Are We Surprised?

Although I suspect it is the BBC they mean, I often hear that American news is not as accurate as British news. I have my doubts. However, not too far from Fort Hood, I find this article that seems to give us more insight than the local or even the national. Not that, of course, that insight wasn’t what we expected. It describes the Iman of the mosque at which Hasan had worshipped as he counseled soldiers at Walter Reed. (Of course, thanks to Instapundit.)

Hasan, the sole suspect in the massacre of 13 fellow US soldiers in Texas, attended the controversial Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Great Falls, Virginia, in 2001 at the same time as two of the September 11 terrorists, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt. His mother’s funeral was held there in May that year.
The preacher at the time was Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Yemeni scholar who was banned from addressing a meeting in London by video link in August because he is accused of supporting attacks on British troops and backing terrorist organisations.
Hasan’s eyes “lit up” when he mentioned his deep respect for al-Awlaki’s teachings, according to a fellow Muslim officer at the Fort Hood base in Texas, the scene of Thursday’s horrific shooting spree.
Charles Allen, a former under-secretary for intelligence at the Department of Homeland Security, has described al-Awlaki, who now lives in Yemen, as an “al-Qaeda supporter, and former spiritual leader to three of the September 11 hijackers… who targets US Muslims with radical online lectures encouraging terrorist attacks from his new home in Yemen”.

I’m quite willing to acknowledge that the charming friend of my daughter from Pakistan and the guys who ran the filling station with the best hamburgers in town or my thoughtful & cheerful Egyptian student are not terrorists. That doesn’t mean that Hasan’s religion had nothing to do with his actions nor that this act was unconnected to terrorism. Perhaps that is true only in the broadest terms or perhaps he was a one-man (or more) sleeper cell. I don’t know. I care. But I care more about the fact that an unwillingness to face uncomfortable facts is part of the reason that people in Fort Hood and across the country are mourning their dead and praying for their wounded.

9 thoughts on “Are We Surprised?”

  1. There are three main groups of victims here:

    -Hasan’s victims,

    -The future victims of future terrorists who take encouragement from Hasan’s media-leveraged success as a terrorist, and

    -American Muslims who oppose the jihadists.

    The official and media political correctness that ignorantly broadbrushes Islam as “a religion of peace” makes the problem worse. If you are an American Muslim who, like most Americans, wants to live peacefully and be left alone, and your govt is ignoring reality while the jihadists are threatening you if you oppose them, are you going to go out of your way to help the US govt? It’s like fighting the Mafia, or counterinsurgency warfare: if we want the cooperation of the reasonable people we must first protect them from the thugs, and the first step to doing this is to acknowledge important distinctions. Instead, by making clear that our priority is to avoid offending anyone, we transmit an implied message to our Muslim allies that they are on their own.

    Islam isn’t a religion of peace. It’s an empire of competing factions, some of which are violent and have abhorrent doctrines that we should oppose as we oppose communism and fascism. Our officials should explain why radical Islam is incompatible with our beliefs. Their repetition of condescending PC platitudes about how the jihadists aren’t real Muslims and so forth shows only that our leaders refuse to deal in the reality that is obvious to many ordinary people. It shows weakness. It encourages further attacks against us by enemies who perceive our weakness and understand how to use our legal and media institutions against us.

  2. The central uncomfortable fact is that Islam is a political/military project – not just a religion – that is totally incompatible with Western democratic culture.

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Muslim apostate from Somalia, was astounded by one aspect of western culture in particular: That in the West, new (to the west) ideas are studied, criticized and picked apart with ruthless efficiency. No other cultural heritage has this, essentially scientific, tradition (which we got from the Ancient Greeks), which is also the reason that Christianity is quite compatible with a modern, scientific society – it was developed at a time when Greek thinking was dominant.

    The key task therefore is for us in the west to continue this tradition and apply it to Islam at any and every opportunity. Most Muslims do not study the Koran or even speak the language in which it is written. Study is not encouraged. Muslims rely solely on what their local Imam tells them. If he tells them nice things – judging that they are not ready for the ‘real stuff’ – they learn nice things. If the Imam judges they are ready for the ‘versus of the sword’ etc, as Hasan clearly was, then they are encouraged to hate the infidel as per the Koranic admonitions.

    We in the west must therefore use western thinking to expose the real Islam – including the hatred and the violence – to all Muslims. Give them the opportunity and motivation to turn away and take the power away from the ‘controversial’ Imams.

  3. General Casey was hopeless on This Week this morning. I don’t know if he is as clueless as he appeared or it was disinformation. The army may be too PC to deal with this.

    There was a story several years ago about a moderate mosque, I think in San Francisco or at least in the west coast, where the moderate imam was driven out. I think this is the case and it illustrates the role of the Saudis, in particular. That part of the story is in the WSJ article. Unfortunately, it is no longer available.

  4. Well we do have a couple newspapers that can match the excellent UK Telegraph for getting the real word out…

    The Examiner and the Washington Times are two examples that come immediately to mind…

    Better than the newspapers though is that we have groups of stalwarts who blog such as Gateway Pundit for instance…

  5. “Islam isn’t a religion of peace”, to say the least.

    A big problem is that folks (such as Joe Lieberman, this morning, on Face the Nation, I believe it was) continually refer to Islamic terrorists as “radicalized Muslims” who somehow are perverting the religion when, in fact, they are being quite faithful to the Koran. Many Westerners (at least in the U.S.) who reach out with a call for diversity and religious freedom don’t understand this yet.

    Jihads will keep more or less periodically recurring (as they have been for centuries with less powerful weapons and means) because it is only the hypocritical Muslims that are compatible with a western style democracy. True believers, the idealists, the faithful, will recognize the legitimate call to intolerance, tyranny and violence.

    “War on terrorism” was a euphemism for something I really would rather not think about.

  6. Just one other thought re. the Ft. Hood shooter: Religion provides a “track” for thought and behavior. Most often, in life, our common sense and rationalizing ability lead us to reasonable and civil behavior. I suggest that whatever early programming or indoctrination a person has had comes to the fore in simple folk, deranged folk, and to us all in times of great stress. It sounds like this guy might not have had all of his wheels on the ground (indeed, it seems he may have had all three of the qualities mentioned above) and defaulted to a literal Islamic script.

  7. The BBC is ridiculously biased, terrorists are “insurgents”, hezbollah terrorists are “reliable sources” and Hamas is their “middle-east correspondants to get facts on the ground”.

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