It's been almost three years (11/22/2006) since six Muslim clerics were removed from a U.S. Airways flight because passengers were alarmed by their actions - allegedly praying loudly, muttering about politics ("killing Saddam" was heard) and once the six were seated, two in front, two in the middle and two in back, visiting each other to chat. Some asked for seat belt extensions though none of them was obese. This was clearly (it seems to me) a publicity stunt on the Imams part to generate outrage from the Islamic community and the impressionable left. And it succeeded. Investigations were initiated, a lawsuit filed (and settled) and a boycott of U.S. Airways was urged. This had Ann Coulter musing whether U.S. Airways had cooked up the whole affair as an advertising scheme - no Muslims on our airline. Jokes aside, Coulter detailed the blatantly suspicious nature of the clerics behavior. (link below). A reasonable person would not be comfortable taking that flight, or with having a family member taking that flight . (Aside from Coulter's marginally or not so marginally tasteless humor - which by the way is often very funny - she also provides careful research to back up most of her arguments, as she does here).
One of the clerics claimed that their experience would be the equivalent of Roman Catholic bishops being removed from a plane because they wore clerical robes and invoked Jesus Christ in prayers. To which Charles Krauthammer responded that such an action would have been entirely justified if there had been a previous situation where Catholic bishops hid box cutters under their robes and proceeded to hijack planes and fly them into buildings.
But the current politically correct atmosphere prevents justification for recognizing and intervening with a potential terrorist. In what was supposed to be a medical lecture, Major Nidal Malik Hasan gave an hour long harangue on the Koran. He described the punishments to be delivered to nonbelievers — decapitation, having hot oil poured down their throats, eternity in hell. He defended suicide bombing and said that all Muslims should be discharged from the military. Doctors listening to this were reportedly "freaked out". The lecture wasn't Hasan's only incident of bizarre behavior. A colleague was quoted as saying, "he was the kind of guy who the staff actually stood around in the hallway saying: Do you think he’s a terrorist, or is he just weird?”
There were other clues. Intelligence officials discovered that Hasan had numerous communications with Anwar al-Awlaki, a prominent American-born radical cleric now based in Yemen and a known al-Qaeda recruiter. In a piece for The Weekly Standard, Steve Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn detail Awlaki's influence among radicalized Muslims including three of the 9/11 hijackers.
Hasan also reportedly expressed joy over the murder of an Army recruiter in Arkansas. He handed out business cards (business cards!!) calling himself, "Soldier Of Allah". As Mark Steyn points out, "He’d spent most of the last half-decade walking around with a big neon sign on his head saying 'JIHADIST. STAND WELL BACK.'”
And yet nothing was done to stop Hasan. And now that he has acted out his radical inclinations with the murder of 13 people at Ft. Hood, the PC crowd is in full denial mode.
“Told of War Horror, Gunman Feared Deployment.” A NY Times headline explained to its readers.
On MSNBC, Chris Matthews wondered whether we will ever know for sure whether religion was a “factor” in the massacre.
Matthews again. “Apparently he tried to contact al-Qaeda. That’s not a crime to call up al-Qaeda, is it? Is it? I mean, where do you stop the guy?” Matthews hosts a prime time network news program on a major cable TV network. As the "Get Smart" character Harry Hoo would say, "Amazing!"
Newsweek's Evan Thomas worried about the reactionary right. "I cringe that he's a Muslim. I mean, because it just inflames all the fears. I think he's probably just a nut case but, with that label attached to him, it will get the right wing going. And it just, these things are tragic, but that makes it much worse".
Time’s Joe Klein not only denied that Hasan's faith had anything to do with his actions, he blamed Jews for spreading that story. “odious attempts by Jewish extremists . . . to argue that the massacre perpetrated by Nidal Hasan was somehow a direct consequence of his Islamic beliefs.” (If you thought that giving their guy a 57 point plurality in the last presidential election would immunize Jews from antisemitism by liberals, think again. And, yeah, yeah, yeah, Klein is Jewish. Sorry, that's not exculpatory).
Diane Sawyer expressed her wish that Hasan's name was Smith. Hey, Diane. If it was, this wouldn't have happened.
And again the NY Times, Headline - "Little Evidence of Terror Plot in Base Killings", then - "...investigators, working with behavioral experts, suggested that he (Hasan) might have long suffered from emotional problems that were exacerbated by the tensions of his work with veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who returned home with serious psychiatric problems".
The Times is unmatched in trying to manipulate evidence and reasoning to avoid reaching a conclusion that Islamic radicalism may have inspired an act of terrorism. Another Times headline about the arrest of one Mohammed Salameh following the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 stated “Jersey City Man Is Charged in Bombing of Trade Center," as if the suspect's defining characteristic was his place of residence.
George Casey, Chief of Staff of the Army (the Army!!) "...what happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here". (A greater tragedy?!). For some excellent, pointed commentary on Casey's remarks listen to John Derbyshire's latest (11/13) "Radio Derb" on NRO.
Here's Steyn (NRO) commenting about the fashionable diversity fetish.
“Diversity” is one of those words designed to absolve you of the need to think. Likewise, a belief in “multiculturalism” doesn’t require you to know anything at all about other cultures, just to feel generally warm and fluffy about them. Heading out from my hotel room the other day, I caught a glimpse of that 7-Eleven video showing Major Hasan wearing “Muslim” garb to buy a coffee on the morning of his murderous rampage. And it wasn’t until I was in the taxi cab that something odd struck me: He was an American of Arab descent. But he was wearing Pakistani dress — that’s to say, a “Punjabi suit,” as they call it in Britain, or the shalwar kameez, to give it its South Asian name. For all the hundreds of talking heads droning on about “diversity” across the TV networks, it was only Tarek Fatah, writing in the Ottawa Citizen, who pointed out that no Arab males wear this get-up — with one exception: Those Arab men who got the jihad fever and went to Afghanistan to sign on with the Taliban and al-Qaeda. In other words, Major Hasan’s outfit symbolized the embrace of an explicit political identity entirely unconnected with his ethnic heritage.
Mr. Fatah would seem to be a genuine “multiculturalist”: That’s to say, he’s attuned to often very subtle “diversities” between cultures. Whereas the professional multiculturalist sees the 7-Eleven video and coos, “Aw, look. He’s wearing . . . well, something exotic and colorful, let’s not get hung up on details. Celebrate diversity, right? Can we get him in the front row for the group shot? We may be eligible for a grant.”
Enough "warm and fluffy" diversity speak. Back to the real world. Victor Davis Hanson (NRO) explains the true thread that links Ft. Hood with similar events.
In truth, the Fort Hood murders fit into a now familiar pattern of radical Islam-inspired violence that manifests itself in two principal ways.
First are the formal terrorist plots. Radical Muslims have attempted, in coordinated fashion, to blow up a bridge, explode a train, assault a military base, and topple a high-rise building — in ways al-Qaeda terrorist leaders abroad warned us would follow 9/11.
This year alone, three terrorist plots have been foiled.
Najibullah Zazi was indicted for plans to set off a bomb in New York on the anniversary of 9/11.
Daniel Patrick Boyd and Hysen Sherifi were charged with conspiring to murder U.S. military personnel at the Quantico, Va., military base.
Hosam Maher Husein Smadi — a 19-year-old Jordanian in the U.S. illegally — was arrested after being accused of placing what he thought were explosives near a 60-story office tower in Dallas.
In all these cases, the plotter (or plotters) either had ties to terrorists or voiced Islamic-fueled anger at the U.S.
More than 20 other domestic terrorist plots have been stopped by law enforcement agencies since 9/11. On average, in the 98 months since the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, a radical Islamic-inspired terrorist plot has been uncovered every four months.
There have also been “lone wolf” mass murders in which angry radical Muslims sought to channel their frustrations and failures into violence against their perceived enemies of Islam.
Since September 11, several Muslim men have run over innocent bystanders or shot random people at or near military bases, synagogues, and shopping malls.
After the initial hysteria died down, we were usually told that such acts were isolated incidents, involving personal “issues” rather than radical Islamic hatred of the U.S. Yet a few examples show that was not quite the case.
The just-executed sniper John Allan Muhammad, who, along with an accomplice, killed ten, voiced approval of Osama bin Laden and radical Islamic violence.
Naveed Afzal Haq is currently on trial for going on a murderous rampage at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle building. A survivor said Haq stated his attack was a “personal statement against Jews.”
Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar ran over nine students at the University of North Carolina. Officers said he told them afterward he wanted to avenge the deaths of Muslims worldwide.
Omeed Aziz Popal struck 18 pedestrians with his car near a Jewish center in San Francisco. Witnesses say he said, “I am a terrorist,” at the scene.
No doubt in each case, experts could assure us that there were extenuating personal circumstances — stresses and mental illnesses that better explain what happened.
In an NRO column (link below - read it!) Andrew McCarthy, the chief prosecutor in the trial that convicted the blind sheik, Omar Abdel Rahman for his part in the World Trade Center 1993 bombing, warns "...be prepared for more Fort Hoods. We’re not in September 10 America. We’ve managed to land in a much more dangerous place." To Evan Thomas, McCarthy is probably just another right wing crazy.