One reads and hears with increasing disbelief and anger that we don't know the motive or motives of Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army major who fired over 100 shots at his fellow American soldiers in order to murder and maim as many as possible. Hasan ended up allegedly murdering 13 people, but government and Army spokesmen and the mainstream media claim they just can't figure out why he did this. They are, however, certain that it was not an act of terrorism.
Sunday's New York Times "Week in Review" article about Nidal Hasan was titled "When Soldiers Snap." The gist of the article was that Maj. Hasan had snapped -- even though he had never been in combat. He snapped in advance. Just two sentences in the article were devoted to the possibility that his motives were in any way relatable to his Muslim faith.
As Chris Matthews put it, "it's unclear if religion was a factor in this shooting." To Matthews, not only was it unclear if Hasan's Islamic faith was "the" factor, it was unclear if it was even "a" factor.
Likewise, on NPR, Tom Gjelten offered the novel explanation that Hasan, who has never been in combat, may have suffered from "pre-traumatic stress disorder" because he anticipated having traumatic distress. "Was he an example," Gjelten seriously asked, "of these soldiers who are literally freaked out by what they are likely to face when they are deployed?"
And on Fox News, Geraldo Rivera, said, "I don't know what motivates him ... as far as I know ... he's a sociopath; he's a criminal. He could have had a toothache and gone off because of that."
The deaths and maiming at Fort Hood are heartbreaking and angering. But ultimately far more injurious to America than the act of evil that caused those deaths and injuries is the massive self-deception American society engages in out of fear of being called bigoted, racist or "Islamaphobic."
Any American who is not prepared to lie to himself has reason to believe that Hasan's religious views were prominent, if not exclusive, factors for why he slaughtered fellow American soldiers. The motives appear as clear as any could be.
Chuck Medley, Fort Hood's director of Emergency Services, told Reuters that Hasan yelled "Allahu Akbar" -- the Arabic incantation of "Allah is the greatest" yelled by Islamic terrorists before they slaughter people -- just before the shooting,