The horrific shooting on the Fort Hood military base in Texas has the potential to turn very, very nasty on a national level. The fact that a Muslim man appears to be responsible for the killing of 12 U.S soldiers will do little to calm the fragile relations between Americans and the Islamic world.
The truth is, no one really knows what happened yet, or why – but we can expect the far Right to use this as a weapon to smear Muslims (and as it now appears, Obama). Michelle Malkin is already on the case, providing a long list of reasons why Islam was the driving reason behind Nidal Hassan’s murderous outburst.
Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t – we can at least wait until a thorough investigation has been completed before casting judgment.
It should also be remembered that other U.S soldiers have been found guilty of mass murder due to severe stress disorders from war, and I don’t recall pundits like Malkin scrutinizing their religion (Christian soldiers suffer from combat stress, but Muslims don’t apparently). Although Hasan was never deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, it’s impossible to tell what his psychological state was before the shooting. And since we don’t know, we shouldn’t judge.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.