Saturday, November 07, 2009

What is Terrorism?

I had to look it up. Terrorism - the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear

I’ve read countless opinion peaces over the last two days calling the Fort Hood murders terrorism. I’ve rejected most arguments based on the definition above, the victims were in the military and terrorism is used against civilians. To me, this travesty is more akin to workplace violence. I might be wrong, but if he acted alone, I cannot see it ever being called terrorism.

NidalHasan We do not yet know what motivated Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan to kill his fellow soldiers. I suspect mental illness plus religious and political motivations, most likely in some broadly screwed up physiological mess we may never fully understand. I’ve been careful not to form an opinion yet, unlike others. The news is not helping. I watched CNN for 10 hour Friday. The speculation that replaces real news is unsettling. They glob on to anything that is even remotely connected to story and run with it no matter how important.

I know religion played a big role in this story. Hasan is a Muslim. It infused his life, that much is clear. I’m already seeing reports that Hasan was not a true Muslim. All one must do is read the comment treads on any big news article. I find this disturbing since Hasan is a lifelong Muslim. That fact that he killed people in cold blood simply makes him a mass murder who is a Muslim. It does not mean all Muslims as murders. Being a Muslim did not offer him any advantage with regard to morality. The fact that he failed the “good Muslim” test does not disqualify him from being a Muslim. But did he murder simply because he was a Muslim? I don’t think so, there are so many other factors involved. Including his mental health and politics.

I want to express my condolences to the families of the victims. To lose a loved one in this manner is something I cannot fathom. My lack of faith precludes prayer, but your loss has been in my thoughts since the story first hit the news. 13 caskets… it hurts to even think about it.

Technorati Tags: ,,