I’ve heard so many different perspectives on the Fort Hood shootings, but I wanted to share some Jewish ones.
I personally agree with President Obama’s admonition not to jump to conclusions. For the sake of the dead and the wounded–most especially their families–I’d like to see a thorough investigation. If Major Hasan reached out to terrorist groups or people sympathetic to such causes, why? What motivated him to murder so many of his fellow Soldiers when it was highly likely that he would *never* fire a weapon in anger at other Muslims overseas? Hopefully, since he’s still alive, he can give some accounting for his currently inexplicable actions before his punishment is meted out.
For me, personally, an explanation of “Islamic fundamentalism” is incomplete, too.
The most horrible part is that the sectarian divisiveness, the growing partitions within our own segmented societies, could be as much the culprit in this shooting. As Jews, we often ask the military for consideration of our beliefs. Where would many of us stand if our co-religionists were at the other end of our rifles? That said, the American Muslim contingent within our Armed Forces should be praised for being American first. Was this inevitable? Should we be alarmed that if *any* fellow goes off the deep end, that there are extreme fundamentalists from any religious walk of life who would urge a Major Hasan to inflict harm on his fellow uniforms?
The first selection is from Mikey Weinstein, of MRFF.
As we turn our collective eyes to the tragedies of Fort Hood this week, we mourn the men and women who offered themselves up to serve our country overseas, only to make the ultimate sacrifice in a senseless act of violence back home.
But the shootings at Fort Hood should be an important wake up call to the continuing religious intolerance that has been allowed to blatantly and systemically manifest in our nation’s armed forces. Too often, honorable men and women who have joined our military are comprehensively denigrated and made to feel worthless because, although they wear the same uniform, they do not pray in the “approved” church or to the “correct” God or to no God at all.
Let me be clear, there is absolutely no excuse for the alleged actions of Nidal Malik Hasan. What he did is reprehensible, and goes against everything the American military stands for.
But we must realize that the alleged mistreatment Hasan received in the American military almost certainly played a key role in his disaffection. Reliable reports indicate that fellow soldiers gave him a diaper to wear on his head, mocking Islamic headdresses. His car was keyed by an Iraq veteran because he had an “Allah is Love” bumper sticker, and others suggested he should ride a camel instead.
Read the rest at the MRFF’s web site.
For another perspective, I turn to Dennis Prager.
The deaths and maiming at Fort Hood are heartbreaking and angering. But ultimately far more injurious to America than the act of evil that caused those deaths and injuries is the massive self-deception American society engages in out of fear of being called bigoted, racist or “Islamaphobic.”
Any American who is not prepared to lie to himself has reason to believe that Hasan’s religious views were prominent, if not exclusive, factors for why he slaughtered fellow American soldiers. The motives appear as clear as any could be.
Personally, I’ve no idea what to think, so I’ll keep it basic. Fratricide, or any servicemember-on-servicemember crime, is the worst offense someone in uniform can commit. Whatever the motives, the circumstances of why pale in comparison to the what.
One thing I do rail against is this concept that this is representative of a military on the brink. While it seems fair for the media to withhold speculation about Islamic connections, it should be even more reluctant to calumny a force that performs its duties admirably and professionally.
Please discuss in the comments! Be well, and happy belated Veterans Day!