An army psychiatrist's alleged slaughter of 13 people and wounding of another 30 at Fort Hood, Texas, raise critical issues related to radical Islam.
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an American Muslim who had counseled troops, allegedly made the comment “Allah Akbar — Arabic for "God is great!" — before he killed his fellow human beings Thursday.
The horrible event brings these thoughts to mind: When Shariah teaches disrespect for non-Muslims’ life, why should we be surprised when we hear about a dedicated religious Muslim who follow such teaching if he commits barbaric acts against non-Muslims?
Muslims must stop blaming Westerners who link violence to Islam as normal human mind tend to link events together. Thousands of terror attacks, including Sept. 11, all over the world, beheadings in the name of Islam, and many other barbaric atrocities are all conducted more commonly by people who are identified as Muslims. It is virtually impossible to stop people from linking violence to Islam unless violence in the name of Islam stops. Should the Muslim world continue blaming the West for “Islamophobia” and for linking violence to Islam or should it work on changing itself to stop producing generations that accept violence as integral parts of their religious teaching? (Please see my ABC's test for radical Islam.) Some decision makers have a tendency to discuss why some Muslims turn to violence while others do not, when they are exposed to the same religious teaching. This approach may allow decisions makers to avoid addressing the role of religious teaching as the true cause of the problem and to focus instead on the individual factors that make a particular person use violence.
In this regard I would like to mention the following illustrative example: When people smoke cigarettes only some of them develop lung cancer. This does not mean that smoking is not a main cause of lung cancer. The same applies to Islamism phenomenon. When Muslims are exposed to the radical Islamic teaching, only some of them become violent. This also does not mean that the teaching is not the cause of developing the violence. The most simple solution for the problems in the previous examples is simply to limit the exposure to the offending agent (either smoking or to the radical teaching) rather trying to change the response of the cells or the humans to the causative agent. This can happen in Muslim societies by providing them with an alternative to the radical teachings to promote values of love and peaceful coexistence instead of hatred and intolerance. The investigators of the case who might be able to interrogate the suspect must be fully aware he may practice “Tequia” (lying to non-Muslims) or pretend that he has a psychiatric disorder to avoid punishment. The latter can be a very viable option for a trained psychiatrist who knows the symptoms of psychiatric disorders. Senior officials in the military, intelligence, Homeland Security, and others need to learn how to detect early signs of Islamic radicalization among their employees. Failure to do so can lead to a disaster.
Dr. Tawfik Hamid is the author of "Inside Jihad." He was a former associate of Dr. al-Zawahiri (second in command of al-Qaida) and currently he is a reformer of Islam. For more information, visit www.tawfikhamid.com. Hamid's writings in this blog represent only his thoughts and not the views of the institute where he works.
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