This is the face at which most Americans will be staring today. He’s a mass murderer who was wounded by those he attacked [initial reports said he had been killed]. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army major, went on a rampage at Ft. Hood, Texas. The last count I heard was that he had killed 12 people and wounded another 31.
Now, the one salient fact in this massacre is that Hasan is a Muslim who spoke openly about the right of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan to rise up and attack the American military that is trying to stabilize both countries and drive out the terrorists.
Reports also say that he engaged others in loud arguments on the subject, and that his killing spree was aimed at individuals with whom he had disagreements. He was acting on his Muslim beliefs, speaking against the government and army he served.
Will the news media focus on this or will his “faith” be a non-factor in their analyses?
Americans put up with a lot of diverse views. We aren’t particularly anxious to forcefully squelch others’ beliefs, primarily because we wouldn’t want that to happen to us [whoever “us” happens to be in any given situation].
We have a First Amendment that allows freedom of political speech and says that Congress can’t set up a national religion. It also says we can’t be prohibited from exercising our religious beliefs. I firmly support those concepts.
However, when a person’s religious beliefs lead him to kill others, the line has been crossed. We need to come down hard on all those who preach and teach that it is God’s will to murder those who disagree with them. And those people do exist in this country.
We don’t yet know if Hasan was receiving that type of teaching where he worshiped. But if he was, we need to go to the source and deal with it without delay. That’s not freedom of speech; that’s incitement to kill.
Remember the Biblical admonition in Romans chapter 13: Government is supposed to be a minister of God to protect the innocent and terrify evildoers. It’s time for our government to do its job. The real question anymore, though, is whether our government still recognizes which one is which.