Protecting American values from extremists

I agree with conservatives like David Horowitz and John Hinderacker; in light of the shooting at Ft. Hood, we need to reassert and protect our values.  The question of course, is the who we’re protecting our values from.  Hint: it’s not Muslims.  But first, a few quick points about Muslim-American attitudes:

1. Muslim-American are overwhelmingly happy with their place in the United States:

Protecting American values from extremists

Back in 2007, the Pew Research Center released the first comprehensive survey of Muslim-American attitudes.  According to the survey, nearly eight out of ten Muslim-Americans say that they are happy with their lives in the United States.  To break that down a bit, 24 percent of Muslim Americans would say that they are “very happy” with their lives, 54 percent would say that they are “pretty happy,” and only 18 percent would say “not too happy.”  Among the general public, those numbers are 36 percent, 51 percent and 12 percent respectively.  Which brings me to my next point…

2. Most Muslim-Americans see no conflict between religious commitment and living in a modern society:

Protecting American values from extremists

63 percent of Muslim-Americans say that they see no conflict between being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society.  What’s more, a strong plurality of Muslims (43 percent) say that Muslims coming to America today should adopt American customs.  By contrast, only 26 percent say that they should remain distinct, and 16 percent say that they should try both.  Indeed, reading through the report, the vast majority of data suggests that on the whole, Muslims are glad to be in the United States and happy with the opportunities the country provides them.

Unfortunately, a good majority of Muslims are also worried about various forms of discrimination, racism, prejudice and stereotyping.  19 percent of Muslims say that they are worried about discrimination/racism/prejudice, 15 percent are worried about being viewed as terrorists, 14 percent are worried about ignorance of Islam, and 12 percent are worried about stereotyping.

This is a really important point.  Contra the Hinderaker’s and Horowitz’s, we have absolutely nothing to fear from the 2.5 million Muslims who call the United States home.  It’s to our credit as Americans that we have built a society where people of different religious beliefs and cultural traditions can live and work in peace without fear of harassment.  Insofar that we should worry about anything, it’s those who would ostracize Muslims and use the weight of the federal government to isolate them.  Anger and hostility breed hatred and extremism, and if we want to remain a society committed to tolerance and mutual respect, then we should work our hardest to marginalize anti-Muslim voices.

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59 thoughts on “Protecting American values from extremists

  1. The Ft Hood attack was an instance of Sudden Jihad Syndrome,

    whereby normal-appearing Muslims abruptly become violent. It has the awful but legitimate consequence of casting suspicion on all Muslims. Who knows whence the next jihadi? How can one be confident a law-abiding Muslim will not suddenly erupt in a homicidal rage? Yes, of course, their numbers are very small, but they are disproportionately much higher than among non-Muslims.

    Therefore, it’s the “absolutely nothing” phrase in the following that falsifies it.

    Contra the Hinderaker’s and Horowitz’s, we have absolutely nothing to fear from the 2.5 million Muslims who call the United States home. It’s to our credit as Americans that we have built a society where people of different religious beliefs and cultural traditions can live and work in peace without fear of harassment.

    Americans are usually open-minded. But even the minimal numbers of potentially violent Muslims in the US show that there is something to fear. This leads to the gravest effects of the massacre, as JE Dyer says. She considers that the security failure that led to the Ft. Hood massacre was

    something we actually consider, 99 percent of the time, to be a success: the peaceable, even complacent large-mindedness of the American character.

    Futhermore,

    Even beyond this factor, however, is a general complacency about the security of our American civil life. We come under attack very rarely. As the Fort Hood event is analyzed, pundits will emphasize this point and conclude that Americans need to wise up, get suspicious, shift from placidity to vigilance. That line of thought is not invalid: we should act more readily on suspicions of the kind raised by Hasan’s prior behavior.[Emphasis in the original]

    She says that this is a “step backwards” because a shift towards greater suspicion

    has to be done, but losing our very American reluctance in this regard is not something to wish for. Historically, humans have not proved very adept at walking the fine line between legitimate, situational suspicion and its politicized evil twin.

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  2. shorter RN: some phrase a guy made up justifies bigotry and smearing the patriotism and honor of Americans.

    although i do want to officially coin the phrase Random Right Wing Nutbag Syndrome to explain when right wingers kill a handful of cops or some such thing.

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  3. I used to laugh at the bed-wetters who spread the fear and paranoia of the Other- scary images of Black Panthers, of Muslim Jihadists, of Mexican Reconquistas.
    But then I read an article written by a journalistin Africa, describing a rally of a certain tribe. He described how the two tribes had been rivals, enjoying an uneasy peace, with minor political skirmishing for representation in the central government. Then the charismatic leader held this rally, and gave a stemwinding speech attacking the rival tribe as monsters, who wanted to rape and pillage, who had committed murder most foul, who would overrrun this tribe and leave them decimated.
    The journalist watched in horror as the crowd got riled up, the fear palpable, the paranoia rippling through the crowd like a wildfire. By the end of the speech, the tribe was chanting slogans of death to the Other, waving their machetes, bloodlust in the air. Not long after, the Rwanda genocide broke out, and a million people were slaughtered.

    An extreme example? Yes, thank God. But the same undercurrent is here, with no exaggeration. We are being told to fear the Muslims, that they are all to be seen with suspicion, that there is a secret agenda of conquest and triumph, and we must, must rise up in righteous anger.

    Crazy people always have a political or religious framework to hang their delusions on; Manson had a half-baked political theory of racial warfare; David Koresh had Christianity, and this man may have had Islam.
    I refuse to take part in a holy war, or an ethinc war. I will happily take part in a struggle to defend and expand secular tolerance.

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  4. The thing I wonder is the degree to which Muslim-Americans are somewhat self-selecting. I mean are more moderate Muslims more likely to emigrate? In the composition of American Muslims, how static/dynamic is it – given the variance in Islamic traditions.

    I certainly agree that the vast, vast majority of Muslims residing in America (whether citizens or not) are peaceful and pose no particular threat on account of their religion. Still, the terrorist cell behind the first World Trade Center bombing and associates responsible for the African embassy bombings were based out of NY-NJ. It seems more accurate to recognize that some/particular Muslims are more likely to be threatening than others, in the same way that some right-wing anti-government groups are more likely to be threatening than more moderate types.

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  5. The problem is we can’t see what is in the hearts and minds of those people we meet on the street each day so we have to use some external criteria upon which to judge them. No one knows when your friendly neighborhood muslin may suddenly suffer from Sudden Jihad Syndrome like the student at UNC did.

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  6. This is what I’m saying. I fail to see how it’s fair to call this “bigotry and smearing the patriotism and honor.”:

    It seems more accurate to recognize that some/particular Muslims are more likely to be threatening than others.

    This fact creates the unwarranted suspicion cast on the vast majority of Muslims in the US. Therefore the following has it back-assward:

    We are being told to fear the Muslims, that they are all to be seen with suspicion, that there is a secret agenda of conquest and triumph, and we must, must rise up in righteous anger.

    The whole problem is that we “are being told” (i.e., by the events themselves) to fear only the small minority of Muslims who are secret jihadists, or are potential victims of Sudden Jihad Syndrome. Everyone agrees that this casts suspicion unfairly on the vast majority of Muslims who are being “smeared” and “dishonored.” Not everyone agrees that this is unavoidable, because people don’t agree about the threat that jihidists have posed and continue to pose. Some people take the jihadists at their word, which is just that: jihad. Some people take comfort in some variation of, “We are being told to fear the Muslims, that they are all to be seen with suspicion, that there is a secret agenda of conquest and triumph, and we must, must rise up in righteous anger,” as if some evil entity were producing jihad as a twisted form of agitprop, so as to make normally tolerant and accepting Americans very afraid and make money. Whatever.

    As for the religious motivations of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan , those are clear on the surface. Unless we think that religion is a mental disease, then he was not insane. He is a traitor, just like, for example, the Rosenbergs were back in the ’40s. All of them were on the other side. That’s the difference between them and Charles Manson / David Koresh, who were not traitors. As a side-issue, I can’t see anything religious in the Manson case, but Koresh’s illness was religion, and vice versa.

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  7. no matter one’s political bent, i think that it should be obvious that, given the religious motivations behind both attacks on the world trade center and numerous others on american soil (including the one at hand), the statement that “we have absolutely nothing to fear from the 2.5 million Muslims who call the United States home” is patently ridiculous. i mean, really– cognitive dissonance, anyone?

    sure, there are plenty of muslims who don’t plan and/or commit atrocious crimes of violence against innocents in the name of their ideology– most of them, in fact. but the above statement by Jamelle appears to flatly contradict the reality behind the known motivations of actual perpetrators.

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    • no matter one’s political bent, I think that it should be obvious that, given the religious motivations behind both attacks on the Oklahoma City Federal Building and numerous others on american soil (including the murder of abortion doctors), the statement that “we have absolutely nothing to fear from the 250 million Christians who call the United States home” is patently ridiculous. I mean, really– cognitive dissonance, anyone?

      sure, there are plenty of Christians who don’t plan and/or commit atrocious crimes of violence against innocents in the name of their ideology– most of them, in fact. but the above statement by Jamelle appears to flatly contradict the reality behind the known motivations of actual perpetrators.

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  8. This essay does a good job of showing the philosophy behind why Major Hasan was not more vigorously investigated despite saying a handful of things that would have, to my mind, qualified as “warning signs”.

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  9. The majority of any population will likely be quiescent. But a small number of the Muslim population, hiding among the many, can be deadly. Just this year, al-Qaeda recruited app. 20 Somalis living in Michigan to go overseas and do jihad against American soldiers and interests. It is not a stretch of the imagination to wonder if the next batch will be recruited to wear suicide belts in American cities. There are app. 4,000 Muslims serving in the U.S. military; most honorably. However, Major Hasan was not the first Muslim soldier to go on a rampage, and sadly, he will not be the last.

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    • It’s not a stretch, but that’s what people were saying was imminent after 9/11. It’s a pretty bad idea to crack down on 2.5 million Americans absent some sort of pattern warranting it. The stronger the anti-Muslim sentiment, the more likely we’re going to see the colors on that pie chart change in an unfavorable direction.

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  10. but all these statements about the potential dangers of muslims could be made about white men ( who are much more likely to be serial killers), or sullen teens, or right wing, gun owners (tim mcviegh, etc) or people against abortion or , well, anybody who could become addicted to meth or cocaine ( since they very often do dangerous, crazy things, or alcoholics regarding drunk driving. or……………….

    Behavior is the issue not skin color or religion or race or shoe size.

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    • I disagree with those that are saying that this proves that we ought to be fearful of Muslims, but…

      How many Americans have Muslims killed in the last decade? How many Americans have been killed by anti-Abortion protesters? Or even nativist anti-American loons like McVeigh? The shadow cast by McVeigh only goes so far. Same goes for 9/11 of course, and I’d considered that shadow to have passed (fearmongering about how new attacks were imminent didn’t exactly pan out), but it’s going to be renewed in events like this. I’m not sure what the solution is to that.

      Alcoholics and drug users make for a better point, though.

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    • The potential dangers of Muslims = sleeper cells + Sudden Jihad Syndrome.

      “White men”, “Sullen Teens”, “right wing”, “gun owners”, “anti-abortion activists”, “meth addicts”, “etc” “etc”, are not traitors. They are not aiding and abetting the enemy in wartime. Sleeper cells + Sudden Jihad Syndrome are traitors.

      That’s the difference.

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      • right sudden jihad syndrome is a bs term made up by a guy known for not being friendly to non-white people.

        still the point is behavior. we can look at all sorts of groups that could go off. until there is actual evidence to the contrary, the ft hood guy appears to be a good ol american spree killer.

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            • “until there is actual evidence to the contrary, the ft hood guy appears to be a good ol american spree killer.”

              Well, the evidence to the contrary includes such things as him posting to web boards applauding suicide attacks, a grand rounds where he gave a sermon about the torments of hell for the infidels, and yelling “Allahu Akbar” before shooting.

              Put together these things and I could see how someone might call it “evidence” that this might not be a typical mail-order spree killing.

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                  • well if he was acting alone, then he seems more like a spree killer then anything else. mass murders always have some stupid reason why they do what they do. saying this guy was a jihadist seems to be following the logic: he was an angry muslim and killed people, therefore he is committing jihad. that just seems thin to me.

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                    • the Columbine shooters were spree killers, yet worked together; the Unabomber was not, and operated independently. so i’m not sure how much the conspiracy angle helps us here.

                      and, well, not to make a headlong rush to judgment here: but as Jaybird pointed out, the evidence so far does indeed seems to suggest the jihadi angle. of course we must wait for due process in this case; but given what has come to light so far, i think that “thin” would not be the proper term for our speculations here.

                      and as far as why motivation matters, i’m with Roque Nuevo on this: we are at war with radical islamists. nidal hasan said his goodbyes at home without killing anyone (waiting until he was back on base), and made certain possibly incriminating statements previous to and during the Ft. Hood incident, all pointing to motive, and eventually telling us whether or not he is indeed a traitor, and whether he should be treated as such.

                      given this, i think motivation — including, and perhaps especially, political-religious belief — may be supremely important to the case.

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        • Wrong. “Sudden Jihad Syndrome” is a descriptive term that fits some case and not others. It doesn’t matter who invented it, because you must refute the validity of the term and not the validity of the inventor’s character. Don’t be a baby. It doesn’t matter what he’s “known for,” either. A lot of people are “known for” a lot of absurd bullshit by a lot of absurd bullshit people. If you can reject his work out of hand because of what he is “known for” then that’s exactly what you are. That your rejection is couched in the typical language of race-victimhood makes it all the more contemptible.

          The point is that we are at war with radical Islamists. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s acts were acts of a traitor in wartime. He didn’t just crack under pressure and go berserk and kill people at random. His targets were focused. They were military targets. He is a believer in Islam. Islam is not a mental illness. If he had been caught before he could have fulfilled his martyrdom dreams, and you had asked him what he’d do if exonerated and released, he’d say, “First I’d cut your head off. Then I’d see how many other Americans I could kill.” He’s on the enemy side. He wants to kill you and your family.

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    • isn’t saying skin color and race kind of redundant here? Or is there a distinction, I’m missing?
      You do, choose your religion. Choosing a violent religion, or violent sect of religion is very much a choice and maybe not strictly behavioural but it’s not certainly not immutable. So how is it comparable to the qualities you’re comparing?

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  11. Behavior is the issue not skin color or religion or race or shoe size.

    This is all very open-minded, tolerant, and multi cultural. It’s all very American, after all. But how on Earth are you going to explain the acts of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, if you refuse to recognize religion as an “issue?”

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    • oy….Religion was certainly an issue for him. who said it wasn’t???? However there is no evidence he was anything other then a garden variety spree killer, like so many others we have had. But that in no way implies that all muslims, left handed dentists, or whatever are all suspects.

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          • Roque – aside can we talk about degree here.

            I don’t think that many people assume all Muslims are suspect, but some people are implying or directly saying that we shouldn’t consider the role his Islamic faith may or may not play.

            So, I’m curious gregniak where you an appropriate/inappropriate line?

            I mean it’s fun railing against the oppositional absolutist and all…but it seems that saying all Muslims are suspect is about as unhelpful as asserting that we have absolutely nothing to fear from any of them.

            Thoughts?

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            • I think I and few others on here have said his religion was obviously part of what led him to go all nutzoid. i don’t have a problem that at all with that. I think we draw the line of suspicion at suspicious vs. not suspicious behavior. if somebody joins a sect that loudly announces their desire to kill Americans while they are eating their chicken sandwichs in the mall, then they have earned a bit more suspicion. just like if somebody is an active participant in Nazi rallies, they have earned more suspension. What i think some people have said is that, all muslims are now suspect. that is wrong and example of classic bigotry. Simply we don’t have to fear from Muslims. we have to fear from Muslims who are actively trying to kill us. Just the same as i don’t have to fear from gun owners, but i do fear gun owners who want to kill me. I think if we rephrased this debate about gun rights and gun owners that would bring some perspective.

              and again there is no evidence i have seen that separates this guy from the columbine shooters. they were all evil, f’d up violent SOB’s.

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              • Wake up, man! Nobody here is saying, “all muslims are now suspect.” People are saying that only a small minority deserve suspicion, but that the nature of that small minority (i.e., secretive, or Sudden Jihad, etc.) makes it impossible not to suspect law-abiding, patriotic, and honorable US Muslims, against our better nature. This unfair suspicion is not the fault of Americans. It’s the fault of the jihadist and their apologists.

                The […] response of denouncing these views as bias, as the “new anti-Semitism,” or “Islamophobia” is as baseless as accusing anti-Nazis of “Germanophobia” or anti-Communists of “Russophobia.” Instead of presenting themselves as victims, Muslims should address this fear by developing a moderate, modern, and good-neighborly version of Islam that rejects radical Islam, jihad, and the subordination of “infidels.”* [Emphasis added]

                This hasn’t happened yet.

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            • Kyle: I agree. Nobody says that all Muslims are suspect. Nobody here, anyway. If suspicion is cast on all Muslims, unfairly, for example in profiling at airport security and so forth, then the jihadist Muslims and Muslims who celebrate, fail to condemn, and fail to act against jihadism are to blame. Don’t blame the Patriot Act, Bush, etc etc because the jihadists declared war, not us.

              So… what role does Islam, as religion, play in attacks like the one at Ft Hood? Why not let Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan speak for himself?
              He equated suicide bombers to soldiers who throw themselves on a grenade to save the lives of their comrades. He viewed the war against terror as a war against Islam.He was “a Muslim first and an American second,” in his own words.He shouted “Allahu Akbar!” — an Arabic phrase for “God is great!” — before opening fire Thursday

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  12. religion is a system of beliefs or ideas. some ideas are more or less true and/or tend to lead down more or less dangerous paths. hasan nidal regularly attended a wahabist mosque. wahabis, fyi, are the practitioners of a particularly virulent anti-western sect, known for producing such luminaries as OBL. no, not all muslims are dangerous. but wahabists are. (example: most christians are not dangerous. but those of the christian identity mo9vement are.)

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  13. From the horses’ mouth, or the mouth of a guy known for not being friendly to non-white people:

    As a charter member of the jihad school of interpretation, I reject these explanations [that is, presenting Hasan as the victim alternatively of “racism,” “harassment he had received as a Muslim,” a sense of not belonging,” “pre-traumatic stress disorder,” “mental problems,” “emotional problems,” ] as weak, obfuscatory, and apologetic. The jihadi school, still in the minority, perceives Hasan’s attack as one of many Muslim efforts to vanquish infidels and impose Islamic law. We recall a prior episode of sudden jihad syndrome in the U.S. military, as well as the numerous cases of non-lethal Pentagon jihadi plots and the history of Muslim violence on American soil.

    Far from being mystified by Hasan, we see overwhelming evidence of his jihadi intentions. He handed out Korans to neighbors just before going on his rampage and yelled “Allahu Akbar,” the jihadi’s cry, as he fired off over 100 rounds from two pistols. His superiors reportedly put him on probation for inappropriately proselytizing about Islam.

    We note what former associates say about him: one, Val Finnell, quotes Hasan saying, “I’m a Muslim first and an American second” and recalls Hasan justifying suicide terrorism; another, Col Terry Lee, recalls that Hasan “claimed Muslims had the right to rise up and attack Americans”; the third, a psychiatrist who worked very closely with Hasan, described him as “almost belligerent about being Muslim.”

    Finally, the jihad school of thought attributes importance to the Islamic authorities’ urging American Muslim soldiers to refuse to fight their co-religionists, thereby providing a basis for sudden jihad. In 2001, for example, responding to the U.S. attack on the Taliban, the mufti of Egypt, Ali Gum’a, issued a fatwa stating that “The Muslim soldier in the American army must refrain [from participating] in this war.” Hasan himself, echoing that message, advised a young Muslim disciple, Duane Reasoner Jr., not to join the U.S. army because “Muslims shouldn’t kill Muslims.”

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    • greginak November 8th, 2009 at 6:50 pm:

      saying this guy was a jihadist seems to be following the logic: he was an angry muslim and killed people, therefore he is committing jihad. that just seems thin to me.

      You don’t “contend” that Islam “played a role,” but you say say the evidence is “thin.”
      greginak { 11.08.09 at 12:07 pm }:

      but all these statements about the potential dangers of muslims could be made about white men ( who are much more likely to be serial killers), or sullen teens, or right wing, gun owners (tim mcviegh, etc) or people against abortion or , well, anybody who could become addicted to meth or cocaine ( since they very often do dangerous, crazy things, or alcoholics regarding drunk driving. or……………….

      Behavior is the issue not skin color or religion or race or shoe size.

      You don’t “contend” that Islam “played a role,” but you say I jihadists/Muslims are no more dangerous than “sullen teens,” or “gun owners.”

      You say you acknowledge the “role” religion played and yet you deny the consequences of that “role” and just harp on the fact that most Muslims are not jihadists and therefore are unfairly under suspicion, as if that were the fault of bigots who suspect them. Etc etc.

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  14. wow this is an importatn issue for you. Okay, last post.

    Obviously religion was important. that hasn’t been denied. but every killer has a reason, sometimes religion is part of that.
    Religion has been a motivator for plenty of killing throughout history. But all Christians are not suspect because a lot of Christians have used their religion to justify murder, genocide, etc.

    No, muslims are not dangerous, any more then any other group. it is the behavior that is a problem. he was a gun toting maniac, that is the problem.

    It seems you want to justify your suspicion of Muslims and blame your feelings on them.

    “makes it impossible not to suspect law-abiding, patriotic, and honorable US Muslims, against our better nature. This unfair suspicion is not the fault of Americans. ”

    your responsible for your own emotions and thoughts.

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    • “he was a gun toting maniac, that is the problem.”

      Would it be fair to wonder if the problem of his gun toting mania could have been addressed prior to the shooting?

      I’m wondering if we had an article on November 3rd that said “Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was arrested in Ft. Hood today upon suspicion that he was planning a garden-variety massacre that wouldn’t be related to his religion at all, and anyway, white Christians shoot abortion doctors and nobody complains about that” if that article (and the actions behind it) would not have inspired a discussion of racism and anti-Muslim sentiment in the military, if not a discussion of racism and anti-Muslim sentiment among those defending the arrest.

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    • I think the problem in this case Greg, and I’ve been reading a lot about it because I haven’t made up my own mind on the case, is that this particular maniac was throwing off warning signs like a hyperactive stoplight but that said warning signs were glossed over or overlooked based on sensitivity for his cultural background. If this pans out and these allegations are true then it would be a blaring example of political correctness preventing normal safeguards from operating to the point that it can likely be blamed for deaths.

      I certainly agree with you that there is no cause to go crusading against Muslim immigrants or Muslim immigrants. But this giving people special passes because of their background is a form of willful blindness that really doesn’t have a good rationalization beyond empty feel-good rhetoric. It’s also infantilizing to Muslims or other minorities and I’d think kind of insulting in a patronizing sort of way.

      To be fair I don’t know that you disagree with this assertion.

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  15. It seems you want to justify your suspicion of Muslims and blame your feelings on them.

    “makes it impossible not to suspect law-abiding, patriotic, and honorable US Muslims, against our better nature. This unfair suspicion is not the fault of Americans. ”

    your [sic]responsible for your own emotions and thoughts.

    I’m not justifying anything. Really, it’s just the opposite, if you’d read beyond your own prejudice. I’ve said over and over again that Muslims are the target of unjustified suspicion. But, like I say above, such suspicion, however unjustified, is impossible to avoid, given the nature of the enemy, for example his use of asymmetric warfare, secrecy, deception, etc etc.

    Let’s see if you can understand this based on an analogy: AIDS affects only a very small minority of people. The vast majority of sexually active people are clean and merit no suspicion at all. However, since we just don’t know beforehand who has AIDS and who doesn’t, we suspect everybody. If we don’t, then we’ll certainly get AIDS sooner or later.

    Change the above to read: Jihadism affects only a very small minority of people. The vast majority of Muslims are law-abiding and merit no suspicion at all. However, since we just don’t know beforehand who is a jihadist and who isn’t, we suspect everybody. If we don’t, then we’ll certainly get attacked by a jihadist sooner or later.

    No, muslims [sic] are not dangerous, any more then [sic] any other group. it is the behavior that is a problem. he was a gun toting maniac, [sic] that is the problem.

    Gun-toting maniacs will always be a problem. But, unfortunately for you and your PC-drivel-spouting friends, Muslims are a problem in the US and around the world. They are the group responsible for the worlds’ wars, conflicts, terrorist acts, etc etc. today. They attacked us, after first given us two declarations of war (in 1996/98).

    The above does not mean that I hate Muslims in general, have any special animus against Islam (I think it’s as ridiculous as any other religion), or want a so-called crusade against Islam. But it does mean that I assign the blame for the situation Muslims find themselves in in the US to Muslims. Specifically, it’s the fault of the jihadists who declared war, attacked us, etc etc. Americans, and the US government have gone to enormous lengths to minimize the unfair suspicion that falls on all Muslims–much more than Muslim nations would ever go to to be fair to us in their own countries, it goes without saying. There would be no unfair suspicion of Muslims if they (i.e., a small group of radicalized Muslims) hadn’t attacked us.

    Why is this so hard for you to understand? Try and keep up.

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    • muslim: yes of course

      terrorist: no unless you have a really wide definition of terrorist. don’t make we find the quote by jonah”dumb as a bag of hammers” goldberg about this. if even he gets that not every evil act is terrorism then there is no excuse for anybody else.

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      • If he isn’t a terrorist then what is he? Is he just some poor misguided soul that had a bad childhood and just needs a pizza party and a hug? Sorry, he was inspired by his faith to commit this act and is a Muslim terrorist. The sooner this country gets over its PC hang up about Muslims and other groups the better off we will be.

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        • This is not about PC Scott. Not when dealing with the issue of the word terrorist. Using words properly is extremely important. Terrorism is an act that typically employs the indiscriminate use of force to inspire terror by targeting civilians.

          Now we can agree that what happened with this bugger was horrible and traitorous and insane. But it was -not- terrorism and he was not a terrorist because he was targeting military personnel. This does not a matter of excusing his behavior; this is a matter of using words correctly.

          Now as to what he was? A nutball? A fanatic? A murderer? Yes definitely. I think you could call him a guerrilla or a militant or even a saboteur but not a terrorist.

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  16. “Terrorist” is a famously loaded word, like the rain, which falls on the just and unjust alike (eg, in Afghanistan). So, Hassan wasn’t a terrorist–he was a traitor fighting form the enemy as surely as if he had just turned his coat inside-out and gone over to enemy lines. He was crazy because he rejected the US for some pie-in-the-sky vision of Islamic world order/peace. If that isn’t crazy, then it’s just nuts. He wasn’t crazy because he committed mass murder. He was engaged in jihad, according to the rules of asymmetric warfare: surprise attacks based on deception, lies, sneakiness, etc etc. Jihad is not a mental disease.

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