Seven salient facts about Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.

A wartime lexicon.
Nov. 16 2009 11:46 AM

Hard Evidence

Seven salient facts about Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan

The admonition not to rush to judgment or jump to conclusions might sound fair and prudent enough, perhaps even statesmanlike when uttered by the president, as long it's borne in mind that such advice is itself a judgment that is more than halfway to a conclusion. What it plainly implies in the present case is that the actions of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan should not be assumed in any meaningful way to be related to his Muslim faith.

Christopher Hitchens Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) was a columnist for Vanity Fair and the author, most recently, of Arguably, a collection of essays.

Perfect subjective knowledge of the major's possibly disordered mind is not available to me, but nor is it available to the host of damage-control commentators and FBI drones who have had things mostly their own way so far. In order to demonstrate the absence of a connection, however, the following facts would have to be regarded as relatively random or secondary:

1) Hasan had been in direct correspondence with a notorious preacher of violence, Anwar al-Awlaki, whose enthusiasm for the teachings and actions of al-Qaida has long been well-known to researchers and intelligence agencies.

Advertisement

2) He bought weapons for himself well in advance of a murderous assault on unarmed soldiers awaiting treatment at a clinic—people to whom, in addition to his responsibilities as a human being, he also owed, as a physician, a sworn duty of care.

3) As he unleashed his volleys, he yelled the universal cry of jihad, " Allahu akbar!" or "God is great!" (The eyewitnesses on this point, originally doubted, are especially convincing since some of them didn't understand the meaning of the words and only sought to reproduce them phonetically.) On his business card, he described himself as "SOA" or "slave," or possibly, "soldier of Allah." Neither would be especially reassuring in this context.

4) He had attracted considerable attention by repeatedly using his postgraduate classes at the Uniformed Service University in Bethesda, Md., for the purpose of Islamic proselytizing, for a version of Islam that, to say the least, did not overemphasize it as a "religion of peace."

5) He had, in spoken and written communications, demonstrated a fascination with the love of death and the concept of suicide martyrdom (better described as suicide murder) that is the central concept of Bin Ladenism.

TODAY IN SLATE

Doublex

Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Learns That Breaking Up a Country Is Hard to Do

Are You Attending the People’s Climate March? Nine Reasons You Should.

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

Colorado Is Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters

Behold
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Foreigners
Sept. 19 2014 1:56 PM Scotland’s Attack on the Status Quo Expect more political earthquakes across Europe.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 12:09 PM How Accelerators Have Changed Startup Funding
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Why Men Never Remember Anything
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 1:39 PM Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman,” New York Times. Neither Are Her Characters.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 12:38 PM Forward, March! Nine leading climate scientists urge you to attend the People’s Climate March.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 12:13 PM The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola  The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.