Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fort Hood mass murder

I keep thinking about something Osama Bin Ladin said a decade ago: that Christianity is a religion of life, while Islam is a religion of death, and that this fact made us weak and them strong.

So here's an American Major and a psychiatrist--and an Islamist. He was willing to die, to be sure. And to murder as many people as he could before going to his fate.

Nobody wants to deal with the possibility that Islam is more likely to produce Major Hassans than are other world views. This thought doesn't conflict with the likelihood that the average Muslim isn't murderous. I'm just asking whether Islam produces a statistically significantly higher percentage of terrorist/murderers than other world views.

And if so, what can we do about it? Every Islamic terrorist stands on the shoulders of Islamist thought leaders. We have to go after them, and do so in Islamic terms--that's the trick, I suspect. Instead of talking about how Islam is bad, we have to talk about how Islamists are bad Muslims.

We have to attack the underlying beliefs directly. Calling murderers like Hassan cowards or nut cases or solitary actors is both ridiculous and counterproductive. He wasn't a coward--given his beliefs, he was actually quite brave. Studies of terrorist murderers have indicated that they aren't insane in the sense that, say, a paranoid schizophrenic or a manic depressive is insane. And he didn't act alone. He was brought to this state of mind by legions of effective propagandists. I bet if you look at the websites he frequented and possibly the individuals he talked to at his local mosque, you'll find the ideological support for his murders.

Hassan was a Muslim terrorist, trying to achieve social change through murder. I'm sure that's how he saw himself (except for the "terrorist" label of course). Our challenge is to get other Muslims to view him as a bad Muslim.

1 comment:

Island Soul said...

While I whole-heartedly agree that we have to deal with Islamic terrorists more effectively, let's not put the cart before the horse. We don't (yet) know whether the Major's Islamicism had anything to do with the attack. It's entirely possible that he just "went postal" so to speak.... This may eventually prove to be a personel problem having to do with the stress of impending deployment that anyone in the military could fall victim to. We should not (yet) assume that because he is Muslim that this is an incident of ideological terrorism.