Steve Chapman foretar en intellektuelle saltomortale: det første argumentet, at ikke alle er som Nidal Hasan, er gyldig. Det siste, at hans tro er helt irrelevant, annullerer vekten av det første. Hva står vi da igjen med? Mange argumenterer som ham. Da tar man hverken tjenestegjørende muslimer eller Hasan alvorlig.
After all, there are between 3,500 and 15,000 Muslims serving in the American military, including many who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan. No doubt some have died for their country. But how often do conservatives write about them? Blogger Michelle Malkin lists a few bad apples she refers to as «Muslims with attitude.» But they’re a tiny minority compared to all the soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who confirm daily that you can be a practicing Muslim and a loyal American.
It may be that Hasan subscribed to a jihadist ideology that drove him to kill his fellow soldiers. But it could be that Islam is just a distraction from more fundamental problems, such as insanity or just plain viciousness. Hasan reportedly complained of being harassed by his colleagues about his religion. Maybe he didn’t think Islam was hostile to America; maybe they convinced him that America is hostile to Islam.
In any movement, religious or political, there are a few dangerous people. As a rule, all that proves about the movement in question is that it is composed of human beings. If it turns out Hasan is guilty, Islam is not the problem with him any more than Jodie Foster was the problem with John Hinckley.