An American Believer in Jihad kills 13 soldiers in Texas – and all the warning signs were ignored

Mourners

When an American soldier, who was Moslem, shot 13 people dead at Fort Hood and seriously wounded many others, the reaction of the press was remarkable. ABC’s Martha Raddatz’s observation was that “as for the suspect, Nidal Hasan, as one officer’s wife told me, ‘I wish his name was Smith.’” The New York Times, in its article on the subject, gave examples of soldiers who had snapped under pressure and murdered people. And Evan Thomas, Editor at Large at Newsweek said: “I think he’s probably just a nut case. But with that label (Muslim) attached to him, it will get the right-wing going…”

However, Jihad is the “elephant in the room”. Jihad (holy war) has killed many millions throughout history, especially on the Indian subcontinent, but as a motive for Nidal Hasan, it was painful to consider.
But consider it we should have. Here are excerpts from 2 interesting articles on what happened.


Why I Murdered 13 American Soldiers at Fort Hood: Nidal Hassan Explains It All to You

By Barry Rubin

Nidal Malik Hasan

How do we know that the attack at Fort Hood was an act of Islamist terrorism? Simple, Major Nidal Hassan told us so. You’ve seen reports of a long list of things he did and said along these lines. But what’s most amazing of all is this:

Hassan is the first terrorist in history to give an academic lecture explaining why he was about to attack. Yet that still isn’t enough for too many people—including the president of the United States–to understand that the murderous assault at Fort Hood was a Jihad attack.

It was reported that the audience was shocked and frightened by his lecture. He was supposed to speak on a medical topic yet instead talked on the topic: “The Koranic World View as it Relates to Muslims in the U.S. Military.” All you have to do is look at the 50 Power Point slides and they tell you everything you need to know.

It is quite a good talk. He’s logical and presents his evidence. This is clearly not the work of a mad man or a fool, though there’s still a note of ambiguity in it. He’s still working out what to do in his own mind and is trying to figure out if he has a way out other than in effect deserting the U.S. army and becoming a Jihad warrior. Ultimately, he concluded that he could not be a proper Muslim without killing American soldiers. Obviously, other Muslims could reach different conclusions but Hassan strongly grounds himself in Islamic texts.

In a sense, Hassan’s lecture was a cry for help: Can anyone show me another way out? Can anyone refute my interpretation of Islam? One Muslim in the audience reportedly tried to do so. But unless these issues are openly discussed and debated–rather than swept under the rug–more people will die.

In fact, I’d recommend that teachers use this lecture in teaching classes on both Islam and Islamist politics. .

Follow along with me and you’ll understand everything.

Hassan deals with three topics: What Islam teaches Muslims, how Muslims view the wars in Afghanistan and Iran, how this might affect Muslims in the U.S. military. [Slide 2] Hassan defines Jihad, showing how silly are the claims that it only means a personal struggle to behave better. It also signifies holy war, of course. [Slide 5].

Now here’s Hassan’s central theme. Muslims cannot fight in an infidel army against other Muslims. And Hassan himself says that it’s getting hard for Muslims in the U.S. military to justify doing so. [Slide 11] Obviously, Hassan was deciding that he couldn’t do so.

He then quotes the Koran extensively to prove the point. Allah will punish anyone who kills a Muslim [Slide 12]. Hassan then gives four examples of Muslim soldiers who broke under the strain. One who killed fellow American soldiers (which Hassan would himself do), one accused of espionage (but was acquitted), one who deserted, and one who refused deployment to Iraq. [Slide 13]

Quoting the Koran, Hassan next provides a number of quotations to show that the believer must obey Allah. If they do, they will enjoy great delights (though he left out the 72 virgins, there’s one quote hinting at pederasty), and if they don’t they will suffer torments of Hell.

Finally, he gets into the heavy stuff. Hassan introduces the concept of “defensive Jihad” which is a core element in radical Islamist thinking and has especially been promoted by Usama bin Ladin and al-Qaida. [Slides 37-39]. If others attack and oppress Muslims, then it is the duty of all Muslims to fight them. September 11 was justified by its perpetrators by saying that the United States had attacked Muslims and therefore it was mandatory to kill Americans in return.

And here is the crux of the matter: Verse 60:08, “Allah forbids you…from dealing kindly and justly” with those who fight Muslims.” [Slide 40]

If Nidal Hassan believed this and would follow it, he must—to be a proper Muslim in his eyes—pick up a gun and join the Jihad, Muslim side. He was not shooting Americans because he caught battle fatigue from American soldiers he treated. Think about it. To have done so, Hassan would have had to sympathize with them, thinking about what it would be like for him if he’d been fighting…Muslims in Iraq or Afghanistan. But that was precisely his problem. He sympathized with the other side.

Being ordered to ship out to one of these countries, Hassan now had to decide: which side are you on? Would he choose the side of Allah and the Muslims, to be rewarded in Heaven? Or would he join with the infidels, to be punished with Hell and to betray his religion? He made his decision.

It is interesting that no Muslim debate has developed over a very simple issue: What if two groups of Muslims are fighting, cannot one side with one group, even if it has non-Muslim allies? After all, Americans are not going to Iraq or Afghanistan simply to “kill Muslims” but to defend Muslims from being killed. The Saudis, Kuwaitis, and Egyptians had no problem with using Western troops to save them from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 1991, for example. The Iraqi and Afghan governments, made up of pious Muslims, do the same thing.

Arab nationalists who are Muslims can take this position more easily. But for Islamists the problem is not some abstraction but knowledge that they are fighting a battle to seize control of all Muslim-majority states and indeed perhaps of the entire world.

The true problem, then, is not that some Muslims help infidels kill Muslims, but that some Muslims help infidels kill Islamists. But Hassan never considered this point, which could be quite persuasive to other Muslims in Western militaries.

So, in his thinking, how might Hassan have escaped from that stark choice? Hassan answers that question. Quoting the Koran, he indicated that if the Americans ended the wars, then that would be okay and no killing would be necessary. [Slide 42]

Another alternative is if the Americans accepted Islam or agreed to become subservient to Muslim rulers (dhimmis) and paid a special tax [Slide 43-44].

The third alternative would be if the Muslim Messiah came, destroyed Christianity as a false religion and set off the post-history utopia. [Slide 45]. He didn’t mention another part of this description, which was the murder of all Jews.

A digression is appropriate here. Hassan, although a Palestinian, has never been quoted as attacking Israel or the Jews. This is one more reminder that this struggle isn’t all just about Israel. But it also tells something important about Hassan which also applies to many Muslim radicals in Europe. Hassan is an American. As such he has no other nationality, neither Palestinian nor Arab. He doesn’t support Hamas or Fatah. But he has a religion that directs his thinking. That’s why he is an Islamist and why he supports a generalized Islamist revolutionary movement, al-Qaida.

As one moderate Muslim from Canada pointed out, the clothes he wore the day before committing his Jihad attack was not (as some sources put it in a silly manner) some martyr or even Arab garb but the clothing of Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is an al-Qaida Jihadi, having changed sides in the War on Terror.

Hassan was no fool or blind fanatic. Indeed, he presents a sophisticated view. For example, he quotes contradictory Quranic verses, one suggesting that all religions can enter Heaven; another that all non-Muslims will go to Hell [Slide 47].

His conclusion takes on tremendous significance in light of what would happen at Fort Hood. He writes:

“If Muslim groups can convince Muslims that they are fighting for God against injustices of the `infidels’; i.e., the enemies of Islam, then Muslims can become a potent adversary ie: suicide bombing, etc.”

And of course, these groups did so convince Hassan. [Slide 48]

Why? Hassan tells us:

“God expects full loyalty. Promises heaven and threatens with Hell. Muslims may seem moderate (compromising) but God is not.” [Slide 49]

And at the very end, he proposes what might have been his own escape route:

“Recommendation: Department of Defense should allow Muslim soldiers the option of being released as `Conscientious objectors’ to increase troop morale and decrease adverse events.” [Slide 50]

If that had existed for Hassan, I think, he would not have killed people. This proposal is worth debating, though it has negative implications too, of course. But then he had other options. He could have resigned his commission, deserted, or refused deployment as a conscientious objector and gone to prison. In fact, Hassan himself cited individuals who had done the last two.

Consequently, Hassan’s lecture also tells us why Muslims can choose not to be Jihadists, though this requires ignoring or rationalizing clear, religiously binding commandments in their religion or by being basically secular people of Muslim background. This is the kind of solution found in Christianity and Judaism, of course.

Hassan was too pious and consistent to take this way out. The answer to his personal behavior must be found in a mix of psychological factors and political-religious beliefs. The fact is, however, that he clearly did see himself as a Jihad warrior in the end. The existence of psychological factors in no way negates the importance of religious considerations.

All terrorists have some psychological forces working to make them follow such a path. Yet if not for ideological–and in the case of Islamists, religious–beliefs they never would have become terrorists. In contrast, criminals have psychological factors plus material goals, while mentally ill people who commit crimes are compelled by purely psychological factors. Hassan does not fit either of those two categories.

Equally, his action cannot be attributed to a “misreading” or “heretical” interpretation of Islam. To read this lecture is to understand how carefully and self-critically he approached the issues. Anything so obviously false or deviant from mainstream Islam would simply not appeal to so many Muslims. Hassan was looking for a way out in the texts and listed the “loopholes” he did find: either the United States must not fight anyone who was a Muslim or it must let him out of the military.

What Hassan neglected was an explanation that lay outside what his strict reading of the Muslim texts would allow him to say: the United States must fight, in general, because the Islamists have been the aggressors. And the United States is actually fighting as allies with one group of (more moderate) Muslims against another (of radical Islamists). Yet the texts always deal with the Muslim community as a united whole (the umma), an interpretation that just doesn’t correspond with reality. Indeed and ironically, this view enables Islamists to themselves kill thousands of Muslims all over the world!

The fact that Hassan’s lecture has not been the centerpiece of the whole post-massacre debate is a true example of how impoverished are the “experts,” journalists, and politicians at dealing with these issues. Of course, without exploring the Islamic factor, they’re wasting everyone’s time. They’re also going to be wasting quite a few lives.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan).


Jihad And The Scandal Of “Brain-Dead” Diversity
by Mark Steyn

Shortly after 9/11, there was a lot of talk about how no one would ever hijack an American airliner ever again – not because of new security arrangements but because an alert citizenry was on the case: We were hip to their jive. The point appeared to be proved three months later on a US-bound Air France flight. The “Shoebomber” attempted to light his footwear, and the flight attendants and passengers pounced. As the more boorish commentators could not resist pointing out, even the French guys walloped him.

But the years go by, and the mood shifts. You didn’t have to be “alert” to spot Major Nidal Hasan. He’d spent most of the last half-decade walking around with a big neon sign on his head saying “JIHADIST. STAND WELL BACK”. But we (that’s to say, almost all of us; and certainly almost anyone who matters in national security and the broader political culture) are now reflexively conditioned to ignore the flashing neon sign. Like those apocryphal Victorian ladies discreetly draping the lasciviously curved legs of their pianos, if a glimpse of hard unpleasant reality peeps through we simply veil it in another layer of fluffy illusions.

Two joint terrorism task forces became aware almost a year ago that Major Hasan was in regular email contact with Anwar al-Awlaqi, the American-born but now Yemeni-based cleric who served as imam to three of the 9/11 hijackers and supports all-out holy war against the United States. But the expert analysts in the Pentagon determined that this lively correspondence was consistent with Major Hasan’s “research interests”, so there was no need to worry. That’s America: Technologically superior, money no object (not one but two “joint terrorism task forces” stumbled across him). Yet no action was taken.

On the other hand, who needs surveillance operations and intelligence budgets? Major Hasan was entirely upfront about who he was. He put it on his business card: “SOA.” As in “Soldier of Allah” – which seems a tad ungrateful to the American taxpayers who ponied up half a million bucks or thereabouts in elite medical school education to train him to be a Soldier of Uncle Sam. In a series of meetings during 2008, officials from both Walter Reed and the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences considered the question of whether then Captain Hasan was psychotic. But, according to at least one bigwig at Walter Reed, members of the policy committee wondered “how would it look if we kick out one of the few Muslim residents”. So he got promoted to Major and shipped to Fort Hood.

And 13 men and women and an unborn baby are dead.

Well, like they say, it’s easy to be wise after the event. I’m not so sure. These days, it’s easier to be even more stupid after the event. “Apparently he tried to contact al Qaeda,” mused MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. “That’s not a crime to call up al Qaeda, is it? Is it? I mean, where do you stop the guy?” Interesting question: Where do you draw the line?

The truth is we’re not prepared to draw a line even after he’s gone ahead and committed mass murder. “What happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy,” said General Casey, the US Army’s Chief of Staff, “but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.” A “greater tragedy” than 14 dead and dozens of wounded? Translating from the original brain-addled multicult-speak, the Army Chief of Staff is saying that the same fatuous prostration before marshmallow illusions that led to the “tragedy” must remain in place. If it leads to occasional mass murder, well, hopefully it can be held to what cynical British civil servants used to call, during the Northern Irish “Troubles”, “an acceptable level of violence”. Fourteen dead is evidently acceptable. A hundred and forty? Fourteen hundred? I guess we’ll find out.

“Diversity” is one of those words designed to absolve you of the need to think. Likewise, a belief in “multiculturalism” doesn’t require you to know anything at all about other cultures, just to feel generally warm and fluffy about them.

The brain-addled “diversity” of General Casey will get some of us killed, and keep all of us cowed. In the days since the killings, the news reports have seemed increasingly like a satirical novel the author’s not quite deft enough to pull off, with bizarre new Catch 22s multiplying like the windmills of your mind: If you’re openly in favor of pouring boiling oil down the throats of infidels (website note: Nidal stated this to other doctors) then the Pentagon will put down your emails to foreign jihadists as mere confirmation of your long-established “research interests”. If you’re psychotic, the Army will make you a psychiatrist for fear of provoking you. If you gun down a bunch of people, within an hour the FBI will state clearly that we can all relax, there’s no terrorism angle, because, in our over-credentialized society, it doesn’t count unless you’re found to be carrying Permit #57982BQ3a from the relevant State Board of Jihadist Licensing.

Ezra Levant, my comrade in a long battle to restore freedom of speech to Canada, likes to say that the Danish cartoons crisis may one day be seen as a more critical event than 9/11. Not, obviously, in the comparative death tolls but in what each revealed about the state of western civilization. After 9/11, we fought back, hit hard, rolled up the Afghan camps; after the cartoons, we weaseled and equivocated and appeased and signaled that we were willing to trade core western values for a quiet life. Watching the decadence and denial on display this last week, I think in years to come Fort Hood will be seen in a similar light. What happened is not a “tragedy” but a national scandal, already fading from view.

© Mark Steyn 2009

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