Islam and the Fort Hood Shootings
Rabbi Brad Hirschfeld wrote in part,
With 13 dead, 30 wounded and a Muslim officer who shouted 'Allahu Akbar' as he opened fire on them, we must do three things: first, most importantly, we must care for the injured, support their families, and comfort the mourners. Second, we must fight all efforts to use this tragedy to cast aspersions upon an entire tradition and all of its followers. And third, we, and more importantly those followers, must ask tough questions about the relationship between the faith which the shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, followed and the actions which he took.The full text of his response is online here: For God's Sake
The human issues really are job one. And the test of that commitment will be in the way which people not only reach out to the families of the victims, but also to the Hasan family as well. They too, by all accounts, are victims. There is no evidence that they supported Maj. Hasan in his terrorist attack, and they are among the most vulnerable to any potential backlash which may occur. While the military and the FBI will certainly continue to investigate all aspects of this case, including Hasan's family, until we know otherwise, they too deserve our compassion and concern....
All this having been said however, when a man commits mass murder and shouts 'God is great' as he does so, hard questions must be asked. And the place they must be asked the most, is where they seemed to be asked least i.e. the community from which the murderer came. It's not enough to say that this was the work of a lone madman, or that this "has nothing to do with Islam". None of us operates in a vacuum and clearly for Maj. Hasan it did.
Collective guilt is never appropriate, but collective responsibility always is. In fact, it is the hallmark of any ethical community.
Muslim and 25 million record selling pop star Salman Ahmad wrote
The Qur'an teaches us that "Killing one person is like killing the whole of humanity and saving one person's life is like saving all of humanity". Obviously the solitary shooter's disturbed and tormented mind could not grasp that clear and unequivocal edict to treat all people with compassion and mercy.His full response is here: Act of One man, Not an Act of Faith
The rest of the panelists responses are online here: What effect will the Fort Hood shootings have on the American public's perception of Islam?
I think it is a given that the attacks have already damaged public perception of Islam. I hate to see Christianity as a whole tainted by the acts of the few and so feel sympathy for those who will be prejudiced in the eyes of others all the more because of the Fort Hood attack.
I have no doubt that there are many Muslims who do abhor this act of violence. I am sorry that this one man's actions put a burden on the backs of Muslims in America. Yet, though it is faulty reasoning to see the actions of the one as representative of the many, the burden does (as the Rabbi writing above states it) fall to those many to repudiate the actions in word and deed and so to show Islam in America to be a religion of peace. That's my take. What do you think?
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor
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