Reflections on the First Days of Terrorist Nidal Hasan’s Trial
This posting is a sequel to THIS article
Finally, after four long years of waiting, the court-marshal of Nidal Hasan began on Tuesday, the 6th of August. I wasn’t surprised when the standby attorney for the defendant “told a judge Wednesday that Major Nidal Hasan appears intent on receiving a death sentence.” The attorney probably didn’t realize the significance of such an attitude on Hasan’s part. It illustrates his “metanoia.” Such an attitude constitutes a personality that has undergone a total and radical change of mind and perspective. Let me explain.
During the early years of his life in the United States, as a son of immigrant Palestinians, he must have learned a great deal at school and in his social milieu about what it was to be and live as an American. Along the way, he should have become aware that America was a “melting-pot;” where all people are equal under the law, regardless of race, faith, or ethnic background. However, at some point in his adulthood, he rejected those operating principles, which most Americans hold sacred, and which guide their understanding of their place in history. Hasan replaced the principles of freedom and liberty with a submission and loyalty to the Universal Islamic Umma and its worldview!
The WSJ reported that “Maj. Hasan has compared himself to a soldier who switched sides. He describes it as a war between the U.S. and his Islamic faith… ‘The evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter,’ Maj. Hasan said in an opening statement that lasted little more than a minute.”
Difficult as it is to comprehend the premeditated action of an American doctor/military officer to murder his fellow soldiers, I would like to submit this thesis that may help us understand how he reached the decision to commit such a horrific massacre:
“Muslims carry within their cultural and religious baggage a strong exclusivist belief that they are the guardians of Allah’s mission and message to all mankind. Danger is on the horizon when this belief becomes extreme and radicalized in certain Muslims. For such persons, this exclusivism may lie dormant in their consciousness until conditions become ripe for putting a more extreme face on this worldview, which in turn can lead to the commission of terrorist acts. A Muslim man’s journey starts in earnest when he begins attending mosques led by fiery and radical Imams. Such Imams harangue worshippers during the Friday worship services with messages filled with invectives against the Kuffar. All non-Muslims who do not submit to Islam fit into this hated category.
“Even the most ‘moderate’ Muslim, attending this type of Friday’s propagandistic services week after week and month after month, becomes susceptible to forming an attitude and a mindset extremely negative of all non-Muslims that could eventually wreak havoc in various ways, including terror attacks. The continuous virulence of such an Imam’s sermons, coupled no doubt with copious quotations from the Qur’an and the Hadiths backing up such rants, would inevitably trigger in the psyche of a certain type of believer open to acting on the impulses that such rhetoric a dangerous urge to do something ‘fi Sabeel Allah’ (in the pathway of Allah). As recent history has proven, Muhammad ‘Atta and his vicious cohorts certainly gleaned hatred from such instruction and perpetrated the horror of 9/11. ‘Atta was a normal middle-class Egyptian student who impressed his professors at the University of Hamburg as a diligent student. He underwent his “metanoia” while attending the Friday Prayers at the Jerusalem Mosque in that city, where its imam continued his vicious messages against the West from week to week.”
“In the case of Nidal Hasan, the imam who re-shaped his psyche was none other than Anwar
Al-Awlaki. He was the imam of a large mosque at Falls Church, Virginia (2001-2002) that had 3000 members. He spoke and preached to three of the 9/11 hijackers, and presided at the funeral of Nidal Hassan’s father. Nidal began to correspond with him in 2008-2009. Even though Al-Awlaki was born in the United States, he evidenced no love for the land that had welcomed his Yemeni parents. Eventually, he went back to Yemen, where not along ago, he was killed by a drone attack!”
What could have impelled Nidal Hasan to ask for the death penalty?! There is no doubt that he wanted to die as a “shaheed” (martyr), in his jihad against America. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the term martyr applies in to men and women who refuse to compromise their faith and thus, are condemned to death by the persecuting authorities. However in Islam a “shaheed” is a term applied to any Muslim who dies in a struggle that is regarded as a just Islamic cause, For example, the more than one hundred thousands who have been killed in Syria by the Government forces since 15 March, 2011, are regarded as “shuhadah” (plural of shaheed.)
It is likely that Al-Awlaki, at one time or another would have preached positively about certain inflammable words from the Qur’an, such as these from the Second Sura Ayah 154: “And call not those who are slain in the way of Allah “dead.” Nay, they are living, only ye perceive not.” Or perhaps these words from the Third Sura, Ayahs 169-171: “Think not of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead. Nay, they live finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord. They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah: and with regard to those left behind, who have not yet joined them (in their bliss), the (martyrs) glory in the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve. They glory in the Grace and the Bounty from Allah, and in the fact that Allah suffereth not the reward of the faithful to be lost (in the least).” Such words stressed over and over and with passionate pleading by Imams the world over have produced a growing list of radicalized Muslims ready to kill in the cause of their Allah.
The foreign media, especially in Europe, is doing a good job covering the trial. For example, the French online daily, Le Monde, headlined its report: «Fusillade de Fort Hood: l’accusé veut être exécuté. » (The Shootings at Fort Hood: “The Accused wants to be executed.” (Tuesday, 6 August) ““
«Considéré comme un « loup solitaire » d’Al-Qaida, Hasan a plusieurs fois reconnu avoir tué 13 personnes et blessé des dizaines d’autres à Fort Hood, mais le code militaire lui interdit de négocier une peine en plaidant coupable.»
“Considered as a ‘lone wolf’ of Al-Qaida, Hasan has admitted several times having killed 13 persons and injured dozens at Fort Hood, but the military code does not allow him to negotiate a sentence when pleading as guilty.”
«Dans une courte déclaration liminaire à l’ouverture de son procès mardi, Hasan a encore reconnu être “le tireur”. “Nous, les moudjahidines, sommes des musulmans loin d’être parfaits qui tentons d’établir une religion parfaite sur la terre de Dieu, a-t-il dit. »
In a brief declaration at the beginning of the trial on Tuesday, Hasan reiterated that he was the one who ‘opened fire.’ ‘“We, the Mujahideen, are Muslims who are far from being perfect while we seek to establish a perfect religion on God’s earth, he decaled. [Translation mine]
On Tuesday, 6 August, 2013. The Guardian published this important information:
“Military prosecutor Colonel Steve Henricks told jurors on Tuesday that Hasan planned to “kill as many soldiers as he could”, and said the prosecution will show jurors that Hasan picked the date of the attack for a reason. Henricks told jurors that the shooting was meticulously planned. He said that on the day of the attack Hasan stuffed paper towels into the pockets of his cargo pants; to muffle to sound of his concealed weapons. Hasan is paralysed from the waist down, having been shot by officers responding to the attack. He presented his case from a wheelchair.”
I’m puzzled, even shocked that the Arabic-language media has remained totally silent about the trial. Perhaps they thought it inappropriate to cover news of the trial during Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan feast)? Other controversial news continues to be reported, such as the growing conflict between the military and the followers of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the unending civil war in Syria, and the deteriorating situation in neighboring Lebanon. Or, could it be too delicate a matter to publicize the trial, as it may ignite further hostilities against the West?
As of Monday, the 19th of August, all the online Arabic-language media that I checked had still not a word about Nidal Hassan’s court martial!