The FBI and other federal authorities are reportedly still trying to figure out Maj. Nidal M. Hasan's motive for opening fire at Fort Hood. Let's take a look at Hasan's June 2007 50-slide presentation to senior Army doctors to see if we can unravel this mystery. According to the Washington Post, Hasan was "supposed to discuss a medical topic during" the presentation, but instead "he lectured on Islam, suicide bombers and threats the military could encounter from Muslims conflicted about fighting wars in Muslim countries." Hasan's presentation was titled, "The Koranic World View As It Relates to Muslims in the U.S. Military." It is fairly obvious that Hasan endorsed the jihadist view of the world in which believers are rewarded, while the infidels are punished. And only those believers who truly follow Allah's commandments will be rewarded in the afterlife. Allah's demands, according to Hasan, included participation in an offensive jihad against Islam's enemies. On page 11, Hasan included this quote: "It's getting harder and harder for Muslims in the service to morally justify being in a military that seems constantly engaged against fellow Muslims." Interestingly, Hasan's words were echoed by al Qaeda cleric Anwar al Awlaki in his post (now offline) praising Hasan's shooting spree. Awlaki said Hasan "is a man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against its own people." Many of the slides include quotes from the Koran, including those that justify both defensive and offensive jihad against the unbelievers. In fact, the slides are mostly standard jihadist fare. On slide 35, Hasan explained that earlier Koranic verses were peaceful and "Muslims were not permitted to defend themselves/fight. There (sic) only job was to deliver the message (peaceful verses)." But after the Muslim emigration to Mecca, "Self defense was allowed" and "Then offensive fighting was allowed." As a result, "Later verses abrogated former ie: peaceful verses no longer apply." Hasan concluded slide 35, immediately after noting that "offensive fighting" was justifiable and that the Koran's "peaceful verses" were no longer germane by noting: "Indeed at one point Islamic empire spanned from Morroco/Spain to the Border of India/China." It is not much of a stretch to assume that Hasan was pining for the days of an Islamic empire. The loss of that empire is the central lament of today's jihadists. Hasan worked his way through a number of Koranic verses, demonstrating what he perceived as an evolution from "peaceful" verses to a call for an offensive jihad. On slide 44, he introduced the culmination of this evolution (emphasis in original):
"Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgement of superiority and they are in a state subjection."
The final three slides are particularly troubling. Slide 48 includes a list of bullet points that read: "Osama bin Laden," "Taliban," "Suicide bombers," "Iran." The slide continues:
If Muslim groups can convince Muslims that they are fighting for God against injustices of the "infidels"; ie: enemies of Islam, then Muslims can become a potent adversary ie: suicide bombing, etc.
Then this:
We love death more then (sic) you love life!
There is nothing in the presentation that suggests Hasan disapproved of this sentiment. Hasan then moved onto his conclusions, saying that "God expects full loyalty. Promises heaven and threatens with Hell." Moreover, "Muslims may be seen as moderate (compromising) but God is not." The results of Hasan's "logic" are not surprising:
Fighting to establish an Islamic State to please God, even by force, is condoned by the (sic) Islam. Muslims Soldiers should not serve in any capacity that renders them at risk to hurting/killing believers unjustly --> will vary!
Because loyal Muslims will not want to disobey Allah and kill believers, Hasan recommended (on page 50):
Department of Defense should allow Muslims Soldiers the option of being released as "Conscientious objectors" to increase troop morale and decrease adverse events.
So, let's sum up Hasan's views, as expressed in his presentation. He said it was getting harder for Muslims to be loyal members of the U.S. military because it seems to be "constantly engaged against fellow Muslims." This same sentiment was repeated by Anwar al Awlaki, a known al Qaeda cleric, in his tribute to the Fort Hood Shooter. Hasan stated that the Koran advocates offensive jihad against the unbelievers until they are subjugated, and did not say that he disapproved of this command. Hasan pined for the days of an Islamic empire and stated that fighting to establish an "Islamic state to please God, even by force, is condoned" by Islam. And Muslim soldiers cannot justifiably engage in any activities that hurt/kill their fellow believers, therefore the DOD should allow them to be "Conscientious objectors." The FBI and other U.S. government agencies claim that they are having a hard time figuring out what, precisely, was Hasan's motivation. The truth is that his presentation is further evidence that he is a fairly typical jihadist ideologue. It is not surprising, therefore, that he would reach out to an al Qaeda cleric who preaches the same.
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