Hassan’s Supervisors Worried He Was Psychotic Before Rampage
Throughout the aftermath of the Ft. Hood shooting, I’ve argued that we shouldn’t rush to judgment blaming Islam for Nidal Hassan’s aberrant behavior. If anyone was at fault it was Hassan himself and the tremendous stress under which he was placed as an army psychiatrist about to be deployed to the Afghan war zone.
Now NPR has broken open a new aspect of this story (audio). As early as 18 months ago, Hassan’s supervisors at Walter Reed Hospital met regularly and discussed Hassan’s bizarre behavior and substandard performance. Hassan was consistently given substandard evaluations and reprimanded for proselytizing patients. His superiors even worried whether he might leak military secrets to the enemy if he deployed to the war zone. They pondered whether he might be capable of the type of fragging incident another Muslim soldier perpetrated against fellow soldiers. They also noted bizarre, disjointed communication and behavior.
The chief of psychiatry at Walter Reed attempted to begin the process of getting rid of Hassan by approaching two key academic committees. They both refused. Instead, they told the chief that Hassan was about to leave Walter Reed on a fellowship. They should let him go and hope he does better there.
Instead the faculty at the new institution thought his work was “terrible” and they were troubled about his “state of mind.” They called him “disconnected,” belligerent,” “aloof.” After handing in a research paper that his professors found little more than a “religious diatribe,” supervisors worried that he might be “descending into psychosis.”
Despite all this and extraordinarily, none of these individuals ordered Hassan to have a mental health exam or therapy. Talk about dysfunction. And further, Hassan’s supervisors knew nothing of the 20 e-mails he sent to the radical Imam Al-Awlaki in Yemen. Intelligence officials claims they told Walter Reed officials about the e mail traffic (though Hassan was at the time no longer working there and the message seems not to have been relayed to those he was working with). This seems like a repeat of the compartmentalization dividing the FBI and CIA, which enabled 9/11.
The NPR reporter notes that Hassan’s supervisors wanted him sent away “where he wouldn’t hurt anyone.” So they sent him to Ft. Hood because, ironically, it had a full complement of psychiatrists and other mental health personnel who could “support and monitor him.” One of those supervisors even said, “we all hoped that Hassan would sort of disappear at Ft. Hood.” Indeed.
Look, if you’re Daniel Pipes or Steve Emerson there’s plenty here for you to feast on. But if you’re a reasonable person you realize that Nidal Hassan was not Osama bin Laden. Instead, he was a mentally ill individual whose sickness allowed him to twist and distort his religious beliefs to serve his psychosis. Clearly, the army is deeply to blame for this mess. The system of passing substandard personnel on to the next post out of bureaucratic lethargy; and hoping they will somehow disappear or magically heal themselves and become benign, brought this catastrophe.
In fact, this reminds me a bit of Hurricane Katrina: you have a once a century natural disaster compounded by the utter incompetence of those officials who were supposed to protect public safety. The hurricane was bad enough. But when you realize how many things could have been done both before and after the disaster to ameliorate the problem and weren’t; then a disaster becomes a man-made tragedy.
77 thoughts on “Hassan’s Supervisors Worried He Was Psychotic Before Rampage – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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So long as we keep firmly in mind that the man’s beliefs had nothing to do with his actions, we’ll be alright, won’t we Richard? Nor his ethnic identity with the fact none of his supervisors was willing to step forward and say the obvious.
These are the “beliefs” of a deeply mentally ill and unstable individual. Can you call such bizarre aberrant erratic thoughts patterns “beliefs?”
And do you know anything about mental illness? I do. Those who are mentally ill are not able to ponder ideas & issues the way you or I might. Do you understand this? Or do you think this man is Osama bin Laden?
Yaacov would rather believe he is Osama bin Laden simply because his own beliefs are so strong. Hasan is so obviously mentally ill, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that he was exhibiting strange behavior which should have spurred his superiors to dealing with him before he got to the “acting out” stage, which of course didn’t happen. Yaacov is happier with an explanation that comforts his prejudices, that Hasan was some sort of secret jihadist who lucidly plotted to kill those soldiers in the name of Allah, or whatever.
There is so much information out there on mental illness and its manifestations that even the average person should be able to understand on some level that Hasan follows along in a history of people who went berserk and became violent. He could have been a postal worker (enough of those people acted out their psychotic anger to coin the phrase “going postal” and none of them were Muslims), a sniper, an Oklahoma City bomber. Maybe Yaacov has mental issues of his own, an irrational fear of Muslims that he needs to address.
Yes, I suppose it could be that. I’ll have to check. Tho truth be told, Mary, if you’re already enumerating possibilites, the one about Islamists killing innocents could be added to your list, don’t you think? There are such people, you know.
In the meantime, may I suggest to all you experts that matters such as these are supposed to be decided in a legal process which is heavily fact-determined? It’s called a trial, and, depending on the legal system, the outcome is determined by a jury, or perhaps judges. The political opinions of bloggers are quite irrelevant, one way or the other.
I expect that sometime, a year or three from now, there will be such a legal verdict of Hassan. It may state that he was mentally impaired to the extent he was unable to understand the significance of his actions. It could be, and in that case Richard here will be able to feel exonerated on this particular matter. It may be that the court will determine that Hassan lucidly murdered people in cold blood because his ideology led him to belive that was the right thing to do.
Both are possible, both have happened in the past, and no-one commenting here on Richard’s blog has remotely enough information to even begin making the judgement. So I suggest we withhold pronouncing on what we can’t know.
When the time comes, I expect long since not to be reading Richard’s blog anymore, but those of you still around can see if he got it right or not.
I’m willing to agree that Hassan might have been a jihadist, but the evidence Richard describes here makes it likely that he was mentally ill, unless NPR has the story wrong. Jihadists aren’t usually mentally ill, from what I understand–certainly it took a lot of planning to pull off 9/11, for instance, and it’s hard to imagine a mentally ill person doing that. But simply loading some pistols and shooting is a different story.
In a logical world, this wouldn’t matter that much. There might someday be some more 9/11 type jihadists who will stage a terrorist attack, and there will always be some crazy people who go berserk. Which category Hassan falls in has no deep long term significance regarding how we treat Muslims, for instance.
Donald, the only reason you think Hasan “might have been a jihadist” is because he happens to be a Muslim. Guess what ? This is bigotry. Profiling.
“Jihadist”. Another term that, along with the equally meaningless “radical Imam” (or “radical cleric”) and “moderate Muslim” (and “moderate Arab”), should be permanently banned from rational discourse.
I wholeheartedly agree with you, Shirin. I’ve beein railing against the term “jihadist” (and also “jihadi”) for a long time. The true and beautiful meaning of the word “jihad” has been distorted by the media, and for heaven’s sake, what is a “moderate Muslim,” is it someone who isn’t a terrorist? “Radical imam” is another one that makes no sense and sends a negative message. Can we not use these words?
Is that just when they started meeting about it, or when it seriously began? The man (Hassan) seems more and more like a totally unbalanced nutjob and religious fanatic, but it would help to know when he started falling apart.
He should have been sent there as a patient – or at the very least, discharged from service. The man was clearly starting to show strong signs of mental illness, and in any case was in no position to do the job he was trained for. Instead we got cowardly ass-covering from his superiors. Here’s hoping some heads roll.
He actually received substandard evaluations “for years” according to the NPR report. But the real deterioration began 18 months ago.
You’re funny, Richard. I’m closely connected to one of our top mental-health experts around, and a chunk of my time routinely goes into discussions related to the field. It’s not my personal expertize, mind you, but I’m comfortable in stating that compared to most non-experts, I know a lot about the field.
On the other hand, one need not be an expert to know that your statement about what mentally ill people can or cannot ponder is, well, non-factual. I think back many years to my college days: the best professor I ever had, and a world-renowned expert in his field, was a man who routinely went in and out of mental hospitals.
Anyway, no-one knows how pathologically unstable this Hassan fellow is or isn’t. That’s a determination that needs to be made by the appropriate experts, and they’ll have to examine Hassan, not read media reports invented by folks who’re interviewing other folks about things that many of the observers wouldn’t be able to comment one way or the other. Meanwhile, the fact that Hassan was influenced by Islamist ideology seems likely, and the fact he corresponded with an ideologue of terrorism is apparently cold fact.
You really ought to be more careful, Richard.
How is corresponding with an “ideologue of terrorism” germane to the fact that the man is obviously mentally ill? And isn’t the term “ideologue of terrorism” a personal conclusion, and not a fact?
You seem willing to go with sensational media reports touting Hasan as a terrorist, but you argue with anything that points to the issue of mental illness.
I don’t know what being “closely connected to a mental health expert” means frankly. But I have enough direct experience in this field to know what I’m talking about. Have you ever actually talked to someone who is seriously mentally ill? I’m not talking about a college professor who is high functioning albeit mentally impaired. I’m talking about someone who is very ill and has trouble knowing the difference bet. reality and their own fantasy world, someone whose mental functioning, communication & ideation is disjointed as Hassan’s was. I seriously doubt you have or you would know better than to spout the stuff you do.
Once again wrong & you’d know that if you bothered to spend 5 minutes listening to the NPR story which quotes psychiatrists (the “experts” you claim haven’t yet made that determination) who directly supervised & worked with him as saying he was possible “psychotic” & they worried that he might harm his fellow soldiers. So yes, many knew how pathologically unstable he was though no one had the guts to really do something about it; or else those who did couldn’t buck the system.
As is the “fact” that the subject matter of all of his e mails were examined by intelligence experts who judged them to deal solely with religious-theological questions about Islam and not questions of jihad or any other terror-related query.
It’s you who are sloppy & careless in yr ramblings, I’m afraid.
“he corresponded with an ideologue of terrorism”
Wow! “ideologue of terrorism”! You should copyright that term quick before someone else takes credit for it. In the mean time, though, it appears based on reports from the agency that monitored that correspondence that Dr. Nidal was asking questions that legitimately pertained to some research he was doing at Walter Reed, and not to any aspect of terrorism. It also appears, according to those same sources, that the aforementioned “ideologue of terrorism” only responded to a few of Dr. Nidal’s inquiries.
Well folks, you’ll be happy to know I’ve developed this idea a bit further over at my place; my idea was to compare your rush to exonerate Hassan with the people around Jewish murderer Jack Teital who are all distancing themselves from him and condemning him for his actions.
Since no one here has condoned Hassan’s actions and Muslim groups have condemned his actions, you are arguing with strawmen. If Teital shows signs of being mentally ill, I’d say that was relevant in determining how guilty he is just as it is for Hassan.
It is a serious violation of blog etiquette to use another person’s blog to boost your own content. If I wanted to promote yr blog I would and I don’t. You can allow interested parties to find you discretely through providing a link to yr blog with yr comment which you have done. That’s all you need to do. Pls. don’t announce to us what you’ve done or writtten at yr blog. It’s actually a pretty big load of chutzpah to think that anyone here might actually be interested. But if they are a simple link will do w/o the self-promotion.
They were probably afraid to discipline Hassan, because they were afraid that Eric Holder might prosecute them for it. If I were an FBI or CIA employee, this would be a consideration for me
These were Walter Reed Hospital psychiatrists, not FBI or CIA agents. And they weren’t afraid of criminal prosecution. They were afraid of a lawsuit filed by Hassan himself.
The U.S. has a long history of denying, minimizing and neglecting the issue of mental illness. I think this is true of other countries with only a few exceptions. (Argentina springs to my mind).
The current O magazine has a poignant essay by the mother of one of the boys who perpetrated the Columbine massacre. She is now devoting herself to suicide prevention…
I’m sorry I don’t have the link handy, but I recommend it. It is heartbreaking and thought-provoking…
From the NPR article: “Both fellow students and faculty were deeply troubled by Hasan’s behavior — which they variously called disconnected, aloof, paranoid, belligerent, and schizoid. The officials say he antagonized some students and faculty by espousing what they perceived to be extremist Islamic views. His supervisors at Walter Reed had even reprimanded him for telling at least one patient that “Islam can save your soul.””
These are signs of personality disorders and not necessarily psychosis.
Anther quote: “some of Hasan’s supervisors and instructors had told colleagues that they repeatedly bent over backward to support and encourage him, because they didn’t have clear evidence that he was unstable, and they worried they might be “discriminating” against Hasan because of his seemingly extremist Islamic beliefs.” (Interesting-maybe they were intimidated by those people who see racists and Islamophobes everywhere).
Zero evidence has been presented by the MSM that Hassan was psychotic or unable to understand the consequences of his actions. All the evidence points to a man having an extreme ideological belief in Islam which according to his understanding prohibited him from joining non-Muslim soldiers in waging war against Muslims on “Muslim soil.” Murdering unarmed American soldiers on American soil, not against his religion as he understands it.
Did you not catch that I used the word “psychotic” in quotes in my post noting that this was a word used not once, but twice in the NPR story in which the reporter quoted his fellow psycchiatrists and supervisors as believing that “he was descending into psychosis.” Is this just sloppiness on yr part or willful misreading?
“All” the evidence? Really. You mean all the evidence except what doesn’t, which is considerable?
One problem I see here is “all or nothing” thinking. If a person is mentally unstable, it doesn’t mean that he *is not* motivated by Islamic ideology. There doesn’t have to be a contradiction.
And Mr. Silverstein, I find it disturbing that you assume with no grounds whatsoever that Hasan twisted and distorted his religious beliefs. I think if you were to care and check that everything Hasan presented in his Powerpoint presentation has the backing of traditional Islamic authorities. It is not a twisting or distortion; his quotes of the Koran and Hadith are accurate.
Yes, in just the same way that Jack Teitel, Asher Weissgan, Yigal Amir & Baruch Goldstein’s terror rampages had the backing of traditional Jewish religious authorities. Aye, but the question is WHICH authorities? Of course, there are religious authorities in almost every tradition who will justify the most disgusting twisting of that tradition for evil. But these alleged authorities no more represent the mainstream understanding of their respective traditions than George Bush represented the highest values of the U.S. constitution.
And you’re an expert on Islam how precisely?
Whether or not I’m an expert on Islam is immaterial here. How, exactly, did Hasan twist Islam? You have merely asserted this as though it were fact without presenting any specifics, backed by anybody of a “mainstream understanding”. Whereas there are passages in “Reliance of the Traveler” and “Islam and Modernism” back him up. The former is pretty darn mainstream Islam.
Please provide some specific examples of “twisting”, and then we can talk.
Anyone can take snippets of biblical passages and twist it for their own needs, even if they run contrary to the general tenets of the faith.
I’m not disagreeing with you, B.BarNavi, but all I want is some specific examples, and not mere assertions that Hasan twisted anything.
I hear over and over and over that terrorists have twisted Islam, but I never hear exactly how. I just want anything resembling evidence.
“I hear over and over and over that terrorists have twisted Islam, but I never hear exactly how. I just want anything resembling evidence.”
Now you are just being disingenuous, since you have already indicated strongly that you know the views of “traditional Islamic authorities” and are very conversant with the Koran (sic) and the Hadith, and therefore you have all the evidence you need based on your own level of knowledge.
Of course it’s immaterial to YOU. But not to us. Whether you know anything about Islam other than what you read in Islamophobic trash tracts is quite relevant to our judgment of you.
You may think that the “Reliance of the Traveler” is an “Islamophobic trash tract” but that’s where it says this:
“ Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and, is etymologically derived from the word, mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion [of Islam]…The scriptural basis for jihad is such Koranic verses as ‘Fighting is prescribed for you’ (Koran 2:216); ‘Slay them wherever you find them’ (Koran 4:89); ‘Fight the idolators utterly’ (Koran 9:36); and such hadiths as the one related by (Sahih) Bukhari and (Sahih) Muslim [NOTE: cited in slide 43 of Hasan’s 6/7/07 presentation] that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: ‘I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and perform the prayer, and pay zakat. If they say it, they have saved their blood and possessions from me, except for the rights of Islam over them. And the final reckoning is with Allah’; and the hadith by (Sahih) Muslim, ‘To go forth in the morning or evening to fight in the path of Allah is better than the whole world and everything in it.’ ”
You have yet to provide any examples of where Mr. Hasan twisted his religion.
I have only seen the Reliance of the Traveller in Arabic.
David is providing what to me looks like a misleading translation.
It is worthwhile to compare the misleading translation with a popular saying of Shim`on bar Yohai.
The translation is correct, but I am not providing the context.
“The best of the heathen merits death; the best of serpents should have its head crushed; and the most pious of women is prone to sorcery” (Yer. Ḳid. iv. 66c; Massek. Soferim xv. 10).
“Whether or not I’m an expert on Islam is immaterial here. ”
No it’s not. By implication you have presented yourself as an authority on traditional Islamic authorities, the Qur’an, and the Hadith. Therefore how you gained your knowledge of Islam is entirely material in evaluating your argument.
Mr. Silverstein asserted, with no examples that Mr. Hasan had twisted his religion. I simply want evidence from the man making the assertion. I mean, from what I know (see my quotation of the Sunni manual of orthodoxy “The Reliance of the Traveler”), Mr. Hasan did not twist anything.
Is it so far-fetched that I ask someone to back up his assertion (and in this case, one that many people have made without any examples)?
And how anyone gains knowledge is, in fact, immaterial to whether the knowledge is accurate or not.
“I think if you were to care and check that everything Hasan presented in his Powerpoint presentation has the backing of traditional Islamic authorities.”
What possible point are you trying to make with this? That his powerpoint presentation is somehow representative of his psyche and mental state?
Give us just a small break. This is the most farfetched and weird implication, that a powerpoint presentation should be looked at in such a way. Hasan has been reported by many sources as severely disturbed, delusional, etc., and you are focusing on his powerpoint presentation? What??
Mr. Silverstein asserted with no concrete examples whatsoever, that Mr. Hasan had twisted his religion. I’m stating that his presentation of his religion; his Powerpoint presentation, is not twisted at all, and is in line with traditional Islamic authorities; “The Reliance of the Traveler” certified by Al-Azhar University as orthodox Sunni doctrine for one.
Please try and follow the thread. I’m discussing whether Mr. Hasan twisted his religion and I have not seen proof he has; merely bare assertions. That is why I’m focusing on his Powerpoint presentation. It may not be representative of his psyche, but it’s representative of his understanding of Islam.
I don’t think his understanding of Islam matters here at all, because Islam has not been established as the reason for what he did. Thus, his powerpoint presentation doesn’t matter; it is merely being used in the media to prop up the anti-Islam publicity in this matter.
If a Christian committed mass murder, would you go snooping into his church? Would you speculate whether his Christianity was a violent religion and whether he killed those people in the name of his Christianity? If he shouted, “Jesus is the Son of God,” would you proclaim that he killed his victims for Jesus? If he went on a religious retreat, would you speculate that he was indoctrinated with “radical Christianity” by a “radical Christian ideologue”?
If someone were to assert without any examples or evidence that a Christian killer had “twisted” his faith to serve his own purposes, I would ask for examples.
That is what I’m doing here. Mr. Silverstein made the assertion and I want some evidence of that. It’s really a simple request.
And I would answer “yes” to most of your questions.
The fact remains that by your own assertions, you are claiming some authority in knowledge of Islam, yet you are not providing anything authoritative as an example of what you are trying to say.
It is very common knowledge that interpretation of the Holy Quran cannot be done as you are doing. I don’t care if you are quoting from something from al Azhar University; you don’t understand any of it, yet you are trying to use it to make a point, and what is that point, exactly?
A Christian commits an atrocious act, and the world says he is crazy; he must be, to do such a thing.
On the other hand, when a Muslim commits an atrocious act, he must be a religious terrorist, simply because he happens to be Muslim.
This is the backbone of your argument, and it does not stand. It is merely prejudice and is not logical.
Mary, you wrote: “you are not providing anything authoritative as an example of what you are trying to say.”
I did quote from “The Reliance of the Traveller” a manual certified by Al-Azhar University as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy. That seems authoritative to me, but I guess it’s insufficient for you.
And I will repeat my point, and that it that Hasan’s view of Islam (in his Powerpoint presentation) seems to be in line with orthodox views.
No one has yet to produce one, single, solitary example of where he twisted Islam for his own purpose.
And you have not provided anything authoritative to back up anything you have said. You have made bare assertions that I know nothing, and am prejudiced and offensive.
Actually, you have asserted that you are the one who knows precious little about Islam. We’re only reminding you of what you admitted yrself.
The reporter never said anyone “believed” he was psychosit as you claim. The actual quote is “some key officials sat around wondering could he be descending into psychosis”. The source is not given and the key officials are not named nor are their positions stated so we don’t who they are or what position they hold. So this is extremely weak. “sat around wondering could” is much different from “believing”. “some key officials” is very different from “fellow psycchiatrists (sic) and supervisors”
The fact is nobody suggested he have a mental evaluation and in fact he was accepted to a fellowship. How could he be accepted to a fellowship if the department he was a resident in didn’t give him a recommendation? Once a doctor finishes a residency the department has no obligation to keep him, so recommending him for a fellowship was not necessary if they were just looking for a way to get read of him. It makes no sense that they thought he was psychotic.
These journalists have to make a living to, so they need a story. This is their story: Hasan was psychotic, no one did anything about it. But it’s not true. The true story is more likely: Hassan was religious nut who saw everything through his religious beliefs. All religions have religious nuts that are a pain in the butt to be around. Acting on his religious beliefs he murdered in cold blood 13 fellow American soldiers who were unarmed.
You’ve apparently not spent much time working in corporate or governmental bureaucracies in which the best way of getting rid of someone you can’t stand it passing him on to the next sucker down the line. If you have to lie in writing a recommendation or fudge things you do it.
Daniel Zwerdling is not just any journalist. He is one the finest journalists working for NPR & I know & trust his work implicitly.
And you know this how? Why don’t you admit that you’re looking at this through your heavily fogged eyes.
You apparently haven’t spent much time in medical wards. Once the residency is over the chairman of the department can give him a handshake, a pat on the back and wish him well. He is under no obligation to keep him in the ward. If the chairman of a psychiatry department recommended one of his residents for a fellowship, and the resident was PSYCHOTIC, his reputation would be at stake (to say the least). No one again would trust his judgement or his residents. He wouldn’t be able to find work or fellowships for any of his residents. I find it incredibly hard to believe that Hassan’s colleagues and superiors thought he was psychotic and did nothing about it, and the evidence npr has provided (no sources, no names) is extremely weak.
It’s more likely they thought he was a religious extremist, which is more consistent with the statements npr quotes.
“Everybody felt that if you were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, you would not want Nidal Hasan in your foxhole.” If they thought he was psychotic, it wouldn’t matter where Hasan was deployed, you wouldn’t feel safe with him. If the thought he was an Islamic extremist, this sentence makes sense.
“One official involved in the conversations had reportedly told colleagues that he worried that if Hasan deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, he might leak secret military information to Islamic extremists.” Not psychotic behavior. Behavior of man who identifies with the enemy more than his own country.
“Another official reportedly wondered aloud to colleagues whether Hasan might be capable of committing fratricide”. Not psychotic behavior. Schizophrenics are rarely violent.
It’s obvious, even from the npr article, not to mention other articles in the press, that his colleagues thought he was a lousy psychiatrist and an Islamic extremist to boot and were afraid of accusations of racism, bigotry and Islamophobia if they acted on their suspicions.
First, this wasn’t a MEDICAL ward, it was a MILITARY hospital. It doesn’t work the way medicine works generally. The psychiatrists are career military officers & senior ones at that. There’s nowhere else for them to go other than remain within the military system. And they have what you’d call protekzia. You can’t get rid of a bad military dr. as easily as you can a bad dr. outside the military.
Why yes, I think you’ve got it quite right for a change, & the senior psychiatrists at Walter Reed are right now in deep doo-doo for precisely this reason. The president himself announced an investigation. I think a few doctors face quite a bit of scrutiny for their inaction & they’re prob. hiring very good lawyers as we speak.
A few did. But far more thought he was loony than thought he was Joan of Arc or Osama bin Laden. The fact that YOU want his colleagues to have seen him as an Islamist extremist says far more about yr prejudices than it does about what actually happened with Hassan.
Once again you miss the mark. The fact is that he WAS being deployed to Afghanistan & Iraq & Afghanistian happen to be the only theaters in which the U.S. is actually fighting in foxholes today, which is why this sentence makes perfect sense as a reflection on his mental health and not his religious extremism.
You are so woeful it’s pathetic. I happen to have a close family member who is a high functioning schizophrenic and don’t you even dare to make a claim to know what you’re talking about on that score. I won’t invade his privacy or my own to speak about this further. But you really take the cake for impudence & cluelessness.
But apart fr. that no one that I know of has said anything about him being schizophrenic. Where did you pick this up?
Also, I’m glad to know that you, an Israeli who knows next to nothing about the current state of either medicine or military medicine in this country wishes us to believe you’re expert on the subject.
Time will tell.
There is a reason why the authorities did not pay much attention to the correspondence with al-Awlaki.
Al-Awlaki belongs to the English-language jihadi blogosphere. They are the fanboys of the Arab Jihadists like Bin-Ladin and his colleagues. Because they lack the necessary linguistic prerequisites they are relegated to cheering from the sideline: [Jihadica] Forums on Fort Hood.
When I first heard the story of the shootings and Nidal Hasan’s background, the most consistent parts suggested (and still suggested) a disturbed or more likely depressed medical professional, who has been self-medicating and probably aggravating his condition: Fort Hood and Self-Medication.
The treatment of the Fort Hood story indicates pervasive Islamophobia, bigotry, and prejudice throughout the media.
Contrast the treatment of Hasan with the Hijab Killer Alexander Wiens, who has a very high probability of Jewish ancestry. As far as I know, I am the only person that has tried to investigate is life in Perm: Probable Jewish Extraction – Hijab Killer.
Unless evidence comes out that he was ACTIVELY in contact with terrorist organizations in order to carry out such an ordeal, Hasan would have only been a jihadist in his own head.
Everyone thought the DC Sniper was sound of mind, too.
I didn’t realize one had to be a part of some organization to be considered a jihadist.
I mean, a jihadist is as a jihadist does, and those soldiers are still dead.
“I mean, a jihadist is as a jihadist does, and those soldiers are still dead.”
So it appears that by your definition any Muslim that kills anyone is a jihadist.
A jihadist, in my view, is someone who is motivated by the texts and tenets of Islam to kill. One who is motivated by the Koranic promise of paradise (and the 72 houris) if he slays and is slain for Allah.
So, a Muslim that kills somebody by accident in a car crash–not a jihadist. Someone who intentionally runs down as many people as possible with his vehicle because they are infidels–a jihadist.
David provides misleading Islamophobic hasbarah.
Islam and Judaism have almost identical laws of war and legitimate self-defense. Those conditions where Islam provides a Muslim a reward in paradise are exactly those which would give Jew his heleq haolam haba.
There is no “Koranic promise of paradise (and the 72 houris) if he slays and is slain for Allah.”
You are reading too many jihadwatch articles. “Infidels,” indeed.
Mary denied the existence of the reward of Paradise in Islam, and I showed her the relevant passages, that is all. And it is fact that the only guaranteed way to get to Paradise enumerated in the Koran is through slaying and being slain for Allah.
Please provide the relevant Jewish passages that are identical.
You are full of dreck & don’t know what you’re talking about. You’ve admitted you’re no expert on Islam & yet have the nerve to make declarative statements like this. I’m on the borderline about whether to ban you or not. Fr. here on in I expect you to deal in facts, not assertions. You make a statement about Islam you back it up w. a credible source. If you make any similar unsupported claim to the one above in future you’re history.
This would be amusing if it wasn’t so very sad. You wrote:
“Fr. here on in I expect you to deal in facts, not assertions. You make a statement about Islam you back it up w. a credible source.”
When, I have asked you to provide examples where Mr. Hasan twisted and distorted Islam and you have failed to produce a single one. Hence, your claim of his twisting is “unsupported”.
I at least did quote from a manual of Sunni orthodoxy and the Koran itself. You have quoted nothing.
It isn’t my job to prove or even respond to your demands. When I want to make a claim I document it. When I choose not to respond to you, you have no right to draw any conclusions about yr claims being correct. But it is yr responsibility to document your own claims, which you do not do.
I don’t know what a “manual” is in a Muslim context. That’s another one of yr misrepresentations.
Unlike you, I don’t claim to be an expert in Islam. Or actually, you don’t claim to be an expert yet you spout off as if you are. Of the 2 of us, I’m the only one who is candid and truthful. I only answer questions about Islam when I actually know the answer. But I certainly don’t accept the claims of anyone who freely confesses he is NOT an expert.
I humbly beg to differ. You have threatened to ban me for making assertions without backup, when you have not backed up your assertion whatsoever. You have not once; not one single time, even attempted to show where Mr. Hasan twisted his religion. I will draw what conclusions I will from this.
And I disagree with you about my backing up my claims. I quoted the relevant passage on jihad (page 599) of “Reliance of the Traveller”; which is a widely distributed manual of Islamic Law; distributed by the seat of Sunni orthodoxy Al Azhar University—which functions as a de facto Vatican of Sunni Islam—and which according to them, “conforms to the practice and faith of the Sunni orthodoxy.” (I guess I left off the “of Islamic Law” before—maybe that’s why “manual” confused you.)
And I quoted from the Koran itself the relevant passages to back up my claim that Paradise is guaranteed to those who slay and are slain for Allah.
If that these sources are Islamophobic and anti-Islam in your mind, so be it. If Al Azhar University doesn’t qualify as experts on Islam, and the Koran itself isn’t allowed as evidence then I don’t know what would.
I have been as candid as I can and truthful too. You seem to be the one evading my question. Can you show one single, solitary example of Mr. Hasan’s twisting and distortion of Islam?
You’ve referred to this book at least 5 or 6 times. This is the last time. You have no idea what this book is. You read about it on some anti-Jihadi website or publication & you’re learned whatever you think you know about it fr. entirely tainted sources. I’m simply not prepared to accept anything you have to say about this book since you yrself admit that you have no personal expert knowledge of Islam. Everything you know about comes once again fr. tendentious sources.
You have something to prove about Islam. You have an agenda. You don’t really want to learn about Islam. You know all you think you need to know about it, which really is nothing. Lord protect the world from fools like you who think you know something. It’s the ones who believe in themselves but know nothing that are the most danger to the world. You’ll never become president, but if you did you’d be George Bush all over again. And you’d do precisely as bad a job or perhaps worse since if possible you’d be even more ignorant than he.
You have not been truthful at all. You’ve been a demagogue & ideologue. You hate Islam. You only dig to find evidence that suits yr prejudice. Yet you can’t admit that.
If you ask me again any question which I haven’t answered the previous 4 times you’ve asked your comment privileges will be moderated. It is not my job to prove anything to you on any subject unless I choose to do so.
What an atrocious and insulting claim, and extremely inaccurate, to claim that “it is fact that the only guaranteed way to get to Paradise enumerated in the Koran is through slaying and being slain for Allah.” I am utterly outraged at this statement. It is completely untrue and I have lost all patience.
I just did a search of the Quran (at http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/search.html ) with the search terms “promise” and “Paradise” and the only verse that came up is 9:111.
So, based on that, I believe it is actually true that the only PROMISE of Paradise in the Koran is to slay and be slain for Allah.
It is also called (in 3 translations) a “achievement supreme”, a “supreme triumph” and a “mighty achievement” to be “rejoiced” in. So, the Koran looks at this very, very favorably.
So, I’m sorry for your outrage, and lost patience but, I have at least found some evidence for it and I’m sticking to my story.
No, you have no evidence because you don’t read Quranic Arabic, but I do.
The first part of the verse through al-jannah says that the believer gives his life/soul and everything he owns to God in exchange for paradise/eternal life.
The next part says: When/If you do battle in the path of Allah, you will slay or be slain — Quranic Arabic like Biblical Hebrew uses parallelism where contemporary Arabic might use subordination, but even contemporary Arabic to my mind uses more parallelism than most European languages.
The next part asserts the promise that God has placed upon himself in the Torah, the Evangelion, and the Quran.
What is that promise? That the believer has eternal life in paradise while the unbeliever does not. Thus the believer always triumphs while the unbeliever does not even if the unbeliever slays the believer.
In other words, the Quran is merely restating standard Rabbinic and Christian doctrine.
Before I only believed you were a stubborn and ignorant person. But now I think you’re an utter fool. You can’t be serious that you’re prepared to say w conviction that a tenet of Islamic theology is so because you did a Google search on two terms & they only produced a single verse that confirms yr claim? Are you indeed serious? If so, I’m spluttering with a combination of righteous indignation & laughter.
That’s yr story & you’re sticking to it. It is indeed a “story” & you’re little more than an anti-Muslim hoaxster.
David, you do not know the definition of the word “jihad”, yet you claim to know about Islam.
A Muslim who is in jihad is not a killer. Killing is not jihad.
The term “jihadist” is nonsensical.
Mary, you said “There is no ‘Koranic promise of paradise (and the 72 houris) if he slays and is slain for Allah.'” And I was showing you that Paradise is indeed promised to those who kill and are killed for Allah. I will admit the number of virgins doesn’t seem to be clear, but they are promised, too.
Ibn Kathir tafir on 9:111: http://www.tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=9&tid=22054
And I will back off enough to say, that it is the only guarantee of Paradise in the Koran that I know of.
You admit you only know of Islam fr. what you glean fr. anti-Muslim, anti-jihadi websites & books. Thankfully you offer an “out” big enough through which to drive a Mack truck. You don’t know about Muslim guarantees of paradise because you only know the worst of Islam, which means you know nothing.
You wrote, “You admit you only know of Islam fr. what you glean fr. anti-Muslim, anti-jihadi websites & books.”
Please back up this assertion with evidence. I declare that you can’t, because I have admitted no such thing, and you are now the one being dishonest.
C’mon, David. You’re only the 300 or 400th reader whose presented these types of views about Islam at this blog. I’ve heard yr arguments before. I know generally where they come from on the internet. I may not be able to zero in on a particular site or anti-jihadi expert who’s yr source, but I know these views well enough to know that you didn’t get them from reading Reuven Firestone’s excellent book for Jews about Islam or reading any other credible, realiable or authoritative source on the religion. So do tell us, we’re waiting with baited breath. What ARE your real sources for learning about Islam? And please tell us only books & source you’ve actually read & not ones you’ve read about. I’m interested in yr first hand knowledge, not 2nd hand.
You don’t have to worry about moderating my comment privileges; I won’t be returning. It is obvious to me that you cannot show in any real way how Mr. Hasan has twisted his religion.
It has been very frustrating when I have been threatened with banning for making unsupported assertions, when I have been the only one who has actually attempted to back up my assertions by referencing sources; orthodox Islamic sources at that.
All I have gotten in response from you and Mary is denials without counter evidence, unsupported assertions, derision, name-calling, outright lying (I never admitted what you claimed I did) and even arrogant refusals to back up your claims. Joachim has been the only one to actually back up what he says with anything resembling evidence.
We are in some very bizzare reverse world when Islamic sources are seen as Islamophobic and anti-Muslim. It seems obvious to me that I have questioned some very sacred cows and that there is no progress to be made here.
I wish you all well. Goodbye.
Read my lips: No one can show how Hasan “twisted his religion” because we are not psychiatrists and we are not inside his mind.
I did not call you any names, but you have said plenty to deride my religious faith and you have refused to budge from your erroneous idea that Islam is what made Hasan into a killer. You are an Islamophobic, close-minded bigot and for that reason no one wishes to engage with you.
You cited what you thought was authority on Islam without understanding that all writings are open to interpretation, and that you cherrypicked and took out of context those passages you wished to misinterpret to support your position. This is not effective and meaningful debate; it is merely the equivalent of diatribe and name-calling.
I will close by telling you that Islam was an active choice for me; I was not born into it. I have learned about Islam from some of the most learned people in the Muslim world, and I will tell you now that there is NOTHING is the beautiful Islamic faith that supports or exhorts its adherents to commit mindless acts of violence against innocent people. It is incredibly offensive to me that you kept up with this tack in this discussion despite being advised by the owner of this blog that it was unwelcome.
Until you open your mind and accept that mental illness can find its voice in religious extremism, and that the religion itself is not to blame for the mental illness, you are the one who remains in the dark ignorance so favored by the news media and others who still scapegoat Islam for crimes committed by the US government. There is nothing “reverse” in this world. You just simply refuse knowledge when it is presented to you.
You never admitted you were no expert on Islam? Of course you did. Every reader here who followed the thread read it. Yet that didn’t prevent you fr. pontificating about a religion for which you knew practically nothing. Then when I asked you to tell us what sources you did use as yr basis for understanding Islam, you conveniently neglected to answer.
No, the sources aren’t the problem. It’s the ideologue who exploits & manipulates them that is the problem–that would be you.
Even now as you leave you can’t be truthful.
What is a jihadist, in your definition?
Mary, I’m responding to your denial of the promise of Paradise, complete with 72 houris in the Koran (for some reason it won’t let me directly reply).
Paradise – “Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain..” (Koran 9:111)
And “Let those fight in the cause of Allah Who sell the life of this world for the hereafter. To him who fighteth in the cause of Allah,- whether he is slain or gets victory – Soon shall We give him a reward of great (value).” (4:74)
Houris (or virgins) in Paradise – “In [the Gardens of Paradise] will be (Maidens), chaste, restraining their glances, whom no man or Jinn before them has touched” (55:56)
And once again you take passages from the Quran and use them for your own purposes.
You need to consult tafseer and also learn the history of the Prophet Muhammad’s life and the time line of when the revelations came to him. Then you will find the correct meanings and contexts of the passages you are quoting.
In a nutshell, the Prophet was a military leader. Many of the revelations were battle instructions and strategies as the Muslims fought specific enemies in a particular time and place. They cannot be taken literally to mean that all Muslims should kill all non-Muslims. “Let those fight in the cause of Allah” was in reference to Muhammad’s army, not all Muslims.
You are also relying on English interpretation of the Quran, which is not accurate. Even if one reads several interpretations, it is impossible to know the true meaning from the original classical Arabic.
David, I did not deny the existence of Paradise in Islam. You show your ignorance, however, by asserting that the only way to get there is by killing people. I am profoundly insulted by your perverted assertions and I strongly object to your Islamophobic statements on this thread.
I suggest that you simply stop right now, and if you really do have an interest in Islam, you may want to go to a local mosque and inquire into receiving some instruction. You may also wish to read Rabbi Reuven Firestone’s excellent book on Islam for Jews. Maybe then you would not only stop making highly inflammatory and inaccurate statements about Muslims and Islam, but you might just have a little more respect for us.
In many places in the Quran, Allah makes the promise of paradise to those who perform the prayers, perform acts of charity and follow God’s commands.
If you knew anything of the Quran, David, you would have run across this many times.
You are cherrypicking, and from one “source” which you see as authoritative, but there are many, and are to be read and interpreted with proper instruction in order to be correctly understood.
Did anyone read this report?
I don’t care whatsoever to speculate. I just find it very odd and something I am sure will be investigated (as to why he had this prescription, how he obtained it, etc)
As a heath care woker, he might have been exposed to HIV through an inadvertent needle prick. In such a case, one option is to take combivir twice a day. It’s called PEP – post exposure prophylaxis.