The recent Fort Hood shooting raises the question we as a country face every time an attack, of any magnitude, takes place domestically, what was the motive of the attacker?
Instant analysis spews out of every cable news network about the alleged shooter, Nidal Malik Hasan, and almost always his religious beliefs were and still are inextricably linked to his motives.
Some commentators spoke out about President Obama being at fault for not interceding when Hasan’s conversations to an imam, who has alleged connections with Al Qaeda, were known inside the government, but Obama did not want to act because he did not want to seem like an “Islamophobe.”
People went on to proclaim that it only took 10 months for the first ‘terrorist’ attack to happen on President Obama’s watch.
But what constitutes a terrorist attack?
In our post 9/11 society what does it take for somebody’s actions to be considered terrorism?
Is the line crossed when somebody speaks to an authority within their religion that maybe has ties with Al Qaeda?
It should have been expected that the moment the attack was reported people would jump to the possibility of terrorism and accelerate prejudices that are already used needlessly.
Unfortunately, because of Hasan’s Muslim faith, those suspicions escalated for many in the main stream media.
The horrific events of 9/11 have left many in this country with an unfair perception of the Muslim community.
The extremism that consumes 5 percent of the religion is dominating the stigma attached to their belief system.
Would Hasan be under this type of microscope if he were a devout Christian?
If he claimed he acted on behalf of the Holy Bible and died for Jesus?
Hasan’s motifs might have been religion based, however it is just as well known that he showed immense dissatisfaction with his upcoming departure to Iraq.
What seems to be lacking in the national conversation is the fact we are engaged in two wars in the Middle East.
Certain Muslim sects are unhappy with our occupation and use it as fuel to excite extremist recruitment.
The root of the problem might not lie within a set of beliefs shared by few in the Muslim community, it might lie in the fact we are involved in wars that are unpopular in the Middle East.
Our country has strived to keep the church and government separate, giving the people freedom to worship whatever they are inclined to, but it seems we have garnered a narrow-minded approach since 9/11.
Events like this should not lead people to jump to conclusions.
Just as the most extreme case is taken into account, an independent incident executed by somebody clearly
sick should be considered as well.
Let us not try to fill the 24-hour news cycle with speculation and prejudices.
Let’s accuse the man of the crime and not the religion.
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