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  • johnpi 10:59 am on January 1, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Nidal Malik Nasan, , ,   

    Womb weapon in hand, Umar sez Brother Nidal Hasan had good intentions but made a bad choice.

    If only we could find it in our hearts to extend such gentle, loving reprimands and murmurs of disapproval to our American government for its bad choices.

     
    • manas 11:01 am on January 1, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      link not working!

    • Abu Noor Al-Irlandee 11:12 am on January 1, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m a firm believer that individuals can have good intentions, but governments and especially global superpowers cannot. (governments have interests, people have morality.)

      • aziz 6:20 pm on January 2, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        well said. a government is an entity, not a rational being. Morals are the sole province of reason.

    • Abu Noor Al-Irlandee 11:21 am on January 1, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      To be clear, I am not commenting on whether Nidal Hasan had good intentions…I have no idea what he was thinking, and assumptions or speculation on what he was thinking are just that.

    • Abu Noor Al-Irlandee 11:26 am on January 1, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Christopher Hitchens often argues that religions are a uniquely evil force because they can make ‘good people’ do bad things. I think that governments are often evil in that they can harness the individual efforts of people,including many with good intentions as individuals and direct them towards and justify evil, and just as religion can do, the people as individuals can remain convinced that they are ‘good people’ trying to do good.

    • bingregory 3:34 am on January 2, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Whenever people try to use good intentions to excuse bad behavior, I think of the hadith that begins:

      1617. Abu Hurayra said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘The first of people to be judged on the Day of Rising will be a man who was martyred. He will be brought and will be informed of the blessings he had and will acknowledge them. Allah will say, “What did you do with them?” He will say, “I fought for You until I was martyred.” Allah will say, “You lie. Rather you fought so it would be said, ‘A bold man!’ And so it was said.” Then the command will be given and he will be dragged on his face until he is thrown into the Fire….

      We creatures are weak enough and self-deceiving enough that our intentions may not even be our intentions in the sight of Allah.

    • Abu Noor Al-Irlandee 5:53 pm on January 2, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      In addition to that important point bingregory, it should be clear that there is a difference between the concept of niyyah, often translated as intentions, and what people usually mean in english when they say someone has or had ‘good intentions.’

      The question of niyyah refers to whether in act is done sincerely for the sake of God. As in the hadith you mentioned, it means that even if one is doing the best of actions but is doing it with some other purpose besides pleasing God, it will not be rewarded in the hereafter. If one is doing a wrong action, it does not matter if one’s niyyah is ‘good.’ which is actually a ridiculous statement to say that one has a good intention in disobeying God. If there is disagreement about whether an action is loved by God, that is a different issue.

      I think Umar is talking more generally here, that one assumes that Nidal Hassan was somehow motivated by his love for his fellow Muslims and his opposition to wars that kill Muslims and it is good that he had those feelings,but his action was still a mistake, but as I said that is basically speculation at this point.

  • johnpi 7:33 am on November 13, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Nidal Malik Nasan, ,   

    Time magazine: Nidal Hasan marks ‘a whole new terrorism war.’

    Weekly news magazines like Time and Newsweek, which each have a circulation of between 3 and 4 million, can’t ‘break’ news stories because they are weekly, so their coverage tends to be more like what is called ‘second-day coverage’ where they are offering analysis, predictions, repercussions, the ‘bigger picture,’ etc. Both Time and Newsweek have become much more conservative in orientation through the 1980s and 1990s.

    For eight years, Americans have waged a Global War on Terrorism even as they argued about what that meant. The massacre at Fort Hood was, depending on whom you believed, yet another horrific workplace shooting by a nutcase who suddenly snapped, or it was an intimate act of war, a plot that can’t be foiled because it is hatched inside a fanatic’s head and leaves no trail until it is left in blood. In their first response, officials betrayed an eagerness to assume it was the first; the more we learn, the more we have cause to fear it was the second, a new battlefield where our old weapons don’t work very well and our values make us vulnerable: freedom, privacy, tolerance and the stubborn American certainty that people born and raised here will not reject the gifts we share.

    Even as the President weighs how to fight the wars he inherited, he and the entire U.S. security apparatus will have to figure out how you fight a war against an enemy you can’t recognize, much less understand. In that sense, the war on terrorism has left the battlefield and moved to the realm of the mind.

    This an excerpt to the main story in what appears to be “package coverage” with a number of sidebars and smaller stories linked off of it.

     
  • johnpi 11:21 am on November 12, 2009 Permalink
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    The very right-wing Washington Times is reporting that FBI sources are telling them that Nidal Malik Hasan was in contact with other people identified as Islamic extremists besides al-Awlaki, who are located in both the US and overseas.

    Maj. Hasan made some of the contacts while visiting known jihadist chat rooms on the Internet, according to one of The Times’ sources, a senior FBI official. He said that several people with whom Maj. Hasan was in contact had been the focus of investigations by the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force.
    ….

    Both officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case, said some of the names of those with whom Maj. Hasan was in contact will likely be released soon.

    The FBI official said that could happen during pending congressional hearings into the massacre.

    A military intelligence official adds:

    “Those connections, except for Awlaki, could be explained innocently. But all of them together form a very concerning picture.”

    “I may run into contact with shady people through coincidence, through social events, etc.,” he said. “But at some point you start saying like, ‘Huh? Why are you coming in contact with all these charming people?’ “

    Sometimes the Washington Times does journalism, so this is worth noting.

     
    • Abu Noor Al-Irlandee 1:19 pm on November 12, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This is “journalism,” John? Some unnamed people are claiming that he had undescribed “contacts” with unnamed people who “may have been the subject of investigations.” Wow.

      By the way, the one guy you guys seem to be judging as someone no “innocent” person could have contacts with, al-Awlaki, is I am pretty sure the second most popular speaker (in terms of purchase or download of audio lectures) amongst Western Muslims (to Hamza Yusuf) over the last 10 years.

      This doesn’t mean that all the people who listen to al-Awlaki agree with everything he says, I actually haven’t heard anyone defend the Ft. Hood incident or his alleged endorsement of it, but let me put it this way.

      To say al-Awlaki’s recently expressed views are on the fringe of the community is accurate, but to try to characterize him as a fringe figure is just not correct.

      I’m just saying this because I’m sometimes not sure if Muslims who run in progressive circles or who don’t attend mosques regularly or ISNA conventions or whatever just have a different experience of the Muslim community in America but one would be wrong to underestimate the following and influence of al-Awlaki among a large cohort of western Muslims.

      • null 1:41 pm on November 12, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        al-Awlaki, is I am pretty sure the second most popular speaker (in terms of purchase or download of audio lectures) amongst Western Muslims (to Hamza Yusuf) over the last 10 years.

        Whoa, I had no idea. Hamza Yusuf & Zaid Shakir are names I’m familiar with from the US Muslim blogosphere, but I’m really surprised to hear that al-Awlaki is/was a well known figure. The first I’ve heard of him is since Fort Hood.

    • abunoor 1:56 pm on November 12, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Null,

      That’s why I mentioned it, because I was not entirely clear what the perception was of others here at TI. Of course my own perception is undoubtedly shaped by my own circles, which is why I hedged by statement a little.

      It would be hard to come up with any objective measure. I tried to point towards cd sales or something like that, but it should be noted that al-Awlaki has made it clear for several years that he did not support copyright enforcement of Islamic materials and I don’t think there’s been any attempt to rein in piracy of his audio, which is widely available for free over the internet.

      He has very popular and well received sets about the Lives of the Prophets and the HereAfter as well as on the Lives of Prophet Muhammad, Abu Bakr, and Umar. As he has become more radical after leaving the United States, he has also done sets on fiqh of jihad which are less widely listened to, but are also available.

      Allah knows best.

      • null 2:04 pm on November 12, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thank you for that. Are you familiar with his lectures? Are his sets on the lives of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the Companions the traditional stories we all know, or do they have a ‘radical’ spin to them?

    • abunoor 2:55 pm on November 12, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Null, I am familiar with them. Largely the material will be familiar to you if you’ve studied seerah or history of the Khulafa’ Rashidun. The earlier material has a “revivalist” take on the material which is noticeable but not jarringly so. (I guess everything depends on what we are comparing it to)

      The most recent set out of these historical ones to come out actually was the Seerah of Prophet Muhammad (saw) which is divided into the Meccan and two sets on the Madani period. The first two sets came out a little while ago, the final set more recently. This was during a time where Awlaki was emphasizing the importance of jihad and it certainly shows in the sets but to be honest, it would be relatively hard to get around the fact that the history of the Prophet’s ten years in Madinah involved several military campaigns and certainly most traditional seerah books will focus a good deal of attention on these campaigns. (The whole science of seerah or biography of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) was actually more commonly known as Maghazi literature or history of battles). Of course this is true of much of classical history (Muslim and other than Muslim) in general that it focused on political rivalries and military battles.

    • abunoor 2:56 pm on November 12, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I would actually recommend the series on Lives of the Prophets to any Muslim. It is well put together.

  • johnpi 7:15 am on November 10, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Nidal Malik Nasan   

    A Hindu writer at Forbes magazine has coined a new term he hopes catches on: ‘Going Muslim’ a play on a term that has existed in American popular culture for awhile, ‘Going postal.’

    “Going postal” is a piquant American phrase that describes the phenomenon of violent rage in which a worker–archetypically a postal worker–“snaps” and guns down his colleagues.

    As the enormity of the actions of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan sinks in, we must ask whether we are confronting a new phenomenon of violent rage, one we might dub–disconcertingly–“Going Muslim.” This phrase would describe the turn of events where a seemingly integrated Muslim-American–a friendly donut vendor in New York, say, or an officer in the U.S. Army at Fort Hood–discards his apparent integration into American society and elects to vindicate his religion in an act of messianic violence against his fellow Americans. This would appear to be what happened in the case of Maj. Hasan.

    The difference between “going postal,” in the conventional sense, and “going Muslim,” in the sense that I suggest, is that there would not necessarily be a psychological “snapping” point in the case of the imminently violent Muslim; instead, there could be a calculated discarding of camouflage–the camouflage of integration–in an act of revelatory catharsis.

    The writer, Tunku Varadarajan, goes on to complain about ‘political correctness,’ as so many other articles of this ilk have.

     
    • null 8:02 am on November 10, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Horrid.

      If nothing else, these types of tragedies at least give us a sense of realism of just how many bigots there are. People who write in the crudest terms possible, demonising whole communities, and simultaneously have the gall to evoke “political correctness” to demonstrate how muffled their voices are.

      I don’t think I’ve seen anyone in the last 8 years hide their true feelings about just how much they hate Muslims. I have seen every second detractor talk about how victimised they are under the weight of political correctness. It’s not that their hate is irrational and wrong headed. It’s that everyone who doesn’t share their bigotry is a coward. Predictable and sad.

      • shams 9:55 am on November 10, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Well…I think you are……intellectual cowards for refusing to admit al-haqq about the WEC.

        • johnpi 10:05 am on November 10, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          The troll speaks. I see…you’ve decided you’re going to hijack this thread today.

          You need to be clear though…what is ‘the truth’ about white evangelical Christians, Shams?

          • shams 10:07 am on November 10, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            That they believe they own the truth and have the right…nay duty, to impose it on the whole of the world.
            Ya-haqq!

            • null 10:25 am on November 10, 2009 Permalink

              WECs!/ Caravan of Love/ talibengelicals/ My Shayk Ghazali/ I guess I’m just too much of a free thinker for you/ meddling reavers!/ I’m victimised here because I’m a sufi/ social brain theory/ proselytizing child molesters!/ disagree with me?! I guess you just don’t care about al haqq like I do/ etc etc

              I get it, I get it. Save your breath. I can’t keep up with your ctrl c+v arguments, and I won’t be responding.

            • shams 11:23 am on November 10, 2009 Permalink

              You forgot dihliz.
              You see null…to me the price of admission to the Conversation of the dihliz is self-knowledge.
              As long as the evangelical protestation for their do-gooder fuckery is but we just did it out of love! …..they can can never enter the conversation.

              bi la kayfah

          • shams 10:09 am on November 10, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            And worse……that whatever pain and blood and chaos they cause….they are doing it for our. own. good….because they love us.

            • johnpi 10:20 am on November 10, 2009 Permalink

              The purpose of your comment is to sweep up all ‘WECs’ and tar them with the same brush, for purposes of demagoguing for hate.

              Having had this conversation with you before, I know where this leads: You don’t really want to criticize doctrine, you want to validate using the term ‘WEC’ in the same way others use words like ‘kike,’ ‘nigger,’ ‘Paki,’ then engage in frequent, vicarious expressions of hatred all over the blog that contribute nothing to the conversation except malice and hatred.

              I continue to maintain that the ethical, responsible thing for the blog owner to do is to ban you from the blog as a troll.

            • shams 11:44 am on November 10, 2009 Permalink

              ?????

            • shams 11:49 am on November 10, 2009 Permalink

              ?????

            • shams 11:57 am on November 10, 2009 Permalink

              also Johnpi…..WEC is a choice, unlike nigger, paki, kike, etc.

            • johnpi 12:09 pm on November 10, 2009 Permalink

              At least you admit the kind of categorization (and the conduct that flows from it) that you are going for…

            • shams 12:23 pm on November 10, 2009 Permalink

              Yes, exactly, WEC is more like……Klanner, Neo-Nazi, or Stormfront trooper!
              Its a choice ;)

    • shams 12:24 pm on November 10, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Gee, since Aziz won’t ban me, Johnpi is now childishly deleting my comments.
      niice

    • johnpi 2:47 pm on November 10, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The Gawker blogger saw fit to mock this column today:

      Yes, I’ve heard of cases of Muslims shedding their “American” skins like so many reptilian aliens from ‘V.’ Provocative point, Respectable Columnist Tunku Varadarajan. Vote for your favorite outrage now!

    • Vijay 8:15 pm on November 13, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m a Hindu too, and I wrote this: http://www.counterpunch.org/prashad11132009.html

  • johnpi 11:26 pm on November 9, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , , Nidal Malik Nasan, , , , , , ,   

    Asra Nomani has discovered a man who attends the Silver Springs, MD Muslim Community Center who said he had many, many conversations with Nidal Malik Hasan about religious topics.

    …a closer look behind the doors of the mosque and inside the conversations between the engineer and the doctor reveal a more complex picture of a young first-generation American Muslim man living a life of dissonance between his identity as an American and his ideology as a Muslim who had accepted a literal, rigid interpretation of Islam, akin to the puritanical Wahhabi and Salafi interpretations of Islam that define the theology of militancy inside the Muslim world today, according to community members who knew Hasan.

    Along the way of reporting and describing the two men’s conversations, Nomani has a critique of the common use of the word “ummah” among some in the Muslim world today.

    It’s critical that we ditch the concept of the “ummah” with a capital “U” and recognize that we are an “ummah” with a small “u,” meaning our religious identity doesn’t have to supersede other loyalties and identities. This attempt to push an “Ummah” is the politics of ideologues of puritanical Islam who want to mollify dissent. Sadly, too many moderates have bought into it. We aren’t monolithic, and we shouldn’t try to be. Look at al Qaeda, the Taliban and Pakistani militant groups: They don’t have a problem with killing Muslims, slaying Muslims in attacks from Amman, Jordan, to Islamabad, Pakistan.

     
    • Buzz 11:42 pm on November 9, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It’s critical that we ditch the concept of the “ummah” with a capital “U” and recognize that we are an “ummah” with a small “u,” meaning our religious identity doesn’t have to supersede other loyalties and identities. This attempt to push an “Ummah” is the politics of ideologues of puritanical Islam who want to mollify dissent. Sadly, too many moderates have bought into it.

      *zing*

    • Len 11:21 am on November 10, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Fine points and all.

      But:

      As a Muslim-American writer-activist, challenging rules that banish women to the back corners of mosques, I have been told that I must stay quiet so as not to cause “fitna,” or division, inside the community.

      Five years ago, in an email to community members, a member of the board of trustees of the Muslim Community Center argued one of my objectives was to “create fitna (chaos) in the community.”

      Damn, she is still eating off that isn’t she?

      • aziz 11:35 am on November 10, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        yes. Everything always relates back to Morgantown. Morgantown was the Alamo. Morgantown was Karbala. Morgantown was Alpha and Omega. All roads lead to Morgantown. There is no Mosque but Morgantown, and Asra Nomani is its Prophet.

  • johnpi 3:54 pm on November 9, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Nidal Malik Nasan, ,   

    The spokesman for the American Family Association, a right-wing group, has issued a statement calling for the purging of Muslim soldiers from US military ranks.

    From the statement:

    “Of course, most U.S. Muslims don’t shoot up their fellow soldiers. Fine. As soon as Muslims give us a foolproof way to identify their jihadis from their moderates, we’ll go back to allowing them to serve. You tell us who the ones are that we have to worry about, prove you’re right, and Muslims can once again serve. Until that day comes, we simply cannot afford the risk. You invent a jihadi-detector that works every time it’s used, and we’ll welcome you back with open arms.”

    “This is not Islamophobia, it is Islamo-realism.”

    Meanwhile, the relatives of one of the victims has spoken out against the collective scapegoating of Muslims.

    “You can’t blanket a whole group of people. There’s extremists in every religion, and there’s extremists all over the world,” said Cahill’s daughter, Kerry. “And I don’t think that we can blanket a whole group of people when this man obviously was ill, I think.”

    Cahill’s other daughter, Keely Vanacker, expanded: “The death of our father, or any of these victims, shouldn’t be an excuse or reason to begin to hate an entire group of people.”

     
    • aziz 4:02 pm on November 9, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      likewise, at RedState:

      One of the enduring fallacies of the Bush Administration’s prosecution of the War on Terror was the refusal to admit that islam was neither peaceful in nature nor a disinterested observer in the war. This is not to say that all muslims are members of al-Qaeda, but to blithely ignore the religious dimension of the war was simply wrongheaded. To continue to ignore the particular vulnerability of muslim troops and officers to the propaganda on the grounds and label that very unremarkable observation as being racist or xenophobic is a fatal error. As we saw yesterday at Fort Hood.

      an “unremarkable” observation, eh? reminds me of the quote about the banality of evil.

      btw please add “conservatives” and “conservatism” to the tags

  • johnpi 1:27 pm on November 9, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , , Nidal Malik Nasan   

    ABC is also reporting that Nidal Malik Hasan tried to contact al Qaida.

    ABC News is reporting that U.S. agencies were aware months ago that Fort Hood shooting suspect Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan sought to contact people associated with al Qaida, according two American officials familiar with the case. “It is not known whether the intelligence agencies informed the Army that one of its officers was seeking to connect with suspected al Qaeda figures, the officials said,” ABC writes.

     
    • johnpi 5:39 pm on November 9, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      NBC News reports that Hasan exchanged emails with Anwar al-Awlaki, but it concerned a general question about Muslims serving in the military and ‘not specific or threatening in any manner.’

  • johnpi 11:23 am on November 9, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Nidal Malik Nasan, , ,   

    A convert who was being advised through his conversion in the ways of the deen by Hasan refused to denounce Fort Hood attack.

    It’s been my experience that new converts often get approached by the ‘most hardcore of Muslims.’ This shows further the wisdom of the local imam who refused to recommend Hasan for a lay Muslim leadership position at Fort Hood.

    The convert’s name is Duane Reasoner.

    “He said he should quit the Army,” Reasoner said. “In the Koran, you’re not supposed to have alliances with Jews or Christian or others, and if you are killed in the military fighting against Muslims, you will go to hell.”

    But when he was interviewed by Gavin Lee of the BBC, he went further.

    Even if the Muslims involved are engaged in acts of indiscriminate violence against you and other Muslims?

    Update: I’ve changed my earlier wording from “the most strident among us” to a phrase Asra Nomani used.

    (More …)

     
  • johnpi 10:52 am on November 9, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , Nidal Malik Nasan   

    The abbreviations on Hasan’s business card, according to Pamela Geller, stand for “Soldier of Allah, Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala.”

    Photobucket

     
    • hakim 6:30 am on November 10, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      How does she know it stands for “Soldier”? “Servant” and “Slave” also begin with the letter S.

  • johnpi 8:11 am on November 9, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , Nidal Malik Nasan   

    A reporter who covered the Columbine high school massacre responds to the question of whether there are similarities with the Fort Hood attack.

    The Ft. Hood perpetrator appears pretty transparent. The “obvious” factors include:

    His religion
    His ethnicity
    The ridicule he endured for each
    His profession as a soldier
    His profession as a psychiatrist
    His exposure to guns
    Relentless exposure to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in his patients
    Opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
    Imminent deployment there

    We have heard a lot of facts related to each of those factors already. I expect that most will turn to be true. Historically, we get the what right pretty fast. But we have a terrible record on why. An oddsmaker could reasonably predict that some of those items will prove relevant and others true but unrelated to the crime. The problem is predicting which is which.

    If we guess now, the myths will be us forever. Ten years after Columbine, most of the public still believes it was about jocks, Goths and the Trench Coat Mafia. No, no and no.

     
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