David Blackburn

Motives for murder

Motives for murder
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Now that the facts are becoming clearer, it seems that Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s horrific act was religiously motivated. His apparent screams of ‘Allahu Akbar’ confirm that. In addition, it has emerged that Hasan was investigated for apparently equating suicide bombers with soldiers. Allegedly, he wrote:

‘There was a grenade thrown amongs a group of American soldiers. One of the soldiers, feeling that it was to late for everyone to flee jumped on the grave with the intention of saving his comrades. Indeed he saved them. He inentionally took his life (suicide) for a noble cause i.e. saving the lives of his soldier. To say that this soldier committed suicide is inappropriate. Its more appropriate to say he is a brave hero that sacrificed his life for a more noble cause. Scholars have paralled this to suicide bombers whose intention, by sacrificing their lives, is to help save Muslims by killing enemy soldiers. If one suicide bomber can kill 100 enemy soldiers because they were caught off guard that would be considered a strategic victory. Their intention is not to die because of some despair. The same can be said for the Kamikazees in Japan. They died (via crashing their planes into ships) to kill the enemies for the homeland. You can call them crazy i you want but their act was not one of suicide that is despised by Islam. So the scholars main point is that “IT SEEMS AS THOUGH YOUR INTENTION IS THE MAIN ISSUE” and Allah (SWT) knows best.’

To my mind, the correlation he invokes to justify suicide bombing is totally irrational, the thought process of a criminal lunatic. Of course, jihadists are criminal lunatics but it does not follow that all criminal lunatics are jihadists, even those who are ‘devout’ Muslims.

What has become clear through the testimony of colleagues and family members is that Major Hasan was a bloody hopeless soldier and an equally useless psychiatrist. It is understood that he was to face a disciplinary hearing because he was incapable of fulfilling his duties. His religious observance was obsessive, but that does not explain why he was rubbish at his job. After all, he wasn’t actually fighting Islam, he was nursing casaulties.

But, as his posting to Iraq drew near, Hasan’s religious conservatism appears to have hardened into madness – Colonel Fox alleges that Hasan claimed recently that Muslims must resist Americans. The consensus is that his perceived direct involvement in what he erroneously sees as a war on fellow Muslims was the tipping point – another sign of his insanity and rank stupidity because he wouldn’t actually have had to kill anyone – a cruel irony in view of what he’s now done.

There is probably much more to come from this case and certainly his trial, assuming he survives, will be revealing, so it is inappropriate to assert whether Hasan is or isn’t a jihadist fifth columnist. But looking at the emerging picture, my hunch is that he is criminally insane first and a calculating Islamic extremist second. In fact, I doubt whether there was much calculation involved.