Friday, November 6, 2009

Major Nidal Malik Hasan

The 'Guardian' reports that, according to  Lieutenant General Robert Cone, the base commander, Major Nidal Malik Hasan shouted "Allahu Akbar" as he killed 13 and wounded 30 people. Perhaps, he did, perhaps he didn't, but we can be fairly certain that Hasan did not shoot people because he thought God was great. No, it is to his cousin Hasan that we should look if we want to discover his motives.

In another report in the 'Guardian' his cousin, Nader Hasan, said that Major Nidal Malik was someone "... who did not enjoy going to the firing range." and that that may have been a consequence of the stories he had heard in the hospital wards from the returning soldiers. He then added that althoug Nidal had been born in America, he had suffered harassment from fellow soldiers who questioned his loyalty to the US and commented on his Middle East ethnicity and that as a Muslim, he was upset at the killing of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

If we add to that the fact that Nidal was the son of Palestinians from a village near Jerusalem, who described himself as being of Palestinian descent,  we can see a picture emerging a very alienated American, a devout muslim, who found himself wearing the uniform of a country that was facilitating the dispossesion of his father's people and whose job, no doubt, exposed him to horror tales of what was happening to the civilian populations of Iraq and Afghanistan. It might just be that when Nidal decided that he was no longer willing to contribute to those crimes he decided to also deprive others of a their opportunity. Finally, a one time colleague, Colonel Terry Lee, has been reported as saying that only recently Hasan had said that the US should not be involved in Iraq and Afghanistan and that "Muslims should stand up and fight the aggressor". Yes, it might indeed have been that in killing and injuring his comrades at Fort Hood, Major Nidal Malik Hasan thought that he was fighting the aggressor.

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