Sunday, November 08, 2009

Fort Hood: Islam and Muslims On Trial Already

Today is the third day since Major Nidal Hasan allegedly went on a rampage and took 13 lives and wounded 30 others at Fort Hood.

Muslims living in the US (and elsewhere) expect a backlash and some of the racist baiting has already begun.

To stem the inevitable, the Association Of Patriotic Arab Americans In The Military (APAAM) has released the following statement:
In the aftermath of this terrible tragedy, it is more important than ever that we not make the same scapegoating and broad stroke mistakes that were evident in the aftermath of previous tragedies. The Association of Patriotic Arab Americans in Military urges the media, government officials and all of our fellow Americans to recognize that the actions of Hasan are those of a deranged gunman, and are in no way representative of the wider Arab American or American Muslim community.

In fact, thousands of Arab Americans and American Muslims serve honorably everyday in all four branches of the U.S. military and in the National Guard. ...
Even as APAAM pleads for sanity the almost reflex tendency of the far right to portray Major Hasan's alledged action as a result of Islam, Islamic militancy, terrorism, and of course, jihad, is well on the way.

Here are just two examples of this kind of idiocy emanating from Frontpagemag.com

The magazine's editor, Jamie Glazov, interviewed Dave Gaubatz who is said to be
"the first U.S. civilian (1811) Federal Agent deployed to Iraq in 2003", and "the owner of DG Counter-terrorism Publishing".

In an interview under the headline "The Muslim Brotherhood and Fort Hood" Mr Glazov had this to say:
The murders by Malik Nadal Hasan at Ft. Hood, TX are not a ‘lone wolf incident’ as being described by most media organizations. Hasan had been taught the ideology that is being advocated by hundreds of Islamic scholars and Imams in the U.S. We as a country can continue to deny there are numerous Islamic leaders and their supporting organizations such as CAIR, ISNA, MSA, and MANA, to name a few, who advocate killing innocent men, women, and children whom they allege ‘oppress Islam.’

How many more incidents similar to this that have been occurring in America does it take before even the media wants to report the truth? ...
Gaubatz goes further. He even asserts that Hasan, an American soldier, is a terrorist:
Expect more. Israel has endured ‘suicide/attacks’ similar to this for many years. Malik Nabal Hasan is a terrorist supporting the ideology of Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and yes, CAIR. In Palestine, the leaders send out the young and vulnerable to carry out the murders in the name of Islam. The same is happening in America.
Is Glazov for real? How can he justify making a connection between Hasan's alledged actions and Al Qaeda's "ideology"?

The truth is that it does not matter to the kind of mindset that Gaubatz appeals.

Complexity and details are not what he is seeking to uncover. Rather his instinct is to caste Islam and Muslims in one ludicrous and prejudicial net.

His effort is lauded by his interviewer, Jamie Glazov, who ends the interview saying " ... thank you ... for your courage to tell the truth, and for standing up for America."

How is this fool "standing up for" anything other than to race/hate bait against Islam and Muslims?

Islam does not condone the massacre at Fort Hood. There is nothing in the Qur'an that tells Muslims to kill Christians, Jews, or anyone else in the way of jihad.

But does that really matter when the anti-Islam/Muslim prejudices and hatred that drives the thinking of right-wing folks like Gaubatz is a fait accompli?

And there is more in the same publication under the oh so predictable headline "Jihad at Fort Hood".

The author, Robert Spencer, is a self-constructed 'expert' on Islam.

Spencer complains that the mainstream media in the US is not telling 'the truth' about what Major Hasan is said to have done at Fort Hood.

He supposedly sets the record straight with his 'deft' observation on Hasan's "motive".

He says in part:
Major Hasan’s motive was perfectly clear — but it was one that the forces of political correctness and the Islamic advocacy groups in the United States have been working for years to obscure. So it is that now that another major jihad terror attack has taken place on American soil, authorities and the mainstream media are at a loss to explain why it happened – and the abundant evidence that it was a jihad attack is ignored.
And the reason that "it happened" is according to this 'scholar' a matter of knowing that Islam preaches violence and Muslims are instructed to attack those who oppose them.

Same old nonsense and tired reasoning that would be laughable were it not for the serious danger it poses.

Inside of these two articles Frontpage Magazine is propagating racist hatred against Islam and Muslims and is doing so recklessly.

The charges against Major Hasan are alleged at this stage. This means that he has the constitutional right to a fair trial and his guilt will be established within these parameters.

The relationship that his actions have on Islam or any other Muslim is merely a matter of contrived guilt by association.

Mehdi Hassan of the New Statesman quite rightly describes folks like Robert Spencer (and I include Dave Gaubatz) as:
" ... nasty, divisive and Islamophobic bigots who take whatever opportunity, whatever tragedy, they can to stir up hatred against Muslims and Islam in the west."
These racist Islam haters would not attribute the same kind of motives to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, as pointed out by a comment on Mehdi Hassan's article.

McVeigh served in the US Army and said his actions were aimed at bringing down the US government.

He massacred 168 people and his act remains the deadliest terrorist attack by an American citizen directed at the US government.

The fact that there were also religious (Roman Catholic) motivations given for his bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, hardly moved right-wing folks to condemn Christianity and call the Bible a subversive and terrorist document.

But then impulse to draw Islam and Muslims as jihadists/terrorists is derived from a long history of racism that is as old as the US.

So the inevitable is well on its way. I called it below and so it is.

I remember that in the frantic moments after the Oklahoma bombing their were reports that Muslims/Arabs were the perpetrators.

The reports claimed that Israel had credible evidence to prove this assertion.

Not so. Yet even as the US struggled to come to terms with the bombing there were attacks against Muslims and folks who looked like they 'could be' Muslims.

The same was true of 9/11.

Just days after that horrid series of attacks in 2001, a white right-wing thug walked into a convenience store in Arizona and killed a Sikh man, Balbir Singh Sodhi, because he looked Muslim.

How dumb yet so tragic in consequence?

Right-wing commentators and conservatives in general would do well to interrogate the rise of terrorism within their own ranks before witch-hunting among Muslims.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has drawn attention to at least 75 "major terrorist plots and racist rampages that have emerged from the American radical right in the years since Oklahoma City."

The 'devil' may be closer than they want to admit.

These are the facts and yet again innocent lives hang in the racist (im)balance.

Onward!

Picture Credit

4 comments:

Dade said...

Powerful post! Well-detailed.

I've talked to Muslim friends in the last few days and they fully expect that there will be a backlash.

But let me tell you, Ridwan, my friend, that the very first time some redneck throws an insult at my wife in my presence, there is going to be violence. At this point, I have no tolerance for those sickening neo-Confederates. And the minute they start insulting my family, it is time to start throwing punches.

Well said, Ridwan. My brother!

Ridwan said...

Thank you for your comment Dade.

I worry that your Muslim friends are right about a backlash.

Please be careful and that of course goes for Maty too.

One just never knows when a fool will act.

The rise of anti-Islamic sentiment casts a wide net.

Even among those who would want to press some caution there are indications of lumping Muslims/Islam.

Take for example this line I read yesterday in several more liberal presses:

"It is true that all Muslims are not terrorists but it is also true that all terrorists are Muslim."

The tendency to lump all Muslims together and define Islam as the problem is widespread.

Two weeks ago a man at a gathering told me he had problems with Muslims after he found out that I was Muslim.

I asked why.

He said because Muslims are causing wars in the Middle East.

Then he went on to tell me why he hated the US but that they were right to invade terrorist nations like Iran.

I also think that there is a definite need for Muslim leaders, thinkers, academics, etc, to address the overall situation.

There is hardly any sense in merely appearing to seek acceptance without advocating for the truth, and that includes criticizing those fools who do dastardly things in the name of Islam.

Peace to you and Maty my brother.
Ridwan

Eugene Johnson said...

Shusli turned me on to a documentary about white men shooting black men after Katrina claiming they were looting. None of them were, of course, but as the white men put it, they were out to shoot some niggers.

One of their shotgun victims stated that he no looked at ALL white people differently. He stated that he believed that given the chance, if I white person thought they could get away with it, they would do him harm just because he is black.

Same with the Muslim Backlash. Whitey needs a scapegoat, darky Muslims are it. But you see, there is no mention of the terror lead by the U.S. government against ALL NATIONS!

The U.S. has and continues to slaughter Indians, though now, with kinder gentler hands. The U.S. supports the killing of 100,000 citizens a year with properly prescribed drugs. The U.S. government allows rapists in the military to rape and sexually harass women. Abeer Qasim al Janabi. The relentless slaughter of civilians in illegal wars. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Hasan's brother also mentioned that Hasan wanted to get married. That he hired a lawyer to try to get him out of the military but was barred by the military from doing so. Hasan, now doubt, heard hundreds of stories from returning vets about how they bravely oppressed unarmed men women and children. As I point out often enough, the U.S., ESPECIALLY THE WHITE MALE RACIST TYPES, are not brave enough to go up in a real fight. They like soft targets, like raping women in the military, bombing hospitals, killing unarmed civilians in villages, etc. All this violence goes UNDER OR NOT REPORTED AT ALL! All of this violence, on a far greater scale than Hasan could imagine, happens every day at the hands of the U.S. government not only abroad, but right here on our streets, and the STUPID STUPID STUPID Racist white male mentality is gonna take over, and not just with white males, and continue a slaughter designed to throw a smoke screen around the real source of the vast amount of violence taking place in the world...THE U.S. GOVERNMENT!

Ridwan said...

Hey there Eugene. Good to read you here brother.

You have given us a lot to think through.

It amazes me how so many right-wing folk seem to forget the history of Indian genocide, slavery, Jim Crow, etc., as if these were not about terrorism.

Short memories and even shorter histories allow whiteness to parade as if it is rational and civilized.

The framework for what the US does to other-skinned people is part of its history.

Individualizing what Hasan did at Fort Hood misses the historical tragedy in total.

Thanks for looking in brother. Please pass my best to sista Shusli.

Onward!

Ridwan