Fort Hood Murders Evoke Racist Reactions

By Hatty Lee Nov 23, 2009

NYU’s Stern School of Business professor Tunku Varadarajan dubbed a new term—"Going Muslim"—in his Islamophobic essay published by Forbes. He thinks that all Muslims are a danger to Americans, and that any Muslim American would "discard his apparent integration into American society and elect to vindicate his religion in an act of messianic violence against his fellow Americans." On, Vijay Prashad responds to this hateful essay as well as how the media is evoking racist reactions around the tragic Fort Hood incident. Here is an excerpt:

Words have ensnarled the rampage at Fort Hood. Nothing more needs to be said. Thirteen dead and 31 injured. What sets this massacre apart from the bombing at Oklahoma City (with 168 dead) and Columbine High (with 12 dead) is that the assailant here is a Muslim at a time when the United States is at war in two Muslim-majority countries (Iraq and Afghanistan). Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, as well as Eric Harris and Dylan Kiebold, were all white. Their acts brought forth revulsion but not condemnation of Christianity; that would have been ridiculous. Major Hasan’s own reasons for action will probably never be known. He has acted. The action has provoked analysis. Some of the ideas are useful, and hopefully productive; others are toxic. The deployment of the idea of "political correctness" and the shifting of the burden of explanation to Hasan’s religion is a convenient way to avoid all else. Muslim Americans anticipated the backlash immediately (One might remember CBS’s Connie Chung right after the Oklahoma bombing in 1995: "According to a government source, it has Middle East terrorism written all over it." It turned out to be an Iraq War veteran and his friend; that’s the closest the attack came to the Middle East).

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