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Muslim question persists in Army shooting
“The culture in the military and the U.S. government is that you just don’t touch religion,” said Dr. Jasser, president of the Phoenix-based American Islamic Forum for Democracy. As a result, the military is ill-equipped to deal with the threat posed by radicalized Muslims, he said in an interview.
Steven Emerson, executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, said the military’s failure to understand the problem of radical Islamism is the reason the Fort Hood shootings were not prevented.
“The military is still mired in this murderous political correctness,” Mr. Emerson said, adding that religion, contrary to what Mr. West said, is “every part of the problem” in the shootings.
“Hassan’s jihadist beliefs were that infidels should be killed in the military,” Mr. Emerson said.
Mr. Emerson said the neglect of Islamist extremism “stands in sharp contrast to the military’s decision to weed out white supremacists a few years back at Fort Bragg by throwing out any serviceman who supported the Ku Klux Klan.”
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told reporters Friday that the review uncovered shortcomings in defending against external influences on the military.
“It is clear that as a department, we have not done enough to adapt to the evolving domestic internal security threat to American troops and military facilities that has emerged over the past decade,” he said.
Dr. Jasser said he fears that the Army will use several officers as Fort Hood “scapegoats” although they were never provided the training and directives needed to identify those prone to conducting terrorist attacks.
“We need to begin a national conversation on what is fueling terrorists and that terrorism is simply a symptom of those who mix religion with a global political goal of creating an Islamic state,” he said. “Until we address that, we’re going to see people who are threats fall through the filter.”
About the Author
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
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