Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

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On the Fort Hood Shootings

11 November 2009

My wonderful husband wrote this today. It reminded me of how much I love him.

Alright, here’s the deal. I don’t normally like posting “soapbox” type items, but this is something that I feel really strongly about and that I consider an extremely divisive issue that needs attention. So let’s talk about the Fort Hood shootings and religious bigotry, shall we?

What We Know Happened
-Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan shot 31 people and killed 12 at Fort Hood.
-Maj. Hasan was a practicing psychiatrist at Darnall Army Medical Center on the army base.
-He is a U.S. citizen of Jordanian descent and a practicing Muslim.
-He was in frequent contact with Anwar al-Awiaki, an imam released from a Yemeni jail last year.
-The communications consisted primarily of Maj. Hasan posing questions to the imam as a spiritual leader or advisor.
-No formal investigation was opened on these communications and the content has not been determined to be of terrorist nature or that of advocating/threatening violence (note that some content is probably classified at this time).

What We Don’t Yet Know
-The motive for the shootings
-If Maj. Hasan subscribed to Islamic extremist views or was just a regular follower of Islam.
-Did I mention the motive for the shootings?

My Rant
Pure logic and reasonable human nature would suggest that no judgment of the situation should occur until the motive for the shootings has been determined. But what actually happened? People jumped on the fear bandwagon and blamed Islam as a religion, of all things! Pat Robertson says:

“So you are dealing with not a religion. You’re dealing with a political system. And I think we should treat it as such and treat its adherences as such as we would members of the Communist Party or members of some fascist group.”

And Forbes columnist Tunku Varadarajan:

“[We] must ask whether we are confronting a new phenomenon of violent rage, one we might dub—disconcertingly—”Going Muslim.” This phrase would describe the turn of events where a seemingly integrated Muslim-American—a friendly donut vendor in New York, say, or an officer in the U.S. Army at Fort Hood—discards his apparent integration into American society and elects to vindicate his religion in an act of messianic violence against his fellow Americans.”

“The difference between “going postal,” in the conventional sense, and “going Muslim,” in the sense that I suggest, is that there would not necessarily be a psychological “snapping” point in the case of the imminently violent Muslim; instead, there could be a calculated discarding of camouflage—the camouflage of integration—in an act of revelatory catharsis.”

So let me get this straight: Muslims are equal to fascists and members of the Communist Party? Muslims who kill people don’t murder, they “go Muslim”? Are you serious????? On top of this, I have had a few “friends” try and stereotype the entire religion of Islam by LITERALLY saying that Islam justifies violence. Here’s the issue I have. Feel free to read this slowly until it sinks in. ISLAM HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ACTIONS OF THIS MAN. Nothing. Nada. Absolutely no connection whatsoever. For several reasons. The most obvious one is that motive has not yet been confirmed, but let’s ignore that little slice of logic for right now. What these people fail to realize is that there is a clear separation between the practicing religion of Islam (most Muslims) and the extremism advocated by Islamic terrorists. So to denounce Islam altogether because of the actions of one (or several) when the main tenets of the religion are the exact OPPOSITE of that behavior is bigotry, plain and simple. Intelligent people would take the time to consider this before making remarks such as those of Mr. Varadarajan or Mr. Robertson. Even more intelligent people may do some research on Islam to actually UNDERSTAND what the religion is all about!

Islam isn’t the only religion with extremists who advocate violence. Let’s look at a less popular religion, say, Christianity. They have “pro-life” people bombing abortion clinics and assassinating doctors. They have an entire sect that justified child molestation by clergy. They have historical blood on their hands from Inquisitions and Crusades. They have public calls for exclusion of basic civil rights because of lifestyle (homosexuality). Ask yourselves this: if members of the Religious Right started suicide-bombing Planned Parenthood offices and executing homosexuals, would you denounce Christianity as a whole or would you just write them off as extremists?

I’ve had “friends” try to justify their statements by being dismissive. “Oh it’s just a joke,” “you have no sense of humor”, “stop being so politically correct”. Sadly, I expected more from these friends and do not plan on associating with them anymore. There is a distinct difference between political correctness and outright bigotry, and neither make for good comedy. Dismissive rationalization only makes me believe they feel some truth behind their statements, which is that much more disappointing. One said that Muslims of America should “stand up and denounce the position of Muslim extremists”. Yeah, that’s already happened, and you can find more information here:

http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/muslim_voices_against_extremism_and_terrorism_2/

That’s all well and good but that didn’t stop people in the media from making bigoted statements as recent as YESTERDAY. What’s worse is that Americans trust these media personalities to deliver them real news, so I’m sure there are many Americans who take their words to heart and continue to perpetuate bigotry and ignorance. The media is in a position to make the public more educated and instead routinely chooses to spread a culture of ignorance and fear.

I’m hoping it sparks discussion, change, something, ANYTHING.

 

Something to think about.
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