06
Nov
09

Is the gunman’s Muslim faith at all relevant?

hasan killerJennifer has posted elsewhere on this blog that ‘It was this man’s inability to contain his religious beliefs that caused this tragedy.’ Look online and there is clearly resentment in some quarters that his faith is being so central by some. Look elsewhere, and others are fuming at what they see as a crime driven by Islam. And I’ve just got this email from Ravin, criticising the media’s references to his faith – have a read…

‘Dear Ros I am a bit shell shocked as to the stupidity and naivety in the reporting of the Gunman at the US Army Base in Texas.

Firstly, the BBC is supposed to be known for its impartiality and reliable news content, but i”m surprised to see the BBC taking the whole “religion” approach.

In your bulletins on the World Service and BBC World News, the Corporation has clearly stated in most of its reporting that the gunman was a Muslim.

If he was a Christian, would the same be said? Would the report say “He was a American Christian”?

Clearly by his name, we ALL know he is a Muslim, but the fact that the BBC and other news networks like Fox, CNN, and Sky News focus on this is shameful.

I expect it from the News Corp outlets, and CNN is just towing the line, but seeing the BBC fall to this level is a sad day for media in my opinion. “Muslim Gunman”, “He was an American Muslim”, “Muslim Doctor” – all these descriptions generate fear in the hearts and minds of individuals directly affected by this or those who are easily swayed into thinking so.

Seeing as WE the public rely on NEWS from YOU the provider, don’t you think it would be wiser to have toned down on such use of words?

This is only going to make life more difficult for those in the Muslim community and again this only helps those idiotic members of that religion to say “Look, all these Westerners want to crusade against us”.

Things are already delicate with the Islamic world, and this incident in the US could have been toned down more, but instead its food for the starving racists and food for the real extremists who use such reporting of events for their own means. Sorry for my rant.

I still LOVE the BBC but i guess im a true Brit who just loves Aunty! But on this occasion, im shocked. Regards Ravin’

OUR LATEST STORY:

You may not be surprised, but I think our reference to his faith is entirely justified. What do you think?

An investigation is underway in the United States into the circumstances surrounding a mass shooting by a United States army officer at a military base in Texas on Thursday. Twelve soldiers and one civilian were killed and many others were wounded when Major Nidal Malik Hasan — an army psychiatrist — opened fire on fellow soldiers in a medical centre before he himself was shot and wounded by a policewoman. An Army spokesman said Major Hasan and most of the wounded were in a stable condition in hospital. He added that it was too early to speculate about a motive. The spokesman confirmed that Major Hasan was due to be posted to Afghanistan shortly. (Former colleagues of Major Hasan — who’s a Muslim — say he was unhappy about alleged racial abuse. President Obama has condemned the killings as a horrific outburst of violence).


148 Responses to “Is the gunman’s Muslim faith at all relevant?”


  1. 1 Roy, Washington DC
    November 6, 2009 at 17:05

    Stating that the gunman was Muslim is a fact. It doesn’t mean that the BBC is blaming the shootings on Islam; it just means that they are presenting all the facts, which is what they should be doing. It is up to the reader to determine whether or not something is relevant.

  2. 2 Tim Dean
    November 6, 2009 at 17:06

    Of course it is and by all accounts he is a devoted Muslim, however, this is only a part of the picture of his psyche and not the overall story.

    The larger one seems to center on a idea of saving lives [fellow soldiers from experiencing psychological trauma, from his writhings – if proven true] by sacrificing his own.

    Sounds weird? see for yourself

    http://www.scribd.com/NidalHasan

  3. 3 Dennis Junior
    November 6, 2009 at 17:09

    I think that the gunman’s Muslim faith is not relevant..

    =Dennis Junior=

  4. 4 amnaturelle
    November 6, 2009 at 17:10

    The gunman’s faith is relevant as it may have served as his motivation for the attack. The media (and the public) must be careful, though, to ensure that his motives are clearly stated as his own personal view and should not appear to be an indictment on his religion as a whole.

  5. 5 Tino
    November 6, 2009 at 17:10

    Of course it is relevant. I have read in multiple stories that sources close to him report that he objected to ‘battle against other Muslims’. He shouted “Allahu Akbar” before he started calmly shooting people, stopping only to reload his gun. He clearly had no objection to killing – just to killing Muslims.

    He commited this crime because of his religion.

  6. 6 Alan in Arizona
    November 6, 2009 at 17:10

    Faith is always relevant. It guides people in their actions. It’s the reason good people spread kind caring feelings, empathy and understanding to help those suffering. It’s the excuse that morally deprived people use to steal, rape, murder and enforce their will on others. There by increasing the suffering of others through out the world.

    • 7 Halima Brewer
      November 8, 2009 at 14:14

      But Alan, there are good and bad people in all faiths. All faiths, especially the 3 monotheistic ones, Christianity, Judaism and Islam have long and bloody histories of oppression of those not in their faith. They also have been a huge source of comfort and guidance.

      So it cannot be THE faith that is mentioned or even the fact that he believed in one of them – it has to be some sort of modern, present-day conflict between what he perceives as a threat to his faith, if it is involved at all. It has to be a personal problem exacerbated by other events if faith is involved at all. So, yes I think it is fair to mention it, but unfair to leave it as a simplistic explanation – implying that all Muslims are violent. That is patently ridiculous. Muslims are no more and no less violent than any other perpetrator of any religion.

      History marks out religion as an excuse for a lot of sins – ALL reilgions. How individuals respond to pressures of society and identity including religion is a problem for all of us, and not a simple answer with a “them and us” conclusion. That would be racist and ignorant.

  7. 8 Julie P
    November 6, 2009 at 17:15

    ‘It was this man’s inability to contain his religious beliefs that caused this tragedy.’

    What caused this tragedy was a man’s undetected emotional and psychological issues. I am confident that rational people did not blame Christianity for the acts of murder committed by alleged God fearing gun men. The same can be said about Islam. As stated, the cause of this tragedy is one very sick man.

  8. 9 patti in cape coral
    November 6, 2009 at 17:16

    It may or may not be relevant. From what I have heard so far, it seemed mostly about fear of going to Afghanistan. He may have been ambivalent about fighting people who shared his religion. He may have endured much ridicule and abuse and couldn’t handle it anymore. He may have been unbalanced to begin with. It may be a mixture of these things, or something more, or something else. We don’t really know what caused this tragedy yet.

    Jennifer may be right, she may be wrong. Historically, christians, along with many other religions were unable to contain their beliefs, and that was no picnic.

  9. November 6, 2009 at 17:18

    Salaam Ros,
    No, Mr Hassan is a seriously troubled guy with some pretty serious issues who happens to be Muslim, no more and no less… And for our dear friends who believe that his faith is relevent let me ask the following question : Are the faiths of the American occupation soldiers who were involved in the Abu Gharib incident, the Haditha incident, and the raping of the 14 yrs. old Iraqi girl and then killing her and all of her family members afterwards, ect., ect., are the faiths of the US occupation soldiers who were involved in all of these evil crimes relevent ?! Or is faith only relevent when the person involved is Muslim ?! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  10. 13 Ibrahim in UK
    November 6, 2009 at 17:19

    Was the religion of Sergeant John M Russell displayed or relevant? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8046288.stm

    What about that of Staff Sgt. Alberto B. Martinez?
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4102316.stm

    Or all the troops that “fragged” their superiors during vietnam.

    What about Timothy McVeigh? Were his religious beliefs significant or relevant to his actions?

    It has come to the point that whatever the crime, the religion of the criminal is only mentioned if it is Islam, and it has become the acceptable norm in media.

    • 14 Tara Ballance, Montreal Canada
      November 6, 2009 at 18:55

      Well said, Ibrahim.

    • 15 Maxine
      November 8, 2009 at 06:50

      It is very important that the public is informed of his religion. Because Islam has declared war on the “west” and all infidels, it is necessary when an Islamic crime is committed against us it is noted – it is a war crime. Like the “trojan” horse in the Roman story, they come deceitfully into our presence.

  11. November 6, 2009 at 17:20

    As I said elsewhere here on WHYS:

    Hasan was struggling with his identity as an American soldier and with being a life long, devout Muslim. Recent internet postings uncovered show that he likened suicide bombers to American soldiers who throw themselves over a grenade to save their comrades. There were a plethora of signs that he was a dangerous person, a disturbed person, and the fault lies with the military personnel who were well aware of these facts. He was not a disturbed person because he was Muslim, he was a very disturbed person who happened to be Muslim…

    In a politically correct world, his religion should not matter, but in America if a crime is committed by a Muslim, or anyone from the middle east for that matter, it is always news because the sensationalist loving audience demands it to be so. It is really quite a sad statement about people in general.

  12. 17 umarahmed
    November 6, 2009 at 17:41

    The gunman’s faith is relevant if it was his faith that drove him to do what he did. However, from the coverage I have read this does not seem to be the case. By highlighting his religion the BBC is framing the story in a way that gives the gunman’s religion salience and suggesting that it could be the reason for his mental breakdown. Two issues seem to stand out: 1)He didn’t want to be sent to war overseas, 2)There are suggestions of bullying. Your suggestion is that the second requires a special emphasis be placed on the gunman’s religion. If the gunman had explicitly indicated that he was stopping ‘infidels’ or another of those terms the stereotypical jihadist throws around then it would be acceptable to highlight his religion. However, in the absence of an explicitly religiously motivated crime it seems unhelpful to continually emphasise the perpetrator’s religious background. In the absence of such evidence I find myself in complete agreement with Ravin.

  13. 18 Sheel,15,Kuwait
    November 6, 2009 at 17:45

    Well, It is becoming a popular fact that Mulsims are terrorizing the world. Even though, This fact is partially wrong, But the faith of the gunman is evident by his name that he was a Muslim. I am really disappointed by this, But nowadays Terrorists are using Islam to carry out their terrorist activities, which is disfiguring the true concept and soul of
    Islam.
    I am a Muslim and I am completely shaken by this news, but Media should prevent to disclose the religion and faith of the gunmen. Disclosing it, is just stirring the masses agasint Islam and the Muslims.

  14. 19 Ravin Sampat
    November 6, 2009 at 17:49

    The point i was trying to make, and i think i may be misunderstood before, is that even before we have any information about
    a. his motives
    b. if those links to extremist websites are real and
    c. his “apparent” shouting of “Allahu Akhbar”

    the Media is already politicising the whole thing by saying “oh he was Muslim”. Why does it matter if he was Muslim when we dont know any facts about his motives, whether they we’re religious etc. Anyone who has spoken about this could easily have made up rubbish on the spot to give it the “Religious purposes” angle just to cover up that the US Army did in fact employ a mentally unstable Doctor who dealt with traumatic soldiers and probably got traumatised himself. I agree with mikehoward, “he just happened to be Muslim”. Its different to the 7/7 attacks or the recent arrests of the two Pakistani-Americans in Chicago targetting India because we saw the MSK video after the 7/7 event in which he described his motives and recently the two arrested persons in Chicago were bugged and tracked with them saying on record their intentions and targets.

    We are so easily swayed by reporting nowadays. Ibrahim is right, it is the norm. If the guy was Hindu and was disturbed by the thought of going to Afghanistan or Iraq and became mentally disturbed to carry out such an attack, would he be called “Hindu Doctor” or “Hindu Major attacks..etc etc”….in short…NO.

  15. 20 Anthony
    November 6, 2009 at 17:55

    All I can say is, was anyone surprised when they found out his name?

    I certainly wasn’t.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  16. November 6, 2009 at 18:09

    It’s not relevant unless we know for certain that it was a significant motivation.

    To mention this fact, but not other equally factual aspects of his identity only serves to imply that his religion was a significant motivation. And that is irresponsible. A responsible news outlet should actively seek to avoid false inferences.

    Either state that his religion was the motive, or don’t mention his religion at all.

  17. 22 viola
    November 6, 2009 at 18:21

    The man was ordered to do something he did not want to do, deploy to Iraq. It made him frustrated. His way of dealing with his frustration and subsequent malevolent anger was to go on a suicidal killing spree, identical to the ones men go on all over the world. Remember Virginia Tech? Remember the female students killed by just such a person in Canada, which womens’ groups remember in memorials every year?

    What it illustrates with a really blinding light is how it is just about impossible for the person caught up in this frustration, anger, and blame-others-for-personal-woes to understand their own motives. For Pete’s sake, the man is a trained mental health worker. Did he skip that part in school?

    Islam has nothing to do with it. This kind of mindset will grasp at anything that lets it blame something outside of itself. It’s the same mindset that lets people say to themselves and the world “The devil made me do it.”

  18. 23 Venkat Gopal, North carolina
    November 6, 2009 at 18:25

    Firstly, my prayers and heart goes out to the families of the fallen.
    In my opinion, a religious person is a person of faith regardless of the religion he or she chooses to follow. It is not faith per se, but blind faith that clouds judgment and the ability to think rationally.
    There seems to be very troubling pattern emerging here, the killing of the British soldiers and now this. Is it possible the enemy is waging a different kind of warfare by infiltrating the military bases and training grounds as sleeper agents?

    Thanks!

  19. 24 Shreya
    November 6, 2009 at 18:28

    All i can say is that I’m surprised by that statement!!!

    Have we really reached a point where we relate every act of violence to Islam? In the recent past shootings on university campuses of a similar kind have not been carried out by muslims. Religon never played a role in deciding their mental state however as soon as the name of this gunman was released his mentally imbalanced state has immediately been related to Islam. We seem to be loosing any sense of objectivity and i have to say that the way that this incident has been reported hasn’t helped!

    -Shreya Nath, Bangalore, India

    • November 6, 2009 at 19:09

      Do you think the reason people think it’s because he was a muslim is because so many muslims are doing simular things? I’m sure if only a hand full of muslims had done something like this people would just write it off as some quak but it’s not. The are muslims doing this type thing everyday, how can we not think it has something to do with the faith?

  20. 26 John Butt
    November 6, 2009 at 18:29

    As regards to faith it is too easy if not the normal thing to do these days to blame ones faith for ones actions, whatever your faith.
    Because of these people using their faith as an excuse for what is in effect cold blooded murder I am not sure I have any faith anymore. In fact I am sure I have not

  21. November 6, 2009 at 18:31

    We need to look at some deeper causes.

    After World War I the West carved up the Middle East and installed puppet kings and rulers. This has been going on now for 90 years. Anyone who looks at history can see it. Is it any wonder that people of the Middle East are fighting back?

    Incidentally, a lot of Palestinians and Lebanese are Christians. They too are fighting back.

    This does not excuse what Hasan did, but the West should not excuse itself either.

    That’s what history is, folks. A series of inexcusable acts that are connected.

  22. 28 Tom K in Mpls
    November 6, 2009 at 18:32

    His faith is relevant if it was a part of his thought process related to the shooting. It is impossible to draw a universally approved line on the use of this before the motives are known. Once it is know, it would be wrong to use it to build stereotypes and/or hysteria. But once again draw the line. I guess once again everyone needs to decide what news services they find appropriate and credible.

  23. 29 Deb in Austin
    November 6, 2009 at 18:33

    Let me begin by saying I am an observant Jew. I have friends who live and work at Fort Hood. I am a Democrat.

    That this man is Muslim is no more relevant than the fact that Son of Sam (serial murderer who terrorized NYC) was Jewish, or that other criminals observe other religions.

    The Muslims I know come from a variety of backgrounds – including some who have converted from Christianity – and they are wonderful, thoughtful, peaceful Americans.

    Focusing on this man’s practice of Islam detracts from the issues that need to be addressed – providing sufficient mental health resources not just for those who are deployed, but those who support them, and providing options for national service for those who want to serve their country but for whatever reason, are not suited for the military.

  24. 30 Ravin Sampat
    November 6, 2009 at 18:33

    Isn’t the last comment by Anthony just justifying the whole argument that the media have made this worse by picking on religion?

    Anthony wasn’t surprised this guy was a Muslim…this is the exact reason why there was no need for the Media to point this out. His religion hasn’t proved his motive. All it has told us is his religion, which unfortunately, in a climate that we currently live in, being Muslim is a crime wherever you are in the world.

  25. 31 Anthony
    November 6, 2009 at 18:35

    Wait a second, how is screaming “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) before shooting people not religiously influenced?

    I don’t know how anyone can say that being Muslim had nothing to do with it when he screamed “Allahu Akbar” before a slaying like that.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  26. 32 Reena
    November 6, 2009 at 18:35

    In this case yes. When a Muslim US soldier who was due to be deployed to Afghanistan, breaks down and and kills 13 people of course it becomes relevant.

    Why is there such defensiveness – It might be hard to hear but the most recent acts of terror worldwide has been committed by Muslims. Where is the moderate Muslim voice, condemning acts of terror, and accepting that there is responsibility on both sides to make sure we have a complete picture.

  27. 33 Frank Davis
    November 6, 2009 at 18:41

    COME ON!!! Liberal America is so concerned with how things will look and what negative effect it will have on innocent muslems in the US. Journalist go straight to the cousin of this terrorist to quote, “we love america and don’t know why he has done this” bla bla bla. I say we should immediately look at that as an attempt to cover up. Are we going to believe that it’s only coincidence that this man was in our military, was muslem, from Middle Eastern decent with the last name Hasin or Hasane or whatever, and just committed a terrorist act against us that has nothing to do with his religious beliefs? Unbelievable! It looks that Journalism my be our worst enemy. I say look first at the possibility that the cousin was only trying to quickly cover up what his cousin might have exposed. Maybe the reason he didn’t want to go overseas is because that would take him out of the picture and foul the bigger plot he is involved in. That’s why he didn’t want to go!! So instead he committed his terrorist act in the only way he could knowing sending him overseas would disrupt the larger terrorist act in the heart of th US he was stratigicly in place for. THIS IS NO TIME TO BE LIBERAL.

  28. 34 Jennifer
    November 6, 2009 at 18:41

    Oh yes WHYS; it is VERY MUCH relevant! Because obviously, he was not able to control his religious views. It interfered with his other obligations. Like Anthony said; it was just a feeling and once I learned it was true I was not in any way surprised.

    It’s time for “peaceful” muslims everywhere to condemn senseless killing in the name of their religion.

    • 35 Chrissy in Portland
      November 6, 2009 at 19:53

      So how many times have we had a horrible tragedy like this happen in the US? Honestly, how many times has the shooter been Muslim? How about all the times these types of atrocities were committed by Christians? Unfortunately people can’t seem to keep this in perspective.

      Also, why is it that because he was a Muslim people start to assume this event was part of some bigger terrorist plot? Why can’t it be possible that he was just a very very ill person?

  29. 36 Robert
    November 6, 2009 at 18:44

    Cycling in Paris

    Hello, I’m a cyclist in Paris as well and I was disturbed by the incredible idiocy, selfishness and inconsiderateness of cyclists who will recklessly endanger their own lives and that of others (mostly pedestrians) in the name of “freedom” – with complete disregard for the “freedom” of their fellow human beings to remain alive !

    Unfortunately, this attitude is typical of Parisians – indeed of the French – at large and not just of cyclists. It is considered “politically correct” to defend the “rights” of trouble makers, or indeed criminals, regardless of consequences for responsible, law-abiding citizens. Recently, for instance a free newspaper called “Metro” hailed on its front page the impunity granted in the winter to squatters who break into people’s properties in their absence – 48 hours on the premises and they are untouchable. But what about the people whose place is being invaded, often vandalized, and – if they are lucky – only get it back months or indeed years later without a penny by way of reparation and with total impunity for the squatters? I know what I am talking about, having experienced the situation first hand…

  30. 37 zb
    November 6, 2009 at 18:46

    The US Doctor Psychiatrist was born and brought up in USA.He joined the army
    At 19.He got first degree in 1959 and Medical degree in 2001.He was US army based At 19-39 or whatever his age.Moreover, He was good education pious of good moral Character. All US and Canadian Ancestors were immigrant. The fact is that he is one Of 1,800,000,000 Muslims around the Globe is irrevelant.He had a Muslim Pastor From a Maryland Mosque who described him devote of sound character ready and willing to Mary a pious religion Oriented girl woman he simply had no luck in getting Him organized and out of this US doctor (Psychiatry)–soldier patients career relationship taking toll.For a period extending so many years in the US army without incident where he was treating US army personnel (sick and being Psychiatric Patients) involved in Iraq and
    Afghanistan he finally became a victim himself.

  31. 38 Tom in the USA
    November 6, 2009 at 18:51

    In this case, religion needs to be examined closely. But it’s still too early to draw conclusions. More facts are needed. But I do have concerns that we may never see the entire picture. The U.S. military has different rules for gathering evidence and providing information to the press. It should be noted that yesterday residents of the base were instructed NOT to talk to the media. Therefore, much of the information we are getting is coming from just one source, the spokesmen for the military.

  32. 39 Chintan in Houston
    November 6, 2009 at 18:52

    The murders committed by this doctor even though might be religiously motivated was due to individual despair rather than a broad conspiracy theory that the media reports seem to perpetuate.

  33. 40 James Ian
    November 6, 2009 at 18:53

    With this shooting at the military base yesterday I have to ask myself if it is wise to have any Muslim in our military at this juncture. Their loyalties lay with their religion and to think otherwise is naïve and dangerous.

  34. 42 viola
    November 6, 2009 at 18:54

    The religion can’t be blamed if someone decides his religion requires him to go on a suicidal murder rampage.

    Once someone decides that he gets to interpret from God’s/Allah’s/Jehovah’s language what God wants, he has bestowed upon himself the right to turn his personal demons loose on the world. This man did just that. Even if he was influenced by the theology of some radical preacher, he was the one who decided that theology was correct and should be followed.

    He went wrong by ignoring the basics: Treat others as you would like to be treated and don’t treat others the way you don’t want to be treated. It’s a simple concept to understand but difficult to implement because of life’s complexities. It’s so much easier to just let loose those devils as he did.

  35. 43 Ravin Sampat
    November 6, 2009 at 18:55

    Jennifer i understand what your saying but “One” witness says they heard “Allahu AKhbar”. Wow – that definitely means we should believe it then. Is one witness really enough to justify the initial reporting that started yesterday? As more information comes out, the nature of headlines changes. If of course he is found in the next week to be some religious nutcase extremist, of course stating his religion is important because his motives were religious in his feeble mind. But at the moment, one witness, some random conspiracy theories and some Colonel on Fox News stating an opinion isn’t justified enough to make this politicized.

    • 44 Jennifer
      November 6, 2009 at 19:36

      “If”, “if?

      Oh please!

      Why do people want to insult the intelligence of others.

      You are calling people who were there liars.

  36. 45 Reena
    November 6, 2009 at 18:59

    WHYS – lest have a programme on why moderate Muslims seem to find it so hard to admit the problem of terrorism , and why they appear to be obligated to speak against it , then ALWAYS follow it with “BUT it can be rationalized by the evil west ” and how they can “understand why so many Muslims are angry”

  37. 46 Matt in Oregon
    November 6, 2009 at 19:01

    It is very much relevant! This is the third time I can remember that an American Muslim soldier has killed other American soldiers! I am not blaming this on Islam, rather the radical views of a minority of the religion’s adherents.

    It would be naive to not talk about his faith and bury your head in the sand because you don’t want to be ‘politically incorrect.’ Yes he was probably sick mentally but that by itself does not lead to mass murder. The fact the he was supposed to be a mental health professional means that he had at least an ounce of sense. Something else helped motivate this shooting, and the past has shown that Muslim soldiers with radical views murder other soldiers.

  38. 47 Ravin Sampat
    November 6, 2009 at 19:05

    Anthony – this is ONE source. Not one other person has said anything about this. Of course shouting out god is great in Arabic is “religious” – but we dont even know if this is true! Your just getting any news you can, and posting it as if its the TRUTH. No conclusive evidence has been shown, and the investigation hasnt even been finished. Unfortunately in your country, you guys love feeding on NEWS – any news. You’ll believe anything thats said. Thats why i said i am surprised with our news outlet, the BBC, going with this approach.

  39. 48 ottilie
    November 6, 2009 at 19:07

    As shocking and tragic as this incident is, it is certainly NOT the first instance of violence in the military. This should be seen within the wider context of widespread gun violence in US society. It is not irrevelant to mention he is Muslim, but it appears –which in no way justifies his violent act of multiple murder — that he was deeply traumatized by the imminent prospect of deployment to Afghanistan.

    The question is, with the recession going on and on, how many more in the US will join the military just to get a college education, only to find out too late they’re not meant for soldiering?

    My heartfelt condolences to the loved ones.

  40. November 6, 2009 at 19:09

    Yes Ross,it is relevant and has to be relevant in the climate of today.Twin Towers was bombed by Muslims,London underground was bombed by Muslims the planned (failed) mass areoplane disasters were planned by Muslims;not to mention suicide bomb trucks and individuals,or even Lockerbie or Spain.So yes,we do need to know.If it was a europe conflict,all we would need to know would be natioality.But considering the fact that Islam overides nationality we do need to know.If I saw,on the streets of London,New York,Kabul or Baghdad the moderate Muslims in a parade for peace I could certainly moderate.

  41. 50 Anthony
    November 6, 2009 at 19:10

    @ Ravin Sampat

    Can you dispute this statement?

    “Not all Muslims are terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslim.”

    I think it’s true, and that’s why I wasn’t surprised.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  42. 51 viola
    November 6, 2009 at 19:10

    It’s not irrelevant for law enforcement agencies to investigate whether the man has ties to international terrorist groups that are doing their utmost to create hatred and war between what they view as the Islamic world and everyone else.

    That’s not blaming Islam or muslims. That’s being realistic.

  43. 52 Bob in Queensland
    November 6, 2009 at 19:10

    To assume that the man’s religion was the cause of the shootings before the facts are known is simply racist and xenophobic. How many American Christians have shot colleagues at work or in schools in the past?

    If, as some stories are reporting, Hasan’s breakdown was provoked by continuing racist abuse from other members of the military, is that the fault of Islam or the bigots responsible for the abuse.

    Finally, although I have some sympathy with the view that other killers aren’t described as “American Christians” or whatever, the fact is that Hasan’s name would have provoked the question anyway–better to get the facts out of the way up front.

    • 53 Josiah Soap
      November 8, 2009 at 20:24

      Maybe it is this sort of digusting politically correct attitude that lead to the shootings in the first place. Apparently there was evidence beforehand that this guy was unstable, but in order to not appear “racist and bigotted” they tried to ignore it. I hope more comes to light and it is shown that people knew about his problems beforehand. Maybe then the followers of politically correctness will be shamed, but I won’t hold my breath.

  44. November 6, 2009 at 19:11

    Is the gunman man Muslim faith at all relevant?

    Oh yes he was probably bullied and abused by the other people in the service(judging by the type of people in the group you gathered on your show last year) and he also had to hear all the traumatic stories of the soldiers he was counselling not to mention the possibilty of confronting his co religionists in AfPak and Iraq.

    As the USAs’ power and influence declines and some of its nations inherent inadequencies are exposed these kind of events will only increase.

    Just as some western countries pumped in opium into China in the 19th century so China is is fueling the USAs addiction to money,by buying debt.

  45. 55 Kat in Vancouver
    November 6, 2009 at 19:13

    As an American living in Canada – I really can understand having multiple identities. It sounds like the US military is failing to handling the mental health-care of the mental health care professionals. Military officials have to realize the impact that multiple deployments have on all those involved.

    As for his religion – that really doesn’t matter. He obviously had a complete breakdown so it is completely irrelevant what his faith was. Insanity is obviously the motivation!

  46. 56 Breanne
    November 6, 2009 at 19:14

    I do agree that his religion would not have been identified if he were Christian. However, it is a fact and not wrong that it was reported. What is wrong is the ignorant portion of the population that takes this information and uses it to attack the Muslim faith. This man’s act was not a Muslim agenda! From what I’ve heard, this was motivated by a great fear of being sent to Afghanistan. The real issue is the lack of support the US Army has for soldiers returning from war. As a psychiatrist, Major Nidal Malik Hasan saw the mental affects of war first hand. The US Army needs to answer for this, not Islam.

  47. 57 Ravin Sampat
    November 6, 2009 at 19:18

    @ Anthony – that is one of the most ridiculous comments that we hear everyday. I moved to India from London around 18 months ago and in my time here, India has had so much terrorist violence from Muslim, Christian and Hindu nationalists! Not only that, they face a problem with Maoists who use bombs and guns to terrorist people all over Western and Northern India.

    I cant deny with you that in most cases, Muslims are most commonly the terrorists, but who said this guy was a terrorist? We dont even know motives or absolutely anything about this guy for us to say otherwise! thats my point – prove his motives and why, then we can take the whole terrorist angle forward. its so easy to say he was “muslim” so that means it was inevitable. And we wonder why Muslims hate us – this is the reason, we send them to the gutters by stereotyping all of them!

  48. 58 Sara Hartley MD
    November 6, 2009 at 19:21

    An aspect of this tragedy that seems overlooked is the fact that this man raised concerns about his mental stability prior to this event.
    During his psychiatric training it’s been reported that he needed counseling, that a talk he gave was bizarre and ominous, that colleagues were concerned about his state of mind.
    Others claim there were no signs of difficulty.
    In my experience- and ironically- analogous to the Cho murders at Hasan’s alma mater Virginia Tech- there is a dangerous reluctance to take signs of mental illness serious;y. The medical profession is especially slow to confront a colleague, always rationalizing that unfair judgments and only ‘facts’ can be used to address worries.
    In any workplace, it is crucial that we all become more comfortable approaching fellow workers whom we see as smoldering & isolated . Strange behavior should not be persecuted nor should it be ignored. Ideally, people in distress should be approached with care, respect and candor: ‘we are worried about you; what’s going on ?’ is a reasonable stance.
    There may be some who believe jihad mustnot be confused with mental illness; if Hasan wrote the blog on kamakazi pilots, then he was also grappling with this.
    A psychological postmortem could help.

  49. 59 Anthony
    November 6, 2009 at 19:22

    @ Ravin Sampat

    Yes, but Allahu Akbar isn’t a well known saying here. That’s why it’s believable.

    Either way, with what’s going on now and in the past, why would we NOT take that into consideration?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  50. 60 Robert
    November 6, 2009 at 19:23

    It is politically incorrect to refer to refer to religion when the gunman happens to be a Muslim who is unhappy to be sent to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban. It is politically incorrect for a non-muslim to draw a cartoon lambasting criminals who wreak terror in the name of Islam, because Islam forbids its faithful to draw pictures of Muhammad. One should respect Islamic teachings, whether one is muslim or not. But it is considered absurd for Jews to lay claim to the land of Israel simply because the Jewish sacred books say that this is the land of the Jews.
    The sad, consistent truth is that any comment on muslims who commit crimes in the name of Islam is considered uncouth and an unwarranted slur on Islam

  51. 61 wendell bompart
    November 6, 2009 at 19:24

    To say that the gunman’s faith was relevant is to admit that muslims are the only enemies of the US! If he was a hindu would it have been mentioned!

    Wendell- Trinidad and Tobago

  52. 62 THE Idiot
    November 6, 2009 at 19:25

    @ Ravin Sampat November 6, 2009 at 19:18

    ‘I cant deny with you that in most cases, Muslims are most commonly the terrorists, but who said this guy was a terrorist? We dont even know motives or absolutely anything about this guy for us to say otherwise! thats my point – prove his motives and why, then we can take the whole terrorist angle forward. its so easy to say he was “muslim” so that means it was inevitable. And we wonder why Muslims hate us – this is the reason, we send them to the gutters by stereotyping all of them!’

    Can you or anyone even begin to understand the motives of an insane person or group?

  53. 63 rob z.
    November 6, 2009 at 19:26

    The Majors religion may have been a small factor in his his decision to do what he did.
    I believe the man acted out of fear,remeber he is a psychiatrist;a person who is exposed to other peoples fears and insecurities.Couple that with the anxiety of deployment to a possible hostile location,you get a person who is a mess inside.
    Don’t forget,mental health professionals are no better than who they treat.They have issues also.
    I’m justifying his actions,just making a point that many are over looking.The Army was watching him for a reason.There were some warning signs,but to know when is the right time to act is not easy.
    Remeber,sometimes talk is talk,and sometimes talk means more.It’s not an easy call to make.
    Rob in Florida.

  54. 64 Mountain Adam, Portland, Oregon USA
    November 6, 2009 at 19:27

    No his faith should not be relevant. He was mentally unstable. Period. Muslin people are no different than anyone else. I served proudly alongside Muslims in the US Army and am proud to know they serve their country
    now. This was one a singular crockpot who did a bad thing, his faith should not be punished for it.

  55. 65 Kat in Vancouver
    November 6, 2009 at 19:27

    I hate to say but to question the patriotism of Muslims in the US Military is easy to think and is small minded. Take a look at the right-wing terrorist groups in the US that use Christianity to motivate their acts of terror like the KKK, Neo-Nazi Movement, and Timothy McVee who blew up a US Federal Building. It is wrong and unfair to question the patriotism of Muslim-Americans. It is positively “Unamerican”.

  56. 67 Ravin Sampat
    November 6, 2009 at 19:30

    @ Anthony – well Allahu Akhbaar is well known amongst Muslims is it not?

    Just because its not well known with you or anyone in your circles doesnt mean its not normal.

    In Britain we say Mum and you MOM. We say Iraq (E-Rak) you say Iraq (I-Rack).

    Im sorry mate, but just because its not common where your from doesnt mean its not common to about 1.5bn of that worlds faith.

    If i came to Cali and said “Oh Bhagwan” – which means “Oh god” in Sanskrit, does that mean i’m a weirdo?

    We’re not focussing on the main issue here – which is, what is the motive!

  57. 68 Lew in Cincinnati
    November 6, 2009 at 19:31

    This is lunacy, do these people not understand that we need muslim members in our military? Can we not call this what it is a random shooting? Just as cho @ vtech and columbine were.

  58. 69 Chintan in Houston
    November 6, 2009 at 19:31

    Ros,
    What the guy from Colorado needs to know is Hassan was harassed in the army when he was serving. He was called names like ‘raghead’. He did openly object to the wars but several people do, you don’t have to be Muslim to feel that way.
    There should be close scrutiny to harassment rather then law abiding USA loving Muslim citizens.

    • 70 Chintan in Houston
      November 6, 2009 at 19:33

      Also, when Cho from Virigina Tech killed college students he left a video saying that he was carrying out the message from Jesus christ and thats what god wanted him to do. I don’t remember anyone making a hue and cry about that, people dismmised saying that as ‘he was sick’!

  59. 71 Tino
    November 6, 2009 at 19:34

    People keep asking if he was Christian or Hindu, would his religion be mentioned? The answer is no, because they would not find the motivation in those religions to do so. Muslims look at non-muslims as kafir. Killing them to prevent being sent to kill Muslims is not only allowed but encouraged.

    • 72 Patty
      November 8, 2009 at 22:42

      Are you serious? “Muslims look at non-muslims as kafir. Killing them to prevent being sent to kill Muslims is not only allowed but encouraged.”

      What exactly does that mean? Can you elaborate please?

      Does that mean a Muslim in the US or UN or NATO forces being sent to Afganistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran or any other Muslim nation is encouraged to kill his/her fellow UN, US or NATO military personnel where ever and whenever in order NOT to be sent to war against Muslim nations, and in conjunction with that, killing non-Muslims ahead of time so he/she doesn’t have to kill them in Afganistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran or any other Muslim nation. Meaning, he/she’ll have already started his campaign against his/her US or UN or NATO forces, when he/she is infact serving as US or UN or NATO military personnel?

      Is this what you are saying?

  60. 73 Nate, Portland OR
    November 6, 2009 at 19:35

    Muslims often ask “Is the religion of X, Y and Z (all Christians) mentioned? No! So its not fair to mention Islam in the case of Major Hasan.” But Islam seems to be a very different sort of religion from Christianity, Hinduism, Budhism, etc. It certainly manifests itself in different ways in the modern world.

    As Muslims like to tell us “Islam is a complete way of life.” It seems that for Muslims, all issues are filtered through Islam, and all causes are expressed through Islam. Thus it becomes fairly easy for, say, a popular revolution against a despotic monarchy (Iran, 1979) to be brutally taken over by religious authorities. It becomes natural for Muslims to view a war such as Iraq (2003-present version), which was motivated by a combination of greed, security and altruism (with strong doses of willful ignorance), as a war on Islam. Its Muslims who Islamicise everything (except when its inconvenient). The rest of us are just taking them at their word.

  61. 74 Tino
    November 6, 2009 at 19:35

    “This is lunacy, do these people not understand that we need muslim members in our military?”

    Why?

  62. 75 A.J.
    November 6, 2009 at 19:36

    It is so unfortunate that this attacker was a Muslim man. I hope it is only a coincidence. The last thing we need is another reason for some people of stereotypical, xenophobic ideas to fear or hate all muslims. As one military wife said yesterday, “I wish his name was Smith”.

  63. 76 Joe Magner
    November 6, 2009 at 19:36

    If religion is such a factor why do we neglect to mention the Fundamentalist Christian association with events?

    The Oklahoma City Bombing was done by a Christian.

    The Virginia Tech shootings were done by a young man whose parents were Fundies

    Shootings in high schools in the U.S. were done by and in small communities and envolved Christians.

    The Fundie Christians in the U.S. are often yelling and screaming about Muslims and how they are trying to take over the world while the U.S. military has supportted fundie christian stuff in our military schools and there were pictures of some officer cunducting mass baptisms on troops before they went into Iraq.

  64. 78 Jonathan
    November 6, 2009 at 19:37

    8 people are reported dead in Orlando, will we focus on those attackers religion? I bet we do not.

  65. 79 Jesse
    November 6, 2009 at 19:37

    It disgusts me to hear so many people focus on the shooter’s Muslim faith. It is the same kind of rhetoric that resulted in the internment of Japanese Americans during the second world war. We can not allow this tragic incident to affect the way we view our fellow citizens. The man responsible for this attack was an American, just like Timothy Mcveigh. We must realize that by alienating a specific group within our population we are playing into the hands of our enemy. That is exactly what they want!

  66. 80 Jane Popp
    November 6, 2009 at 19:37

    Gee…while your at it…why don’t we round up all the Muslims in the US and put them into camps!!! The whole notion that the gentleman was suggestsing that just because someone is muslim that they should be discharged from the army is outrageous!! Just because someone prays every day doesn’t make them a radical…what about my 8 year old Catholic neighbor girl who prays before every meal and when she goes to bed at night…are you suggesting she’s a radical who we need to watch out for? Or what about my 72 year old friend who’s a Lutheran, who prays daily for her family and the world and goes to bible study every week as well as church, and does charity work! She’s a dangerous person all right!!

    And any individual who signs up for military service knows and expects to follow all orders despite their religious beliefs…if they belive that killing/war is bad…they wouldn’t have joined the military in the first place!!

    This tragedy happened, because 1 person (regardless of his religion) snapped and went over the edge, and I’m sure he’s not the first soldier to do the same.

    Get over the muslim issue people…they have just as much right to live, work and join the military as the rest of the other religous groups!

  67. 81 Nathan
    November 6, 2009 at 19:37

    I think that it is really stupid to question a Muslim’s service to their country. Even though the gunman needs to be punish, it will be wrong to classify all Muslims like this. We need to de-alienate the Muslim community in the Western World.

    But I think we need to revise our strategy. we need to include the tribal system into the national stage in Afghanistan. If we are to win.

  68. 82 Scot
    November 6, 2009 at 19:38

    The question is moot. The media (in it’s infinite wisdom) has all ready reported the gunman’s faith. Therefore (Big surprise!), now it’s relevant. Since we have actually heard nothing from the gunman himself, we are all just speculating on whether his religion played into his actions or if he snapped in an environment where everyone has relatively easy access to automatic weapons. However, why would that stop the media from trying to get as much mileage as possible out of “any” breaking news story. The old rules of “factual” journalism no longer apply. Good night Walter Cronkite – wherever you are?

    As Americans, we should all remember how we treated Japanese Americans during WWII: with racism and suspicion. Then, in turn, we should recall that an infantry unit made up of mostly Japanese American young men was one of the highest decorated units in the European Theater of War. There should be no place for seperatism and racism in our armed forces. Otherwise, our saber rattling is tinged with sheer hypocrisy.

    Probably a more appropriate question to ask is how the US Army (in it’s infinite wisdom) could classify someone capable of this act as “a mental health professional”? I will admit to having experienced post traumatic stress. Somehow, I don’t think this guy could have helped me with it!

  69. 83 Danny
    November 6, 2009 at 19:39

    This was not a crazed Quaker. It was not an angry Catholic. This is an angry, militant Muslim. He was on the record making bizarre statements about “Infidels” (non-Muslims) going to hell to have their heads cut off and then burned. This hostile statement was made to the “Infidels” listening to his speech and to whom he provided psychiatric care.
    Please stop trying to make this an issue of stress. He was not returning from overseas duty nor suffering from PSTD. He has been safely in the arms of the US Army that trained him and cared for him.
    We need to face the fact that much of the world’s current conflict swirls around Militant Muslims trying to impose their religion on the rest of us.

  70. 84 Anthony
    November 6, 2009 at 19:41

    @ Ravin Sampat:

    You’re not getting what I mean, since it’s not common here, and someone heard the shooter say it, it makes it more believable. He wouldn’t pull Allahu Akhbaar out of thin air, he said what he heard. Do you really think the average non-muslim is familiar with that term?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  71. 85 Jennifer
    November 6, 2009 at 19:41

    WHYS:

    Please post this video on your post!

    He was also a member of the homeland security panel advising Obama.😦

  72. 86 Karin S.
    November 6, 2009 at 19:42

    Was anyone ever interested in the faith or religious background of all the students who shot their teachers and fellow students or of any other person running amok in the US (or anywhere else) in the past?
    Why now?

  73. 87 John in Salem
    November 6, 2009 at 19:42

    As I have stated elsewhere on this blog, I think that his religion was something woven into the fabric of an underlying mental illness and NOT the primary motive.

    And in response to what I have heard on air, people who are fanatical about ANYTHING have lost the ability to think critically and should not be allowed in the military. We need to be mindful that it was blind faith that got us where we are today.

  74. 88 Tawheed
    November 6, 2009 at 19:43

    Those who believe (in the Quran), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians…and (all) who believe in God and the last day and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” The Qur’an, 2:62

  75. 89 Anthony
    November 6, 2009 at 19:43

    @ Nathan

    No one is classifying all Muslims as terrorists. You, and Muslims around the world, are jumping to conclusions.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  76. 90 Abi
    November 6, 2009 at 19:43

    How many of the shootings in the US in the past ten years have been committed by Christians? Nobody can tell you the answer to this question because the faith of the gunman is typically not reported on. Why? Because it’s irrelevant. However, when a person is a Muslim, their faith is immediately suspected as a possible motive.

  77. 91 Lew in Cincinnati
    November 6, 2009 at 19:44

    Furthermore ignorance is what makes people like cho, hassan, dillon klebold and eric harris snap. They are alienated to a point where it is psychologically ok for them to go on a killing spree. We need to get over this problem we have with muslims. Indeed there are secular, moderate and extremists of all colors and creed.

    @ Tino: we are at war with extremism and such we must have people in our forces who understand the philosophy and culture of the enemy. We have to have these people for other reasons just as we must co-opt countries such as India so there are not just white people invading afgahni villages.

  78. 92 Kristin
    November 6, 2009 at 19:47

    I am absolutely outraged at some of the comments I am hearing on this radio program regarding the gunman of the Ft. Hood shooting. As a FEMALE Army Veteran, I am positive this man faced bullying and ostracism as the result of his race and faith, not to mention the tremendous pressure our soldiers are currently already under. To not be a Christian, White Male is to be automatically suspect. To make an issue out of his faith, and to suggest that the US Military should “keep an eye on” all service members of the Muslim faith – well – is racist and bigoted. Plain and simple. Just this morning there was an office shooting in Florida, and there have been numerous school shootings with the indication that the perpetrator was bullied. Open your eyes people and start pointing that finger inward, rather than people of a faith other than Christianity.

    (Let me add that I am not Muslim, I am simply tired of the hate-mongering masquerading as “Patriotism” and “National Security”.)

  79. November 6, 2009 at 19:48

    I’m curious why all the emphasis has been put on this man’s faith while there’s been no discussion about his background as a doctor, a psychiatrist no less. This seems more troubling in many ways than the fact of his religion. That a psychiatrist, a man dedicated to healing, could commit such an act of incomprehensible violence, seems to beckon the question of how a man like this fell through the system’s cracks.

  80. 94 Mari Peres
    November 6, 2009 at 19:48

    Absolutely-the US is at war with Muslim extremists so it is entirely appropriate to mention. When Sinn Fein was active in Britain, the BBC and other media outlets did not find it problematic to point out the faith of suspected terrorists.

    The issue here is whether or not the US military may want to consider the issue of Muslims who hold fundamentalist beliefs and if they should bared from service. My brother is in the US Air Force and I an deeply troubled by the shootings.

  81. 95 Anthony
    November 6, 2009 at 19:53

    OK, so all these people are asking why we question when it’s a Muslim killing, it’s because Muslims only make up 0.6% of the total U.S. population.

    So a demographic that ONLY MAKES UP .6% killing so many people is a big thing.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  82. 96 STEPHEN /PORTLAND
    November 6, 2009 at 19:53

    YES!

    I am more worried about Political correctness and the fear of lawsuits and legal action against individuals who take extra precautions when dealing with people from Muslim countries.

    I just took an American airlines flight from Mexico next to a nervous looking guy reading an Arabic language book. Cant help but be alarmed and just wondering if he received preferential treatment at the gate because the TSA guy has been on a racial awareness course or has been threatened by his employer about racial profiling.

    And all religions have there nuts!

  83. 97 Joseph A. Migliore
    November 6, 2009 at 19:54

    In this particular situation his Muslim faith is relevant for military service, where you are expected to serve your country with honor and where your fellow-soldiers and colleagues rely on you heavily, especially during combat situations.

    His in class presentation at Walter-Reed to his colleagues, where Major Nadal, choose a topic on Islam, expressing a distorted extremist view of Islam, one that encourages/portrays violence as a outcome for the non-Muslim — should have been an immediate red-flag to his co-workers at Walter Reed Medical Center!

    The Major seemed to be personally torn, between his loyalties for his country and military service, with his complete submission to conservative Islam, obviously this is a direct conflict in ideologies and way of life.

    • 98 Patty
      November 8, 2009 at 23:37

      Joseph, I had a personal experience similar to the one the students at Walter-Reed had as you discuss above, in dealing with someone who I helped immigrate from Iraq, who turned out to be an radical Islamist, though he lied completely for several years. I posted my comments above. It’s being reviewed and probably won’t post til Monday.

      The Walter-Reed school should have stopped him and expelled him right then and there. To have let him continue was bad judgment and now he’s murdered several people, US military personnel no less.

      Especially in the Miliary, all soldiers have to know they can depend on their fellow soldiers. For this guy to plan and pre-meditatedly kill his fellow soldiers with a machine gun is unconscionable.

  84. November 6, 2009 at 19:55

    If you mean is it relevant as to answering the questions about why he did it, the answer is, “it is too soon to tell.” Personally I will be waiting to hear the key phrases that always accompany these stories. “Suffering for depression”, “diagnosed with depression”, “was being treated for depression”, or “suffering from/ being treated for post traumatic stress syndrome” which are all slang for being on anti-depressants.

    If you mean is it relevant to the public perception, I would say “yes” and “no”. Yes, the general public will again rage with misplaced anger against the entire Muslim community. However, “no” it won’t stop it from happening again. This is what happens when people make up an answer, and then arrange the facts to fit it. Form Columbine, to VA Tech, to this incident, There will be no change in that approach.

  85. 100 Kathy in Georgetown, TX
    November 6, 2009 at 19:58

    As a former journalist, I believe the reporting yesterday and today has been incredibly irresponsible. Rumors and speculation are being reported as fact by reporters and so-called experts. I’ve not seen any solid information that the man’s religion or PTSD played a role in his actions. There are fanatics among all faith’s who have resorted to violent means but that doesn’t absolve them of the fact that all of the world’s religions condemn murder and promote peace. Isolating one group in the military for special scrutiny without just cause is unAmerican. Who would be next?

  86. 101 Tino
    November 6, 2009 at 19:59

    @ Lew

    “we are at war with extremism and such we must have people in our forces who understand the philosophy and culture of the enemy. We have to have these people for other reasons just as we must co-opt countries such as India so there are not just white people invading afgahni villages.”

    So get non-Muslims (granted they are rare, but they should be around hiding somewhere) from those countries to help. The problem is not a race/culture problem – it is the religion. When our forces are primarily fighting Muslims, why would we want those same Muslims – whose religion tells them that killing a Muslim would be worse than killing a non-Muslims – to be in a position to decide they need to kill their fellow troops rather than disobey Allah?

  87. November 6, 2009 at 20:01

    Mohamed Ali did not join the army,yet he is an all Americn hero to a lot of people.who are quite clearly not Islamaphobic,but his Muslimism is well publicised.

  88. 103 Devrah
    November 6, 2009 at 20:01

    What strikes me, far beyond his religious preference, is that this man was a mental health professional who was, presumably, working with other mental health professionals – and yet no one picked up on HIS deteriorating mental health.

    Scot – the army didn’t classify him as a mental health professional, he WAS a mental health professional who earned his degree. That doesn’t automatically earn one one’s own sound mental health, and there are times when people of fragile mental health are attracted to the helping professions due to their own issues. The bigger question is: Is the military, in it’s efforts to improve acess to MH services, trying to hire MH professionals too rapidly and recruiting people who are not suited for the job?

  89. 104 Mansur Dawaki
    November 6, 2009 at 20:03

    What did you expect from a media that is so hungry of avenues to devastate Islam and the Muslim, no matter remote the avenue may be. To expect less than what the western media is already portraying about the whole saga would have equalled expecting mercy from a hungry lion by its prey.

  90. 105 Ravin Sampat
    November 6, 2009 at 20:06

    @ Jennifer and Anthony

    I dont think my original email and points made here have been understand. Regardless of him shouting “Allahu Akbaar”, the news from the outset reported he was MUSLIM. Why?

    It is only NOW that information is filtering through bit by bit. But from the outset, news outlets said “Muslim” as if sounding like his faith had something to do with it?

    I’m not saying that his faith should never become an issue but what i am saying is that his faith shouldn’t have become an issue before all the facts were presented!

    • 106 Jennifer
      November 9, 2009 at 18:25

      I think it’s important because it was WHY he did what he did.

      So many here are saying that the faith of Hasan does not matter; yet it compelled him to kill innocent people. He could have fulfilled his obligations as an honorable serviceman but he could not. He would rather have killed innocent people than fight bad guys. His allegiance to Islam was more important than anything else; so much so that he would do what he did.

      P.S.
      NPR was wrong; he didn’t have “pre-traumatic stress disorder” either! PFFT!

  91. 107 That Guy
    November 6, 2009 at 20:07

    The fact that this guy is a Muslim is only relevant to the point that it’s a fact. This is a complete indictment of war in general. Are we going to care about what religion the guy that shot a bunch of people in Orlando today is? Answer is…No.
    We are breaking everyone’s minds. This war–these two wars–are killing us from the inside, and now we see the evidence of what that can mean.
    We just need to stop–the world is not our (America) neighborhood to police. There are plenty of problems right here that need to be addressed.

  92. 108 Annie Edwards-Williams
    November 6, 2009 at 20:07

    MUST we jump to conclusions based on race, ethnicity, colour, etc, in events such as this? Americans killed hundreds, maybe thousands of blacks, all the name of “white is right.” Here we go again! Each of us can name other events of this sort from all around the world, and from many generations.

    Please, please, might we start seeing an individual AS an individual, not as black, pink, stripped. or polka dot!!??

  93. 109 AJ of Austin, Texas
    November 6, 2009 at 20:07

    It is sickening to me that in response to a man who may very well have snapped due to racism and to the stress of prolonged war the suggestion is that we encourage more racism, more profiling. How many U.S. military officials have been heard calling on God to help fight the evil Muslims, what must that do to a man who is Muslim and fighting for the US. Perhaps we should be addressing the real problem here of Racism.

    Where were these same people who want stricter racial and religious profiling, where were they when the Oklahoma City bombing happened? Did they ask then that we watch closely Christians who pray too much? Mental health specialists who deal with normal every day problems get burned out, how can we possibly expect a man who is dealing with the stresses of men coming home from such a pair of wars not to break down, the suggestion as well that he was not under an unreasonable amount of stress is ludicrous.

  94. 110 Ian in Indiana
    November 6, 2009 at 20:09

    The Muslim world has serious problems with religiously motivated violence above and beyond what is normal in other cultures. We can debate the marginal complexities, but this stubborn fact remains.

  95. 111 Mari Peres
    November 6, 2009 at 20:11

    @David.Price.UK Yes Muhammed Ali is a Muslim but he refused to serve, lost his title and went to prison. His case was decided by the Supreme Court, the ruling was in his favor. His decision was vindicated and I personally admire him for his convictions.

    Also, he didn’t kill several people.

  96. 112 Sharif in London
    November 6, 2009 at 20:12

    This is a terrible tragedy but to go ‘tracking Muslims’ is just plain racist. One Muslim killer does not make all Muslims killers.

    There has been a multiple shooting elsewhere in the States today. If/when the shooter is found and if he is Hindu, Jewish of Christian, will this be as widely publicised as the religion of the killer in Texas?

  97. 113 STEPHEN /PORTLAND
    November 6, 2009 at 20:20

    I have always been confused by the connection with the United States Military and the Church, My understanding is There are pastors that regularly council the troops How do they sell the teachings of Jesus Christ to the ideas of WAR?.

    I guess they read into the “thou shall not kill “ part etc etc.

    Kind of like the radicals do with the Koran. People are the problem with all faiths.

  98. 114 GB
    November 6, 2009 at 20:48

    That’s fine, but now the BBC will have to do it every time they identify someone. Remember, “if you break something you own it”.

  99. November 6, 2009 at 23:28

    Of course this man’s religion is relevant, and the fact that he is a Muslim should be stated in the news article. Muslims are causing the terrorist threat to our cities. Not Jews, Christian, Hindus or Bhuddists. Muslim extremists pay loyalty to their religious preachings first, certainly before any laws that may be in force in the country of their adoption. I do wish the non extreme Muslim
    population would stand up and be counted when it comes to condemning such acts as Fort Hood, and the 5 UK soldiers murdered in Afghanistan.

  100. 116 Amjad
    November 7, 2009 at 00:31

    Anthony,

    “All I can say is, was anyone surprised when they found out his name?

    I certainly wasn’t.”

    So from this I will assume that you were not surprised when Bernie Madoff turned out to be Jewish, right? Nor were you surprised when Scott Roeder, the murderer of George Tiller turned out to be Christian. What about on learning that Baruch Goldstein, who murdered 29 Muslims while they were praying at a mosque in Hebron, was also Jewish? Surely, these atrocities all fell in line with their respective faiths in your eyes.

  101. November 7, 2009 at 00:44

    Major Hasan was a “loner.” A psychiatrist… a doctor who was living in a $300 dollar a month apartment. Just those two factoids show psychological problems. I can assure you that other doctors, who worked closely with Major Hansan, had concerns about his personality.

  102. 118 Bert
    November 7, 2009 at 02:39

    Gimme a break, BBC. Of course it matters. It matters as much as it does when suicide bombers in Iraq or Pakistan (or Afghanistan) are identified by their sect. It explains why they carried out their horrific acts. It matters when Saudi Arabia carries out a military operation within Yemen. It places that action in context too.

    I find it oh so profoundly politically correct to make a big deal of this mention of the man’s religion, only because his targets were Americans, when no one ever gets all sanctimonious about these other examples.

  103. 119 taffy
    November 7, 2009 at 04:23

    I was actually surprised when the BBC recognized the Fort Hood killer as a Muslim.
    The fact that the BBC and other msm outlets are concerned about hurting the feelings of people like the one you reference to is a big part of the problem. For to long the BBC has hidden the ethnicity and religion of those accused of crimes. This practice has resulted in two things happening. One, the public is left to speculate and two, the groups sympathetic to the perpetrators [cause we all guess] are left feeling that somehow what has been done has some truth or merit.
    By chosing to censor itself the msm has become part of the problem.
    Just the facts Mam. Just the facts.

  104. 120 subra
    November 7, 2009 at 05:05

    It’s relevant to mention his religion because the world should know that only Jihadis are sacrifing their lives for killing the larger number of infidels. This man was not mentally disturbed but a Jihadi who wanted to sacrifice himself and kill as many as possible like all those terrorists suicide bombers else where.

  105. 121 Rohan Shroff
    November 7, 2009 at 06:48

    the fact that he is muslim doesnt inspire his him to killing. we’ll only know later whether it had anything to do with his abuse or not but blaming his religion so early into the incident only drives the people to think in that way.the media have a responsibility in terms of reporting the truth.you can argue that at this point its only speculation but people get driven by media reports and the issue becomes way too racial.why cant it simply be, “Army psychiatrist opens fire on fellow officers…” rather than, “Muslim Army psychiatrist…”

  106. 122 Audrius Kviliunas
    November 7, 2009 at 11:44

    In some statesman work can be important their nationality,race or religion if in their work they must solve problems connected with their nationality,race and religion and sometimes listen what was done bad to peoples of their nationality,race or religion.This work can stand torment which can be hidden deeply inside and wait only trigger to let it go outside.More details-why doctors at a military base in peaceful time must wear firearms?And when one is armed there are not enough armed around him?

  107. 123 Jim Newman
    November 7, 2009 at 12:03

    Hello again
    We are used to these incidents happening in the USA. What I found amusing is Obama’s condemnation. He is commander in chief of an army that is constantly committing ‘horrific outbursts of violence’.
    Jim

  108. 124 Henry Nyakoojo, Kampala
    November 7, 2009 at 13:28

    There have been quite a few gun (and other) crimes in the US and other European countries where the alleged perpetrators’ religious leanings have not been referred to. There were shootings at school yards; there were the daughter rapes in Austria and I believe the US. None of the criminals (alleged and proven) were given religious labels. I am personally an atheist (is that a religion as well?), but it galls me that only when a criminal is muslim is when religious labels are brought out of the cellar. Will a day come when a murderer is reported as a Lutheran, Baptist, Catholic or Protestant? I doubt it.

  109. 125 Methusalem
    November 7, 2009 at 18:45

    I was wondering if there is an exclusive rule on WHYS that says that Christians are not allowed to express their View points or quote the Bible the way many Muslims here do with the Quran – like “Tawheed” above

    Of course, the gunman’s faith is relevant, as Islam is waging a crusade against non-Muslims all over the world.

    “Yes, a time is coming when the one who kills you will think he is serving God. ” [John 16:2]

  110. 126 archibald
    November 7, 2009 at 21:27

    The reaction to this story amidst extremely conflicting reports all add up to a media sensation and a new excuse for the clinically insane, right wing elements in this country to ramp up their hatred and spur this country toward increasing isolationism and fear. This is a horrible act, by a deeply disturbed man. It stands as a testament to the true horrors we are asking our soldiers to face in a war not many understand or want to be a part of. Despite what the media portrays.
    Jennifer, You do your country a grave disservice by perpetuating reactionary anti-muslim sentiments. Your sources are suspect, your zeal and emoticons make it all the more ridiculous and sad. You represent an ever growing majority of Americans who think only when told to and otherwise salute the flag even as it is being rammed down our truth parched throats covered with the blood of innocent people from all corners of the globe. WAKE THE *&%(& UP!!!!!!

  111. November 7, 2009 at 23:30

    Stating that this man was a muslim is very relevant . It says that you belong to a world-wide community which to some muslims is more important than the nationality of the country to which you have been born into and all your loyalties lie with that international muslim community rather than your fellow human beings you live and work with. Some probably feel more loyalty to a muslim, because he is of that same world-wide community – even if that muslim hold evil radical beliefs like the Taliban- rather than to an ‘infidel’ even if that ‘infidel’ is one of your own countrymen and fellow soldier. Their crazy belief that the west is launching some attack on the islamic faith which needs to be defended at all costs is reaching epidemic proportions. Before 9/11 and all the subsequent horrific attacks on western targets committed by individuals who hold this warped ideology, we, in the west, all lived in peace together. If western countries were so against muslims how come we have invited them to live amongst us, share the good things our countries have to offer and build mosques etc. It is more the other way round – Christians are not welcome to settle and build churches in radical Islamic societies. Western people, usually of Christian heritage, can be the most tolerant and generous people in the world who will defend (and even give their lives for) and help muslim peoples around the world in times of need and disaster e.g. Kosovo, Bosnia, earthquakes, floods and the 2004 Tsumani. Whilst the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were ill thought through, the ultimate aim is to create democracy, stability, wealth and prosperity and a better life for the muslim people there – just like the better life that living in the west provides for lots of muslims who want to emigrate here every day.

  112. November 8, 2009 at 00:08

    Of course the gunman’s Muslim teaching was relevant ! The shooter made it relevant 1) by freely distributing the Koran to his neighbors 2) by going to a mosque 3) by seeking a certain kind of wife within his faith 4) by refusing to kill other Muslims 5) by shouting an Islamic expression before killing – one that has been shouted before at 9-11 6) by following Islam’s traditions on prayer – his neighbors heard him 7) by dressing in a white outfit before the killings and later in an army uniform during the killing 8) by telling everyone he was being mistreated because he was Muslim and later lashing back at innocent individuals.

    The person was troubled but he was a contradiction in action:
    1. if you did not want to be put in combat situations, why did you join the army ?

    2. if you take US army funds to complete your medical education, did you
    think this was a gift without responsibility ?

    3. if you “tried to help” soldiers returning from combat as a doctor, than why did you think it was OK to kill their fellow soldiers ?

    The Bible says faith without deeds is dead and a good tree is known by its fruit and a bad tree is known by its fruit.

  113. 129 Joseph A. Migliore
    November 8, 2009 at 00:21

    Major Hasan’s recent shooting spree, obviously was motivated by a conflict between conservative Islam and a calling for military service — and his subsequent deployment to Afghanistan or Iraq.
    What a ideological dilemma! It’s as if he was forced to choose between a life of strict-adherence to the Quran and loyalty for one’s country, through military service, even if resulting in a controversial deployment to a Muslim country during a time of war. A conflict between religious ideology and duty for one’s country — This, exemplifies a true Islamic meaning of “jihad”; “a struggle within for faith….”
    Given the circumstances, as it is released piece-meal by the media, I am not surprised that he reverted to violence.

  114. 130 Truth Seeker
    November 8, 2009 at 01:55

    The words of this man show that his faith played a role in the tragedy. Unfortunately, so long as people continue to be tribal in their approach to humanity, people like this man will surface too often. We hear the press bemoan leaders for killing “their own people“, thereby suggesting that this it is less heinous to kill those outside of the tribe. The irony of our times is that this killer would still be out free had he directed his guns at some innocent foreigners. Our world is a failed world because we collectively have failed to confront the true tyrants and war mongers people who would rather direct resources to bombs and guns than to vaccines and homes for the homelss.

  115. 131 Peter Forsythe
    November 8, 2009 at 09:36

    Is it “Islamophobic” and hateful to note that Hasan, who expressed sympathy for suicide attackers, who gave away the Koran hours before he started shooting people, who dressed himself in Islamic clothes to murder his colleagues, who shouted “Allahu akbar” as he gunned them down, may have been motivated by the Islamic jihad doctrine of warfare against unbelievers?

  116. 132 Peter Forsythe
    November 8, 2009 at 09:40

    Another thought: some have tried some excusing of Hasan on the ground of his belief that Islam does not allow the killing of Muslims, hence his “upset” at being sent to Afghanistan. Very well: if that’s true, then it should surely cause a revaluation of enlisting *any* Muslims into the armed forces. If on the other hand it’s not true, then it’s no “excuse” for Hasan’s murderous rampage.

  117. 133 Cape
    November 8, 2009 at 10:19

    What is the most relevant as I see things is that this man is originally Palestinian. The treatment by Israel and the Western press of the issues surrounding the creation of the Israeli state in the levant is absolutely inadmissable.

    This is the single most provocative action of the 20th century. Many many problems in the world today could be avoided by revisiting 1948 and finding a just solution.

    Insane? Driven to insanity? It is injustice that is the cause of strife. What could be more unjust than 1948, 1967 and the many many daily actions of the Israelis? If it splills into this kind of event from time to time, it is a measure of the muslims’ faith that it does not happen more often.

    No, include 1948 in the perimeter of talks and the outcome will be a world that is a much happier and safer place to live.

  118. 134 David Turner
    November 8, 2009 at 13:40

    The media are right to reveal this man’s faith. It is not within their remit, IMO, to conceal facts from the public.

    Those people who call for repression of facts (be they pertinent facts, or otherwise) are attempting to subvert free speech… don’t forget that control of the media is a guiding principle of the extremist.

    Let we adults decide whether his religion was a factor in his murders.

    I speak as a member of the “masses” who is most definitely “stirred” when I read of murder and treachery.

  119. 135 ash
    November 8, 2009 at 17:49

    It is beyond any doubt that for majority devot muslims their religion comes first than the country they live in.

  120. November 8, 2009 at 18:18

    the western media should be impartiality especially BBC that we do really appreciate it’s effort but when we observed other media trying to give wrong statments about islam like CNN … that’s make the muslims be resentment and in state of shock why they always prejudge they don’t know the reasons that lead the gunman to kill . after all i forgot to mention to one of reader that she really put smile in my face and her name was ABI she is very right when she said : How many of the shootings in the US in the past ten years have been committed by Christians ?

    the man grew up in american studied held the degree in america so if he wasn’t believe by what usa army doing he wont signed up . before , he was good soldier obeyed the rules but now the media change him to a murder weird they hurry up to accused the religion . first search the reasons that pushed him to shot fire in base however none of you read or knows what we ve got in our holy book all you can do is : oh the islam pushed him to kill !!!! that’s drive us mad why i would kill when my book doesn’t allow me to kill
    the man was son of america he is psychiatrist so who knows maybe after lot of story he heard put him in a state of shock or maybe he lost the control on his self his job not easy

    i got a question to readers if the man was a christian or jew would the western media accuse the religion or will accuse the man ?????

  121. 137 Patty
    November 9, 2009 at 00:24

    I made an error in stating that the shooter bought a “machine gun.” It is a FN 5.7. When the commentator on tv saiid it was an “automatic,” I thought that meant a “machine gun.” I don’t know anything about guns, except that they kill people.

    Also, it is reported that he bought the gun in recent months, meaning he planned to have a gun outside of what he had from the military. Now why would someone want/need a gun? It was also said he was carrying 2 guns at the shooting. The 5.7 and a .357 Smith & Wesson. This is clearly pre-meditated murder to kill as many people as he can.

    I just read this: “The most powerful type of ammunition for the FN 5.7 gun is available only to law enforcement and military personnel. Gun control advocates call it a “cop killer” weapon because that ammo can pierce bulletproof vests, and its use by Mexican drug cartels worries police.”

    So, I think we should think twice before saying this guy is some poor innocent victim, etc. He clearly prepared for this murder shooting spree. What more can be said?

  122. 138 NSC London
    November 9, 2009 at 01:35

    Well, I’ll be curious to see if this comment makes it to the board, here goes….

    Yes, his faith is relevant because the Koran clearly instructs Muslims to wage war against infidels, as a good Muslim he was doing his duty; therefore, faith is relevant.

    Christians, Jews, secularists, Zoroastrians, etc. commit murder daily, the difference is they do not have the express consent of their god.

  123. 139 NSC London
    November 9, 2009 at 01:38

    Furthermore, who exactly is “raging” at the Muslim community? America and Europe are stupid enough to take every Muslim massacre as a reason to continue to apologise for Islam.

    There has been no retribution so far and I doubt there will be, but I’m sure we’ll hear plenty of pity-partying about how bad Muslims have it in the US.

  124. 140 Dennis Junior
    November 9, 2009 at 06:27

    I honestly, that his religious association is not at all relevant; but, I think that most people will be making it very relevant….

    =Dennis Junior=

  125. 141 Saut
    November 9, 2009 at 09:58

    I do business travelling in Malaysia and Indonesia. I have yet to meet any Muslim who would be offended or slighted if any infamous or notorious person is identified as a Muslim. The reason is straight-forward: Islam is a complete way of life and will provide the explanations and the necessary responses when required. That is why I am surprised with all this hooha about Major Nidal Malik Hasan being identified as a Muslim and a devout one at that. To all the non-Muslim commentators calling for fairness in reporting with “If Christians,etc are not identified. Why should the Muslims be identified?”. You are getting worked up for nothing. And for the Muslims feeling the same way, go and check with your local Ulama. I have checked and they tell me knowing a purported wrong-doer is a Muslim is a pre-requisite for the application of Sharia law.

  126. 142 MOMOH JUBRIL
    November 9, 2009 at 11:59

    i think the issue of religion should be out of this, that the soldier is Muslim or not we all now no that is an American. because it may link to religions crises in another country. thank you from Lagos Nigeria

  127. 143 Ibrahim in UK
    November 9, 2009 at 13:22

    Focussing on his religion is misleading the public into finding a link between the causes of the shooting and the shooter’s religion.
    There have been many shootings before, the shooters have been of different religions.
    All the shooters have been male, did we blame their “inability to contain their
    masculinity?”
    All the shooters have been Americans, did we blame their “inability to contain their nationalism?”
    All the shooters before this were Christian, did we blame their “inability to contain their religious beliefs?”

    “Going Postal” is a phenomenon that existed long before it became fashionable to blame Islam.

  128. 144 David Turner UK
    November 9, 2009 at 14:08

    The day that I see crazed Methodists flying planes into buildings and bombing railway stations, I’ll be first in the queue to publicly condemn them. But, the fact is, Western religions are much too moderate. They’re fluffy, cuddly, benign things compared to the doctrine of Islam.

    It’s clear to anyone (who will dare peek past their Politically-Correct blinkers) that this crime was motivated by a religious doctrine…Islam.

    Search the net. Look at what its proponents are saying; many of them are quite open in their hatred of Western values and their intent to hold dominion.

    If there are moderate Muslims out there, sharing my country, it’s time that they stood up and were counted. I want to hear them condemn this man (Nidal) and condemn their radical friends who would perpetrate any excess in pursuit of their faith.

    There’s a lot of Christian apologists out there, who really should wake up and quit their blind defence of a philosophy which has left much of the Middle East in the dark ages, this past 1400 years.

  129. 145 Danny, UK
    November 9, 2009 at 14:24

    He was happy serving in the US army before the US decided to start a war on islam, and the racism hewas subjected to and lack of sensitivity to someone whos faith is being attacked was the reason for the shootings, blame anyone blame the country built on immigrants that now calls itself christian! I can not imagine the hell Muslim Americans must be going through, especially since the US created and funded Islamic terrorism in the Middle East and against India!

  130. 146 David Turner UK
    November 9, 2009 at 14:55

    I’ve just read Cape’s contribution to this discussion. Here is his final sentence.

    “No, include 1948 in the perimeter of talks and the outcome will be a world that is a much happier and safer place to live.”

    That tenor of the post sounds rather like a terrorist’ demand…”do this, or else”.

    Have I misinterpreted it?

  131. 147 JanB
    November 9, 2009 at 21:04

    The chances of this man committing such an act and being a Muslim soldier in the US military at the same time, without his faith playing a role are slim to none, especially now that we know he was never in combat, so didn’t have PTSS (yes, it could’ve been that he just felt discriminated against and was not an Islamic-terrorist, but that would still mean his faith played a role.)

    The true racist here is the author who says: “Clearly by his name, we ALL know he is a Muslim”, why? He just has a Middle Eastern name, it doesn’t even have “Mohammed” in it, so it’s very possible he’s not religious, why does the author equate being Middle Eastern with being a practising Muslim?

    I’d say there’s a bigger chance that an American Army Major going by the name “Nidal Malik Hasan” is not a practising Muslim than that a practising Muslim Major, without PTSS, commits an act of violence, unlike anything ever seen before, against a US military base, without his faith having anything to do with it.

  132. November 11, 2009 at 11:06

    The apparent naivete of NPR broadcasters was astonishing. Hasan is reportedly Palestinian with parents who “emigrated” from Jordan. More likely they were among the 200,000 refugees of the Israeli invasion of the West Bank (then part of Jordan) in 1967 whose land was seized by Israel, which has brutally occupied Palestine with US support and diplomatic protection ever since. Islamophobic racism is invoked to justify this and is flagrant on military bases where troops are being propagandized to dehumanize those they are being sent to kill. Hasan often voiced his outrage over our racist foreign policy prior to this final breakdown.

    Does one need to be a “devout Muslim” to be outraged that our indefensible invasion of Iraq has resulted in over a million Arab deaths and some 4 million refugees, or that our indulgence of Israel has permitted their seizure and oppression of all of Palestine? Rather than isolated in a man sensitized by his background to our crimes against (Muslim) humanity, leading to an ultimate explosion, Hasan’s outrage should be shared by us all. We must recognize our own complicity as citizens asleep and put a stop to US and Israeli crimes. The US and Israel now perform their lynchings more cleanly than did Mississippi, with F-16s and unmanned drones, but we are no less guilty of supporting racial assassinations than were the White Citizens Councils.


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