By Janet Tassel
You will recall that one day in November 2009, at Fort Hood, Texas, Major Nidal Hasan, an American-born Muslim army psychiatrist, forgot his professional training (as well perhaps as his medications) and went on a rampage. Screaming "Allahu Akbar!" he took out a semi-automatic pistol and murdered 12 soldiers and one civilian, and wounded 32 others.
Absurdly, almost three years later, Hasan remains comfortably in prison, awaiting court martial. The latest impediment seems to be that Hasan has decided to hide from the court behind a beard. The army says no shave, no trial. This week Hasan once again showed up in court still bearded, and still protesting the rape of his locks. "In the name of almighty Allah the merciful," he intoned, then added (for the fifth time) that his religion requires him to wear the beard. According to reports, U. S. Army Colonel Gregory Gross, the presiding judge, fined him $1000 and found him in contempt, also for the fifth time. The Army will not try him in his beard.
Perhaps Hasan will eventually be tried for the bloodbath he perpetrated, but the beard seems to be causing the government to hesitate. This would not be surprising, considering that the Department of Defense went on harebrained record that the massacre was a case of "workplace violence." Not to speak of the Orwellian fact that now-retired Army Chief of Staff General George Casey said after the Fort Hood slaughter that indeed it was a tragedy, but "it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here." Yet another reminder that in a multicultural insane asylum you can't tell the lunatics from their keepers.
More evidence of this addled gibberish was provided in February 2011 by the Wall Street Journal's Dorothy Rabinowitz:
In November 2010, each branch of the military issued a final report on the Fort Hood shooting. Not one mentioned the perpetrator's ties to radical Islam. Even today...the DoD still hasn't specifically named the threat represented by the Fort Hood attack--a signal to the entire Defense bureaucracy that the subject is taboo.
For the superiors in charge of Hasan's training at Walter Reed and his two years at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the taboo was of a more complicated order---one that required elaborately inventive analyses through which Hasan's stated beliefs, ominous pronouncements, and evident unconcern with standards of behavior required of an officer could all be represented as singular virtues....It could not have been easy. Still, they managed.
Rabinowitz further reports that "[t]o fulfill Walter Reed's academic requirement for a presentation on a psychiatric theme, Hasan proffered a draft consisting almost entirely of wisdom from the Quran arguing for the painful punishment and liquidation of non-Muslims." With a few minor changes, this presentation was accepted.
By contrast, while the American authorities continue gingerly to treat Hasan as an eccentric oddball, jihadi groups worldwide know the truth. And they are ecstatic. As noted by our friends at MEMRI, The Middle East Media Research Institute,
The shooting by Hasan threw Al-Qaeda leaders, its main media outlets, and its followers online into paroxysms of ecstasy; as a U.S. Army serviceman carrying out a lone-wolf attack against other U.S. servicemen, he has been lionized by prominent jihadis of all stripes. [Anwar] Al-Awlaki called him a "hero" and a "man of conscience"; American Al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn characterized him as a "pioneer, a trailblazer, and a role model; Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and its leaders praised him as a "hero" and an "heroic fighter," and the Taliban called him "courageous."
Articles about Hasan have been turned into music videos, posted on YouTube and jihadi forums; his face is used for avatars for jihadis' Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and other social media accounts, and in media by the Al-Qaeda media company Al-Sahab, and articles about him have been published in Inspire. In short, Maj. Nidal Hasan has become a jihadi legend.
Al-Awlaki, the radical Yemeni-American sheik who was mercifully killed in September 2011 by a drone, was a mentor of Hasan, who had attended Al-Awlaki's mosque in Washington and with whom he had been exchanging e-mails for a year. If you are wondering why the army didn't know about or expose these connections, you would be in the company of Al-Awlaki himself, who told an interviewer on Al-Jazeera that he too was puzzled: "I wondered how the American security agencies, who claim to be able to read car license plate numbers from space, everywhere in the world, I wondered how [they did not reveal this]."
When asked how he could support Hasan in his betrayal of his own homeland, Al-Awlaki answered,
It is more important that he not betray his religion. Serving in the American army...is betrayal of Islam, and the America of today is the Pharaoh of the past. It is the enemy of Islam, and a Muslim must not serve in the American army, except if he intends to go in the footsteps of our brother Nidal.
In another interview, Al-Awlaki said,
Nidal Hasan used to pray, fast, and give zakat, but at the same time, he was a soldier in the U.S. army, whose loyalty lay with America. Then, as a result of America's crimes, he turned into a mujahid for the sake of Allah.
And here is American-born Al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn in a March 2010 video:
The mujahid brother Nidal Hasan has shown us what one righteous Muslim with an assault rifle [sic] can do for his religion and brothers in faith, and has reminded us of how much pride and joy a single act of resistance and courage can instill in the hearts of Muslims everywhere. The mujahid brother Nidal Hasan, by the grace of Allah and with a single 30-minute battle, singlehandedly brought the morale of the American military and public to its lowest point in years. The mujahid brother Nidal Hasan, lightly armed but with a big heart, a strong will, and a confident step, again brought into sharp focus the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of America....And most significantly, the mujahid brother Nidal Hasan...has opened a door, lit a path and shown the way forward for every Muslim who finds himself among the unbelievers and yearns to discharge his duty to Allah and play a part in the defense of Islam and Muslims against the savage, heartless, and bloody Zionist Crusader assault on our religion, sacred places, and homelands.
Here is the statement released by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula on the jihadist website Shumukh Al-Islam:
...we call upon every soldier who works in the crusader armies and the collaborating governments to repent to Allah and to follow the hero mujahid brother Nidal Hasan, and to kill all the crusaders by all means available to him, supporting the religion of Allah and to make the word of Allah most supreme on earth.
In March 2012, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan released an audio message from Abu Ibrahim Al-Almani, which said in part, "Today, the infidels have armed themselves and stepped up security because they love life as we love death. Therefore, taking part in actions such as those of Nidal Hassan...is no child's play. Dear brothers, if you do not have the ability to kill the infidels, then hurt their economy, ruin their buildings.... Be creative."
There is much more in the omnium gatherum put together by Steven Stalinsky at MEMRI. I was particularly moved by the offering of a group called Revolution Muslim, whose website posted this punctuation-challenged message after the shooting: "Nidal Hasan M.D., An officer and a gentleman, was injured while partaking in a preemptive attack. Get Well Soon Major Nidal, We Love You."
Major Hasan, wildly celebrated in the Muslim world, but apparently an object of delicate indifference to the authorities here, will probably go on trial one of these days. If the trial does indeed take place, it will be important to remember Dorothy Rabinowitz's warning that "the forces of multiculturalist piety, which played so central a role in advancing this Army major and concealing the menace he posed, will be the invisible presence on trial with him."
And the beard? Investors.com calls it "baloney," and suggests that the judge should "bind and gag him and force him to comply."
Sounds sensible, doesn't it?