s “just the Muslims,” right?

      There is nothing remotely okay about what Major Hasan did, but to suggest that it automatically is related to Islam is simply absurd.

      Also, you weren’t first.

      • RationalistS

        “The Russians did it, the Japanese kamikazes, the Tamil Tigers. ”

        Riussians, Japanese and Tamils did it for their nation, while muslims do it for their religion.

        So you are stupid when you say “but to suggest that it automatically is related to Islam is simply absurd.”

  • I’m sorry to burst anybodies bubble but to say that this was not related to the man’s religion is totally assinine. How he depicts his religion is totally another thing and he must deal with the consequences.
    Everything that has come forth during this investigation points to vengence on the part of the shooter. He was in sound mind in as much as his ritual morning routine was carried out as usual and he gave away some of the stuff he had to others. He obviously didn’t give away his computer because the authorities have been going over it with a fine tooth comb. Why is that? Did he want to be heralded and proved as a martyr for the cause of Islam?
    To tell people to “not jump to conclusions” is a pathetic response by Mr. Obama who could not condemn the man as a terrorist. After all, they are two peas in a pod. Mr. Obama is destroying the country from within, in like manner, but is able to do it by tearing down everything that America stands for. Both men are traitors and should be treated as such in your time of war.
    The small country of Honduras knew what to do with their leader who was headed for totalitarian rule, maybe the people of the US should look to them for hints!

  • Ashton O'Dwyer

    I certainly hope that the “spotlight” is put on Muslims in the U.S. military. The “screening” apparently being suggested by FOX News does not go nearly far enough, in my judgment. Every Muslim in the military should immediately be required to submit to a lie detector test and to undergo a rigorous “loyalty” investigation. Another issue which is not being addressed by the MSM revolves around the “Security Clearance” which Major Nidal Malik Hasan undoubtedly had, and what Security Clearance other Muslims in the military may have. The focus of the MSM currently is on what “dots” were not connected, pre-shooting. But Major Hasan was a clear security risk, and revoking his pre-shooting Security Clearance (which probably was “Secret”) surely would have led investigators and his military superiors to “bigger and better” things, preventing his acts of TERROR and fratricide, in my view.

  • Shukri

    Six Reasons Why the Fort Hood Killings by Nidal Hasan Are Clearly Impermissible (Haram) in Islamic Law

    By Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

    1. Betrayal of covenant (`and).
    2. Impermissible deceit (ghadr).
    3. Killing those not actively engaged in combat.
    4. Doing something without clear religious sanction.
    5. Doing something of manifest greater harm for Muslims.
    6. The basis of taking human life is that it is decisively haram, unless there is clear and manifest sanction to the contrary.

    It is also a misreading of political realities. The US isn’t in a “war with Islam”–though there are those both in the US and in the Umma who want to view things this way–and “fighting back” in these angry, reactive ways is just explosions of ego rather than principled action on Prophetic guidance.

    http://bit.ly/2qagQN

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site