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Muslim group reserving judgment on Fort Hood gunman

Posted November 9, 2009

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— Local Muslims are reacting to last week's shooting rampage at Fort Hood, saying they want to educate non-Muslims about their religion and that they will reserve judgment on the accused gunman until more information about the attack is available.

"The large majority of Muslims do not condone acts of violence against innocent people," said Imran Aukhil, a spokesman for the Islamic Association of Raleigh. "The large majority of Muslims have absolutely nothing to do with this."

Authorities say U.S. Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, a known Muslim, fired more than 100 rounds in a soldier processing center at the Texas military base on Thursday, killing 13 people and wounding 29 others.

Since then, a picture has emerged of a man who was forcefully opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was trying to elude his pending deployment to Afghanistan and had struggled professionally in his work as an Army psychiatrist.

"We trust that the government and the judicial system will take its course and do a thorough investigation," Aukhil said. "Whenever the information becomes available, then we will have a better idea, but we are not really sure what to expect right now."

Aukhil said the center invites non-Muslims to visit and learn about Islam.

"I take this as a positive opportunity to speak about Islam, to pass along the message," he said. "You would meet Muslims in a large community here."

Meanwhile, authorities won't say when charges would be filed against Hasan, and they have said they have not determined a motive for the shooting.

Sen. Joe Lieberman has also called for an investigation into whether the Army missed signs that Hasan embraced an extremist view or Islamic ideology. Published reports indicate Hasan apparently attended the same Virginia mosque as two Sept. 11 highjackers in 2001, at a time when a radical imam preached there.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a government official not authorized to discuss the case told The Associated Press that an initial review of Hasan's computer use has found no evidence of links to terror groups or anyone who might have helped plan or push him toward the shooting attack.

The review of Hasan's computer is continuing, and more evidence could emerge, the official said.

Hasan, who was on order to deploy with the Durham-based reserve unit 1493rd Medical (Combat Stress Control) Detachment, was shot by civilian police to end the rampage. He was in critical but stable condition at an Army hospital in San Antonio.

Dr. Bruce Capehart, a former member of the 1493rd Medical Detachment and psychiatrist at the Durham VA Medical Center, said he was surprised to learn that the suspect in the Fort Hood shootings was a soldier.

"I think on some level, anybody who puts on the military’s uniform, you have some expectation that something bad might happen to me someday. But you don't expect anything bad to come from another soldier,” he said.

Capehart served in Afghanistan in 2003. He said watching the events at Fort Hood could trigger stressful reactions for some veterans.

He encourages anyone who needs help to call the Veteran’s suicide hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.

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  • news4u Nov 11, 2009

    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the
    bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will
    spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United
    States where men were free." -- Ronald Reagan

  • 6079 SMITH W Nov 10, 2009

    This guy would have better press if he had taken an assault rifle to a town hall meeting......nothing insane about that at all, just a harmless wingnut.

  • SingleLensReflex.SLR Nov 10, 2009

    the muslim group wants more information before they know how to think about this??? what are their choices?

    is one choice to think it was an approved thing to have been done?

  • logical_1 Nov 10, 2009

    MakoII, I dunno, how many? Better question. WHO CARES??

  • james27613 Nov 10, 2009

    The guy never should have been sent to Ft Hood.
    They should have kept him at walter reed and fixed him or
    discharged him dishonorably and voided his medical degree as well as his college credits, paid for by the us citizens.

  • artist Nov 10, 2009

    Right on, donnied1952!!!

    Count me in with the "sick of it" crowd.

  • MakoII Nov 10, 2009

    logical_1,

    Dude, how many Muslims have died securing America's freedom in any number of our modern wars?

  • wildcat Nov 10, 2009

    A sad time for America!

  • logical_1 Nov 10, 2009

    This isn't a religious debate,as far as I'm concerned, anymore. This is an issue regarding our National Security. It must be blatantly obvious at this piont that "they" have infiltrated our military. No more "what if's" at this point. This is exactly what was promised when this "War on Terrorism" started. It's now time to send "them" home for our own safety. Wake up America!! knockin' at your back door.

  • donnied1952 Nov 10, 2009

    All these understanding, bleeding heart liberals on this board are making me a little sick. This is the UNITED STATES OF AMEREICA, and we do have freedom or religion. But you liberals think that means we have to understand each other to the point it is sick.

    I don't have to understand why this man killed and injured people. He deserves to die for it. No trial, no getting him back on his feet. If that had been my son, I would be working on a way to get to him to take him out.

    Face it folks, some people are just mean and evil, you don't have to understand them or their religion to put a stop to this kind of incident in the future.

    The FBI had been investigating him for two years. Why weren't they talking to him face to face? Oh we don't want to interfer with his rights. Bull, he doesn't deserve to have any rights.

    I'm so sick of all the politically correct stuff.

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