The real tragedy at Fort Hood

Sonali Kudva

As Veteran’s Day was observed, this country saw a national tragedy that took place at one of the most secure places on U.S. soil: a military base. The shooter was a member of the military and had served his country for many years, albeit in a noncombat role.

But do you know what the real tragedy was?

The most tragic thing was that this man was Muslim. Once again, it appears to have placed those of the Islamic faith in a position of unease, perhaps a defensive position.

A friend of mine posed the question as to whether Nidal Hasan’s faith would have received quite as much coverage had he not been Muslim. That, folks, is the real question. Would it?

I would hazard a guess and say no. It wouldn’t even have been significant enough to mention his beliefs if he weren’t Muslim. And this is why his background and beliefs have been picked over as much as they are being right now.

Is this right? No.

In a country where all are equal and especially where all citizens have the right to their beliefs, it is especially wrong to pick on someone on the basis of what he or she believes.

But such is the nature of humanity that we want to find a definite reason as to why someone would do something like open fire at a military base.

While there is no defense for what he has done, there may be other reasons for what he did. For one thing, there may have been no reason. Nidal Hasan was a psychiatrist who saw the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder as he treated soldiers who returned from war. He repeatedly said he did not want to be deployed overseas to see more of the same. He was against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Does this make him a terrorist?

I have no answer to that, save that it appears he has been tried and convicted already. He is answerable for his crimes, but until proven otherwise, perhaps we can save the judgments for something other than his faith and perhaps consider more hard evidence when it is found.

As investigations are ongoing, perhaps those members of the media who constantly give the investigation a religious-based slant should kindly and firmly keep such biases to themselves. In such a sensitive situation, this may be the correct and the kindest thing to do to promote peace. If suspicious revelations are found pertaining to this man, perhaps an attempt could be made to provide some evidence to back up the same.

After all, circumstantial evidence alone cannot be the basis for a conviction. ? ?

Sonali Kudva is a graduate journalism student and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].