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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

OVBIAGELE: Fort Hood shooter’s actions perpetuate stigma of Muslims


“Murder is murder and has no religion whatsoever” according to Arsalan Iftikhar, a human rights lawyer. I absolutely agree.

Americans’ unholy distrust and prejudice toward Muslims bubbled to the surface once again when Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. Army psychiatrist, killed 13 people at the Fort Hood Soldier Readiness Processing Center.

Hasan’s hateful actions should be treated as a case of an individual committing murder and not as a representation of Muslim hate of America.

Because when Sgt. John M. Russell killed five comrades at a clinic on a U.S. base in Iraq in May, no one called for special scrutiny of white males in the Army.

When Scott Roeder yelled “Hail Mary” while murdering an abortion medical provider during a church service in Kansas in May, no one chastised all Christians.

And when the Christian group Army of God bombed a gay nightclub in Atlanta in February 1997, no one classified the action as Christian-like.

So why can’t we all judge Hasan’s actions on an individual basis too? Hypocrisy is a folly.

But of course, you know the issues that made headlines. Underneath the pure evilness of Hasan’s act, an entire religion was once again victimized.

Details of Hasan’s Arab descent and his screaming “Allahu Akbar” (Arabic for “God is great”) before opening fire seemed to almost override the heinousness of the act. (Mind you it’s pronounced AAHR-UHB not AY-RAB — get it right!)

Days after the shooting, some conservative pundits like Ann Coulter derailed the severity of the issue by going on stupid babbles aimed at generalizing an entire subset of innocent people.

“A Muslim killed 13 Americans and you are worried about those poor Muslims,” she said, mocking those concerned about the effect of the event on Muslims. I couldn’t believe such nonsense.

And the awfulness of this is the fact that some Americans do share Coulter’s view. Some believe this in the deep silence of their hearts or in their outward show of barbarity.

This was displayed in Illinois a few days ago, when a woman quibbled about the massacre and tugged the headscarf of a U.S.-born Muslim woman, Amal Abusumayah, standing in line at a local grocery store. I guess sanity is overrated.

Such actions cannot be justified. If for some strange reason you are able to find an ounce of justification for such racism and bigotry, then you must be nuts. No need for sugarcoating.

It amazes me that after America’s racially charged past and its progress toward equality, some people are bent on marring these progressive efforts. But this time, with a different scapegoat: Muslims.

At this point, it would be important to state that this atrocious and shameful behavior is embodied by few, as an overwhelming majority of Americans believe in the respect of people regardless of racial roots, ethnicity or religious views.

Most Americans believe in judging people on the sole basis of individual character and not by the color of their skin, a hijab, the length of a beard, a foreign accent, religious affiliation or generalizations.

But the few who do judge by these criteria stick out like a sore thumb and taint the amiable beliefs of the majority. These maggots of society should be rebuked in order to not risk halting America’s progress toward positive race relations.

There are close to 10,000 Muslims in the U.S. Army, and about 3,400 American Muslims are in active-duty military around the world, according to Pentagon statistics.

Every day, these men and women put their lives on the line for this country, not to mention the priceless cultural diversity and multilingualism they provide to America’s military endeavors.

They are Americans. Plain and simple. To blame the sins of one madman on the entire American Muslim community would be unjust, ludicrous and practicing terrorism in every sense of the word.

Food For Thought: When the destiny of another is involved, it is better to listen to the voices of rationality, than act based on a stimulus of passion. For passion acts before asking questions.

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