Hasan a Muslim First, American Second?

hasan-gun-cbsIn hindsight, it appears that Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the mass murderer who killed 14 (one of the soldiers killed, Francheska Velez, was six weeks pregnant) and wounded another 30 at Fort Hood, had long made it known that he sympathized with the enemy. Bloomberg’s Justin Blum:

Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of a shooting spree that killed 13 people at the Fort Hood Army Base in Texas, called the war on terrorism “a war against Islam,” said a doctor who was in a graduate program with him.

While studying for a masters degree in public health in 2007, Hasan used a presentation for an environmental health class to argue that Muslims were being targeted by the U.S. anti-terror campaign, said Val Finnell, a classmate. “He was very vocal about the war, very upfront about being a Muslim first and an American second,” said Finnell, 41, a preventive medicine doctor in Los Angeles, in an interview yesterday. “He was always concerned that Muslims in the military were being persecuted.”

[…]

Finnell said he remembered Hasan “vividly” and said of the shooting: “I’m not surprised, based on the things he said in the past. I’m shocked that it happened, but not surprised.”

In conversations, students challenged Hasan on his statements and he would become “visibly upset, sweaty, nervous,” Finnell said. Toward the end of the program, in 2008, Hasan gave a presentation that was billed as a survey of the climate for Muslims who serve in the U.S. military, Finnell said. “It wasn’t really very objective,” Finnell said. “It was like he was trying to prove a point.”

One witness claims Hasan shouted “Allahu Akbar!” before he began shooting.  Another witness says, “He didn’t say a word.”

Clearly, Hasan was unstable and, at very least, not fit to serve as an Army officer, much less an Army psychiatrist treating returning veterans from a war he hated.  So, why was he still serving?

As NPR’s Tom Gjelten reports,

The vital facts of Hasan’s life do not suggest a man determined to kill dozens of his fellows as they sat unarmed in a crowded waiting room. He was born in Arlington, Va. His parents were immigrants, but so are millions of other Americans. His heritage was Palestinian, but he didn’t even speak Arabic. He went to Virginia Tech and in 1997 joined the Army. It was through the Army that he got his medical training. He was due to be deployed to Afghanistan.

Those who look for a ready explanation for the murderous rampage at Fort Hood can choose between two broad narratives: Maybe it had to do with the travails of an Army psychiatrist, dealing with soldiers who had been traumatized, even disfigured, by their war experience; or maybe it had to do with being Muslim.

[…]

The portrait of Hasan as a Muslim radical doesn’t entirely make sense to those who knew him well. Imam Faisal Khan, whose D.C.-area mosque Hasan attended over a 10-year period, never got the idea he was ashamed of his Army service.

“He would come in his uniforms many times,” Khan said. “He would come in his uniform and pray. And then I knew he was in the Army. He liked his job. That’s what he was trained for, you know, to serve in the military.”

His psychological evaluations were apparently well within normal range, with “No signs of physical or mental problems in examinations as recently as September,”  according to Army records obtained by WaPo.

And yet there were strong signs that things were not right.   His alleged comments while away at a civilian* school would likely have escaped military attention.  But other officers noticed troubling behavior, too.

Col Terry Lee, a retired officer who worked with him at the military base in Texas, alleged Maj Hasan had angry confrontations with other officers over his views.

[…]

“He was making outlandish comments condemning our foreign policy and claimed Muslims had the right to rise up and attack Americans,” Col Lee told Fox News. “He said Muslims should stand up and fight the aggressor and that we should not be in the war in the first place.” He said that Maj Hasan said he was “happy” when a US soldier was killed in an attack on a military recruitment centre in Arkansas in June. An American convert to Islam was accused of the shootings.

Col Lee alleged that other officers had told him that Maj Hasan had said “maybe people should strap bombs on themselves and go to Time Square” in New York.

He claimed he was aware that the major had been subject to “name calling” during heated arguments with other officers.

Federal law enforcement officials have said Maj Hasan had come to their attention at least six months ago because of internet postings that discussed suicide bombings and other threats. The officials said the postings appeared to have been made by Maj Hasan but they were still trying to confirm that he was the author.

He was a daily attendee of a radical, Wahhabi mosque and there are numerous reports that Hasan was harassed because of his views.

Hasan, 39, told relatives he’d been harassed by other soldiers for his faith. Last month, soldier John Van de Walker, 30, was arrested for scratching Hasan’s Honda with a key, police said.

The manager of the Killeen, Tex., apartment complex where Hasan lived said the vandal had returned from Iraq and targeted Hasan because he of a Muslim bumper sticker. “No one should have to deal with that kind of hate. Maybe he snapped,” said Alice Thompson, 53.

One hesitates to psychoanalyze crazies but, rather clearly, Hasan harbored rage years before his car was keyed.  And the Army took appropriate action in response to that incident.

In hindsight, it’s pretty clear that the Army didn’t do the same with regard to the signs that Hasan was unfit.  But it’s not at all inconceivable that “the Army” had no idea.  The fact that several of his colleagues had heard him say highly inflammatory things doesn’t mean that these things were reported up through the chain of command.  Further, it’s not entirely clear what his superiors could have done with these reports, aside from confronting and counseling him.

While highly constrained in terms of time, place, and manner, military officers are allowed to disagree with official government policy in casual conversation with one another.  Plenty of officers, including those currently deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, have no doubt expressed bitterness at missions they don’t believe in.  Lord knows, a large number of them did so about the various deployments ordered by Bill Clinton in the 1990s.  And, while it may not have made Hasan a popular guy on base, one doesn’t have to be a Muslim or want Americans killed to hold the view that citizens have a right to “rise up” against an invading force.

Beyond that, there’s a natural reluctance to be overly aggressive in challenging a Muslim soldier as an enemy sympathizer.  Being accused of racial profiling can be damaging to one’s career.  Further, it can feed natural resentments against Muslim soldiers, almost all of whom are just as loyal to the country, the uniform, and their fellow soldiers as the next guy.

I’m of course reminded of Sgt. Hasan Akbar, who went into a religious-inspired rage and murdered two 101st Airborne Division officers in 2003.   But, as Spencer Ackerman reminds us, Sergeant John Russell, who killed five soldiers in a shooting spree at Camp Liberty back in May, was not a Muslim.  So, outlandish claims that “the enemy is infiltrating our military” are unhelpful.

We have a natural desire to want to make sense of tragedy.  Unfortunately, we seem to have lone psychopaths going on shooting sprees and committing mass mayhem every now and again.  And we only see the “obvious” clues in hindsight.

*UPDATE:  A more recent AP report points out that the graduate school where Hasan made the comments was run by the military and adds further fuel to the fire that his seniors should have been aware of that they had a problem.

“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.”

[…]

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.”

Hasan received a poor performance evaluation while at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case publicly. And while he was an intern at the suburban Washington hospital, Hasan had some “difficulties” that required counseling and extra supervision, said Dr. Thomas Grieger, who was the training director at the time.

Hasan was promoted from captain to major in 2008, the same year he graduated from the master’s program. Bernard Rostker, a military personnel expert at the Rand Corp., said Hasan’s advancement was all but certain absent a serious blemish on his record, such as a DUI or a drug charge. “We’re short of officers, particularly at the major and lieutenant colonel level because of the war, and we’re short of psychiatrists,” said Rostker, who served as under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness during the Clinton administration. “There would have had to be something very detrimental in his record before there would have been a banner that would have said, ‘No, we don’t want to promote him.'”

If senior military leaders knowingly kept quiet about Hasan’s incompatibility for service in order to meet personnel quotas, they’ve aided and abetted the murder of thirteen soldiers.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, Military Affairs, , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. RW Rogers says:

    In the interest of accuracy, Hasan is psychiatrist not a psychologist. He is a licensed MD.

    Fixed. – jhj

  2. 11B40 says:

    Greetings:

    Didn’t our military used to have a concept called “conduct unbecoming an officer” or has that been politically corrected?

  3. Tlaloc says:

    Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of a shooting spree that killed 13 people at the Fort Hood Army Base in Texas, called the war on terrorism “a war against Islam,”

    That’s sympathizing with the enemy? Being perceptive enough to notice that republicans had in fact declared war on muslims?

    There are strong nationally recognized voices on the right calling for regime change if not nuclear bombardment of Iran, Syria, Lebanon. This people are insane and yes they hate muslims. They want them all dead. They’ve said so explicitly. The scary part is those same people had influence with the highest levels of the GOP. One of them, Limbaugh, commands the fealty of pretty much every GOP politiican (as exhibited by the long list of pols who have had to grovel for Rush’s forgiveness after some slight).

    The war on terror has ALWAYS been a war on Islam for two reasons- they aren’t christian and they live above the oil. Those are the same reasons that prompted the horrible things we did that precipitated the terror for us to war on.

    Our war on terror is strangely confined to only muslim countries. Odd that. We aren’t in Sri Lanka attacking the Tamil Tigers. We aren’t in Spain attacking the ETA. We weren’t in Ireland attacking the IRA before the treaty. We aren’t in central america attacking all the paramilitary groups Reagan armed and set loose on the locals.

    It’s idiotic to pretend this isn’t a war on Islam when the only “terrorists” we’ve even pretended to go after where Islamic and our actual goals have been to overthrow Islamic states. Meanwhile here you have the GOP conducting spy missions into CAIR and accusing Muslim congressional staffers of being spies. Do I need to mention the persistent Obama is a closet Muslim idiocy or the total shit-fit the right threw about Keith Ellison being elected?

  4. mw says:

    “He was… very upfront about being a Muslim first and an American second.”

    Not vastly different from the belief framework of abortion clinic bombers and doctor murderers who believe they answer to a “higher calling” than American law. When people truly believe that God is whispering in their ear, or that they are an instrument of God’s will, there is no limit to the horrors that they are capable of committing.

    That is what makes the Islamic radical fundamentalist schools so dangerous.

  5. Brett says:

    He sounds frankly like a psycho with a massive victimhood complex, which was no doubt exacerbated by some assholish treatment from others as well as his strong muslim faith (the “muslim lands are under attack! To arms, brothers! Allahu Akbar!” is pretty much almost standard jihadi boilerplate). There’s also the “he was such a nice man, mostly kept to himself” – I’m guessing he pinned in all his anger and rage and finally just went nuts.

    It’s idiotic to pretend this isn’t a war on Islam when the only “terrorists” we’ve even pretended to go after where Islamic and our actual goals have been to overthrow Islamic states.

    Don’t be a dumbass. There are secular reasons that explain these things far better, such as

    1. Afghanistan being a retaliation against a terrorist attack on our home soil. Did you ever see the ETA or IRA doing that?

    2. Iraq being the final consequence of nearly a decade’s worth of efforts to de-stabilize and bring down Saddam’s regime.

  6. Matt says:

    Makes any form of fundamentalist schools dangerous including Christians..

    Dude flat lined 3x on them in Temple but they brought him back and he’s in stable but paralyzed condition currently. Kimberly is one rocking woman under armed guard and recovering well from her wounds. She apparently capped Hasan while at a run in what can only be described as an awesome act of courage and marksmanship..

    My mom works at the Metroplex across the street from the base and she’s visiting with me this weekend (I live nearby).

  7. Matt says:

    In an interesting twist of fate the only reason she was nearby was because she was directing traffic for the graduation ceremony that was occurring nearby. Otherwise there wouldn’t of been anyone nearby at all and the body count would of been much higher..

  8. PD Shaw says:

    I’m reminded of the sanpatricios during the war with Mexico. About 300 American troops deserted to the other side in apparent response to the argument that Catholics will never truly be accepted by the USA. The US Army responded by hiring its first Catholic chaplains, one of whom died in the war. Most Catholics stayed and deeply resented the sanpatricios (St. Patrick’s Brigade) of traitors. The sanpatricios were always where the fighting was most intense, no doubt in part because the stakes were highest for them. The mass executions of the captured sanpatricios was said to have been particularly brutal.

    So, as I see it, these kinds of things are par for the course, it’s just a matter of what kind of army (or society) you want to have.

  9. James Joyner says:

    Didn’t our military used to have a concept called “conduct unbecoming an officer” or has that been politically corrected?

    Sure. But private statements about policy opinions don’t generally qualify, especially if they’re not specifically denigrating the president.

    That’s sympathizing with the enemy? Being perceptive enough to notice that republicans had in fact declared war on muslims?

    I think that’s a rather silly interpretation of what happened. But, no, that’s not enough. That plus saying the Muslims should “rise up” against the United States, however, qualifies.

  10. James:

    Excellent, thoughtful post.

    Tlaloc:

    I think your statement above is intemperate and factually wrong. If what we are doing in Afghanistan is making war on Islam then the continuation of that war makes it as much Obama’s action as the Republican’s.

    In fact the reason we “discover” terrorists in Muslim nations is because they discovered us with jets flown into the WTC and the Pentagon. Prior to that day our most recent involvement with Afghanistan had been to back Muslims against Communists.

    It’s also a good idea to recall that we stepped into the various messes in the former Yugoslavia in defense of Muslim populations.

    And that we went into Somalia in an attempt to bring some order to a humanitarian disaster in a Muslim country.

    And that we rushed food and medical supplies to Indonesia, a Muslim country. And sent massive AIDS funds to Africa, largely to Muslim-dominated countries.

  11. Gustopher says:

    I don’t think we have any evidence either way that he sympathized with the enemy, rather than he sympathized with the various Moslem civilians that are being caught up in the wars (both the civilians in the Middle East, and the ones here).

    Most of the statements can go either way, and the one or two tell-tale quotes may be being misremembered in light of his recent actions.

    I would question why Colonel Lee did not take strong action if he had heard Major Hasan saying that he was happy when American soldiers were killed, and rather than assume that the Colonel was grossly incompetent, I would assume that he is simply human, and his memories of ambiguous statements have been colored by what has happened since.

    I would also say that many, many people consider themselves a Christian first and an American second, and we don’t blink an eye at that. And most of those people do not go on murderous rampages.

    And, finally, Moslems in the US are frequently treated differently because of their religion and the terrorists and the wars.

    None of this is to excuse Major Hasan’s actions. But, the triggers for his murderous rampage are likely much less clear cut than simply wanting the Moslem world to rise up against America.

    It is being reported that he was single, 39, never married, and one neighbor reported that his sons were over — perhaps the “sons” were younger gay lovers, and Major Hasan was a gay man living in the closet, discriminated against by his religion and employer, with a religion discriminated against by much of society to some extent, about to be deployed away from his young gay lovers to help in the occupation of his Moslem brothers who would hate him if they knew him, and that was the trigger that made him snap.

    That’s all just speculation, but no more so than most of what is circulating.

  12. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Tlaloc, I notice how well Muslims tolerate other religions in their lands. Your denial of the true nature of Islam is to fail to recognize a foe. Can you name an Islamic country you would like to live in? become a citizen of? Which Islamic nation tolerates the attempts of other religions to make inroads into their culture? Which other religion preaches death to infidels? The Muslims have a unique solution to atheism. Same solution for homosexuality. In America, diversity is our strength and is not only tolerated it is encouraged. The intention of the Islamists is to use that tolerance and encouragement of diversity against us. When the fight comes, and it is coming because they insist, you will be partially responsible for our lack of prepartation. I just wonder how long Americans will tolerate attacks by Muslims on our citizens without reaction or overreaction. We have a right to self defense both individually and as a group. When government is unwilling or incapable citizens will take matters into their own hands. It is a fight the Muslims probably cannot win, but it would be costly.

  13. Tlaloc says:

    JJ:

    I think that’s a rather silly interpretation of what happened.

    You don’t read enough Redstate, LGF or basically any other conservative sight if that’s the case. These people are overtly for genocide they don’t even try to hide, hell they shout it out loud. Cheney is their patron saint.

    MR:

    I think your statement above is intemperate and factually wrong. If what we are doing in Afghanistan is making war on Islam then the continuation of that war makes it as much Obama’s action as the Republican’s.

    Absolutely, and the senate dems back in 2002 that rolled over for the GOP. This is a case of the GOP being evil and the dems being cowards (quite the shock, huh?).

    Prior to that day our most recent involvement with Afghanistan had been to back Muslims against Communists.

    Convenient that you narrow your focus to just Afghanistan allowing you to ignore the atrocities we committed or abetted in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Palestine…

  14. Tlaloc says:

    Tlaloc, I notice how well Muslims tolerate other religions in their lands.

    And your point is?
    By the way before the whole Israel thing Jews and Muslims were able to live in the middle east with no more friction than you find anywhere. Christians and Muslims have had more difficulty but then there is that whole history of the crusades that kind of helps explain it. Some Native Americans are kind of bitter about the genocide of their people too.

    Which other religion preaches death to infidels?

    Have you ever read the bible? Exodus 22:18 leaps to mind.

    When the fight comes, and it is coming because they insist, you will be partially responsible for our lack of prepartation.

    They insisted? SO you don’t think our overthrowing of the Iranian democratic government and installing a dictator, or say us putting Saddam in place and giving him chemical weapons and then vetoing UN attempts to punish him for using said chemical weapons have anything to do with it? Or say our support for western oil companies raping their resources? Or say the weapons we’ve given Israel which they use to murder thousands of civilians and again shield them from the UN.

    I can’t imagine why these people would insist on fighting us just because we’ve abused them for decades.

    The short version- you’re an idiot who either doesn’t know or doesn’t care about how we got here.

  15. . . .the atrocities we committed or abetted in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Palestine…

    And those have what exactly to do with your notion that we have declared war on Islam? You began by contrasting our actions in Muslim countries with the fact that we didn’t take similar actions elsewhere.

    But the countries you listed — and I’m assuming I know the incidents and policies to which you are referring — are all similar to things we’ve done elsewhere. Surely you wouldn’t contend that helping to push Mossadeq out was the only time we’ve ever done some impromptu regime change? Diem? Noriega?

    Or would you maintain that the only questionable regimes we’ve sustained or aided against the will of their people are Muslim regimes? Pick a country in Central America.

    Our confrontations, wars and contretemps with Iraq had nothing to do with Islam (or terrorism) and everything to do with balances of power and regional hegemony — not games we invented exclusively for use against Muslims.

    It’s fair to say that we have a history of intervening in other countries — sometimes for good, sometimes not. But the idea that we declared war on Islam is a non-starter.

  16. Patrick T McGuire says:

    “He was … very upfront about being a Muslim first and an American second,”

    This is the norm, not the exception, for a Muslim.

  17. mw says:

    This is the norm, not the exception, for a Muslim.

    This is the norm, not the exception, for fundamental religious extremists of all faiths.

  18. rodney dill says:

    This is the norm, not the exception, for fundamental religious extremists of all faiths.

    True, but its the ones whose faith encourages/mandates/allows the slaughter of other that causes concern in this case.

  19. John Burgess says:

    He was a daily attendee of a radical, Wahhabi mosque…

    This is from Stephen Schwartz who believes that if money for the mosque came from Saudi Arabia then it is, by definition, a terrorist hotbed. Schwartz’s idea of normative Islam is a bunch of Sufis sitting around chanting and going into ecstasy.

    Varying sizes of grains of salt, and all that…

  20. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Yes Tlaloc, I am an idiot and you are defending those who would take your life and mine. Difference is I recognize the fact you seem to want to find excuses for them. If you just study Islamic history, there is not tolerance. Mohammed wiped out Jews living in Arabic lands. I suggest you find a place to live amongst your Muslim friends. I just read most of what you wrote. You, not I am the idiot. We put Saddam in place? FO fool. Did we supply him Soviet weapons as well. There is no fool so blind as he who will not see. American tanks nomenclature starts with an M not a T as does our rifles. T-54s, AK-47s and Migs. You were either lied to and believed it which, in the face of all the facts, would make you a fool, or you just plain lie. If you want to blame America first, kind of like our current inept President, move to the land of plenty of your choice. You would probably love it in Somalia. I’ll donate to your one way air fare.

  21. Matt says:

    rodney dill : Christians?

    In all seriousness you can say that about most religions (especially Christianity see Old testament and history for plenty of examples)…

  22. narciso says:

    Will they same be said of the Al Hijirah Mosque in Great Falls as well, or some of the subsequent commentary of the local mosque in Killeen,
    attendees like Duane Reasoner, admittedly not one of the sharpest tacks around, not disaproving of the Ft. Hood shooting:

  23. anjin-san says:

    A very thoughful post James.

  24. davod says:

    The coup against Mossadeq had nothing to do with religion. The Brits and the USA were worried his government was moving to the Russians.

    Of course the Ayatollah might have had the same worries after the 1979 revolution as he went a long way to liquidating his former Marxist allies.

  25. davod says:

    “He was … very upfront about being a Muslim first and an American second,”

    Born in the USA he lists himself as Palestinian.

  26. steve says:

    “The coup against Mossadeq had nothing to do with religion.”

    We know that. What the Muslim world sees is that we have mucked around in the internal politics of every Muslim country from Egypt to Afghanistan. This was usually as part of the Cold War or about oil, or both. If you read Arab sources they clearly understand that. It is why they are not especially happy with us.

    The fundamentalists it should be noted, are not very happy with most of the existing Muslim governments. They would topple most of them and install theocracies if they could. This fundamentalism has arisen at least partially in response to the West’s domination in their part of the world. We helped push it along too.

    Tolerance? No, Islamists are not especially tolerant of other faiths, though not as bad as you might think. As individual people, they are pretty tolerant. How well would we tolerate foreign soldiers on our soil? Foreign oil companies making dictators rich and taking away resources? Being used as tools in a war against another superpower?

    Steve

  27. davod says:

    “This is from Stephen Schwartz who believes that if money for the mosque came from Saudi Arabia then it is, by definition, a terrorist hotbed. Schwartz’s idea of normative Islam is a bunch of Sufis sitting around chanting and going into ecstasy.”

    From what I have read Saudi money has been used all over the world to spread the Wahabi brand of Islam. Here in the USA this money has been used as a lever to install Wahabi clerics in place of others.

    As I recall the Taliban’s particular brand of Islam originated out of Saudi funded Madrasas in Pakistan. Madrasas teaching Wahabi Islam.

    Saudi funded Wahabi Islam has moved into the East European areas “liberated” by NATO and the US, displacing a more moderate branch.

    Are the Wahabists outside the maintream? you tell me. They have controlled Mecca since the 20s.

  28. sam says:

    Zelsdorf, as usual, from his anal aperture:

    If you just study Islamic history, there is not tolerance.

    However:

    Unlike other governments in the area, Fatimid advancement in state offices was based more on merit than on heredity. Members of other branches of Islām, like the Sunnis, were just as likely to be appointed to government posts as Shiites. In fact, the Fatimids ruled over a majority Sunni population in Cairo. Tolerance was extended further to non-Muslims such as Christians and Jews, who occupied high levels in government based on expertise [Source: Fatimids Caliphate]

  29. G.A.Phillips says:

    In all seriousness you can say that about most religions (especially Christianity see Old testament and history for plenty of examples)…

    It’s 2009 dude, Muslims are still on Jihad, not the Hebrews or Christians.

    And why do you libs always profile the Christians, If your talking about Catholics say Catholics!!!!

    And your point is?
    By the way before the whole Israel thing Jews and Muslims were able to live in the middle east with no more friction than you find anywhere. Christians and Muslims have had more difficulty but then there is that whole history of the crusades that kind of helps explain it. Some Native Americans are kind of bitter about the genocide of their people too.

    LOL!! selective history, dude stop talking out of you ignorance and go find out who started the crusades and what all the peace loving, deer petting, meadow skipping Indians were all about and what happened, start at the beginning… what the POOP!!!!!!!

  30. G.A.Phillips says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns-fQRnm9sk

    Iron Maiden – For the Greater Good of God

    Are you a man of peace
    Or a man of holy war
    Too many sides to you
    Don’t know which anymore
    So many full of life
    But also filled with pain
    Don’t know just how many
    Will live to breathe again

    A life that’s made to breathe
    Destruction or defense
    A mind that’s vain corruption
    Bad or good intent
    A wolf in sheep’s clothing
    Or saintly or sinner
    Or some that would believe
    A holy war winner

    They fire off many shots
    And many parting blows
    Their actions beyond a reasoning
    Only God would know
    And as he lies in heaven
    Or it could be in hell
    I feel he’s somewhere here
    Or looking from below
    But I don’t know, I don’t know

    Please tell me now what life is
    Please tell me now what love is
    Well tell me now what war is
    Again tell me what life is

    More pain and misery in the history of mankind
    Sometimes it seems more like
    The blind leading the blind
    It brings upon us more famine, death and war
    You know religion has a lot to answer for

    Please tell me now what life is
    Please tell me now what love is
    Well tell me now what war is
    Again tell me what life is

    And as they search to find the bodies in the sand
    They find it’s ashes that are
    Scattered across the land
    And as the spirits seem to whistle on the wind
    A shot is fired somewhere another war begins

    And all because of it you’d think
    That we would learn
    But still the body count the city fires burn
    Somewhere there’s someone dying
    In a foreign land
    Meanwhile the world is crying stupidity of man
    Tell me why, tell me why

    Please tell me now what life is
    Please tell me now what love is
    Well tell me now what war is
    Again tell me what life is

    Please tell me now what life is
    Please tell me now what love is
    Well tell me now what war is
    Again tell me what life is

    For the greater good of God

    Please tell me now what life is
    Please tell me now what love is
    Well tell me now what war is
    Again tell me what life is

    Please tell me now what life is
    Please tell me now what love is
    Well tell me now what war is
    Again tell me what life is

    For the greater good of God (x8)

    He gave his life for us
    He fell upon the cross
    To die for all of those
    Who never mourn his loss
    It wasn’t meant for us
    To feel the pain again
    Tell me why, tell me why

  31. John Swift says:

    And how many Christians would say they are Americans first and Christians second? Just asking.

  32. Franklin says:

    See, this is the part where we need to stop calling all Democrats anti-American. It waters down the phrase way too much. If someone had reported Hasan as anti-American, it could easily be dismissed as being a complaint about someone espousing liberal views.

    It’s the same thing as calling someone Hitler. It doesn’t mean anything anymore.

  33. Matt says:

    G.A.Phillips : You are quite the piece of work. Conflating the few with the majority is just stupid (I tried getting you to see that earlier with my christian comments which btw they are still killing people to this very day). There are up to 1.6 billion Muslims on this world (2.2 billion Christians) and if they were all waging jihad you’d fucking know it.

  34. JVB says:

    The man is either a terrorist or a traitor. End of story. He swore an oath and that makes him accountable on one charge or the other. He voluntarily enlisted…he wasn’t drafted. He was Muslim when he enlisted. He was Muslim as he received training, no cost to him, to be a doctor. He knew what he was getting into. Everything else anyone wants to add is giving him REASONS for what he did…reasons are not excuses.

  35. G.A.Phillips says:

    lol, Caught in the spamalot:)

  36. rodney dill says:

    In all seriousness you can say that about most religions (especially Christianity see Old testament and history for plenty of examples)…

    Dude… where exactly did you find Christian’s in the old testament? I must’ve missed that chapter.

    While Atrocities have been done by purported Christians, they certainly weren’t acting Christ-like at the time. I see no teaching of Christ that encourages jihad… and while most Moslem’s are peaceful it is disconcerting that their religion allows considering infidel’s as less worth than Moslems.

  37. anjin-san says:

    Traitor or terrorist…take your pick. Traitor will look better on President Obama’s score card but either way the man is guilty of the highest offense against the Untied States. Stop the haggling. He needs to be executed

    That’s about right, though I wish you & everyone else would leave the politics out of the discussion. This is just too horrible of a tragedy to politicize it…

  38. Matt says:

    I was referring to the god Christians worship and his smiting and such..

    Christ was also an important figure in Islam btw. IF you look deep into Christianity and Catholicism you’d see the same crap that you’re complaining about with Muslims..

  39. davod says:

    “Christ was also an important figure in Islam btw. IF you look deep into Christianity and Catholicism you’d see the same crap that you’re complaining about with Muslims..”

    Muslims consider Christ and Mary to be not only prophets but Muslims. Hmm, when did Islam start?

  40. davod says:

    “I was referring to the god Christians worship and his smiting and such..”

    It is my understanding that the Old Testament talks about death and destruction in relation to specific events, people and places, whereas the Koran and Sharia law have open ended calls for subjugation, death and destruction.

    Of course, many people forget that the argument is at its heart between the theologians advising the Radical Islamists, Jihadists, or if you prefer – Takfiris and theologions advising the more moderate Muslims (Although in some areas they are in agreement).

    I would suggest the problem for the moderates is that as far as infidels, appostates, and other non-Muslims are concerned, the Muslim street in many third world countries prefers the more extreme approach.