The front page of the Times today broke the story of how Major Hasan, the army officer who killed 13 people at Fort Hood last week, was communicating with a radical Yemini cleric since last year. Not only that, but US intelligence agencies knew about it. For whatever reason, the matter was dropped by federal authorities who decided that Hasan wasn’t dangerous.
Anwar Awlaki is an American citizen born in New Mexico. According to the Times, he denounced the 9/11 attacks. But since moving to Yemen after 2002, the former imam of the same Virginia mosque Hasan attended, has become well known for his militant ideas.
The print edition of the Times listed Awlaki’s website as www.anwar-alawlaki.com. The original content has been wiped from this website and only a blank generic WordPress theme remains. What’s funny is that a militant imam uses such a generic blogging platform. Does bin Laden have a Twitter account yet?
Reproduced at the bottom is the full post by Alawlaki praising Hasan as a “hero.”
What’s disturbing here is not the fact that Alawlaki may have issued explicit instructions to Hasan to carry out the attacks (I predict that further investigations will show this was not the case). It’s the fact that the army major was influenced by a more nebulous mix of psychological and religious pressures. The anti-Islamic harrassment he faced in the armed services certainly didn’t help.
Both Hasan and Alawlaki were US-born and citizens. Hasan felt enough of a sense of duty to his country that he chose to give many years of his life to Uncle Sam. Not an easy decision (and one he found harder and harder to stick by.) I wonder how the current state of affairs between the US and the Middle East, especially countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, are affecting Muslim youth in America. Is this a new type of homegrown terrorism? Whatever it is, it’s turning into something ugly.
Nidal Hassan is a hero. He is a man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people. This is a contradiction that many Muslims brush aside and just pretend that it doesn’t exist. Any decent Muslim cannot live, understanding properly his duties towards his Creator and his fellow Muslims, and yet serve as a US soldier. The US is leading the war against terrorism which in reality is a war against Islam. Its army is directly invading two Muslim countries and indirectly occupying the rest through its stooges.
Nidal opened fire on soldiers who were on their way to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. How can there be any dispute about the virtue of what he has done? In fact the only way a Muslim could Islamically justify serving as a soldier in the US army is if his intention is to follow the footsteps of men like Nidal.
The heroic act of brother Nidal also shows the dilemma of the Muslim American community. Increasingly they are being cornered into taking stances that would either make them betray Islam or betray their nation. Many amongst them are choosing the former. The Muslim organizations in America came out in a pitiful chorus condemning Nidal’s operation.
The fact that fighting against the US army is an Islamic duty today cannot be disputed. No scholar with a grain of Islamic knowledge can defy the clear cut proofs that Muslims today have the right rather the duty- to fight against American tyranny. Nidal has killed soldiers who were about to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in order to kill Muslims. The American Muslims who condemned his actions have committed treason against the Muslim Ummah and have fallen into hypocrisy.
Allah(swt) says: Give tidings to the hypocrites that there is for them a painful punishment –
Those who take disbelievers as allies instead of the believers. Do they seek with them honor through power]? But indeed, honor belongs to Allah entirely. (al-Nisa 136-137)
The inconsistency of being a Muslim today and living in America and the West in general reveals the wisdom behind the opinions that call for migration from the West. It is becoming more and more difficult to hold on to Islam in an environment that is becoming more hostile towards Muslims.
May Allah grant our brother Nidal patience, perseverance and steadfastness and we ask Allah to accept from him his great heroic act. Ameen