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.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.
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. ...
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.’Gaubatz goes further. He even asserts that Hasan, an American soldier, is a terrorist:
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? ...
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.