As always Christopher Hitchens seems to have a spectacular way with words to describe the situation at hand…
[Originally posted at: Slate Magazine]
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.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.
I do not say that all practitioners of woman-hating, anti-Semitic, sadomasochistic suicide immolations are themselves insane, but I do say that the teaching itself is demented. In the same way, I do not say that all Muslims are terrorists, but I have noticed that an alarmingly high proportion of terrorists are Muslim. A paranoid or depressive person—of whom we have many millions in our midst—does not have to end up screaming religious slogans while butchering his fellow creatures. But a paranoid or depressive person who is in regular touch with a jihadist “spiritual leader” is presented with a ready-made script that offers him paradise in exchange for homicide.
[Read the rest of this post at: Slate Magazine]