Friday, November 06, 2009

Major Hasan's Legacy 

What American could not be shocked by the massacre that occurred yesterday at Ft. Hood, Texas? As details about the alleged perpetrator have become known, his Muslim faith stands out like a zit on a prom queen's nose. (I use the term "alleged" because in the United States there is a legal presumption of innocence and for no other reason, because factually there's no doubt that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan committed the act even though legally he still might be adjudged "not guilty")

Now, I know that the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful and would never commit such a heinous crime, and I know that the executive director of CAIR has condemned the massacre, and I know that many Muslims serve honorably in the armed forces of the United States. I do not condemn Muslims nor Islam for this event.

Update 20091106:11:55 PST:

Please see Bob Owens' post at Pajamas Media for more thoughts.

But I fear that the damage from Major Hasan's attack will extend far beyond the confines of Ft. Hood and will affect many more people than the dead, wounded and their families, comrades and friends.

I think this event will pose a major morale problem for the armed forces vis a vis their Muslim members. From now on, no soldier, sailor, airman or Marine who has a Muslim in his unit will be absolutely sure of that person's loyalty. No service member will be able to know with absolute certainty that the Muslim who serves next to him or her will not, in battle or otherwise, turn on his comrades as Maj. Hasan did, or "frag" them as some guy did in Desert Storm (or was it Iraq?) Think about it—what if you were at a fire base in the mountains of Afghanistan and you had a Muslim in your platoon? Would you trust him the same as you would your Baptist or Catholic or even your atheist comrade, given what has happened?

Maj. Hasan, being a psychiatrist, undoubtedly knew on some level what the effect of his attack would be on morale, but it remains unknown at this time whether he had the purpose of achieving that effect as one of the reasons he did what he did.

I think the military is going to have to work very hard to counteract the effect of this tragedy within its ranks, and I wish them well, because if they are unsuccessful all Muslims in the United States will feel a backlash, not just those in the military.

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