Friday, November 06, 2009

What U.S. Muslims are up against after Fort Hood

In the saturation coverage right after the events, the "expert" talking heads are compelled to offer theories about the causes and consequences. In the following days and weeks, newspapers and magazine will have their theories too. Looking back, we can see that all such efforts are futile. The shootings never mean anything. Forty years later, what did the Charles Whitman massacre [at UT Austin] "mean"? A decade later, do we "know" anything about Columbine? There is chaos and evil in life...

James Fallows

I grieve for the people at Fort Hood, for all soldiers sent to be broken in wars, for Iraqis and Afghans caught in our madness, and for U.S. Muslims who once again have to trot out to reassure ignorant majorities that they aren't all responsible for the actions of a crazy person.

After the condolences and the condemnations of the shootings, this is what the Council on American-Islamic Relations knows it must say to its community:

Unfortunately, based on past experience, we also urge American Muslims, and those who may be perceived to be Muslim, to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves, their families and their religious institutions from possible backlash.

The rest of us should be ashamed that our neighbors have to endure these fears. As Fallows says, these shootings mean nothing, except that some of us lose it sometimes.

(Photo from New York Times.)


Darlene said...

This insane act was one of a very mentally disturbed man who just happened to have a Muslim name. I don't know if he even practiced his religion or if that fact has been reported.

Kay Dennison said...

How sad that such a warning needs to be issued. The Arabs and Muslims I know here are proud, honest and hard-working Americans who came here just as my great times 4 grandfather who came here looking for an opportinity and worked like hell until he found one. This is sad. Then again, shouldn't army bases be more secure -- especially in time of war?

Don said...

Tragic. Even more heartbreaking considering it took place on American soil.

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