Field of Science

Lecture on why it doesn't matter that Nidal Malik Hasan is Muslim

Here's a little lecture I would very much like to go to. It is, incidentally, right in my hood, but I am afraid I most likely won't be able to go.

Responding to the Fort Hood Tragedy
Imam Zaid Shakir will be presenting a talk to the Claremont College community to address the Fort Hood tragedy: the events asssociated with it as well as those ensuing from it. He will also explain how and why the crime perpetrated by Major Nidal Malik Hasan can not and should not be attributed to Islam.
Date: Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Time: 7:00pm - 8:00pm

"Should not" - sure, I can see why a Muslim would say so.
"Can not" - why not? I'd go to find out what his reason is.


  1. My personal take on it is that it is probably fairly likely he would have done something drastic, regardless of his religious beliefs. This fellow really didn't want to go to war.

    But the form which his drastic action actually took, it is hard not to see this being shaped by religion.

    This is the problem with even moderate, liberal interpretations of religions that still insist on considering violent hate-filled screeds like the Bible and the Quran as scripture: Yeah, it works out fine most of the time, and maybe even gives people some comfort (though I am not sold on that point either way), but there is always that danger...

    The same applies to those people who, for example, overcome addiction by "finding Jesus"... It seems reasonable to me that, for many people, considering actions they know to be right and then determining that those actions are being dictated by an all-knowing deity, might make it easier to go through with it. Probably works fine most of the time. But there's always the danger of attaching the authority of God to some very nasty directive rather than a positive goal.

    In other words, to bring it back to the Hasan case, the problem with even the most moderate and compassionate strains of Islam is that they still prop up the Quran as a source of divine inspiration, and there's some royally fucked-up shit in the Quran. Combine that with a guy whose already a bit off his rocker, and what might have been a sad story (e.g. like if Hasan had committed suicide to avoid having to go to war) becomes a major national tragedy.

  2. I wonder if I were to go to the lecture, if bringing up the "there's some royally fucked-up shit in the Quran" argument would be summarily dismissed nor not. I know some Muslims will not say anything but that Islam is a religion of peace. Makes me wonder if they read the whole book.


    The dilemma caused by the shooting at Fort Hood by Major Hasan exemplifies how the current programs in place to protect us have all failed us. When supervisors, counselors and task forces members rely on subjective references of culture and mental illness, observers miss the signs specific to aggression referenced in post analysis. When observers focus specifically on aggressive behavior, the objective and culturally neutral signs of “aggression” standout, providing the opportunity to prevent these violent encounters.

    Major Hasan was under surveillance by two Terrorist Task Forces, one with Department of Defense oversight and the other with FBI oversight. So why wasn’t he stopped?

    The use of subjective/qualitative indicators, prone to stereotype individuals by culture or religion; versus quantitative indicators and the use of mental health references know to mislead and misconstrue, fails us repeatedly in our attempts to prevent acts of violence. Only when we use the specificity of “aggression” and its objective, culturally neutral indicators can we get-out-in-front of these acts of aggression and prevent them. Why are current systems uses by the military and homeland security failing us?

    The answer is quite simple – The military and Homeland Security do not have an objective and culturally neutral system that collects information and evaluates it to determine the degree (or level) of aggression an individual is displaying, nor has it people who have a clear responsibility to observe and report this information. Learn more about the problem and the solution by reading our Blog:


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