The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

So, is Hasan an Islamic terrorist? And was the massacre at Fort Hood a jihadist attack?

I heard this on the tube this morning: "Not all Muslims are terrorists, but the vast majority of terrorists are Muslim." It reminds me of something I've heard regarding alcohol. "I don't get in trouble every time I drink, but every time I've gotten in trouble, I've been drinking."

The nation thus far seems loathe to consider that the attack on Ft. Hood was a function of religious fervor run amok. But in refusing to look at it that way, are we perhaps enabling the intolerable and fooling ourselves in the process?

Ok, now it's on the table... at least here on the Forum. Discussion?


Anonymous said...

It's all in how you define terrorist.

I think it's interesting to hear that in 1991, a white racist incensed by the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings killed more people at Fort Hood than Hasan did.

The white racist had political motivation, a basic element of terrorism. But he doesn't seem to be remembered as a terrorist. Nor do Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, even though what they did in Oklahoma City certainly was terrorism.

Bob Newland said...

To the contrary, nearly everyone thinks it's an example of religious fervor run amok, but fear of being labeled a "religist" induces folks to withhold the assessment.

Personally, I think it was an unstable guy who was thrust over the edge by a combination of things, one of which was his interpretation of his mythology of choice/birth/circumstance.

Terrorism is what is practiced by the Highway Patrol on South Dakota roads. That is systematic, purposeful, considered, and brutal.

What Hasan did was an individual act of insanity.

Bill Fleming said...

Religist huh. Hmm. I've never heard of that before.

Bill Fleming said...

From the Urban Dictionary:

1. Religist (2 thumbs up, none down)

A corruption of the term "Religious" used by pro high school debaters in online forums to cause confusion and provide a decoy to a weak overall argument.

eggy2125: Is IGN Religist?

God: "You elite debaters will also be slaughtered by my sword," says the LORD. And the LORD will strike the lands of the north with his fist.

Bob Newland said...

In my case it was used to provide a decoy to an unassailable overall argument.

Michael Sanborn said...

I believe it was planned. I believe it was motivated by religion. I believe he was encouraged. It was an act of terrorism.

Also reminds me of something I've heard regarding strippers: Not all strippers are prostitutes. But all prostitutes have been strippers.

To suggest that all terrorists are Muslim, is ridiculous. Anony's example is perfect. The right wing crazies who prance into a church and grease an abortion doctor are terrorists too...

Then there was that whole Inquisition thing, and the Crusades....Weren't those acts of terrorism?

Anonymous said...

By labeling Hasan a terrorist, what people are trying to do is deflect the fact that he also is an American and a member of the U.S. military.

He may be a terrorist, but he is those other things, too.

ThatOneGuy said...

From Wikipedia entry "Delusions":
"Religious delusion: Any delusion with a religious or spiritual content. These may be combined with other delusions, such as grandiose delusions (the belief that the affected person was chosen by God, for example), delusions of control, or delusions of guilt. Beliefs that would be considered normal for an individual's religious or cultural background are not necessarily delusions."

We have to be careful in ascribing abhorrent to religious fervor when the religious fervor might be a chemical imbalance. Did Hasan kill because he is a Moslem or because he is disturbed?
Of course we also are afflicted with a great deal of wrong information as to the general content of the Koran and Moslem belief. That makes it hard for us to casually look at someone like Hasan and determine the extent of his delusions.