The Army Major that went suicide-bomber and shot up Fort Hood recently has had a lot of coverage lately, especially regarding his being a Muslim and his obviously unbalanced mental state. It wasn’t merely his being a Muslim that caused him to flip into holy warrior mode — it was his communication with radical Anwar al-Awlaki, and his enthusiasm for al-Qaida’s tactics in this holy war.
That, combined with the correct casting of Bush’s wars as, essentially, holy wars. Even despite their original purpose, being wars for oil (or at least, that’s how they were presented, that they would “pay for themselves” with the oil America would then control), they have devolved into “Good Christian America vs Bad Islamic [whoever]“. And this is a problem — a major one — insofar as it is a pissing contest between the Holy Roman Empire and the Heathens Across the Sea, to see whose imaginary friend is better. Never mind that their imaginary friends are supposedly the same Abrahamic god Yahweh and that “God” and “Allah” are merely different languages’ titles for the same deity.
Christopher Hitchens breaks down all the facts in the Hasan case and proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Hasan’s diseased mind proved fertile grounds for the radical flavor of Islam that infected and flourished and ultimately flowered in Hasan’s murder-suicide. I only lament that in the course of this article, Hitchens does not realize that his robust support for Bush’s wars is actually encouragement of the continuation of holy wars of religion vs religion.
So, ultimately, yes, Major Hasan was a radical Muslim. While “Allahu Akbar” is not by necessity a warcry, any more than “Jesus help me” is a war cry, in the case of radical Islam it apparently is used as such. Radical Islam, because it is so focused on suicide-bombings and suicide-murder sprees, needs to be ended. It’s fairly obvious that the radicals have to use these tactics, because they do not have access to the same level of resources as the “Christian” Americans do — they do not have a standing army, they do not have well-trained soldiers, they do not have bases but instead caves and hideouts. They are fighting a guerilla war because it’s all they can do.
But at the same time as radical Islam needs to be ended for these reasons, so to does every belief in an imaginary higher power that leads directly to violence against our fellow humans. Without Islam and Christianity, this war wouldn’t be happening. Other religions might step in to fill the gap, and other wars waged, but if you were to eliminate religion altogether, then maybe wars would be fought not over whose imaginary friend is better, but rather who has access to the Earth’s resources — surely another horrible reason to go to war, but one that at least has a little more sense behind it, since resources are real things, and your imaginary personal deity is assuredly not.