After the recent slaughter at Fort Hood , Texas , commentators and politicians have asked whether political correctness or fear of being criticized as Islamophobic discouraged his colleagues in the military from thoroughly examining the extremist beliefs of Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the accused killer in the military-base massacre. Some of the non-Muslims who knew him have said, probably correctly – and unfortunately – that they did not know enough about Islam, especially in its radical forms, to assess Hasan's views. But the weak outcome of a 2003 Senatorial appeal for an inquiry into Islamist financing in America – along with other curious lapses of attention – show that the military is not alone in cringing at the task of investigating Muslim radicals.
At the end of 2003, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service, signed by the committee's then-chairman, Senator Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa, and its then-ranking Democrat, Senator Max Baucus of Montana. (Baucus is now the committee's chairman.) The Senate Committee called on the IRS to collect financial information on 24 Islamist groups operating in the U.S.: