Soldiers should not be “Scapegoats” for Fort Hood massacre

Shooting rampage deserves systemic revisions to eliminate political correctness in military

PHOENIX (January 18, 2010) –The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) is calling on Defense Secretary Robert Gates to address the root problem that led to the massacre at Fort Hood before more American citizens are killed. The United States Military needs a systemic and cultural analysis to eliminate the influence of political correctness in its handling of Islamist radicalization issues. This analysis should lead to specific guidelines and directives for supervising officers that gives the (up to now glaringly missing) guidance and support with regards to various ideological warning signs which Islamists (Muslims who believe in political Islam) may harbor in the ranks of the military, DoD and other branches of government.

The military and other branches of the U.S. government must undertake a comprehensive process to eradicate the climate of fear and political correctness when dealing with the theo-political ideologies of Muslims within their ranks. This climate contributed greatly to the misguided actions of the officers supervising Major Hasan. To scapegoat those officers without addressing the pathologies and impact of the climate in which they operate compounds the problem rather than solves it. Our greatest liability is not those officers but the politically correct climate in America today which is negligently blind to the threat of political Islam. Secretary Gates cannot let this stand and we cannot ignore the impact of victim-mongering, litigious organizations like CAIR and their Islamist brethren.

“The military cannot allow the mantra of victimization of Muslims to dominate how it handles force protection,” said former US Navy Lieutenant Commander, M. Zuhdi Jasser, President and Founder of AIFD. “Islamist radicalization is real and it cannot be confronted unless we are honest about the threat it represents. Hasan is not the first soldier to be radicalized and he won’t be the last if we do not address the real issues.”

The ideology of Political Islam is at the heart of the Fort Hood incident. Former Secretary Togo West and Admiral Vern Clark’s refusals to publicly address the Islamist roots in the shootings are troubling. Soldiers who were not trained to identify radicalization and who would have been vilified if they had addressed radicalization in Hasan’s performance reports should not be punished. Hasan’s victims deserve a full revision of how the U.S. Military handles Islamist radicalization within its ranks.

At a January 15, 2010, press conference Secretary Gates himself stated, “Current policies on prohibited activities provide neither the authority nor the tools for commanders and supervisors to intervene when DoD personnel [are]at risk of personal radicalization.” Yet the Secretary has recommended Secretary of the Army John McHugh “take appropriate action” with regards to recommendations from the West-Clark review for personnel responsible for supervising Major Hasan.

“How can we hold these soldiers responsible for Hasan’s actions if we aren’t giving them the tools they need to confront Islamist radicalization?” said Jasser. “If the Military’s solution is to scapegoat these soldiers instead of fighting the root political problems, we will see many more Nidal Hasan’s.”

About the American Islamic Foundation for Democracy

The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. AIFD’s mission advocates for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state. For more information on AIFD, please visit our website at http://www.aifdemocracy.org/.

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