God bless our troops in Fort Hood, the nation and abroad. This thought entered my mind as I watched the tragedy unfold in Texas the other day, and usually slips in whenever I hear about the men and women placing their lives at risk to defend our freedoms every day.
On Nov. 5, Major Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire in Fort Hood’s Soldier Readiness Center and killed 13 people. Just before he started mercilessly slaughtering troops, who were preparing to be deployed to the Middle East, he shouted, “Allahu Akbar!” In Arabic, this means “God is great!”
In the bloody aftermath of this cowardly attack, officials are trying to determine whether it was the work of just a psychopathic killer or if it had ties to terrorism.
According to the Associated Press, students in a master’s program complained to the faculty that Hasan held anti-American views and gave a presentation that justified suicide bombing and suggested that Islamic law overruled the U.S. Constitution.
Even more sickening is the fact that students were reportedly afraid to report Hasan because they were concerned they would be labeled “politically incorrect,” “hateful” or “intolerant.”
And now, 13 people are dead at the hands of a domestic terrorist. I highly doubt that Hasan watched Fox News or that he even went to a Tea Party protest. No, Hasan was an actual violent terrorist who posed a threat to our nation’s citizens and nothing was done to prevent his attack. Hasan is to blame for the deaths of these people, but our addiction to “tolerance” placed a hold on our ability to stop him.
More and more, we see this occurring in the United States and other modern countries. We bask in the fear of retribution, yet we are unable to defend our own nation when the situation calls for it.
Remember the “South Park” episode “Cartoon Wars?” Trey Parker and Matt Stone may be coarse and vulgar, but they accurately portrayed the disgusting double standard that has overcast our nation. They attempted to depict the prophet Mohammed handing a football to Peter Griffin, a character from “Family Guy,” but were censored by Comedy Central executives.
In response, they showed Jesus Christ and a few prominent U.S. political figures defecating on each other as well as the U.S. flag. Comedy Central felt no need to censor this vulgar display.
All too often, this happens in the media and our entertainment. Roland Emmerich, in his new movie “2012,” willingly shows numerous Christian symbols and buildings being flattened by the apocalypse, but he opts to keep a holy Muslim shrine, the Kaaba, standing after the destruction has subsided.
And none of us can forget the Jyllands-Posten cartoon controversy back in 2005, when a Danish newspaper depicted Mohammed in a negative light. The result? Several violent protests were held by Muslims, which resulted in more than 100 deaths.
“South Park” was censored, the Danish newspaper was censored and all for what? Fear. Executives favored silencing opinions because they were afraid of how a few extremists would respond.
Christians in the United States are often described as evil, intolerant people who support destructive Crusades in the effort to expand their religion. Maybe this was true back in the 15th century, but I certainly haven’t heard of any Christians strapping bombs to their chests and blowing up women and children lately.
Our nation’s double standard regarding “tolerance” is not acceptable. I can understand respecting other beliefs and following the Golden Rule, especially when it comes to people of other faith. We do need to learn to coexist peacefully, but as long as the United States continues down the path of weakness and fear, domestic terrorists like Major Nidal Malik Hasan will ensure that coexisting is impossible.
Josh Phillips is a senior business administration major. His column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org._