Friday, November 06, 2009

Texas shooting brings more scrutiny of muslim community.

I know I'm going to get in trouble from some of my blogger buddies for writing this post, but I'm going to write it anyway because failing to acknowlege a fact in the name of political correctness is stupid.

I also want to preface this with the fact that I know that there are over four million muslims in the United States (including some who are friends of mine) and that almost all of them are peace-loving people who absolutely do not support the use of violence as a means to achieve anything. To characterize all of them based on the actions of one, or even of several, seriously disturbed individuals is unfair and wrong.

However, I have to take issue with the whole 'loner' bit that is being kicked around about Major Nidal Malik Hasan. He is certainly a lone gunman, but there is a disturbing trend here. Just a couple of weeks ago there was a shootout in Detroit between the FBI and a group of radical muslims whose stated goal was to establish an autonomous state governed by sharia law on U.S. territory. We also recently had the case of Najibullah Zazi, accused of plotting to blow up targets in the United States. Before that we had Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, who attacked army recruiters in Arkansas. There is also a parade of young men from Minneapolis and elsewhere who have apparently been moving through a pipeline to Somalia where they end up as members of al-Shabob, an Islamicist rebel group in that country.

And that's just this year. If we continued this post back a few years, there are several other American muslim individuals who have committed senseless acts of violence in the United States or against fellow Americans (John Allen Muhammed, anyone?)

Now, I absolutely do not believe that we should in any way blame the entire muslim community (many of whom have condemned and spoken out against these senseless actions,) nor do I believe that the government needs more federal spy powers-- God knows we've given them enough spy powers already and if they are doing a poor job of using the powers they have now then the answer is not to give them more power to snoop on Americans. As I said before, there are millions of American muslims and these actions have been committed by a handful, who do not appear in most cases to be part of any sort of extremist organization.

However, to deny that these kinds of violent episodes are happening too often to be considered 'random' because it is politically inconvenient to do so, is also wrong headed thinking. Clearly the whole radical Islamicist, jihadi mentality has seduced a number of Americans, either those who were raised as muslims (as Dr. Hasan was) or those who have converted to Islam (as was the case for those involved in the Detroit shootout.)

We must acknowlege it and then look at how we can work with law enforcement officials and community leaders to get a handle on why some American muslims are attracted to extreme Islamicism and then address those causes directly. And to get this kind of a dialogue working we have to be willing to be blunt about what the problem is.


Jack Hampton said...

I know I'm going to get in trouble from some of my blogger buddies for writing this post.

Let me be the first one to rough you up a bit.

As you know since the last time we talked I've moved and I'm getting used to my new surroundings.

So as a newly arrived Angelino, I'll point out that there are about three million people who live in LA and twelve of them play basketball for the Lakers. That's about the rate of American muslims who engage in this kind of violence.

You'd have a tough time trying to convince people that players on the Lakers are representative of everyone here, and it is just as ridiculous to suggest that Nidal Hasan is representative of all muslims.

Beth said...

hmmmm a white man in my city took himself and his whole family out this week. Timothy McVie, a white christian killed more americans because of a political agenda and yet we don't disparage white males. We have a slew of white hate mongers showing up at republican hate fests, some with guns...when you write an ariticle on that threat I'll pay more attention. More people have been killed in the name of christianity in the history of the world than for allah. Gun violnece kills more than 12 people in this country every day and I just think you are blowing this out of proportion.

Eli Blake said...

OK, I invited this but let me defend myself.

Jack: I said there are four million muslims in the U.S. and this is a handful. Yes, that is about the same rate as Lakers in LA, but then we should work with community leaders and law enforcement because any of these kinds of incidents are unacceptable and it seems to be happening too often. And what bothers me is that instead of trying to figure out why this happens and how to prevent it from happening in the future, we want to stick our heads in the sand every time it happens and suggest that it is only an isolated incident.


I have written about that stuff. Try reading

sticks and stones


sticks and stones: the sequel.

sandyh said...


The government and military had more than enough intelligence. They just didn't share it...just like before 911. It's incompetence all over again.

Then we have the report today in the WP that this guy made a presentation before a group of doctors at Walter Reed two years ago warning them of his problem.

I don't doubt that there are Muslim Americans who are violent, but apparently we know about them and still aren't doing anything to get at the root cause of their frustration.

That being said, any egomaniac, Muslim or other religion, who thinks this gives him a reason to take out his frustrations in a mass murder, is out of luck if I'm on the jury. This guy should go to the electric chair. And I'd allow all the family members of the victims to press the button as many times as they want before he is allowed to die.

This isn't really about Islam. All these mass murderers suffer from feelings of insecurity that could have been treated if we had a decent health care system.

This doctor knew he could have done a lot more good for all our troops by striving harder to find a solution to his problem. He decided to do something evil instead.

And the intelligence was there for any who wanted to intervene. Nobody did including him.