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Posted in: Jihad & Terrorism

Published on Nov 07, 2009 by Phyllis Chesler

Written for Pajamas Media

Obama: Avoid "Jumping to Conclusions, Avoid Anti-Muslim "Backlash"


Newsflash: See below: FBI believes Hasan may potentially be connected to three of the 9/11 hijackers.

Our President is quoted in the pages of the New York Times advising us not to "jump to conclusions." According to CNN, President Obama has also cautioned against a "backlash" against Muslims in the military and in the country. This–from the charmer who bowed before the Saudi King and who betrayed Muslim women in his Cairo speech.

Ordinarily, I'd agree with such advice about conclusion-jumping. The military does first have to investigate the matter fully. One can't always believe what one reads in the media, etc. But whether or not Major Hasan acted alone, had allies, was inspired by religious and political Islamism, was psychiatrically troubled–the fact remains that he committed an act of terrorism. He terrified other soldiers precisely where they were supposed to feel safe. So much of the truth is already so clear that it would be insane, insulting to the intelligence to deny or minimize it.

Quickly, reflexively, without waiting for more of the facts to emerge, the mainstream print media has already decided that Major Hasan is a tormented "innocent" who must have snapped under alleged conditions of extreme provocation and humiliation. The mainstream media assures people that there is no such thing as jihad; that the Ft. Hood massacre has nothing to do with Islam or with violent jihad; that if there are any victims here, it is not the dead and wounded soldiers (whose young and beautiful faces have begun to haunt me)–but the man accused of their mass murders.

The portrait of Major Hasan to be found in the pages of the New York Times is that of a solitary and tormented man, one who was being forced to fight in a war he opposed for religious reasons, an unjust war, a man who viewed America as the aggressor, and Muslims, especialy Muslim suicide killers, as innocent, justified, even heroic.

So far, he sounds like a New York Times reader himself.

I am a psychologist, a retired Professor of Psychology and a psycho-analytically oriented psychotherapist. But I have also been following current events, even studying them. Based on the evidence to date, Major Hasan's bloody rampage seems to have been planned. The day before the murders, he gave away his furniture and copies of his Qu'ran. On that day, Major Hasan also had a mysterious, brief meeting with another man dressed in Islamic clothing. And he used his neighbor's computer.

Thus, Hasan's action was a planned execution. It was not the act of a man who suddenly "snapped." Yes, as I wrote in my earlier piece, we may characerize Hasan's action as a case of Sudden Jihad Syndrome but that does not mean I am making an actual psychiatric diagnosis. The phrase is descriptive, perhaps even sarcastic. Yes, we may call this the act of a lone shooter–if it turns out that he acted alone–but still, this lone shooter was someone who was inspired by a radical Islamist ideology which views such murderous acts as religiously heroic not as "psychiatrically deranged."

In Gaza or on the West Bank, Major Hasan would be given a hero's parade. Osama bin Laden's followers will print posters and banners with his face.

Some may choose to view him as dysfunctional, psychiatrically challenged, socially inappropriate, isolated, inflexible, fanatical–but that does not justify or excuse his jihadic crime. Many religious fanatics are also "mentally ill." It is the religious ideology that empowers criminal–and in Hasan's case, treasonous activity. Hasan did not commit jihadic mass murder because he is "mentally ill" but because he is a jihadist.

And now we come to a paradox with which we must wrestle. Just as we cannot excuse honor murders in the West because they are excused or acceptable in other cultures, it may be unwise to psychiatrically diagnose culturally "different" behaviors as if such behaviors were part of the West. The lone shooters of Columbine and the lone bomber of Oklahoma City were not being fueled, inspired, strengthened, or supported, by a large, growing, fundamentalist religious movement which had the blessings of a particular religion.

This is not the case with violent jihad in the name of radical Islam.

It does not matter if there are early passages in the Qu'ran which counsel peacefulness; later passages cancel or "abrogate" them. It does not matter that many Muslims may be peaceful people or may genuinely want peace. The brand of Islam now loose in the world is the violent and hating kind whose ideas may also be found in the Qu'ran. (Read Barry Rubin's column on this).

But there is also something else to consider, something that the media has not yet seized upon. Hasan, born and reared in the United States, self-identifies as a Palestinian. One of my readers, Deborah Weisman, has pointed out that Palestinians are absolutely not wanted in Iraq. Palestinians supported Saddam Hussein and as such were feared and hated. Palestinians are endangered and living in tents in Iraq. America even accepted some Palestinians on these grounds.

Perhaps the very Palestinian Major Hasan also feared going to Iraq for this reason too–if he was even being deployed there. (He may have thought he was being deployed to Afghanistan, my information is not entirely clear on this). Interestingly though, according to the New York Times, Hasan's brother, Anas, a lawyer, recently moved to Ramallah where the family has cousins. (Hizb ut Tahrir as well as other terrorist groups are active on the West Bank).

Let me remind us all: The entire world, not just the American media and American military, have identified Palestinians as the most noble of victims, as the perpetually most innocent and most wronged of victims. Even those who are smuggling arms into Gaza, lobbing rockets at civilians in Israel, perpetually fooling the western media, murdering their own people and honor murdering their own women–they, too, are still seen as existentially innocent.

Despite the fact that Palestinian leaders and their Iranian allies have stated their genocidal intentions towards Israel (the symbol for the West and its first line of defense), Palestinians are still viewed as the victims of Israeli "Nazi"-aggression when Israel fights back in self-defense.

And yes, Palestinian civilians are suffering terribly…but primarily at the hands of their own terrorist, reactionary, and misogynist leadership.and at the hands of the Arab League. Long ago, any Arab country could have granted citizenship rights to Palestinians, just as Israel did to the 800,000 Arab Jews who were forced to flee from Arab Muslim countries. Arab countries refused to do so.

So: Major Hasan identifies with Palestine. He feels their pain. It speaks to him. He takes it on as his own. He blames America for it. He follows Islam in its most radical incarnation and justifies Islamist suicide terrorists. Indeed, this was one of his problems at the Walter Reed Hospital: He taught precisely this when he should have been teaching subjects like behaviorial science or environmental health.

I suggest that America has just tasted the bitter pill that Israel has been forced to swallow daily for nearly a decade.

I further suggest that the American military must end it's policy of political correctness and weed out those personnel who consistently mistranslate from the Arabic. In addition, social misfits who hold extremist views, especially and specifically Islamist views, should have no place in the American military.

We owe that much to those slaughtered at Ft Hood and on 9/11.

UPDATE

Jeffrey Imm has just called this to my attention. According to the Telegraph,

"Hasan, the sole suspect in the massacre of 13 fellow US soldiers in Texas, attended the controversial Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Great Falls, Virginia, in 2001 at the same time as two of the September 11 terrorists, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt. His mother's funeral was held there in May that year.

The preacher at the time was Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Yemeni scholar who was banned from addressing a meeting in London by video link in August because he is accused of supporting attacks on British troops and backing terrorist organisations.

As investigators look at Hasan's motives and mindset, his attendance at the mosque could be an important piece of the jigsaw. Al-Awlaki moved to Dar al-Hijrah as imam in January, 2001, from the west coast, and three months later the September 11 hijackers Nawaf al-Hamzi and Hani Hanjour began attending his services. A third hijacker attended his services in California.

Hasan was praying at Dar al-Hijrah at about the same time, and the FBI will now want to investigate whether he met the two terrorists."

If such a connection exists–and one may not–the implications are very serious. Talk about "sleeper" cells? No, we have to talk about carefully, possibly highly placed individuals who have been programmed/guided/inspired to either blow themselves up or to shoot others down. One by one by one.

Various military officers have characterized Hasan as a "valuable asset," perhaps too valuable to jettison even if he acted strangely and did not want to deploy. I wonder how many other such "valuable assets" the American military, private industry, and the various branches of the American government really have.

Don't you wonder?


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