Now that some time has passed since the shootings at Fort Hood has taken place; it’s time to look back. For many emotions have been running on high since the terrorist attacks on 9/11. It’s important that we review those emotions instead of blindly applying them to every untoward event that happens.
Major Nidal Malik Hasan joined the Army right after high school in 1988. He spent the next 15 years attending college and earning his medical degree in 2003. He was a devout practicing Muslim from a Palestinian family.
It appears from various reports that he was not happy with some of the aspects of the military. He wanted Muslims, if they asked, to be allowed to leave the military instead of fight against their fellow Muslims. He also had made several inquiries on getting out of the military, even asking if he could pay back the cost of his medical education. Of course he met a stone wall with those requests. Once the military gets a hold of you they hold you to your contract.
From several of the news reports I’ve read since that day Hasan had been harassed several times, by enlisted men, because of his religious beliefs. Nothing was done about that harassment. Having spent 10 years in the US Navy I find that extremely odd. Any disrespect, even a sloppy salute, shown to an officer by an enlisted is met with swift, and often severe, punishment. There was an incident, off base, where a soldier from Ft. Hood removed a bumper sticker and ‟keyed” Hasan’s car.
Hasan dealt on a daily basis with soldiers that had just come back from either the Iraq Occupation or the various battles in Afghanistan. He had to listen to these soldiers talk about killing Muslims and all the racial slurs that come along with that. This daily anguish along with the harassment took it’s toll.
From what I have read I do not believe the shootings were in any way a form of terrorism. It was a suicide, or specifically a Victim-Precipitated Homicide. He fully expected to die that day. Often a suicide is done so that the persons that caused the perceived harm are effected, emotionally or physically, by the suicide.
Terrorism is a political tool used by the very desperate to terrorize large populations. Hasan has not shown such a motive. Hasan did have contact with a ‟radical” Imam, but those emails were termed ‟innocuous” by an unnamed ‟counter-terrorism specialist.”
Hasan is a deeply disturbed man, not a terrorist. He was upset by his harassment and by what he saw going on around him and he snapped.
Dave lives in the mountains near Yosemite with his llamas and two cats. He has been active in local Secular Humanist groups for over 20 years.