catmoon wrote:One thing is for sure. This incident is a Muslim PR disaster. The optics are terrible.
This is true.
Another attack leaves US Muslims fearing backlash
A Medic wrote:There are reports that he was being made fun of for being a Muslim. I find this whole incident shocking in many ways. For one he was a psychiatrist. I don't understand how he could do this being a psychiatrist. I just feel like he should have seen the signs in his self, and then know to get help. Unless he didn't want help.
Second I am a soldier in the Army reserves. To me the military is very much like a extended family. What shocked me the most was that a soldier did this to fellow soldiers. Generally from everything I have seen soldiers really do work to help take care of each other because there a re times when all we have is each other.
My hope is that something can be learned from this.
I hope so too. For one thing, I think Muslims in America often find themselves in a bit of an identity trap, and Muslims in the military even more so. Where is your loyalty, with whom do you identify? To fellow Americans, to the Army, to fellow Muslims around the world? If you try to do all simultaneously the result can be extreme psychological distress- what is called cognitive dissonance in psychology.
I think Christian soldiers face this as well, all soldiers do because of the inconsistancy of the views and beliefs most people hold. These various loyalties and identities don't always fit together easily or harmoniously...
So, people try to compartmentalize their identities and feelings. Strong emotions and thoughts don't follow simple patterns of logic easily though, don't fit neatly into compartments, and so can wreck havoc psychologically. Should Hasan have recognized this within himself? I dunno. He was a soldier, a psychiatrist dealing with stories of death and killing, a devout Muslim, an American and a bit of a loner... Not sure if all those different identities and loyalties could be easily dealt with by anyone, no matter how intelligent, on their own...
A related news article...
Suspect told 'There's something wrong with you'
By ANGELA K. BROWN and ALLEN G. BREED, Associated Press Writers
FORT HOOD, Texas – There was the classroom presentation that justified suicide bombings. Comments to colleagues about a climate of persecution faced by Muslims in the military. Conversations with a mosque leader that became incoherent. As a student, some who knew Nidal Malik Hasan said they saw clear signs the young Army psychiatrist — who authorities say went on a shooting spree at Fort Hood that left 13 dead and 29 others wounded — had no place in the military. After arriving at Fort Hood, he was conflicted about what to tell fellow Muslim soldiers about the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, alarming an Islamic community leader from whom he sought counsel.
"I told him, `There's something wrong with you,'" Osman Danquah, co-founder of the Islamic Community of Greater Killeen, told The Associated Press on Saturday. "I didn't get the feeling he was talking for himself, but something just didn't seem right." Danquah assumed the military's chain of command knew about Hasan's doubts, which had been known for more than a year to classmates in a graduate military medical program. His fellow students complained to the faculty about Hasan's "anti-American propaganda," but said a fear of appearing discriminatory against a Muslim student kept officers from filing a formal written complaint.
"The system is not doing what it's supposed to do," said Dr. Val Finnell, who studied with Hasan from 2007-2008 in the master's program in public health at the military's Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. "He at least should have been confronted about these beliefs, told to cease and desist, and to shape up or ship out." Military authorities continued Saturday to refer to Hasan as a suspect in the shootings, and have not yet said if they plan to charge him in a military or civilian court. His family described a man incapable of the attack, calling him a devoted doctor and devout Muslim who showed no signs that he might lash out with violence.
"I've known my brother Nidal to be a peaceful, loving and compassionate person who has shown great interest in the medical field and in helping others," said his brother, Eyad Hasan, of Sterling, Va., in a statement. "He has never committed an act of violence and was always known to be a good, law-abiding citizen."
Others recalled a pleasant neighbor who forgave a fellow soldier charged with tearing up his "Allah is Love" bumper sticker. A superior officer at Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood, Col. Kimberly Kesling, has said Hasan was a quiet man with a strong work ethic who provided excellent care for his patients.
Still, in the days since authorities believe Hasan fired more than 100 rounds in a soldier processing center at Fort Hood in the worst mass shooting on a military facility in the U.S., a picture has emerged of a man who was forcefully opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was trying to get out of his pending deployment to a war zone and had struggled professionally in his work as an Army psychiatrist.
"He told (them) that as a Muslim committed to his prayers he was discriminated against and not treated as is fitting for an officer and American," said Mohammed Malik Hasan, 24, a cousin, told the AP from his home on the outskirts of the Palestinian city of Ramallah. "He hired a lawyer to get him a discharge."
Twice this summer, Danquah said, Hasan asked him what to tell soldiers who expressed misgivings about fighting fellow Muslims. The retired Army first sergeant and Gulf War veteran said he reminded Hasan that these soldiers had volunteered to fight, and that Muslims were fighting against each other in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Palestinian territories. "But what if a person gets in and feels that it's just not right?" Danquah recalled Hasan asking him.
"I'd give him my response. It didn't seem settled, you know. It didn't seem to satisfy," he said. "It would be like a person playing the devil's advocate. ... I said, `Look. I'm not impressed by you.'" Danquah said he was so disturbed by Hasan's persistent questioning that he recommended the mosque reject Hasan's request to become a lay Muslim leader at Fort Hood. But he never saw a need to tell anyone at the sprawling Army post about the talks, because Hasan never expressed anger toward the Army or indicated any plans for violence. "If I had an inkling that he had this type of inclination or intentions, definitely I would have brought it to their attention," he said.
Finnell said he did just that during a year of study in which Hasan made a presentation "that justified suicide bombing" and spewed "anti-American propaganda" as he argued the war on terror was "a war against Islam." Finnell said he and at least one other student complained about Hasan, surprised that someone with "this type of vile ideology" would be allowed to wear an officer's uniform.
But Finnell said no one filed a formal, written complaint about Hasan's comments out of fear of appearing discriminatory. "In retrospect, I'm not surprised he did it," Finnell said. "I had real questions about what his priorities were, what his beliefs were."