It seems strange that in today's New York Times article on the Ft. Hood shooter, Army Major Nidal Hasan, Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) president Ingrid Mattson stated, "I don't understand why the Muslim-American community has to take responsibility for him. The Army has had at least as much time and opportunity to form and shape this person as the Muslim community."
Yet this is the same Ingrid Mattson who has repeatedly reinforced the image of the West as colonizers in the Muslim world and defends jihad in articles like "Stopping Oppression: An Islamic Obligation," where fighting oppression defines a "just war," or jihad.
The reckless disregard Islamists show for the potential for violence their rhetoric fosters should be criminal. One should not forget that ISNA was founded in 1981 by the Muslim Students Association (MSA) of the U.S. and Canada. The MSA is a Muslim Brotherhood creation meant to recruit Muslim youth to Islamism. As one past member of MSA stated:
We are told America's foreign policy is based on racist neo-imperialism; we are taught that national security is a foul epithet to be reviled; we are told the Jews and Israel are to blame for the hatred against us.
The First Gulf War was viewed by many Islamic scholars as a just war because it liberated Kuwait, but Islamist leaders do not preach the same with U.S. intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Pakistan.
How does that affect otherwise normal Muslim Americans who are also soldiers?
"Some return exhausted and traumatized from their tours, only to hear at their local mosques that they will go to hell for killing Muslims," said Qaseem A. Uqdah, the executive director of the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council.
Nidal Hasan is not a random criminal. The murders he committed at Ft. Hood are yet another example of Islamist extremism rooted in an ideology. These murders were a natural result of speeches, writings, and outreach by Islamists in the U.S., whether they specifically advocate violence or not. The angst, emotional confusion, and divided loyalties men like Hasan eventually feel are foreseeable and can easily be connected to the words of not only clerics, but community representatives like Ingrid Mattson as well.
Mr. Uqdah, clearly a more responsible American Muslim, finished his statement by urging that Muslim groups must work harder to help their communities end extremism.
That would be you, Ms. Mattson.