If someone looks like a Muslim terrorist, identifies as a Soldier of Allah, is mentored by a Muslim terrorist, and then slaughters Americans on a military base in cold blood in the name of Allah, that person is obviously a Muslim terrorist – unless, of course, that person is Nidal Malik Hasan, the accused Fort Hood mass murderer.
It is tragic enough that Hasan is charged with taking the lives of 13 innocent people and wounding 30 more. It adds salt to the wounds to realize that he has received nearly $300,000 in military pay since the Fort Hood shootings in 2009 while languishing in the hospital (after being shot) and in prison.
But it is utterly outrageous that our government still refuses to call him a terrorist, specifically, a Muslim terrorist. In fact, it is not just outrageous, it is hypocritical.
Consider that Hasan was inspired by the radical Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a man considered so dangerous that he was killed in Yemen by an American drone attack September 30, 2011.
How can it be, then, that the teacher is a terrorist and the student, who murderously follows his teacher’s tenets, is not a terrorist? What kind of sophistry is this?
It has been common knowledge for years that Hasan’s colleagues noticed his increasing radicalization, that his co-workers at Walter Reed Medical Center were concerned about his behavior, and that he turned what was supposed to be a medical lecture into a radical Islamic screed in which he allegedly justified suicide bombings, reportedly stating that if you didn’t believe in the Koran, “you are condemned to hell. Your head is cut off. You're set on fire. Burning oil is burned down your throat.”
Finally, on November 5, 2009, witnesses state that Hasan sat quietly at a table with his head bowed for a few seconds, he jumped to his feet shouting, “Allahu Akbar!” and started spraying people with bullets.
And the government has the gall to classify this as “workplace violence”?
Now, on the eve of his trial, Hasan has released documents in which he refers to himself as SoA, meaning “Soldier of Allah” (not, “Sold Out American”!). This same abbreviation was found on his business card at the time of his shooting – but he, of course, is not a Muslim terrorist.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.