Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How is it with the “politically correct”, Major Hasan, the Jihadist, is the victim?

Phyllis Chesler

Our President is quoted in the pages of the New York Times advising us not to “jump to conclusions.” 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. The military does first have to investigate the matter fully. One can’t always believe what one reads in the media, etc. But, so much of the truth is already quite 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 instantly decided that 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. 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. He is the one who was being forced to fight in a war he opposed for religious reasons. He considers it an unjust war and viewed America as the aggressor, and Muslims, especially 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 characterize 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.

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. There were, no doubt, many Germans, Russians, Chinese, Cambodian and North Korean people who disagreed with Nazism, fascism, doctrines of racial superiority and totalitarian rule–but so what? They did not stand up to their own leaders who claimed ideological and doctrinal support for their mass-murdering regimes.

But there is also something else to consider, something that the media has not yet seized upon. One of my readers, Deborah Weisman, has pointed out that Major Hasan is a self-identified Palestinian and 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. And, according to the New York Times, Hasan’s brother, Anas, a lawyer, recently moved to Ramallah where the family has cousins. (This is interesting since Hizb ut Tahrir, as well as other terrorist groups, is 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 behavioral 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 its 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.

1 comment:

Malcolm said...

Another good article Re: Fort Hood