I'm sure everyone has read at a least a few articles like the one below.Suspect, devout Muslim from Va., wanted Army discharge, aunt saidHe prayed every day at the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring, a devout Muslim who, despite asking to be discharged from the U.S. Army, was on the eve of his first deployment to war. Yesterday, authorities said Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, a 39-year-old Arlington-born psychiatrist, shot and killed 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex.
As conservatives like to argue, we are primarily a Christian nation. Or at least the media, and much of the public likes to think so. Further we are at war with two Muslim nations. Since 9/11 the media, The Pentagon and many politicians have been painting Muslims as evil terrorists. Here in the South, it's common bar talk for folks to argue just to nuke all of the Muslims. In some of our local churches we're taught that Allah is really Satan, so Muslims are devil worshipers. Less extreme churches paint Allah as a false god, and Mohammad as a false prophet. In my personal experience in Southern Churches, I have not seen any tolerance for Islam. It's bad enough to learn in Sunday School that God probably has a grading system of different levels of Heaven for the different Christian faiths. The best Christian faiths get the best rooms in heaven, while the other faiths get to claim heaven's slums.
In early childhood, I didn't attend bible school or know too many folks from our church. Later as a preteen, I started attending bible school regularly, and evidently missed out on my formative years of bible school training as a I didn't understand who I was supposed to hate, or how to be acceptably racist. And it never really took. How am I supposed to hate people I've never met, and know nothing about?
As an adult, I think that helped some. For a time I was doing international training and working with folks from China and Qatar. I found the differences and similarities in attitudes and cultures to be fascinating and interesting. During this time, most of my friends were European transplants working here or going to school on Visas. I discovered that some of island folk and Cubans were a blast to hang out with. My native friends understood me and had no problem with that, but many Texans that knew, but weren't friends with couldn't understand why I enjoyed the company of 'Fill in Racial Slur Here'. One question I was asked a few times was, "Aren't you scared to go jamming with Cubans? they aren't like us. They are poor. they might rob you." Or, "How can you hang out with those people, (Irish), they don't even speak English..."
But I seem to be digressing... In my own culture I've seen the hate, the intolerance and the venom that my fellow man can express. People who seem sane and reasonable in the company of their own kind can often hide an ugly side that simply needs a little encouragement to come out.
On this note, I can see how that murderer at Ft Hood must have endured years of abuse in a horrifying work environment.
I do not condone what he did. I condemn it. Let me be clear on that.
But I'm actually surprised that so far, he's been the only Muslim to break, in a military that teaches the recruits that Muslims are a sub-human enemy, meant to be despised. And as we're fighting two wars that were advertised to be acts of vengeance against Islam for 9/11. Payback if you will. I don't understand why the military didn't quietly start a program of honorably discharging Muslims from it's ranks.
Even though many conservatives will openly deny it, I've met quite a lot of people that look at our two wars as crusades against Islam. They want the wars expanded, because they believe, that they are in struggle to the death between Christianity and Islam. They believe that only one side can survive the struggle and if they don't wipe out the Islamic Religion, then the Muslims will exterminate all of the Christians. These people are patriotic, and believe that their way of life depends on this struggle. They see the military as their vehicle for engaging in their Holy Crusade. And the military of course, gladly accepts any recruit that is itching to get some payback for 9/11.
We know that Muslim Clerics in the ME are preaching that this is a Holy War against the Christian Crusaders. We can lie to ourselves and say that's not what it is, but so long as the military is recruiting fundamentalist Christians from the South, that is going to be the nature of these wars.
Of course if we say it out loud, we lose must of our righteous justification for slaughtering people to capture land we don't need, in a place that most Americans can't find on a map.
But that's why many recruits sign up. Why we have these wars is of course, because some people get richer by getting us into wars.
A lot of very influential people are making huge fortunes on these wars. So there's no reason to think were going to win them or quit them. Victory and Defeat would both destroy the flow of money from you and I into over bloated bank accounts. So there's no financial incentive to quit slaughtering people.
And though I think most of the educated public is tired of the war and about half the nation has wanted them ended for some time, there is still a big contingency of folks that believe that were are fighting a righteous war for God. And these people are willing to sign up, and go kill Muslims for Jesus. Our military encourages this, and reinforces any beliefs that lead to making young men into efficient killing machines.
So in this view, is it wise to allow Muslims to serve in our armed forces? Can you treat a man as an enemy for years, and expect him to be your friend when you need help?
And finally, yes, I know where this leads. I think most of you know my views by now. I want the war over. I want our boys home. I want tolerance and respect on both sides. I want Christians to tolerate and respect Muslims and I want Muslims to tolerate and respect Christians. Oh Yeah, and I also want a flying horse, a 600 acre ranch, lots of dough in my bank account and to play guitar and sing much better than I do...
Segregation can lead to internment camps and all of the other horrors. We seem to have some of that now. But it could get worse. But I wonder what the fall out from this shooting will be? As the wars will continue, we'll have more events like these. We did in Vietnam and in that war, we didn't have a lot of Vietnamese in the USA. Now we're in a Holy War against Islam and we do have many Muslims living in the USA.
In times like these, I don't think we're all that smart.