Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

How to view the Fort Hood incident

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Marc Lynch has an excellent post:

Since the Ft Hood atrocity, I’ve seen a meme going around that it somehow  exposed a contradiction between “political correctness” and “security.”  The avoidance of Nidal Hassan’s religion out of fear of offending anyone, goes the argument, created the conditions which allowed him to go undetected and unsanctioned in the months and years leading up to his rampage.  American security, therefore, demands dropping the “political correctness” of avoiding a  confrontation with Islamist ideas and asking the “tough questions” about Islam as a religion and the loyalty of Muslim-Americans.

This framing of the issue is almost 100% wrong. There is a connection between what these critics are calling “political correctness” and national security, but it runs in the opposite direction.   The real linkage is that there is a strong security imperative to prevent the consolidation of a narrative in which America is engaged in a clash of civilizations with Islam, and instead to nurture a narrative in which al-Qaeda and its affiliates represent a marginal fringe to be jointly combated.  Fortunately, American leaders — from the Obama administration through General George Casey and top counter-terrorism officials — understand this and have been acting appropriately.

It’s worth walking through the connection once again, because how America responds to Ft. Hood really is important in the wider attempt to change the nature of its engagement with Muslim publics across the world.  Get the response right, as the administration thus far has done, and they show that things really have changed.  Get it wrong, as its critics demand, and the world could tumble back down into the ‘clash of civilizations’ trap which al-Qaeda so dearly wants and which the improved American approach of the last couple of years has increasingly denied it…

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 November 2009 at 11:39 am

Posted in Daily life

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