As news of Major Nidal Malik Hasan's tragic shooting spree at Fort Hood spreads around the globe, the editorial pages of major international newspapers are offering distinct interpretations of what the episode means for America and its citizens. (Watch Al Jazeera English cover the effects of Fort Hood on the Muslim community)
THE NATIONAL (Dubai)
Muslims understand Ft. Hood’s pain: As the Islamic world has been beset by "uninvited violence" for six decades, Muslim families are "uniquely placed to empathize" with the victims, says Jihad Hashim Brown in The National. Hasan's actions fly in the face of the sacred Islamic principle of not harming your neighbor – but are also proof that the larger cycle of violence must come to an end.
"This endless cycle of violence serves no one"
The Guardian (U.K.)
Don’t let this episode become an excuse for persecution: America has millions of loyal and productive Muslim citizens, says HA Hellyer in the Guardian. The country must not go down of the road of using the Ft. Hood incident to "justify a new type of McCarthyism – one that focuses not on communists, but 'the Muslims.'"
"Ft. Hood and the new McCarthyism"
The massacre is proof that Obama is in deep trouble: The Fort Hood shooting is "an eruptive manifestation of the loathing felt by the U.S. Army" for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, says Wu Quingcai in Xinhua. Given that Obama’s goals of "reconciliation with Muslims have not transferred into action… it is no wonder that the suspect, the Muslim psychiatrist Hasan, was not able to overcome the tragedy of war that he had witnessed." The shooting rampage is further proof that "nowadays Obama is no longer last year’s knight in shining armor."
"Recent shooting may push Obama over the edge"
JERUSALEM POST (Israel)
As an open society, the US faces a difficult challenge: America places high value on individual freedom and multi-cultural tolerance. Those ideals, in combination with the country’s "opposition to ethnic profiling" and "easy access to firearms," means that preventing these sorts of domestic attacks is particularly difficult, says Ira Sharkansky at the Jerusalem Post. Tolerance notwithstanding, there will likely be "a surge of harassment directed at people who look Middle Eastern"
"Allahu Akhbar, praise the lord, o hear Israel"
TA KUNG PAO (Hong Kong)
The episode illustrates war’s destructive power: "We can say with a degree of certainty that for an experienced psychiatrist to use violence to vent his inner turmoil, the U.S.’s two ongoing wars must have some role," says an editorial in Ta Kung Pao. War’s "darkness" can destroy lives in many unexpected ways, as the shooting proves. "Troop build-up in Afghanistan will only shatter more families," concludes the editorial. The lesson of the tragedy is that Obama "needs to conclude Bush’s wars immediately."
"Ft Hood shooting proves war is wrong"
THE GLOBE AND MAIL (Canada)
Don’t fixate on the Islamic question—but don’t ignore it either: Americans are wrestling with how to react to Hasan’s Muslim background, says Irshad Manji in the Globe and Mail. Sometimes a criminal’s religion is incidental. "But if his crime is committed in the name of Islam, then … the suspect's Muslim identity absolutely matters. Words, gestures and images should be analyzed – fully, openly and honestly."
"Let’s analyze Fort Hood, not sanitize it"
SEE THE WEEK'S LATEST COVERAGE OF FORT HOOD:
• Fort Hood: The Al Qaeda question
• Red flags at Fort Hood
• Sunday Talk Show Briefing: Religion's role in Fort Hood (Video)
• Fort Hood: Obama's "flippant" speech
• Who is Nidal Hasan: A timeline of the suspect's life