The US Army, Major Nidal Hasan And The Moslems
Islam is a religion that has global reach and most Muslims are indoctrinated with theories of jihad or the holy war. Thus Muslims joining the US armed forces are also swayed by this rhetoric and Major Nidal was one of them.
The US Army has a glorious history. Starting with the wars against Mexico and the Indian tribes the army soon graduated to global conflicts and did creditably in the two world wars. The recent operations against Iraq and the war against terror in Afghanistan point to a battle hardened and disciplined force. Vietnam was an aberration and the retreat there was for reasons other than military. The present war on terror consists in confronting terrorist's organisations that are predominating Muslim. Though all Muslims are not terrorists yet most terrorists are Muslims. This is an unedifying fact.
The US arms have a global commitment and as such there is a requirement of a steady flow of manpower. But with the draft abandoned the US Armed forces are facing a manpower crunch. Thus the army has also been inducting Muslims in their ranks. The over stretched army with global responsibility needs manpower badly and that perhaps is the reason that a lot many Muslims are inducted into the Armed forces as officers as well as men.
But this induction of Muslims in its ranks is fraught with grave consequences. In this respect the case of Major Nidal Hasan an Army Psychiatrist who gunned down 13 US service men and injured another 32 needs attention. Major Hasan did the unthinkable when he opened fire on his compatriots at Fort Hood, Texas one of the biggest military bases in the USA. From all accounts the reason for this attack was the fact that the Major who had a religious bent of mind was unhappy with the US deployment against the Muslim terrorists in Afghanistan. The major was shot by 2 police officers and is now paralysed. He appeared in a wheel chair in court on 2 June to answer charges against him that consisted of of premeditated murder as well as attempted premeditated murder. The Major will probably be punished, but it will be small consolation to the families of the 13 servicemen who died for nothing.
Islam is a religion that has global reach and most Muslims are indoctrinated with theories of jihad or the holy war. Thus Muslims joining the US armed forces are also swayed by this rhetoric and Major Nidal was one of them. The biggest problem for any army is to fight the cancer within, in the form of dissent and disobedience. But the jump to aggressive intentions does not take time and men indoctrinated in Islam and its global appeal is easily swayed. But it is up to the authorities to keep such men under surveillance. In the case of Major Nidal the warning signals were ignored by his superiors. The fact that he was talking against the US Army deployment against the terrorists in Afghanistan as well as his calls to Muslim soldiers to disobey the orders and not kill Muslims was ignored. His visiting card which carried the slogan ‘soldier of Allah’ was also not properly interpreted. These trends were all apparent at his previous posting at Walter Reed Hospital. No corrective steps were taken with disastrous consequences.
As things stand it cannot be denied that more cases like the one of Major Nidal may occur. This will become more and more apparent as the war against terror which is basically fueled by Islamic fighters gets more and more bloody. Thus the US armed forces have to be circumspect in enlisting Muslims. In addition a proper screening and watch on such recruits is essential. Any soft approach can lead this mighty army to defeat. God forbid that happens, as that will have disastrous consequences.
As far as Major Nidal is concerned, he is sentenced to death and presently incarcerated in US military barracks. The death sentence was passed in 2013