Every Muslim is saddened by this incident.
No one has a right to take another persons life.
Every religion condemns and discourages killing.
Alas, we the humans understand this and work on
individuals going through a trauma of their own lives
and help them into become productive Citizens instead.
We have to remember that it is the individuals who
do good things and it is the individuals who do bad things,
we have to hold the individuals responsible for their acts
not their parents, kids, sibling or others.
May God bless the souls of the victims and, May God
give patience to their family members.
I am pleased to invite you to a conversation on the subject
on Saturday 9:00 AM at La Madeliene on Mokingbird
at Central Expressway in Dallas.
Senseless shootings violate Islamic faith
By Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf
On Faith at washingtonpost.com
The Huffington Post
November 6, 2009
I was so deeply saddened by the events at Fort Hood, Texas, yesterday. My prayers and sympathy are with the families of those brave American soldiers who were killed and wounded in this senseless act.
What this unfortunate Army major did was against the laws of Islam, even though news accounts said he was an observant Muslim. It is too early to understand his motivations and mental stability. He obviously was violating his faith when he undertook this act. Killing is as much a sin in Islam as it is in Christianity, Judaism and all the major religions. Taking the law into one's own hands is against Islamic teachings.
We do not know how our soldiers will react under the stresses of war. It is something that we as religious leaders should take seriously as we minister to our troops.
I am concerned that this incident will cause some Americans to react against the Islamic faith and Muslim Americans. Our fellow Americans should understand that every major American Muslim organization has condemned it in no uncertain terms. Thousands of American Muslims serve in the U.S. armed forces, and they are essential to the U.S. goal of bringing peace, stability and democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan. They are supported by millions of American Muslims.
This is a time for all Americans to draw together in our grief and sympathy for the victims of this senseless act, and to support the care and well-being of our troops with the hope that they will soon be able to return home.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, an independent, non-partisan and multi-national project that seeks to use religion to improve Muslim-West relations. (www.cordobainitiative.org) He is the author of "What's Right with Islam is What's Right With America."
By Muqtedar Khan
Director of Islamic Studies, University of Delaware
The American Muslim community is experiencing shock, disbelief and apprehension as it watches the unfolding details of the shootings at Fort Hood in Texas. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a psychiatrist and practicing Muslim, born in Virginia of Jordanian parents, turned against his fellow citizens and military colleagues and murdered 13 and wounded 30.
What happened at Fort Hood follows a nightmare script that has been one of the biggest fears of the American Muslim community since the appalling events of September 11, 2001. One crazy Muslim, acting on his own, causing significant mayhem and murder and inviting anger and backlash against millions of peace loving and hardworking Americans who are Muslims. National and local Muslim organizations immediately issued strong condemnation of the event and called for calm.
It is important to understand that Major Hasan is an isolated, alienated and sad individual who was clearly not well adjusted to his life. In a community that values family life, he was single at 39 and still looking desperately for a wife, according to his former Imam. He was in an army that was at war with his co-religionists and he had difficulty dealing with that. He was frequently taunted and harassed for being a Muslim by his own colleagues. After years in the military and after years of caring for soldiers as a doctor, he did not feel as if he belonged and perhaps that was the key to why he could turn on his own.
This tragic episode presents serious dilemmas and challenges for both Muslim community organizations as well as for law enforcement and counter-terrorism agencies. Muslim organizations do not know how to explain this and the law enforcement agencies will be puzzling over how to understand it.
This was an unpredictable and isolated episode, impossible to anticipate and guard against. Hasan is an American-born, highly educated, long-term military man who simply snapped with devastating consequences. How do we anticipate this and prevent it? The Fort Hood shooting reminds me of the Columbine shooting; shocking and unexpected. On scrutiny after the fact one discovers warning signs but not enough to trigger action before it happened.
Since the election of President Obama, Islamophobic rhetoric was on the decline as people in key administrative positions abstained from using "Islamic" as a prefix when talking about issues related with the war on terror. But this episode will once again provide fodder for talk shows and websites, which exploit such isolated events to ratchet up Islamophobia.
Muslims across the country have been working hard to build bridges with mainstream America, to establish interfaith relations and carve out a place for the community on main street America. Hasan not only fired at unarmed soldiers at Fort Hood, but he also attacked the very foundations of all these bridges across the country. His actions will definitely weaken if not completely undermine the efforts of thousands of Americans to build bridges of peace and understanding.
According to some estimates there are over 10,000 Muslims in the U.S. military who serve loyally, with sincere and complete commitment. Many Muslims in the U.S. military have died fighting for America. General Colin Powell once spoke so eloquently about Cpl. Kareem Khan, a Purple Heart, who had died fighting for America. Let us hope that Major Hasan's dastardly actions do not hurt the careers of the thousands of Kareem Khans proudly serving in U.S. military.
There is nothing that American Muslims can do to prevent such events. But we must now allow them to weaken our resolve to combat extremism, prejudice and ignorance in our society. We must redouble our efforts to continue to share the message of peace, tolerance and pluralism that is fundamental to Islamic believes to our congregations and our communities.
The tragedy at Fort Hood is a major test for Muslims and Americans. They must face the challenge with determination. Muslims must not allow it to force them to recede from the public sphere and from their struggle for understanding, for civil rights and against religious profiling and Islamophobia. Americans must not allow this isolated event to fall back on stereotypes about Islam and resuscitate the prejudices that all of us have worked so hard to curb.
Dr. Muqtedar Khan is Director of Islamic Studies at the University of Delaware and a Fellow of the Institute for Social policy and Understanding.
WASHINGTON, DC (MASNET) Nov. 6, 2009 – MAS Freedom (MASF), on behalf of and as the civic and human rights advocacy entity of the Muslim American Society (MAS), joins the chorus of American Muslim voices nationwide in condemnation of the tragic attack perpetrated against U.S. military personnel at the Soldier Readiness Processing Center at Fort Hood, Texas, where soldiers preparing to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan, leaving 13 persons dead and 30 wounded on November 5, 2009.
"As an organization and as Muslim Americans, we stand in condemnation of Thursday's assault in the strongest terms possible," echoed MAS Freedom Executive Director, Mahdi Bray Thursday evening at a press conference in Washington, D.C.
"Let us be cautious, however, in drawing conclusions based on the ethnicity of the perpetrator of this tragic incident. A full investigation, is, of course, underway; however, as in any case, the perpetuation of negativity in such instances often unwittingly serves as an equally unnecessary exacerbation of the atmosphere of hate, violence and Islamophia under which the Muslim community already exists," stated MAS Freedom Executive Director Mahdi Bray.
Bray added, "Indeed this is a national tragedy and our American family is in mourning. Like any family in a time of crisis and tragedy, we will not turn on each other, but rather, toward each other as a source of strength and comfort."
Nidal Malik Hasan, a 39-year-old Muslim, Virginia-born Army major and psychiatrist, set to be deployed to Iraq, is reported to be responsible for the worst mass killing on a U.S. military base; the second shooting incident in recent history at the base this year.
Another shooting incident occurred at Fort Hood on September 8, 2008. Specialist Jody Michael Wirawan, 22, of Eagle River, Alabama, who was scheduled to be discharged, fatally shot 1st Lieutenant Robert Bartlett Fletcher, 24, of Jensen Beach, Florida. When police arrived, Wirawan turned his gun on himself and died on the scene.
An emerging profile indicates that Major Hasan, who, prior to being transferred to Fort Hood six-years ago, served and did his psychiatric internship at Washington's Walter Reed Army Medical Center, may, himself, have suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome.
Major Hasan, whose family members have stated endured name-calling and harassment about his Muslim faith for years, is further described as a 'mostly very quiet', devoutly religious person, often seen attending prayers at a local mosque in uniform, while stationed in Washington. Retired Army Col. Terry Lee, is reported to have stated that Major Hasan never spoke ill of the military or his country, however, he had expressed hopes that President Barack Obama would pull troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq and that Major Hasan had been proactively vocal in his opposition to the wars, in addition to having sought legal counsel in working to detach himself from the military.
MAS Freedom continues to urge and support its ongoing call for an end to the wars and deployments that have led to numerous severe mental health problems among U.S. soldiers, including mental depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, violence against spouses and family members, in addition to suicide; illnesses that reportedly affect some 20 percent of the troops returning from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
According to Pentagon figures, Fort Hood has the highest suicide rate over any Army base in the country, with 75 soldiers taking their own lives since 2003; an additional 32 Fort Hood soldiers have reportedly attempted, but thankfully failed, to take their own lives.
The San Antonio News-Express reported last August that the number of suicides at Fort Hood 'has been 26 per 100,000 people from 2006 to 2008, far above the civilian rate of 14.06 per 100,000'. The report further states that in addition to Fort Hood, Fort Campbell, Kentucky and Fort Bragg, North Carolina collectively logged 125 suicides in the same period, for a total of 183 since 2003.
MAS Freedom North Carolina Director Khalilah Sabra stated, "Most soldiers are aware of combat stress reactions from their training and from Army education campaigns. Reportedly, over 70 percent of soldiers have complained of war-related stress and have sought help for serious problems. These emotional health issues are intensified by long and multiple deployments in places that witness death and the violence of constant combat."
MAS Freedom further calls on our nation's Commander-in-Chief, President Barack Obama, to step-up efforts to insure more effective mental healthcare for soldiers experiencing chronic stress and mental instability as the ongoing campaign for health care reform continues.
Fort Hood commander Lieutenant General Bob Cone, has confirmed that contrary to earlier reports, Major Hasan was not fatally wounded in the incident and is currently in custody and in stable condition.
Also previously reported as being fatally wounded, was a civilian police woman and first responder on the scene, who has received surgical treatment for her injuries and is in stable condition.
A ceremony to honor the dead will take place at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware where the bodies have been taken for autopsies.
"As American Muslims we join our fellow citizens in offering both prayers for the victims and sincere condolences to the families of those killed or injured," stated Bray.
Inquiries or requests for information can be made by contacting MAS Freedom at (202) 552-7414, (703) 642-6165 or 1-888-627-8471 or sending an email to: info @ masfreedom.org.
ASSOCIATION OF PATRIOTIC ARAB AMERICANS IN MILITARY
"Patriotic Arab Americans Making A Difference"
STATEMENT ON FORT HOOD SHOOTINGS FROM ASSOCIATION OF PATRIOTIC ARAB AMERICANS IN THE MILITARY
At a time of deep sorrow in the midst of this horrific tragedy, our thoughts are first and foremost with the Fort Hood shooting victims and their families. One can only imagine the unspeakable pain and loss they are and will be dealing with in the weeks, months and years to come.
It is unfortunate that whatever demons possessed Nidal Hasan, that he chose to deal with his problems in this way.
In the aftermath of this terrible tragedy, it is more important than ever that we not make the same scapegoating and broad stroke mistakes that were evident in the aftermath of previous tragedies.
The Association of Patriotic Arab Americans in Military urges the media, government officials and all of our fellow Americans to recognize that the actions of Hasan are those of a deranged gunman, and are in no way representative of the wider Arab American or American Muslim community.
In fact, thousands of Arab Americans and American Muslims serve honorably everyday in all four branches of the U.S. military and in the National Guard. Additionally, many of us have willingly stepped forward to fulfill our duty with our fellow soldiers in both Afghanistan, Iraq and other locations around the globe for the defense of our national security, including most of the member of APAAM. Indeed, many of us are today currently deployed in both countries, honorably serving each and every day.
The Association of Patriotic Arab Americans in Military (APAAM) was created shortly after September 11th, 2001, in an effort to organize current and former Arab- Americans in the military to highlight the service and contributions dating back to the Revolutionary War. There are approximately 3,500 Arab- Americans serving in our Armed Forces.
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