Tag Archives: Nidal Hasan

I Had Really Underestimated White, Christian Privilege

Consider the cases of Joseph Stack and Amy Bishop, who crashed a plane into an office building while 200 people were inside, and who shot up a bunch of colleagues at a faculty meaning, respectively.

Because I’m an arabist and I’m dead tired of seeing Islam being tied to terrorism, I’m going to point out that both of these characters have inherently Christian names. Yet there are no pundits proclaiming, “As soon as I heard the name ‘Joseph,’ I knew it was Christian violence,” or “What else would you expect from someone named ‘Bishop‘?” The news doesn’t bother to report on their church attendance, their church background or lack of it, or how many times a day they might have uttered the damning phrase, “Jesus Christ!” which we all know translates to “I’m going to kill you,” just like “Allahu akbar” does.

Amy Bishop shot her brother dead with a shotgun, brandished the shotgun at a stranger, and still managed to get a pretigious job and the respect of society and her peers. Joe Stack is actually being praised by various personalities. Yes, after the fact! A case in point is this archetypal white man over at Renew America (I will not be linking to it), as discussed on World-O-Crap:

This week, Chuck [Baldwin] examines the case of an Austin, Texas man who deliberately crashed a private plane into an office building, and points out that the real tragedy is the loss of a potential Chuck Baldwin voter.

These are Chuck Baldwin’s words:

In what was obviously a reference to what he was about to do, he wrote, “Nothing changes unless there is a body count.” … Stack wrapped up his manifesto by saying, “Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.”

My heart goes out to Joe Stack! … We all share Joe Stack’s pain!

Chuck Baldwin, of course, is just a moron, but our newly-elected senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown, who drives a truck, also expressed sympathy for Joe Stack’s position. Just as if he hadn’t committed an act of terrorism on US soil. From the Washington Monthly:

And while I have no real interest in the “debate” over the killer’s bizarre ideology, I couldn’t help but notice that Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) seems to think he can relate to the deranged suicide bomber at some level.

Appearing on Fox News soon after Stack flew an airplane into a building, Brown told the national television audience that he “feels for the families” affected by the attack. In the next breath, however, the senator added:

“I don’t know if it’s related but I can just sense not only in my election, but since being here in Washington, people are frustrated. They want transparency. They want their elected officials to be accountable and open and talk about the things affecting their daily lives. So I am not sure if there is a connection, I certainly hope not, but we need to do things better.”

Brown added that an incident like the one in Austin is “extreme,” but added, “No one likes paying taxes obviously.”

So, let me get this straight. An anti-government nut flies an airplane into a building and Scott Brown thinks the incident reminds him of … his own campaign? Indeed, Brown almost seems to be rationalizing the actions of a domestic terrorist, as if Stack’s murders can be understood if we just appreciate how “frustrated” people are.

As for the ubiquitous unnamed officials, they rushed to assure the world that a man intentionally flying a plane into an occupied office building during the workday was something other than terrorism. After all, it’s not like he was brown.

The building set on fire by Stack’s suicide flight was still burning Thursday afternoon when officials confidently stood before reporters and said the crash wasn’t an act of terrorism, but others look at Stack’s actions and fail to understand how he differs from foreign perpetrators of political violence who are routinely labeled “terrorists.”

joe Joseph stack terrorist terror terrorism crash suicide irs building 200

The not-a-terror-attack aftermath

But a Muslim guy doing the same thing? Hoo boy. And even more so if he had uttered a prayer or spoken to a preacher recently.

The Christian Science Monitor believes it has neatly explained away why Joseph Stack’s attack is not terrorism but Nidal Hasan’s attack is:

But the pattern of the attack – including that Mr. Stack apparently lit his house on fire beforehand – fits less into the mold of a terror conspiracy and more neatly into a profile of the solo-flying rebel with a personal beef, the details of which are fueled by partisan rhetoric and current events.

A personal beef fueled by partisan rhetoric and current events is totally different when a white Christian does it, duh.

The New York Daily News has an article enumerating some sites and public figures hailing Joseph Stack as a hero.

THE FIRES in Austin were still burning yesterday when the Internet lit up with government haters cheering suicide pilot Joe Stack and calling him a hero.

“Finally an American man took a stand against our tyrannical government that no longer follows the Constitution,” wrote Emily Walters of Louisville, Ky.

Walters was one of at least two dozen people who founded Facebook fan groups to hail the homicidal pilot.

Most had only a tiny handful of members, but hers attracted more than 200 before Facebook removed it.

“Joe Stack, you are a true American Hero and we need more of you to make a stand,” tweeted Greg Lenihan, an engineer in San Diego.

One founder of a Stack fan club on Facebook, Rick Wagner, is a pilot in Minnesota. His “about me” quote, which one hopes is a joke, reads:

“When I go I want to be able to look back and tell all the passengers to quit screaming.”

This Fox News story clears up the identity of the naysaying government officials a little:

The Department of Homeland Security said it did not believe the crash was an act of terrorism.

If the DHS can’t recognize terrorism any better than that, why the hell are we wasting money on them? Hey, DHS, read your own publication:

Second, U.S. Code Title 18, Chapter 113B, section 2331(5) provides a definition of domestic terrorism:
[T]he term “domestic terrorism” means activities that— (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; (B) appear to be intended— (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

Is there anything there saying if a guy with a name like Joseph Stack does it, it isn’t terrorism? Am I missing the “His name must include Muhammad” annex?

Back to Amy Bishop. In 1986 this woman got away with shooting her brother dead with a shotgun! She went on to use the same shotgun rob a car dealership. And look at how the police dealt with this white woman:

Polio, the Braintree police chief at the time, said yesterday that he knew Bishop had to be apprehended at gunpoint, but he said he did not know she had pointed the shotgun at Pettigrew. Polio said he allowed officers to release Bishop on the day of the shooting because the lead investigator, Captain Theodore Buker, told him she was too emotional to interview.

Then in 1993 she apparently got away with an attempt to bomb a rival:

[Huntsville, Alabama, police chief Henry] Reyes confirmed he is working with the FBI to learn more about why Bishop was a suspect in the attempted bombing of Dr. Paul Rosenberg, who received a double-pipe bomb in the mail on Dec. 19, 1993. He ran from his Newton home with his wife, escaping without injury. The bomb never exploded.

“She was quite cavalier about it,” [former colleague Sylvia] Fluckiger said of Bishop’s description of her interview with police. She said Bishop “grinned” as she described being asked by cops whether she’d ever taken stamps off an envelope and fastened them onto something else. “I cannot tell you what the grin meant,” Fluckiger said.

Here’s an abc news report that lightly addresses workplace rampages such as these.

Psychotics like Seung-Hui Cho, the student who who killed 31 at Virginia Tech in 2007, are particularly dangerous.

Killers like Cho view others as inconsequential and often humiliation can set off a psychotic depression that could make a person violent or suicidal, said Galynker.

Those with personality disorders, such as Eric Harris, who went on a shooting rampage at Columbine High School in 1999, are particularly dangerous.

Not mentioned is Major Nidal Hasan, presumably because too many people would go apoplectic at the idea that he was not an Islamic terrorist carrying out orders directly from al-Qaeda.

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UPDATE: SulaymanF over at Daily Kos wrote a diary along these same lines here:

With apologies to Professor Cole for plaigarizing his idea, here is what else you will not see in the media:

Thomas Friedman will not write an op-ed for the New York Times about what is wrong with white southern Christian males that they keep producing these terrorists. He will also not ask why Sarah Palin and Pat Robertson are not denouncing Andrew Stack every day at the top of their lungs.

Daniel Pipes will not write a column for the New York Post suggesting that white southern Christians be put in internment camps until it can be determined why they keep producing terrorists and antisemites.

Retired Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney will not go on FOX News and claim that Christian males need to be “strip searched” before boarding airplanes.

The Transportation Security Administration will not announce new, “enhanced screening” tactics at U.S. airports, with a renewed focus on travelers from Southern Red states.

Steve Doocy of morning FOX & Friends will not call for racial profiling of Christians, because “all of the people who try to blow airliners out of the sky pretty much look alike”

And so on.
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another UPDATE: An enjoyable entry over at Jesus’s General (which sports some terrible Arabic in their banner). From there:

Services for the late Opinion are pending as of this writing, however when they do take place you can be assured they will be white: very, very white. And if you have a small, white child who wants to be a terrorist when he or she grows up, break it gently to the tender soul that such a lofty dream is impossible, explaining patiently that such a child cannot by definition be a terrorist–the best said child might hope for would be to grow up and become a traitor to the nation, and if lucky, a mass murderer to boot.

bad poor inaccurate wrong hosed Arabic Jesus's General

*snicker*


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one more UPDATE: The son of the IRS employee killed by domestic terrorist Joseph Stack says:

“There was just too much going on about what the guy did and what he believed in, and enough’s enough,” he said. “They don’t need to talk about him. Talk about my dad. You know, some people are trying to make this guy out to be a hero, a patriot. My dad served two terms in Vietnam. This guy never served at all. My dad wasn’t responsible for his tax problems.”

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UPDATE: Amy Bishop has now been brought up on charges in the shooting death of her brother. Read about it here. (June of 2010)

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Filed under arabic, arabist, domestic terrorism

Cop Killer Thought He Was Jesus; Christian Law to Kill Gays

Maurice Clemmons Christian Terrorist Extremist

No sooner did a photo of alleged cop-killer Maurice Clemmons appear in the news than the screeching began. “He’s a Muslim” “He was radicalised in prison” “He’s another domestic terrorist!” Presumably this is because his visage is swarthy and he’s not smiling a genial smile, although the smile wouldn’t be necessary if he were paler in hue.

Once it became apparent that the late Maurice Clemmons was a Christian, nobody cared anymore. Most news article failed to mention it. Those that did buried it several paragraphs down the page. Because somehow when a American who practices Islam mows down soldiers, it’s terrorism, extremism, and an indictment of Islam, but when an American who practices Christianity mows down police officers, it is none of those things. And Mr Clemmons wasn’t just a cultural Christian, he thought he was Jesus.

“The whole time Clemmons kept saying things like trust him, the world is going to end soon, and that he was Jesus,” a Pierce County sheriff’s report said.

Clemmons was charged in Washington state earlier this year with assaulting a police officer and raping a child, and investigators in the sex case said he was motivated by visions that he was Jesus Christ and that the world was on the verge of the apocalypse.

Within a couple days after the Fort Hood shooting, we knew more about Major Nidal Hasan than we’ve ever known about any spree killer, ever. The media gave us its analysis of a PowerPoint presentation he gave to his colleagues, encouraged us to gasp at his email exchange with an American imam in Yemen (and I still haven’t heard a single peep from anyone complaining that we spied on an American citizen’s correspondence with an American citizen–which was judged by the FBI to be innocuous), and found a blog comment on the internet that sounded like he might have written it and attributed it to him. I imagine there are hundreds or thousands of people posting on the internet every day who say things that sound like something I would say. Please don’t attribute them to me. Thanks.

Christian evangelical minister ex-governor Mike Huckabee did not actually pardon Clemmons, so what I wrote the other day is not accurate. Huckabee recommended clemency, basically making him eligible for parole. Huckabee was prudent enough not mention the religious angle in any explanation for this clemency, so we can’t actually know that Huckabee gave Clemmons another chance because he felt he had truly repented and accepted Jesus into his heart.

Salon article on Huckabee’s dealings with Maurice Clemmons.

Huckabee has proudly declared on many occasions that he disdains the separation of church and state, insisting that his strict Baptist piety should serve as the bedrock of public policy. Nowhere in his record as governor was the influence of religious zeal felt more heavily than in the distribution of pardons and commutations, as his own explanations have indicated. During those years he granted more commutations and pardons than any governor during the previous four decades, many of them surely justified as a response to excessive penalties under the state’s draconian narcotics laws. But others were deeply controversial, especially because so many of his acts of mercy appeared to depend on interventions by fellow Baptist preachers and by inmate professions of renewed Christian faith.

No doubt word spread among the prison population that the affable governor was vulnerable to appeals from convicts who claimed to be born again. Clemmons too was among those who benefited from Huckabee’s tendency to believe such pious testimonials. “I come from a very good Christian family and I was raised much better than my actions speak,” he explained in his clemency application in 2000. “I’m still ashamed to this day for the shame my stupid involvement in these crimes brought upon my family’s name … I have never done anything good for God, but I’ve prayed for him to grant me in his compassion the grace to make a start. Now, I’m humbly appealing to you for a brand new start.”

New York Times article about Huckabee’s clemency issues.

Mr. Huckabee, who rode a brand of prairie populism to finish second in the Republican presidential primaries in 2008, granted more than 1,000 pardons or clemency requests as governor. As his reputation for granting clemency spread, more convicts applied. Aides said he read each file personally.

In most cases, he followed the recommendation of the parole board, but in several cases he overrode the objections of prosecutors, judges and victims’ families. And in several, he followed recommendations for clemency from Baptist preachers who had been longtime supporters.

Robert Herzfeld, then the prosecuting attorney of Saline County, wrote a letter to Governor Huckabee in January 2004, saying his policy on clemency was “fatally flawed” and suggesting that he should announce specific reasons for granting clemency. Mr. Huckabee’s chief aide on clemency wrote back: “The governor read your letter and laughed out loud. He wanted me to respond to you. I wish you success as you cut down on your caffeine consumption.”

After the Fort Hood shooting, public figures called for ousting Muslims from the US military. They shouted that Maj Hasan was allowed to remain in the Army due to “political correctness” and claimed that Muslims are a protected class in the United States. As if Maj Hasan wouldn’t have been able to shoot anybody if he’d been kicked out of the army, which by the way he had been trying to leave for years, to no avail. As if any Muslim can commit any kind of crime in the US without his religion making the headlines.

Meanwhile, some Christians in America are howling that they are the underclass, that everyone makes fun of them, that public entities sometimes acknowledge that there is some religious diversity in America. The “war on Christmas” is a good example.

Here’s a scientific study whose conclusions will come as no surprise to most:

For many religious people, the popular question “What would Jesus do?” is essentially the same as “What would I do?” That’s the message from an intriguing and controversial new study by Nicholas Epley from the University of Chicago. Through a combination of surveys, psychological manipulation and brain-scanning, he has found that when religious Americans try to infer the will of God, they mainly draw on their own personal beliefs.

Obviously, this is what Huckabee was drawing on when he was pardoning Christians and what Bush was drawing on when he decide to war on Muslims and when he looked into Putin’s eyes and “saw his soul.”

And along those lines, let’s talk about religion and its pernicious effects on the law. Take Uganda. It has no state religion, but the majority religion makes up 84% of the country and influences the legal and political system there. On top of that, a powerful and wealthy foreign country dominated by coreligionists has been exporting religious materials of the most extreme flavor to Uganda, and foreign fundamentalists attended a conference there earlier this year that led to an anti-homosexuality bill that if passed would impose the death penality for “aggravated homosexuality.”

Many speakers at that conference think that homosexuality is an illness that can be cured. One wrote a book that equates Nazism and homosexuality and one works at a foundation which ostensibly “cures” homosexuals.

“They told us all things are going wrong because the family is being neglected. Not having more children is one of the things that they said are going wrong. Homosexuality is a way of stopping us from having more children,” said Senyonjo.

Macauley, who fled Nigeria last year after receiving death threats for hosting a gay-friendly church, added that the harsh law comes in a context of perceived challenges to men’s role in society. Women’s increased agency, including deciding whether to have children and how many, is experienced as a threat by some men. A relationship between two men raises the fear that one of the men will behave “like a woman” in the household, which undermines any supposedly natural definition of men’s position in society.

One of these imported fundamentalists probably also met with a number of Ugandan parliamentarians.

A bill has since been drafted and was tabled on Oct 14 in Uganda’s parliament, legalising not only the persecution of lesbians and gays but also of straights that “support” them. The bill applies to Ugandans inside and outside the country. It nullifies Uganda’s ratification of any international treaties that support LGBTI human rights and explicitly rejects the notion that homosexuals have human rights.

Any parent who does not denounce their lesbian daughter or gay son to the authorities face fines of 2,650 dollars or three years’ imprisonment. Any teacher who does not report a lesbian or gay pupil faces the same punishment.

Senyonjo believes that the Ugandan law stems from the urge to protect patriarchal arrangements: “It is men who want the law. They have a very loud voice. The church is still very patriarchal. They want the man to be the head of the family. Even at weddings they say the man is the head and the woman has to be obedient.”

Shariah Christian law truly is harsh and blood-soaked. If only the close-minded fundamentalists who can’t get it enacted here in the US wouldn’t export it to the rest of the world. We excoriate Saudi Arabia for funding fundamentalist schools around the world, but turn a blind eye to Christian proselytizing of the most foul kind.

Alhamdulillah we have a wall of separation between church and state here in the US! Let’s hope politicians such as Huckabee, Palin and Bachmann are never able to tear it down.

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For readers outside the US who may not know who Mike Huckabee is, he is a former candidate for president who in a Gallup poll published in early Nov 2009 was the Republican frontrunner for a presidential run in 2012.

71% of Republicans say they would seriously consider voting for Mike Huckabee.

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Filed under bigoted idiots, church and state, domestic terrorism