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Denunciations of Fort Hood: Raising Muslim Voices

November 9, 2009, 3:15 pm | Posted by lwatkins

After Thursday’s tragic shooting at Fort Hood, news of accused attacker Maj. Nidal M. Hasan’s religious affiliation began making headlines. Whether Hasan acted with religious motivations or not, his Muslim faith has been made relevant and has provoked a variety of responses. Making their own voices heard, numerous Muslim communities and organizations are speaking up.

Among the organizations who have denounced the act of violence are the following:

Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)

The Islamic Society of North America condemns in the strongest terms the attack on soldiers at Fort Hood, resulting in the murder of at least a dozen soldiers and the wounding of many others. We express our deepest condolences to the victims and their families.

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

“We condemn this cowardly attack in the strongest terms possible and ask that the perpetrators be punished to the full extent of the law. No religious or political ideology could ever justify or excuse such wanton and indiscriminate violence. The attack was particularly heinous in that it targeted the all-volunteer army that protects our nation. American Muslims stand with our fellow citizens in offering both prayers for the victims and sincere condolences to the families of those killed or injured.”

American Society of Muslim Advancement (ASMA)

The American Society of Muslim Advancement, its staff and supporters extends its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of victims of the Fort Hood tragedy. We pray for the souls of those whose lives were ended so abruptly and extend our heartfelt prayers to friends, colleagues and families who are affected by this senseless tragedy.

Our President called the Fort Hood attack “a horrific outburst of violence.” We American Muslims are shocked and outraged by such an outburst of violence from a fellow Muslim. This tragic and senseless violence is antithetical to our Islamic faith which promotes compassion and respect for life. Even though the perpetrator may have been under an inordinate amount of stress, in no way does that justify this horrific crime. Some reports suggest there may be several factors at play but as American Muslims we assert that in no way does Islam teach or condone this kind of crime.

In a press release with ISNA on Friday, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC-DC), the American Muslims in Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council (AMAF and VAC), and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) also “unequivocally denounced” the incident. The AMAF and VAC has expressed particular concern for Muslims serving in the military, a concern shared by Army chief of staff General George Casey Jr.

Beyond statements, Muslim groups are also contributing time and funds. The Islamic Society of North America, for instance, has launched a special fund for the victims of the Fort Hood attack. As reported by the Associated Press:

An American Muslim group says it has established a fund to benefit the families of victims in the Fort Hood shootings.

The Islamic Society of North America announced Monday that it’s collaborating with other Muslim organizations and interfaith groups to collect donations to help the families.

Along with the official statements and actions of various organizations, numerous individual Muslims and local Muslim communities are expressing their condemnation of the act and extending sympathy to the families and victims.

North Texas Muslims immediately decried the shootings.

“I am so sad,” said Nia McKay, the Indonesian-born president of Peacemakers, a Dallas-based nonprofit dedicated to events centered on peace. “Islam means Salaam. Its root word means peace. There are nonviolent resolutions.”

A number of faith leaders have contributed to the Washington Post, On Faith discussion on the attacks. Feisul Abdul Rauf comments:

What this unfortunate Army major did was against the laws of Islam, even though news accounts said he was an observant Muslim. It is too early to understand his motivations and mental stability. He obviously was violating his faith when he undertook this act. Killing is as much a sin in Islam as it is in Christianity, Judaism and all the major religions. Taking the law into one’s own hands is against Islamic teachings.

Daisy Khan adds her voice and points to the voices of others:

The links below represent just a few of the responses from the American-Muslim community, in particular from our network of Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow, one of the largest networks of global Muslim leaders representing the next generation (visit website).

Wajahat Ali, “Fort Hood Has Enough Victims Already,” Guardian, Friday, November 6, 2009

Arsalan Iftikhar, “Prayers for Fort Hood Tonight…,” True Slant,Thursday, November 5, 2009

Shahed Amanullah, “Treachery at Fort Hood,” AltMuslim Thursday, November 5, 2009

In light of the extensive negative media and misguided conclusions, it is essential that these Muslim voices be heard.

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