(This has been a difficult subject to write about. I wanted to and needed to. I am not sure that I am coming across as a coherent thinker. Maybe it is just a difficult subject. That does not mean that it should not be discussed. )
We are so used to reading about lunatics killing innocents with their warped sense of right and wrong in the Middle East. We have also seen soldiers killing the ones that they have taken oath to protect.
Indira Gandhi's and Sadat's personal Elite guards killed them both in public places. We have seen how in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, Soldiers have killed their fellow soldiers as well as their allies and trainers.
It has happened that since 9/11, other than McVeigh, most of these murders were committed by Muslim soldiers (maybe because this war is being run in Islamic majority Countries. Is it possible in our desire to be neutral on matters of religion we are asking our soldiers to leave their religiosity out? For long time religion has provided the basis for morality for most of America. It is time that morality be considered separate from religiosity. I think about Mohammad Ali (the boxer) when he converted to Islam and took the stand that it was against his religion to fight in wars was looked at as just an excuse of a coward when prophet Mohammad, founder of Islam, fought and killed in wars. I still find his objections to military service valid as against his conscience even if he did not have his religion to support his views.
Then there are others who join the armed forces to take benefits of education, training and income, such as Dr.Hasan in the recent massacre. When time came to do the bidding and serve in war, he chickened out and tried to find ways to wiggle out of the service. In this case went over the hill and killed innocent people who were his comrades.
Fort Hood incident or massacre is a result of our failure to recruit, train and nurture our soldiers through myriad of life's problem we all face. In particular, a soldier who may not have a strong family or religious mooring to help through complex life and death questions. People who have no clear allegiance and are giving lip service to the military should be removed from the forces. This should not be on religious basis but on the basis of thinking.
I was also saddened to see Islamic preachers preaching 'hate America' sermon's on the street and wishing ill to America as shown on T.V. I have started wondering that our freedom of speech is being used to harm our national character and safety of our nation. We have millions languishing in prisons for minor drug crimes and these traders of hatred are protected by upside down applications of our first amendment.
I was watching the daughter of a Victim of Dr.(Death) Hasan, a name I have given him, and was quite impressed by her demeanor and thoughtfulness. She said it was just a deranged man and has no reflection on the Muslim community of America. What a great heart. Even after such a great loss, she was not bitter. She blamed it on failings of this individual.
When people say Islam is a religion of Peace it only means that there are examples where Muslims and other faiths have lived in peace and prospered. The societies of the modern world have come to post religion world. What does that mean?
It means that in the modern society religion has been relegated to private and personal realm. It means the rights of individuals have developed and human being has become an autonomous unit and supreme. By proxy, the rights of women and other underprivileged minorities have been enhanced in parity with ruling classes. This era is post colonial and post religiosity era. Humans have benefited from it. Equality of all humans in thought has taken precedence over all else. This all can be traced back to first amendment to the U.S. constitution.
As long as Muslims expect that their rights in Muslim minority nations be protected, they can not treat minorities of thought, religion, lifestyle or ethnicity as second class citizens in Muslim Majority countries and expect the world to treat them with respect. Saudi Arabia can not build Mosques in the rest of the world and not let people from other faith have no places to worship in their land. It gives Islam a bigoted image. What is Islam and it's leaders and followers doing to correct this?
Imposition of Sharia (with all its draconian laws)in many tribal areas and killing of converts from Islam is a black eye on all Muslims who share the view that Islam is a religion of peace. In the case of Pakistan, they have treated their Muslim minorities even as apostate and destroyed places of worship of Shia Islam, Sufi shrines and Ahmedia's were declared non Muslims. Is this image of peaceful Islam they want to promote?
Here is a challenge to Islam and it's followers who are integral parts of this multi faith and multi ethnic world: find a way to correct any misunderstandings(or mistakes) in the Quran. These would include edicts for killing infidels, killing apostate, or killing if some one who converts from Islam. As well as accepting autonomous status of individuals. Only if we all accept this our variety of faiths can be secure in their being.It is difficult for a Muslim to feel safe in America till a christian or Jew feels safe in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.
I will protect your right to be Muslim as long as you do not deny any man,woman or child from being human.