Monday, November 16, 2009

What Motivated U.S. Army Major NIdal Hassan?

In June 2007, Major Nidal Hassan gave a lecture on “The Koranic World View as it Relates to Muslims in the U.S. Military” instead of the lecture on the medical topic that senior Army doctors expected him to give. The Washington Post has put up the PowerPoint notes which accompanied his talk: Major Hassan's lecture We know what he subsequently did. There were many witnesses to the murder spree at Ft. Hood.

Historian and Political analyst Barry Rubin has written a reasonable (to me) commentary on what many people seem to have a hard time grasping: Hassan's motivation. But Rubin argues quite effectively that the world has a major (no pun intended) problem with Islamism, i.e., the ideology of Militant Islam.

You might ask, "Why am I getting 'political' on this blog?", which has Alfred Korzybski and his work as its subject. Well... Korzybski hammered away at his students to 'face facts' and to learn to face facts. As a student of his work, I take this advice very seriously as key to practicing what he taught and thus conveying what he taught, by example, to others.

Korzybski spoke vigorously against the Nazi, Fascist, and Communist ideologies/movements when it was not popular to do so, well before the start of World War II. The threat of Militant Islam or Islamism seems to me to represent as great a factual danger to civilized life as did these other totalitarian movements that Korzybski opposed. In his 1924 Time-Binding paper, he wrote:
Man is ultimately a doctrinal being. Even our language has its silent doctrines, and no activity of man is free from some doctrines, so that the kind of metaphysics a man has, is not of indifference to his world outlook and his behavior. [Alfred Korzybski Collected Writings 1920-1950, p. 77]
Not only non-Muslims but also many Muslims have a huge problem with a significant number of other Muslims and their interpretation of the religion of Islam, currently widely promulgated. The threat of this deadly doctrine of Islamism is not going to go away by ignoring it because some people consider it politically incorrect to take it seriously. Barry Rubin makes some necessary distinctions while not turning away from what, to some of us, appears obvious. Some of you probably won't like what he has to say. But here's the link: Why I Murdered 13 American Soldiers: Nidal Hassan Explains It All to You


Walter said...

Doctrines are problematic. The doctrines of Christianity & capitalism as well or are you making a distinction here?

Bruce I. Kodish said...

As doctrinal creatures, we cannot escape some doctrines, which may or may not create problems for us. But I am specifically talking in this post about problems related to militant Islam, i.e., Islamism.