Friday, November 6, 2009

Fort Hood




Front page of every news revolves around the shooting that happened in Texas. I don't even need to go into details for all of you to understand what I am talking about.

News reports started breaking out about a shooting spree from several gunmen. Which eventually turned into one gunman. Instantly people on twitter started betting it was a muslim. Prayers were being read for those involved. Others tweeted about how they were appalled.
It wasn't just twitter though. News articles involving the story where constantly being updated. Everyone anxiously waited for news about those involved in the incident. And still do.

With the country watching every piece of information coming out about the horrific shooting spree, people are once again examining Muslims. With that Muslims in America are coming out to condemn the incident. But others question why is it necessary for us to condemn everything someone else is doing? Just because they are Muslim and we are Muslim? Shouldn't the focus be on "the psyhciatrist and issues he had with deployment and that fact that he needed help/therapy himself"?

Anyways, so instead of presenting a single muslim voice to you, speaking about the event at Fort Hood, I had a few individuals type up blurps. They might not know everything but it's their own opinions, thoughts or just covering the facts that took place at Fort Hood yesterday.


I'm sure we all know what happened in Texas yesterday. It's such a tragedy. I don't know what to think. It seems like there's no break in the cycle. The same thing just happens over and over again.Why must Maj. Hasan be referred to a "muslim" "arab" and "terrorist" every single time? What happened to plain old "American"? It's stated he was a "US Born Muslim." Was Timothy Mcvey every referred to as an "US Born Catholic"? Were the Columbine shooters labeled as "American Protestants?" No, they were not. How come that was irrelevant? These words are brainwashing everyone and causing so much more fear. Do we really need that right now, especially with the lack of evidence for the shooters motive??

Do you guys remember when General Cone mentioned that witnesses supposedly saw 3 shooters? I understand in the moment of panic, you see things or THINK you saw them. But how do people mistake that? These 3 shooters were interviewed and let go, to find out it was a single shooter incident. So if people thought they saw 3 shooters but were wrong, then it seems witnesses could possibly be wrong about these statement too:

"Soldiers reported that the gunman shouted "Allahu Akbar!" — Arabic for "God is great!" — before opening fire, said Lt. Gen. Robert Cone, the base commander. He said officials had not confirmed that Hasan made the comment." (Yahoo News)

"The commander of the base, Lt Gen Robert Cone, told NBC News that, according to eyewitnesses, Mr Hasan had shouted the Arabic phrase "Allahu Akbar!" [God is great] before opening fire." (BBC.co.uk)

Why mention an unconfirmed statement? Let's get our facts together FIRST before jumping to conclusions people. I urge everyone to be open minded and to not believe everything the media says.

I'm angry. I'm angry that he did this. I want to know why. What was going through his mind? I'm angry that this guy killed/hurt so many people. They were so innocent. They didn't deserve this. No one did. I'm angry that the media, never ceases to accuse Islam (indirectly and you can't argue that they're not) and I'm angry thinking of how many people are probably in fear of their life right now.

Why are we, as humans allowing this to happen? And with "this", I mean allowing the demonization of Islam, allowing the military men to go untreated, allowing wars to happen, and allowing the unfair treatment of others? I don't like to lose hope but sometimes I feel as though I don't know what else to do to prove to everyone that Muslims are SANE. Sometimes I want to hide in a cave and sometimes I wish, really really wish that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was alive. sigh.

I pray that all the families, including Maj Hasan's family find peace and may God make this easy for them. May He expose the truth behind this matter and bring justice to all that rightfully deserve it.

---Simply Me



Yesterday a cousin of the Army psychiatrist spoke with CNN over the phone. He kept repeating over and over that his cousin was a "Good American." I wouldn't call him a good American or even a good human being. What this man did was terrible but I have a hard time believing it was for religious purposes. Yesterday the news didn't mention that the man screamed "Allahu Akber" (God is great) right before his attack, so how come they are saying it now? I dunno. I just have a hard time believing that this man really said that. How could a man do so much damage and no one stop him? Ok, maybe they tried to stop him but they couldn't manage to kill him? I dunno. I'm one of those people who doesn't believe most of what she hears on the news. If anyone did what he said it would be huge and be on the news, just as it is. However, its so much of a bigger deal since the man is a Muslim. Sigh

--Mrs. Cullen

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8347501.stm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/nov/06/fort-hood-shootings-hasan-muslim

These articles discuss how Major Hasan was horrified after he found out he was to be deployed to Afghanistan. I think it's clear that he was deeply troubled and unstable from all the work with mentally-distressed and traumatized veterans, and his own military tours. He most likely just wanted to do anything he could to not be deployed...

It can be hard to understand how troubled some soldiers are; it's an issue quite hidden from the mainstream. My friend commented, “A Muslim.. and a mental health professional. What are the odds?” Well, how about the odds that eighteen soldiers commit suicide everyday (according to the Veterans Administration). Here's an enlightening article about suicide and PTSD issues.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/11/13/cbsnews_investigates/main3496471.shtml

Couple such mental issues with a confused, Palestinian-American identity and the additional troubles this brings of dealing with the violence and acts one may have committed or seen as a US soldier.So yeah, the odds look alright to me...

And while religion and spirituality could bring stability to these problems... people point to this man's religious identity while being totally silent on these issues. How many American veterans are unemployed or completely homeless after serving their country? How many suffer from PTSD and receive no support whatsoever? How many are casualties of the nation they thought they were fighting for?

At the same time, I just wish people would have the same uproar over violence against innocent civilians as they do for military personnel. Though of course, all loss is unfortunate. It's just that reality here in the American bubble is somewhat distorted.



---Provoking Invoking


Yesterday I was at the mall and the giant tv screen, which was on mute, had "BREAKING NEWS: MASSACRE AT FORT HOOD, scribbled across the screen. I was like, whoa, what happened? And then I started getting texts about this Muslim Major who went psycho and started shooting everybody on this base. They were reports that he had been to Iraq, that he could have been emotionally deranged, oh and also that he was probably working for a terrorist Muslim group.

Here is what we know:Maj. Nidal Hasan, is a 39 yr old Psychiatrist who spent most of his career at the large Walter Reed Army Medical Center. A processing center for soldiers returning from and about to be sent, overseas. He opened fire with an automatic pistol and another weapon, killing 13 people and injuring 31. Hasan, had been shot four times until he finally went down, by a wounded Civilian Officer. At first believed to have been killed, he is now recovering and on a ventilator. He was born in Virginia, got his medical degree from a military academy in 2003 and has been at the Washington Army Medical Center for 6 yrs before being transferred to Texas.

There are reports that he was "deeply, fundamentally opposed to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq" from an un-named former colleague, which I am skeptical about. Every other source, his commanding officer and the nurses he worked with, were identified. I don't know what was going through his mind as he shot and killed so many people, if/when he regains consciousness.

---Snake Charmer

And those are the blurps I have for you today.
And those tweets wondering whether every Muslim they meet might be a foe? I am not even going to respond to that. What would like me to do? Plead to you I'm not a foe?
Personally? I truly salute the woman who brought him down, feel sorry for those that are suffering, for their pain, but I also wonder about the man who went from being a good neighbour to someone that seemed to have lost their mind.
To quote Simply Me, "I pray that all the families, including Maj Hasan's family find peace and may God make this easy for them. May He expose the truth behind this matter and bring justice to all that rightfully deserve it. "
--controlled chaos

10 comments:

EmptyWords said...

The psychological issues that veterans suffer is so extremely important. And many times, they do get hidden. This man was obviously under intense mental stress and instead of blaming a whole religion for the acts of one person, the media should really analyze the effects that war has on an individual

provoking invoking said...

here's an interesting question... psychiatrists have a history of self-medication. was Major Hasan on drugs?

http://www.prisonplanet.com/was-fort-hood-killer-on-psychotropic-drugs.html

worth reading.


really thought-provoking blurbs! and amen.

kirstyb said...

agree with emptywords x

Cheryl said...

Some people are ignorant assholes. That's all there is to say about it.

Ignorant.

Assholes.

Madame Lefty said...

My mom likes to watch every Sunday news channel- including the FOX news Sunday show.

There's a lot of flipping back and forth, and what I find to be inappropriate was his proclamation that this was a terrorist attack, that he had extreme Islamic views, all while saying the investigation is not fully done yet.

I understand your concerns. I really truly do.

I know it's not comforting right now, but the truth is you have to live by example. Blogs like this and people like yourself will eventually show what the rest of us already know- the Muslim community is part of a larger American community.

And while we can't change the minds of the ignorant as Cheryl pointed out, we can change the minds of those who were mistakenly misled. And that in itself is an important contribution you're bringing to the Muslim community at large.

Jeannie said...

My first thought was that the military should perhaps become a little more sensitive to the needs of the soldiers. Sending anyone with such an understandable conflict of interest is just stupid. I live in what used to be a primarily German city in Canada. I have always wondered how the men felt about fighting Germany in WWI & II. Perhaps they simply didn't sign up.
Hasan must have had to deal with a lot of flack due to his faith - especially in a place like Texas - tolerance is not what Texans are known for right?
What won't be pointed out in all of this is how many extremist Christians have gone off their nut and killed people.

Madame Lefty said...

Jeannie,

Let's not forget that the military is very conservative and the whole, "Texans are not tolerant," is much more regional than the national media would like to let you on.

In Houston, we have one of the largest Indian communities in the US. There are also very liberal parts of Texas, but when you get to the smaller towns and certain areas of Texas, than people may be less tolerant.

But to say Texans are the hub of intolerance- simply not true.

I should know being a Texan myself. =)

linlah said...

Thanks for the blurbs. There are many voices and many opinions and they all help us to see each other and to hopefully become more understanding of each other.

Little T said...

You girls never disappoint. I too was outraged by the unconfirmed reports of supposed "eye witnesses". The shooter was dead for the first whole day. I woke up the next morning and he was alive! This man was a crazed US CITIZEN not an American hating muslim. Why is it also that it took the Fort Hood civilian police to take him down when he was on a military base surrounded by people carrying weapons? I don't think we are getting even half of this story yet and once we do the accuracy and details will depend on your chosen news source. Thanks for the thought provoking post. And for the record, this American girl is not leary of any one group because of 1 thoughtless act commited by a madman. No matter what his religion or heritage.

provoking invoking said...

there is a question of his accomplice (of course, one man could not go on such a degree of a shooting spree without at least one accomplice).. hinted at during the first day the news broke out. perhaps the accomplice is being ignored because he was NOT a muslim, so it wouldn't help them in trying to spin this to be about islam?