TALKBACK: The American Muslim Community Responds to the Fort Hood Tragedy


GOATMILK would like to hear thoughts and reflections about the Fort Hood tragedy from members of the diverse Muslim American community.

The shooter, Major Nidal Hassan, is a 39 year old American psychiatrist and a Muslim whose violent rampage left 13 soldiers dead and nearly 40 more wounded.

The traumatic event has reopened some festering wounds regarding the ongoing War against Extremism, the alleged conflict between Islam and America, suspicions of “divided loyalties” regarding American Muslims, issues concerning national security, lingering debates about the emotional and mental health of our soldiers and a host of other issues.

Please attempt at least a modicum of respect and decency in your comments and posts.

Hopefully something positive can come from this open discussion.

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9 thoughts on “TALKBACK: The American Muslim Community Responds to the Fort Hood Tragedy

  1. I humbly submit my own brief thoughts taken from my Guardian article: “No mere factual, evidential explanation could ever justify or excuse in any way Hasan’s alleged actions. But it ought to broaden the horizon of those in the media who seem infatuated with the need to pin the blame for this perverse tragedy solely on a man’s religious faith and Arabic last name, rather than exploring the possibility of a more complicated truth involving some combination of mental state, divided loyalty or conscientious objection.”

  2. I would like to add I find it sickening and disheartening that a few would actually defend Major Hasan’s actions or attempt to condone them. From every angle, including religious, ethical and moral, his actions are inexcusable.

    Although anger and frustration are natural human reactions to such a tragedy, as well as a desire for revenge and punishment, we must not let hysteria and extremist rhetoric cloud our common sense and pollute our temperament disposed towards tolerance. Furthermore, as a multicultural and Democratic society, we cannot indict an entire people due to fear and suspicion that is fanned and politically manipulated by an extremist, reactionary minority for the expedient advancement of their corrupted ideologies.

    The action of one madman are not reflective of the mindset of 1.5 billion people comprising diverse global communities. For an isolated example of a Major Nidal Hasan, there is and thankfully always will be a Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3QWB1iAYcs

  3. As an American Imam, I join with millions of people of faith in this great nation and around the world in extending condolences to the families of the victims of the recent tragic shootings at the US military base in Fort Hood, Texas.  I offer prayers for the wounded for a full recovery both physically and spiritually.  Any sane or faithful individual of any faith would condemn this tragic act of violence against unsuspecting men and women in uniform.
    While accepting the fact that Major Nidal Malik Hassan practiced the Islamic faith I offer no justification for this ungodly, heinous and cowardly act of violence.  While I grieve as a nation, let us not forget that the estimated 20,0000 Muslims men and women who are honorably serving their country in the US military.  The military courts will ultimately determine the fate of Major Hassan.  If the events of November 5th 2009 are as they seem, Major Hassan will no doubt be found guilty in a military not federal court.
    We must take a moment realize that this is the second shooting in the last twelve months at Fort Hood and that no matter the verdict or the punishment the lives that have been taken will never be replaced, the damage done to the wounded, physically and emotionally, may never be fully repaired, and that in the aftermath of this incident of fratricide will result in the loss of trust and an increase in the sense of fear and vulnerability among our nations armed forces into the future.
    In many countries if this crime had been committed by ONE member of a tribe, ethnic or religious group against another it would result in escalating social tension, rioting or even genocide, but not in the United States of America.  As Americans, we must continue to hold fast to our many faiths and values, continuing to strive toward healing as a nation and as a beacon hope to an increasingly polarized and violent world.
    http://www.imamjohari.wordpress.com

  4. This was incredibly a sad event, and it was quite disturbing news. I would have to disagree that Nidal Malik practiced the Islamic faith, for if he did, he would have realized by now, that, in Islam, “Killing one person is like killing all of humanity,” as said by the last and final messenger of God, and, as believed by Muslims. People like him use the banner of Islam, thinking that they could use religion as a means to justify their actions. Why can’t we all call him a crazy person, rather than a terrorist muslim? He so happened to be a Muslim, and crazy, whereas being Muslim does not necessarily mean a person is crazy.

    My condolences go out to the victims’ families and friends who have been affected and damaged by this event. I am at a loss for words for this man’s behavior. However, it is also not justifiable to take revenge out on innocent Muslims residing in the United States, who, a majority, are law-abiding, tax-paying, humane individuals who are contributors to this American society. But, Nidal Hassan must be given the punishment necessary for his actions, for there can be no reparations made to the hurt and damage done to the victims’ families for such outrageous behavior.

  5. I myself would like to sing along in chorus and apologize to the entire nation because a “Muslim” retard decided to exploit his weapon and killed a handful people and injured several others. Fortunately, I am not doing so and I think it is completely okay what happened there because these very same soldiers did not do any civilized acts in Afghanistan and Iraq and many other nations that they were probably sent to. So in the Court of God, it is completely justified for being punished the way you’ve treated other innocents.
    Before you all start throwing stones at me, Yes!! I do know that Islam does not preach violence. For God Sake people, even when we meet another Muslim we say Salaam – Peace Be Upon You. That all leads to contradiction of my own statement that how can I support his doings. First of all, if he was that PIOUS and sanctimonious of a Muslim; he would not have done any horrendous at all. Then we leave it up to New York Times and CNN to spice up the news and ignite the flames of this conservative and conflicted nation that Islam is the biggest evil religion in the world. My two cents – if a Christian or a Jew would have done it, NYT would have reported “A Military psychiatrist could not control his own nerves and killed his fellow soldiers” and that’s about it. The entire world would have mourned for a day or two and then would have gone back to criticizing Obama like Bush was any better.
    Instead of all these Islamic Organizations and Scholars standing together and accentuating on the fact that Islam does not preach this kind of behavior and people like him are just one of the millions psychopaths who had nothing better to do in life and decided to go on rampant killing; they decided to apologize to the world like being a Muslim – being born in the purest religion in the world has become a crime or something. People wake up and realize that we cannot believe everything that has been delivered to us in News. We the Muslims should have an adamant believe that since our religion doesn’t sermonize this, jerks like him cannot be one of us.

  6. Why can’t anyone ask the question – maybe it was years and years of being inculcated with the teachings of the Qu’ran that led Hassan to this act? I’m not saying it’s ultimately going to turn out to be the right answer, but why can’t anyone (certainly not Muslims) at least ask the question of whether, and to what extent, Hassan’s status as a devout Muslim played a role in the shooting? Bottom line – Muslims follow the teachings of an apparently schizophrenic 7th century warlord, who raided caravans and stole from others, ordered people (including a pregnant woman)assassinated, ordered hundreds of people to be beheaded, who stole his own son-in-law’s wife away from him, and who had sex with a 9 year old girl. Is it me, or is maybe just possible that there’s a connection between following the teachings emanating from such an obviously psychotic, bloodthirsty man and violence outbursts such as what we just witnessed with Hassan?

  7. And I love the fact that Ayesha K. comes out to defend Hassan! Ayesha, named after the very same 9 year old girl that the pedophile Muhammad repeatedly raped! Hey, Ayesha – how does it feel knowing that you’re considered the property of your husband? How does it feel knowing that your testimony is counted only as half that of a man’s in sharia court? How does it feel knowing that you aren’t supposed to even leave your house without a male escort, or that your husband can take up to three other wives, and is free to have sex with as many slaves as he wants? Keep on defending your “faith” Ayesha! Atta girl!

  8. Oh, and Ayesha, I forgot the best one – you’d best avoid getting raped – it’s going to be hard to find four muslim men (or eight muslim women, I guess) who’ll testify on your behalf! Is rape a spectator sport in Islam? Where you going to find four or eight witnesses? Incredible – and yet you keep defending the indefensible. Hey, Ayesha – did you ever stop to wonder why is that like 90% of all armed conflicts in the world today involve Muslims? Do you know what it means when people say that Islam has bloody borders? The “purest” religion in the world? Try the “worst” religion in the world.

  9. Charles, the comments you leave are very saddening, full of hate and misinformed. I don’t agree with Ayesha, in principle, and am certainly not defending her views. But, I do feel the need to defend the view of the majority of Muslims at this time.
    A harsh dualistic approach to Islam is very much against our history and practice. Debate is central to our tradition. Many mainstream muslims, and I consider myself one, believe in a faith that requires openness to nuance and subtlety. Subtlety and intellectual sophistication is inherent to Islamic tradition but this subtlety is anathema to fundamentalists of ANY religion or ideology, who are incapable of seeing other’s point of view. What I am saying is a response to the Fort Hood tragedy as well as your response to Ayesha’s comments. I don’t know what faith, if any, you prescribe to – but disgracing mine isn’t acceptable – and basing your opinions on what the bits and scraps and pieces of information you have picked up through your misinfored outlets is also not acceptable.

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