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Nov 17 2009

Christopher Hitchens on Nidal Malik Hasan

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.

6 comments

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  1. 1
    Dan J

    The batshit craziness knows no bounds. I’ve seen news articles regarding the shooting where commenters actually call for all Muslims to be “rounded up” so that we can then somehow separate the radicals from the non-radicals, and put the former into some sort of internment camps. Yes, the right-wing nutjobs really are just that crazy. I’m guessing that those people are also just that Christian.

  2. 2
    Jason Thibeault

    Yeah — that’s not responding to the actual threat, the ability for a pernicious meme, like religion, to install some very deadly tendencies in the mentally unstable. It’s *not* specifically about Islam. It’s about religion in general.

  3. 3
    Cents

    As another Canuck from the we(s)t coast I agree with you about how religions of all stripes is the problem. When I look at how much of the world resources have gone and continue to go into religious real estate (all tax free at that) over the last how many hundreds of years for no useful purpose (building temples and idols and praying to a non-existent entity) it shocks me. Might as well pray to Santa Claus as pray to god (about the same amount of proof of existence). Unfortunately people are brainwashed at a young age and most can’t seem to pull themselves out of their way of thinking and the social circumstances they are in to look rationally at something no different from other things we wish were real but are not. Yes life is hard. Darwin told us that. As Dawkin says if you don’y like the truth well thats just too bad. The world is a big bad place. There is no sugar daddy that is there to take care of you. We are lucky as hell to be alive on this minute spect of dust called Earth at this time in the history of the Universe. Enjoy it!

  4. 4
    Robert

    Interesting that you should mention resources, because the world is very close to the peak of world wide petroleum production and will soon enter a period of endless decline. This will happen to all non-renewable energy sources sooner or later. This is what is behind the war in Iraq and most conflict in the Middle East. Basically the human race must do more with less and share or go extinct. I believe there will be more change in the next 20 years than in the last 100 years. I being human, hope the human race makes it.

    Robert Pike

  5. 5
    sinned34

    I’m not completely convinced that religion is the main issue. I think radicalized politics is the main problem, but religion definitely compounds the situation and makes it easier for both sides to justify and demonize the other culture. Usually I hear the radicalized Muslims complain that the USA is interfering in their countries’ affairs, with the “infidel” label thrown onto them to help rally those that couldn’t really give a shit about the politics.

    Don’t get me wrong, religion has a lot of crimes to answer for, but I don’t think it’s the main impetus for either of the warring factions of the USA or Al Queda.

  6. 6
    Julie

    In my tweet searches for my blog I’ve seen countless people enraged over Obama and how he has not officially called this an act of terrorism. Apparently these tcots want Obama to declare war on an Islamic nation…despite the fact this fellow was an American.

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