Initially, I wasn't certain what to make of the initial reports I heard on NPR regarding the shooting at Fort Hood. When the name of the assailant was revealed - Nidal Malik Hasan - my first thought was: "Oh, crap, here we go, a Muslim extremist who somehow managed to get past whatever initial filters the Army uses to reject volunteers." Then I learned that he carried the rank of "Major," not a position you get to overnight, so maybe he's not your stereotypical fundamentalist. Then it comes out that he was a psychiatrist, tasked with helping returning soldiers deal with the inherent stress associated with their deployment. Associated with that was a story I heard, again on NPR, about a rant he went onto during grand rounds:
They, you know, dozens of medical staff come into an auditorium, and somebody stands at the podium at the front and gives a lecture about some academic issue, you know, what drugs to prescribe for what condition. But instead of that, he – Hasan apparently gave a long lecture on the Koran and talked about how if you don’t believe, you are condemned to hell. Your head is cut off. You’re set on fire. Burning oil is burned down your throat.
And here I am, thinking: DAMN ... this guy is treating our returning troops and he has issues which damned near make theirs look like a drop in the bucket, while almost simultaneously thinking: DAMN ... religion ... YET AGAIN. WHEN is anyone going to make the connection? Is the world so inured to religion in general, so accepting of its presence in our everyday lives that it cannot see that this irrational belief remains at the core of too many such incidents?