Its Not Workplace Violence, Its Islam

12 December 2011
Its Not Workplace Violence, Its Islam

FrontPage Magazine 12 December 2011
By Ben Shapiro

This week, the Obama Administration made an announcement regarding the attack on Fort Hood in 2009.  In that incident, you’ll recall, gentle Muslim psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan? – who had apparently been taking Islamic training from gentle Muslim terrorist preacher Anwar al-Awlaki – picked up a handgun and proceeded to murder 12 soldiers (one pregnant) and one Army civilian employee; another 29 were injured.  None of the soldiers were armed.  Finally, a civilian police sergeant put Hasan down with five shots, paralyzing the gentle Muslim from the chest down.

Two years later, President Obama’s Defense Department? called this incident "workplace violence.”  You know, like when you punch a guy at the water cooler for sleeping with your wife. Except you’re a Muslim and there are forty co-workers, none of whom have slept with your wife, and you’re trying to shoot them to death while shouting "Allahu Akhbar!”

There is a legitimate debate to be had regarding the terminology we use to describe Muslim terrorists.  Are they Muslims or are they Islamists?  Are they radical Muslims, or are they just normal Muslims?  Robert Spencer and Andrew McCarthy have had this debate for several weeks, most prominently at the Freedom Center Restoration Weekend.  I come down on the side that says we have no business making a distinction between Muslims and so-called Islamists, since Muslims make no such distinction themselves.  Osama Bin Laden knows more about Islam than I do.  I’ll take his word for it.

But regardless of where you come down on the question of Muslim semantics, there is no doubt that Islam must come into play when we discuss the threat of terrorism.  Labeling Fort Hood "workplace violence” is like labeling September 11 a "building collapse.”  It’s not just misleading, it’s sick.

What would drive the Obama Administration to place this absurd Orwellian label on a Muslim terrorist attack?  There are two rationales: fear and hope.

First, fear.  The Defense Department is deathly afraid of funding cuts – and with good reason, since it is clear that Democrats are far less interested in cutting Granny’s Medicare than in cutting missile defense (a position that no doubt has Vladimir Putin? grinning in his sleep).  So the military must please the left.  They’ve done that by turning the military into a social experimentation center where male sexuality is injected into barracks.  Now they’re doing it by upholding the diversity meme.  As General George Casey?, the army’s top officer, said in the aftermath of the Fort Hood massacre, “Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength.  And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”

Now, I’m fairly certain that the murder of pregnant women is worse than people accurately labeling Nidal Hasan a Muslim terrorist.  And I’m fairly certain that General Casey? knows that.  But General Casey also knows where his bread is buttered, and so does the entire Defense Department.

Fear is the order of the day in the Defense Department, then.

And then there’s hope.  The Obama Administration hopes that by calling the Fort Hood massacre “workplace violence,” we will all accept Nidal Hasan’s presence as a member of the workplace.  He’s just the same as Sgt. Bill or Lt. Jane — he just happens to hate America and all that it stands for.  Tomayto, tomahto.

What’s the point of this little fiction?  By including Hasan in the “workplace,” the Obama Administration hopes to convince Muslims around the world that we want them as part of our global workplace.  For the love of Allah, if they can see that we’ll accept even their most militant members into our military, won’t they be able to see that we can all live together in peace?

And thus, the Obama Administration’s idiotic hope combines with the military’s deathly fear to rewrite history.  Those who were killed at Fort Hood become random victims of violence rather than martyrs in the clash of civilizations (whereas for Muslims, Hasan is already a martyr in the clash of civilizations).  Hasan’s “Allahu Akhbar” becomes a delightfully exotic version of “going postal,” or another incident of a disturbed soldier “going Rambo.”

While we play pattycake with the terminology of Islamic murder, Muslims around the world have no such qualms.  In fact, they label everything we do Western imperialism.  Protecting Muslims from the Taliban?  Western imperialism.  Saving Kuwait from Saddam Hussein?  Western imperialism.  Lady Gaga?  Western imperialism.

So, who’s destined to win this fight – the side that insists that Muslim murder is “workplace violence,” or the side that insists that soldierly workplace violence in defense of Muslims is murder of Muslims?  It’s a pretty safe bet that the side that sees “Allahu Akhbar” as a call to diversity training will end up on the wrong side of history.


Ben Shapiro is an attorney and writer and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, and author of the new book “Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How The Left Took Over Your TV” from Broadside Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.