Jewish Journal

The Muslim Army major at center of Fort Hood massacre

by Brad A. Greenberg

November 5, 2009 | 8:42 pm

Malik Hasan

It’s never a good sign when I receive an e-mail from the Muslim Public Affair Council with the heading “MPAC CONDEMNS ...”

Today, the condemnation was in regards to the massacre at Fort Hood that left at least 12 dead and 31 injured. Why was MPAC weighing in? Sometimes the organization speaks out just to offer condolences. Not the case today.

The Fort Hood gunman was alllegedly one Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a psychiatrist. I don’t know who that is. But I recognize that as an Arabic name. I don’t need to explain why that most certainly has many Muslim Americans on edge:

By Thursday evening, nevertheless, Arab-American and Muslim-American advocacy organizations were already readying themselves for a backlash. The Arab-American Institute said it received one threatening call from an unidentified male shortly after reports surfaced that the name of the alleged shooting suspect was Nidal Malik Hasan. The group, which condemned the massacre, said it was expecting more.

“We like to give people the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to being a reactionary thing,” said Leigh O’Neill, director of government relations for the organization. “But there is a lot of hate out there and hate is hate. It is bipartisan and doesn’t have geographic balance. We feel terrible for the victims today. And I wish people will understand when crime is crime and terrorism is terrorism.”

ABC News’ Brian Ross reported that Hasan was a recent convert to Islam.

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