Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fort Hood And Religion

By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Paltalk News Network


Muslim American groups are struggling with a possible backlash over the Fort Hood tragedy, even more so today than on Thursday as new details, and additional speculation, about the suspected shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, emerge.

A devote Muslim, Hasan was reported to have shouted "God is great" in Arabic as he allegedly opened fire. Causing, for some, a rush to judgment about motivations still not - and - depending on his medical prognosis and level of cooperation if he survives - possibly never known.

The incident doesn't just have Muslims worried. Some non-Muslims are scared as well.

The flames to their fears aren't being doused much by some of the commentary about the event. Conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham went so far during her nationally syndicated broadcast Friday as to term the shootings a terrorist attack. And she blasted the media for not saying as much.

This angst was reflected in at least one call to News Talk Online on the Paltalk News Network. The caller suggested during yesterday's show that no Muslims should be part of the U.S. military. No matter that there are thousands of patriotic Muslim-Americans who are proud to wear the uniforms of the U.S. Armed Forces and who have fought bravely alongside non-Muslims.

By that same measure, I ironically argued in return, that anytime someone commits a particularly heinous crime, then others from that person's subgroup should be precluded from participating in society as well.

I noted that the alleged gunman who shot up a Daytona office building yesterday had an Hispanic surname. So maybe, I suggested, as a precaution, all Hispanics should be asked to leave the country.

Then I made the ultimate factual error. I accused Timothy McVeigh of being a Christian - to make the point that - maybe all Christians should be asked to leave too. You know, to protect our federal buildings and the people inside.

That was met with a chorus of "McVeigh was not a Christian!" - which - of course - wasn't the real point. But apparently a raw nerve was hit.

So I did a little research. Apparently, McVeigh was born and raised a Roman Catholic (which I believe would have made him, at least at the time, a Christian) but then claimed near the end that he was an agnostic. So let's rephrase the argument for the sake of accuracy and to avoid maligning and offending all the Christians in the United States:

Maybe we should ask all the agnostics to leave the country.

The attempted point was to show how absurd was the argument that Muslims be now precluded from being in the military. As equally absurd as saying that all Hispanics be deported because of the Daytona incident or all agnostics (or had he still been Christian, all Christians) because of what McVeigh did.

The caller with whom I was having a fairly heated debate accused me of not "getting it." I got it alright. She doesn't like Muslims. That point came across perfectly clear.

The person who didn't "get it" was the caller and others who showed their disgust with my remarks in text. I don't know if that's the fault of the listeners who objected or of my inability to make myself clear through my examples.

I think back to a caller on Thursday, the day of the shooting. An active-duty Marine, who agrees with me that it's ridiculous to suggest that Muslims be precluded from military service in the United States. He told us that his commanding officer is a Muslim-American and that he can't think of anyone else he'd rather follow into battle.

But then, again, perhaps he doesn't "get it" either.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

In actuality, he seemed to have a terrorist tie, Gary. It would appear a radical imam here in america, who happened to know Hasan, has made a facebook well-wishes page for him:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=170468609770&ref=search&sid=734539908.3089112088..1

[Note: there are apparently some po'd people who are leaving colorful messages as well]

But in case you think I'm provoking: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/08/AR2009110818405.html

"Federal investigators are examining possible links between Fort Hood shooting suspect Maj. Nidal M. Hasan and an American-born imam who U.S. authorities say has become a supporter and leading promoter of al-Qaeda since leaving a Northern Virginia mosque, officials said."

Want to know what "caused" this man to do what he did? How about facing the fact that there are radicals IN OUR COUNTRY in MOSQUES teaching this stuff to people like Hasan who, so it seems, was okay with being in the miltiary until he was called to do his duty and felt he had to chose between islam and his military service.

-LD McLellan

Anonymous said...

Addendum: you may want to take a look at this: http://www.nefafoundation.org/miscellaneous/FeaturedDocs/nefaawlakiforthoodshooting.pdf

http://www.nefafoundation.org/featured-Miscellaneous.html#awlakiforthood

Gary this was the imam at a mosque the shooter Hasan went to.

Anonymous said...

As much as we may not want to admit or look at the fact, the enemy is among us. Laura Ingram was quite right in calling Hasam a terrorist, as did Senator Liberman. As the picture is coming together, Hasam was going thru a process of radicalization, which led to the tragic event this past week, Groups and individuals across the nation. are preparing to make there presence felt by an unsuspecting public. Wake up, America. Barbara Erb

Anonymous said...

so the imam doesn't get it either?
the former military person himself quoted in another article?