November 5, 2009

No sooner was the identity of the Fort Hood shooter released -- a man with the Arab name Nadal Malik Hasan -- than the wingnuts sprang into predictable action: Of course he was a jihadi embarking on a murderous terrorism spree!

Pam "Atlas Barks" Geller immediately proclaimed it "an obvious act terrorism" and ran big all all caps heads declaring: "IT'S THE JIHAD STUPID." Elsewhere in the right blogosphere, people like the folks at HotAir jumped all over the "news" that Hasan was a convert to Islam.

Then Shepard Smith interviewed Hasan's cousin, and we found out that this was all so much tripe:

-- Hasan was American born and educated, but raised Muslim. He was not a convert.

-- He had never previously been deployed to Iraq or anywhere overseas, for that matter. So much for the theories he suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

-- He was regularly abused by his colleagues in the military for being Muslim -- called a "raghead" and other such terms -- and had been seeking to get out of the military because the environment had become so hostile.

Another interview, on just before this one, that Smith had with a former colleague of Hasan's indicated that Hasan was prone to making outrageous remarks about Muslims "defending themselves," particularly in reference to last summer's shooting of two military recruiters in Arkansas by a Muslim convert.

There are also reports that he had recently been the victim of a hate crime: His car was vandalized, with the word "Allah" scratched into the paint, and he was reportedly extremely upset by it.

It's obviously a complicated story. We'd all be well advised to reserve the speculation to actual hard facts about the case as they emerge. But it certainly appears this is much a matter of Columbine-like backlash to bullying as it is anything ideological.

And no, it's not the Jihad, stupid.

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