Claiming Nidal Hasan’s shooting of his fellow soldiers sets back the Muslim community is as irresponsible as claiming all Muslims involved in a crime are terrorists. First and foremost we must focus on finding answers by viewing each other as human beings. Knowing that around 140 soldiers have committed suicide over the past year it is not hard to see the stress these men and women have to deal with on a daily basis.
The major issue with claiming he has set back Muslims is our failure to focus on the victims – to focus on the act itself. Claiming he has set back Muslims marginalizes the victims transforming them from human beings, with friends and family in mourning, into a group of names simply born for the purpose of filling Hassan’s narrative. This is not how we should be viewing this act. The only people Hasan has set back are those families who must love what was and not what is. To find out how we prevent this type of tragedy we must look far beyond any one faith and look into the ticking of the human mind.
What we should be looking at here is the fact that the man who committed this act was trained by, and was surrounded by, the idea that violence is the answer to solving our problems. We’ve been at war for nearly a decade because our country believes war is the answer. So why wouldn’t an emotionally distraught man use bullets to do his speaking, his weeping, to provide his catharsis? This is only natural because violence is the answer.
Per the past actions of the United States, when a country you’re fighting won’t concede and relent you simply strap an atomic bomb on a plane and drop it on ever man, woman, and child that happen to live in one of their major metropolitan areas. In this act you don’t worry about who dies because those 220,000 human lives are not important. What’s important is your end result. For Hasan the bullets where the tears of a distressed man, not the preaching from a religious zealot. Of course, having a Muslim terrorist within our armed forces makes for a better story than one in which a man has simply gone mad. It allows us to cuddle closer with fear and to keep us moving headlong into a battle which, through the last administration, seemed very much like the days of old – Christians versus Moors.
Separating us into factions is important to those in power, especially in a case like this, because they must not allow us to see we are all human beings made from the same blood, brains, neurons, and hearts. We must not see simply that the armed forces are just that – armed. They are ready to kill for the sake of our country regardless if anyone is attacking us or not. They will follow orders regardless of who gets killed in the process. Surely soldiers do not want to kill those not involved in the war, woman and children, but women and children do get killed – many of them do. To train one to kill you must make them a bit cold because thinking to much about it would create a huge problem on the battle field.
As long as violence is the ultimate act to secure what our country wants we cannot expect that acts like that perpetrated by Hasan will cease. If you teach your citizens that bullets bring about the change you want their cold jaded hearts just might decide the problem is internal. They just might decide to kill the very ones they are trusted to protect and serve with.