A man enters a United States military facility and, shouting “Allahu akbar!”, which is the battle cry of Islamic jihadis, starts to shoot everyone he can with a couple of hand guns. The man is later found to have praised Muslim suicide bombers.
Is it an act of terrorism?
Curiously both the United States government and most of the media is shying away from “the T word.” The FBI, almost from the beginning, was emphatic in their claim that the Fort Hood Massacre, committed by an Army Major named Malik Nadal Hasan was not an act of terrorism.
But if the Fort Hood Massacre was not terrorism, what was it?
Malik Nadal Hasan was not, apparently, the act of a loan nut who suddenly snapped and just started blasting away out of incoherent rage. We have a motive because Malik Nadal Hasan was making statements supportive of Islamic terrorist suicide bombers who kill American soldiers and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. He shouted “allahu akbar” as he opened up on his fellow soldiers, which would indicate his state of mind during the massacre.
We also have premeditation. Malik Nadal Hasan was giving away possessions, such as furniture, as well as copies of the Koran. This is a classic symptom of a man who was planning to die, in the case of Malik Nadal Hasan in a blaze of glory.
It is likely true that Malik Nadal Hasan’s crime was self motivated. There is not even the suggestion, so far, that he was part of a terrorist cell or that he received instructions from an Al Qaeda operative.
Nevertheless, terrorism does not have to be organized by a group to be terrorism. The motivation is all, stemming from Malik Nadal Hasan’s perception of what his religion required, what he believed was happening in Afghanistan and Iraq, and how he viewed his fellow soldiers. Timothy McVeigh, the man who blew up the Oklahoma City Federal Building and took over a hundred lives, is considered a domestic terrorist, even though he was not acting on behalf of a large organization.
There seems to be a reluctance to call terrorism what it is when the perpetrator is a Muslim and when the motivation is driven by the Muslim’s belief in what his religion obliges him to do.
This is not to say that Islam, properly understood, condones the shooting of unarmed people, treason against ones country, or blowing up innocent civilians. Islam is not a “religion of peace” that some of the overly mawkish like to pretend that it is. But it is a religion of rules and there are strict rules even for fighting in a jihad or holy war.
This reluctance, though, to confront the ideology and motivations of Islamic terrorists, is hobbling our fight against Islamic terrorists. It may have caused the military to turn a blind eye to Malik Nadal Hasan’s rantings when it should have intervened with him, taken him out of the loop, and at least given him counseling, if not a dishonorable discharge and a place of the terrorism watch list.
If this reluctance continues, there will be more Fort Hood Massacres.
Source: Malik Nadal Hasan and the Fort Hood Massacre, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, November 6th, 2009