A Key Failure In Understanding Nidal Hasan
From today's Washington Post
"[Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan] had his struggles, and he embraced his religion with such intensity that one wondered whether he" could have suffered from a form of "delusion," the [Walter Reed] staffer said. He cited as an example -- without speaking of Hasan in particular -- the belief that the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are against Muslims rather than against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein's government and then insurgents in Iraq.
The view that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are directed at Islam is not "delusional" -- it's the product of a selective worldview shaped by an overwhelming amount of public discourse from authority figures within the Muslim world, and to a lesser extent, the Muslim-American world.
This "War on Islam" concept is an major component of radical thought, although the opinion is so widespread that it's probably unreasonable to say it's outside the Muslim mainstream (on a worldwide basis).
The "delusion" comment betrays such a profound lack of understanding and attention to the global Muslim public square that it's easy to see how Hasan's colleagues could have missed more important signs of extremism.
And for those keeping score, one of Anwar Awlaki's more popular audio tracts is titled "It's a War Against Islam."
Labels: American-Jihadists, Anwar-Aulaqi, Nidal-Malik-Hasan