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After Fort Hood Shooting; a Muslim view

06 Nov

Everyone right now must have heard the news that a Muslim Army officer went on shooting rampage at Fort Hood. I first thought it could be any person having Arabic name, but then it became apparent that he is Muslim. And Guardian is reporting that He shouted Allahu Akbar before shooting.

This is sad and worrying day, 13 lives have been lost and about 28 people are injured. This is worrying not only because such shooting are becoming repetitive event in which some normal looking guy walks in with gun and start shooting. It happened at mall, it happened at school and it happened at university campus; now at military base.

It is worrying also because an involvement of a Muslim will open door for more prejudice, bias and hate towards Muslims.  As a Muslim I am concerned that instead of viewing this event as an action by mentally ill person much like previous shootouts, people will try to put in the picture of Islamic Terrorism. This will give people tool and opportunity to speak against the Muslims.

There is going fear in online community that this might trigger religious or atleast geographical profiling. One of the interesting discussion of which I was pointed out is going on over article by Hirscfield on Washington Post  http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/brad_hirschfield/2009/11/fort_hood_massacre_no_indictme.html

Ironically, those who will use this event to disparage all Muslims or Islam in general, even to the point of violence, will prove themselves no different from those they oppose. In fact, they will prove how much they share with Mr. Hasan. Such generalized hatred is precisely the animating approach of anyone who opens fire on a collection of individuals who pose them no immediate threat.

But in b/w he asks that question should be asked from Community he came from. Interesting reply came from one of the poster

kjohnson3’s Reply:

When you refer to “the community from which the murderer came,” why do you look only at the religious community from which he came? He also came from the military community and the medical community.

I personally have not viewed till now any discrimination, I can feel that heat is increasing, someone on Fox News just asked that whether Muslims in Military should go through Special Screenings.

I will like to ask; was some Special Screening arraigned for the people belonging to ethnicity or religion or community of previous shooters? But then we all know about the Fox News, if you don’t know much about Fox News,  you can assume they are Big Version of Zaid Hamid.

In response to these hate messages there are lots of messages talking about not to use Guilt By Association, and are for supporting American Muslims. I have personally found Americans to be friendly and never came face to face with anti-Muslim person. One of the reason might be because I live in University Town, but I believe this is general feature.

As for with such event, I ask people to not to let their fears, biases and pain make them hate other people. And as for every such case one of the critical question that should be raised is how he was able to take gun inside a secure area? Why was there such security lapse?

Other critical question is Why was this person not flagged as a risk person?

If his views, as being told by some news agencies, were extremists he should have been separated, where was negligence? An extremists person should not have a place in any Army, this is true for any extremists, be it religious or social.

If it becomes visible that his motivation was not only PTSD but also religious, then it will be quite worrying part. It is critical that we should recognize that there are thousands of extremists who think their motivation comes from the religion.  Hundreds have died in Pakistan from the hands of extremists who think their actions are justified from Religion, about 2 decade back there were groups going for extremists activities because of their political (which were non-religious) views. Just few months ago Tamil tigers were killing their own people and still in regions of India Maoist have been accused of mass killing.  In America there are White Supremest and religious conservative who think they will one day have to go on war with others. In Europe there has been rise of BNP.

These all form of extremisms are to be condemned but understood that they don’t define communities, religions or ethnicity. I wish everyone good luck, it is difficult period on this world.

I am just a visitor in America, soon I will be back to my homeland Pakistan; the one thing I love about America is Equal Rights for everyone. But such rights can not just be dictated by Law they have to be implemented by society. I hope American society keeps on implementing that.

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