Mass Killers and Media
* Suspected mass murderer Nidal Malik Hasan: Identified as a Muslim American of Jordanian or Palestinian Descend, a sympathizer of suicide bombing, a convert to Islam, a Jihadist, a true believer in the Quran, a practicing Muslim, a promoter of Al-Qaida ideology, a member of a terrorist cell and so on so forth.
Look at the pattern of news reporting about mass killers in our national and local media listed below and then tell me who is distorting facts? Tell me who is misleading the public? Tell me who is sowing the seeds of hatred. Some of them will say, Aslam Abdullah, because he is a Muslim American, a Middle Eastern by ethnicity and a covert terrorist. Can any sensible American accept their claim? Yes, only those who see Muslims and Islam as their new enemy. These are people who are trapped in the history of the past and refuse to look at Islam and Muslims from an objective, balanced and fair perspective.
Let's start with another shooting incident that follows on the heels of the Fort Hood incident:
* November 06, 2009, Florida police have arrested a suspect believed to have opened fire Friday in the offices of an engineering firm where he was let go more than two years ago. Authorities have identified the alleged gunman as Jason Rodriguez, 40, a former employee at the office building. Did any news media identify him as an American of Hispanic decent?
* On March 10, 2009, Michael McLendon set fire to the rural south Alabama home he shared with his mother with her body inside. He then set off on a 24-mile shooting spree during which he fired more than 200 rounds and killed 10 more people, including himself. Was he ever described by the media or officials as an American Protestant?
* On April 3, 2009, a Vietnam immigrant killed 13 people and then himself in a shooting spree at the American Civic Association in Binghamton, New York. Did anyone call him a Vietcong terrorist?
* In the year of 1989, in two separate incidents, Westley Allen Dodd sexually assaulted and killed three boys ages 11, 10 and four. His methods were so heinous, forensic psychologists dubbed him one of the most evil killers in history. Did anyone call him Christian killer?
* Jeffrey Dahmer was responsible for a series of gruesome murders of seventeen young men in Ohio and Milwaukee. Who called him a Christian murderer? No one!
* Why Ray and Faye Copeland, both in their 70s, went from being loving grandparents to serial killers who used the clothing of their victims to make a warm winter quilt to snuggle under is a story both morbid and perplexing. Did anyone describe them American terrorists?
* Dean Corll was a 33-year-old electrician living in Houston, Texas, who, with two teen accomplices, was responsible for kidnapping, torturing, raping and murdering at least 27 young boys in Houston in the early 1970s. - No one called him an evangelical terrorist?
* Accompanied by his girlfriend Debra Brown, Alton Coleman went on a six-state raping and killing spree in 1984. - He was not described as a Christian rapist?
* Angelo Buono, Jr. was, along with his cousin Kenneth Bianchi, one of the Hillside Stranglers who went on a two month rape, torture and murder spree in 1977, in California. - Was he identified with his religion and ethnicity?
* Jerry Brudos was a shoe fetishist, serial killer, rapist, torturer and necrophiliac who stalked women around Portland, Oregon in 1968 and 1969. - Should we blame the people of Oregon and call him an Oregonian rapist?
* In 1984, at age 21, Debra Brown became involved in a master/slave relationship with habitual killer and rapist Alton Coleman and the two went on a massive killing, raping and torture spree across the Midwest. - No one ever mentioned his race or religion.
* William Bonin was a habitual sex offender turned serial killer, suspected of sexually assaulting, torturing and killing at least 21 boys and young men in California. He was convicted and executed for 14 of the 21 murders. - No one talked about his affiliation to his local Church.
* Herbert Richard "Herb" Baumeister (April 7, 1947 - July 3, 1996) was the founder of the thrift store chain Sav-a-Lot and an alleged serial killer from suburban Westfield, Indiana. - His conservative background never came into discussion.
* Ronald Dominique of Houma, Louisiana confessed to murdering 23 men over the past nine years and dumping their bodies in sugarcane fields, ditches and small bayous in six southeast Louisiana parishes. - Yet, his Christian religious identity never came into discussion.
* Kristen Gilbert was a bright, attractive, well-trained nurse who, in 2001 was found guilty of killing her patients at a Veterans Administration medical center. - Did the media release footage of his visit to his place of worship? No
* Eagle Scout turned serial killer, Richard Angelo, killed patients in order to make himself out to be a hero.- Did anyone raise doubts about Scouting? No one!
* Helmuth Schmidt killed innocent women he lured through personal ads. - Did anyone blame the media for being an accomplice of the crime.
* The Lewington brothers were one of Ohio's most deadly brutal serial killers of all time. - Did anyone bring about their Church affiliation? No one!
* Albert Fish is known for being one of the most vile pedophiles and killers of all time. After his capture he admitted to molesting over 400 children and tortured and killed several others. - Did the media talk about his religious pastor discussing his personal life?
* Tedd Bundy was attractive, smart, and had a future in politics. He was also one of the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history. Bundy screamed his innocence until his death in the electric chair was imminent. Then he told just enough to show the true evil inside him.- Yet no one in the media talked about his race or religion.
* Richard Ramirez, was named The Night Stalker, after terrorizing Los Angeles during a year long killing and rape spree that resulted in his conviction of 43 counts, including 13 murders and other charges including burglary, sodomy, and rape. - Yet no one talked about Satanism he was preaching and practicing.
* John Wayne Gacy was convicted of the torture, rape and murder of 33 men between 1972 until his arrest in 1978. He was dubbed the "Killer Clown" because he entertained kids at parties as "Pogo The Clown." - Did anyone blame all the clowns for his behavior?
* Gaskins confessed to several murders during the last days of his life. How much truth was in his confessions was never confirmed. Many believed he did not want to be known in history as a tiny man, but rather as a prolific killer. - He was a devout Christian but we never heard of his religious convictions.
* David Berkowitz, better known as Son of Sam, is an infamous 1970s New York City serial killer who killed six people and wounded several others because a demon dog told him to do it. - Should we assume from his last name that he was of Jewish origin?
* The Plainfield, Wisconsin police department had no idea of the grotesque world they were about to enter when they went to Ed Gein's farm home to investigate the disappearance of a local woman. Gein's crimes went down in history as some of the most disgusting ever uncovered that encompassed murder, grave robbing and cannibalism. - Yet, no one ever mentioned that he was a Church goer.
* Juan Corona was a labor contractor who hired migrant workers for produce fields in California. In a murder spree lasting six weeks, he raped and murdered 25 men and buried their machete-hacked bodies in the orchards owned by local farmers. - No one blamed hedonism or homosexuality for his crimes.
* In late October 1979, California authorities were busy hunting down and capturing The Hillside Strangler, Angelo Buono. In the meantime, two more equally barbaric killers had teamed up to fulfill a prison time fantasy - to kidnap, rape, torture and kill a girl for each teenage year. - Yet, we did not hear of their worshipping habits.
* On October 26, 2005, Jeremy Bryan Jones was convicted of the rape, burglary, sexual abuse, kidnapping and capital murder of Lisa Nichols. He now faces prosecution for the murder of Katherine Collins of Georgia and Amanda Greenwell of Douglas County, Ga. Police suspect Jones is a serial killer who may be linked to at least 10 other murders across the country. - No one discussed his faith and ethnicity.
* For month authorities from Utah, Washington, and Colorado worked together to find the serial killer named "Ted" who was brutally killing women everywhere he went, using their kindness to lead them into his trap. - Yet no one blamed Christianity for impacting the mind of the killer.
* Donald "Pee Wee" Gaskins was the most prolific serial killer in South Carolina history. Once his brutality was unleashed, he knew no boundaries, torturing, killing, cannibalizing victims, both male and female. - No one talked about those verses in the Old Testament that degrades women, even though several versions of the Bible were found in his custody.
* Pedro Alonzo Lopez, known as the 'The Monster of the Andes,' was one of history's most horrific serial killers. He responsible for the brutal murders of over 350 children. He bragged of his crimes and promised to do it again if ever released from prison. - Yet in the middle of the night he was taken from prison to a van then driven to the Columbia border and set free. We never heard of his Catholic affiliation.
* Turner is the most prolific serial killer in the history of Los Angeles but was finally identified through DNA technology. - But no one identified his religion.
* No one could believe that the child-like face of John Eric Armstrong, nicknamed 'Opie' by his navy friends, was really the face of a cold and calculating serial killer. - But no one talked about his religious practices.
* Jack the Ripper, a serial killer murdered and mutilated at least five prostitutes in the East End of London in 1888 and because no one was ever, arrested or tried for the murders, crime buffs are still fascinated with the case more than 115 years later. - His religious background is unknown.
* It is estimated Shipman was responsible for 236 murders over 24 years, finally ending in 1998.- Yet, we never heard of his affiliation to Judaism or any other faith.
"Most of the time I killed them the first time I met them, and I do not have a good memory of their faces." This is just one of many cold statements made by Gary Ridgway, when he pled guilty to 48 counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the Green River killing cases. - Yet little is known about his faith and Church.
Topics: Crime And Justice, Terrorism
The problem is that the other criminals didn't claim they were committing their crimes on behalf of their religion. The more we deny, the more other Americans will hate us.
The Fort Hood killer allegedly shouted "Allah hu akbar!" before he started his orgy of shooting. He is also known to express anti-USA sentiments as regards USA wars against "Islamic states". He supposedly has no problems with USA policies against Russia or China or North Korea, only Islamic states.....
While I agree with part of your assertion that Islam is under scrutiny in the USA, I completely disagree with you on the way you are trying to compare this incident with the killing spree of other mass murderers, mentally deranged people, and serial killers. Most of them were born into some religion but were non practicing (except a few, like the BTK) and they did not commit crimes based on any religious hatred or convictions. They were, first and foremost, evil to the core.
The interesting think about Nidal Malik Hasan is that he was a practicing Muslim and was able to become a doctor with US taxpayers money. What really makes me sad and angry is that he betrayed the country that has given him so much and, in the process, betrayed his fellow Muslims who are trying to make a better life here. Our Muslim community leaders should unequivocally condemn this type of treachearous and cowardly act and show their true sympathy to the victims. They should also try to weed out the bad apples in our community and stop giving excuses. Excuses only alienate Muslims from the rest of the US population. Think what would happen if the same incident happened in a Muslim country by a Christian soldier. Remember what happened in Gujarat, India not too long ago to innocent Muslims? Although there are right wing extremists here, the majority of Americans are very tolerant and civilized.
We know there is bias in the media, especially right wing media dominated by Fox News. we cannot expect them to be honest in issues like Israel-Palestine conflict. However, we can educate our children, encourage them to be in politics, media, entertainment and business; and make them part of the American way so the next generation can do better than us in making Islam more acceptable along with Judaism or Buddhism. Anger, isolation, and criticism will do us no good.
May God bless us all.
There would be a strong case of bias if, for any of these murderers, they were somehow motivated or justifying their actions with their beliefs. For example, if the possibly jewish killer felt it was ok to do so because jews are superior anyway, or if the hispanic killer did what he did because he felt he was fired for his ethnicity, or the christians killed people they considered sinners - then it would be relevant to mention and if it was not, there is a clear double standard.
notwithstanding that, there is also the consideration of whether you *should* mention a detail just because it's relevant, if considering the state of internal peace, it will result in something undesirable, like persecution of innocents in a mob-like anger, and so on, especially if the disclosure serves no benefit - it does not aid investigations, does not protect the public, etc. this is called 'responsible journalism'. but i guess we have long established that the american media does not care if they unleash internal discord as long as it is legal.
Although I do agree that Islam is demonized by the media, I feel that when someone kills in the name of religion, that person's religion comes under scrutiny. In of the other cases you listed (I may have missed it if you did post it) none of these killers did it because of religions convictions. They did it because of mental derangement. Which is exactly why Hasan did it as well, except he was further motivated by radicalized interpretations of ayat from Al-Qur'an Al-Karim. If you ask any of those killers why they did what they did, they have some sort of rationalization. With Hasan, his was his extremist views. And unfortunately there are many more cases of Muslims who hold extreme views killing people and motivated by those extreme views. It saddens me that more is not being done by Muslim communities to counteract the spread of these dangerous ideologies. The American media is going to do what it does. There's little we can do about that, except present the correct image of Islam and educate ourselves and our countrymen.
Wa Alaykum As-Salaam.
More pathetic excuses from a Muslim brother. This is exactly the type of thinking that will lead to real problems for Muslims.
When people commit a murder - like the people listed in he article, their religion is not important. When people kill in the name of religion, even if they are unbalanced, they create a problem for their co-religionists. This Muslim, a traitor to the country that gave him and his family refuge, is a person of the worst kind. Since when does being a Muslim make someone free of all guilt.
As a community we have to understand that there are bad apples and we have to clean them out. If we don't and these loonies, with their hardcore ideologies of hate, continue to do these acts, there WILL ba a problem. There is no war on Muslims or Islam, but if these acts continue and people continue to make excuses, there will be a war on Islam and Muslims. Don't take your freedoms for granted or think that Americans are stupid. This is a very dangerous game to play.
Instead of making excuses and blaming the media, start looking for these Shaytans who are trying to destroy the lives of Muslims in the west. What poisonous wells was he drinking from? What websites was he visiting, where did he get this hateful version of Islam?
Take responsibility for yourself and your brothers and sisters.
The non muslim mass murderers are often disturbed young men/women with history of depression or psychiatric issues, but if you are a moslem it doesnt matter what issues you have you are just a killer!
So many murderers have uttered the name of Jesus or Jehova while committing their heinous crimes. Those who cheated people of millions in the name of their church and Jesus are never condemned for their religious beliefs. They are condemned for their action.
Let us be clear on one issue. Nidal's action is no different than the action of all mass murderers in our history. It makes no difference what his religion is or what slogan he raised at the time of his action.
As Muslims like to tell us: "Islam is a complete way of life." It seems that for Muslims, all issues are filtered through Islam, and all causes are expressed through Islam. Thus it becomes fairly easy for, say, a popular revolution against a despotic monarchy to be brutally taken over by religious authorities to create a repressive theocracy (Iran, 1979). It becomes natural for many Muslims to view a war such as Iraq (2003-present version), which was motivated by a combination of greed, security and altruism (with strong doses of willful ignorance), as a war on Islam.
This web site has frequent articles on "Islamic science." The value of the science done by Muslims has nothing to do with Islam! I am a member of the scientific community in the USA. Nobody EVER talks about "Christian Science." I realize there's a (good) magazine by that name, as well as a (somewhat nutty) Christian denomination.
My wife is from India. I've never heard her or our Indian friends talk about "Hindu Science." The same goes for "Buddhist Science," "Confucian Science," "Pagan Science," etc. To the extent that such things exist, they're generally mystical fringe movements rather than practitioners of real science. But Muslims are always banging on about the truly great sceintists who were Muslim as if Islam should get special credit for their accomplishments.
You can't have it both ways. If you insist on defining all things in relation to Islam, you've got to take responsibility for the bad as well as the good. Its Muslims who Islamicise everything (except when its inconvenient). The rest of us are just taking them at their word.