Focus Article: Faith or Trauma: Questioning the Motivation of the Fort Hood Shooter
by Louise A. Cainkar
Major Nidal Hasan is undergoing social construction in the American mainstream media. Here we have a man who engaged in mass killing, a type of event we experience every few years in the United States. Questions abound as to what drove him to commit these acts, but a rush to connect his actions with Islamic extremism is irresponsible.
Major Hasan enlisted and became an active duty Army officer in 1997. He had to have known by then that there was a possibility he would be sent to a base in the “Middle East.” He had to have thought about and reconciled the personal meaning of serving in the American military and clearly made a decision he could live with. He must have been recognized early on for his abilities: the Army put him through medical school, psychiatric specialization training, and medical residency.
Major Hasan spent the entire course of residency and subsequent professional life listening to and counseling veterans returning from war in Iraq and Afghanistan at Walter Reed Army Hospital. One can only imagine the impact of this experience on him.
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- Fort Hood Tragedy: What Muslims Know and what non-Muslims conveniently don’t by Robert Salaam
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