Saturday, November 07, 2009

Only One Man To Blame For Fort Hood Shootings

When this maven was a wee little boy I often watched television with my mother. I remember that when a particularly nasty crime was reported on the local news she would say, “Let him not be Jewish.” You see, this was back in the 1950s when the Holocaust was still very recent history and even here in the US of A Jews weren’t feeling too secure. It was also during the Red Scare and after the spy trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, so I guess Mom was justified in fearing that all Jews might be blamed for the criminal act of one person who happened to be Jewish.

These memories popped into my consciousness this week when it was announced that Nidal Malik Hasan, an American Muslim, was the person who went on a shooting spree, killing more than a dozen people, at Fort Hood, Texas. Soon after Hasan was identified, Muslim groups throughout the country felt the need to condemn Hasan and to make it clear to the rest of the American people that Islam did not encourage or condone such killings. In this country, after 9/11, Muslims are sort of feeling what my mom was feeling back in the 1950s. Don’t blame us for the act of one man who is Muslim. For me, it was déjà vous all over again.

I wonder what it is about us Americans that we always spread the blame. In World War II, after we were attacked by Japan, we assumed that all people of Japanese ancestry were our enemies. We placed good and loyal Americans in concentration camps just because their parents or grandparents were born in Japan. After 9/11, we just assumed that all Arabs and all Muslims were our enemies. Many good and loyal Americans were the victims of hateful acts and words because of the acts of 19 criminals who happened to be Muslims. Maybe it’s just that xenophobia is built into our genetic code. But, I wonder if we’d be blaming all Baptists if the Fort Hood shooter happened to be a Baptist named Jones.

So, to American Muslims I say that I understand how you feel. It is unfortunate that the Fort Hood shooter was a Muslim. I don’t blame you or Islam for his acts. We’ve got enough problems in this country. We cannot afford to start distrusting our neighbors.


MakeArtNotWar said...

Hear hear! It needed to be said, and I'm glad that it was here.

Anonymous said...

One man to blame? What about all the folks who did nothing to stop this nut?

Roger Mc Cauley said...

Dear Maven.

I am sure that every Mother of a minority group has at one time or another expressed the same words of your Mother to you.

However, and I am sure that you knew that the however was coming, we cannot ignore the fact that this man did what he did and at this moment we do not know what his motives were and in trying to identify those motives it might be necessary to catalog a complete list of possibilities which rational people might well dismiss after careful consideration.

I condemn those moralists with hidden agendas. I also deplore those who when given the task fail to fully explore the details for whatever reason.

It is like the police say in every murder case, at the beginning everyone is a suspect.

Although the jury is still out, there is much which he has said and done which reflects on his origins. I feel that there has been too much pussyfooting on this issue which must be explored by the military to discover if they have been too lax in the past and themselves contributed to a "climate" in which "the good guys" were afraid, even, to suggest that some of the activities of the Major might be suspect.

I hope that our leaders are up to the task.