Fellow Muslim From Hasan’s Mosque: “He Was a Typical Fundamentalist Muslim.”

Via the Daily Beast:

The alleged Fort Hood gunman had revealed a hard-line Islamist streak to acquaintances in the Muslim Community Center that he made his mosque. The Daily Beast’s Asra Q. Nomani reports.

Not long ago, inside the quiet library of the Muslim Community Center here in Silver Spring, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C., Golam Akhter, a local Bangladeshi-American civil engineer, 67, got into a fierce debate with a young Muslim doctor over how to interpret the concept of “jihad” within Islam. Akhter argued, “Jihad means an inner struggle, fighting against corruption and injustice.”

The young doctor responded. “That’s not a correct interpretation. Jihad means holy war. When your religion isn’t safe, you have to fight for it. If someone attacks you, you must fight them. That is jihad. You can kill someone who is harming you.” (snip)

The conversation would be just another theological debate, interesting but irrelevant, except that the doctor was Maj. Nidal Hasan, 39…a closer look behind the doors of the mosque and inside the conversations between the engineer and the doctor reveal a more complex picture of a young first-generation American Muslim man living a life of dissonance between his identity as an American and his ideology as a Muslim who had accepted a literal, rigid interpretation of IslamHe used to hate America as a whole. He was more anti-American than American…He was a typical fundamentalist Muslim. (snip)

In the midst of the many conversations he had with Hasan, Akhter stood outside the Muslim Community Center, distributing photocopies of a Washington Post article about an Afghan mother who tried to stop her radicalized son from carrying out a suicide bombing; the bomb exploded in the family’s home, killing the mother, her son and her three other children. In a later email to mosque members, he urged them, “Let us wake up,” and take note of who are “potential terrorists, who are fanatics, who are fundamentalists” in the community.

No one in the mosque responded with concerns about Hasan’s extremist views. Rather, when he had distributed the newspaper article, Akther said, a member of the mosque yelled at him, charging him with causing “fitna” in the ummah.

read the complete article from Asra Q. Nomani

Asra Q. Nomani  is the author of Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam. She is co-director of the Pearl Project, an investigation into the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Her activism for women’s rights at her mosque in West Virginia is the subject of a PBS documentary, The Mosque in Morgantown. She can be found on Facebook, and reached at asra@asranomani.com

fitna: The word fitna comes from an Arabic verb which means to “seduce, tempt, or lure.” There are many shades of meaning, mostly referring to a feeling of disorder or unrest. Variations of the word fitna are found throughout the Qur’an to describe the trials and temptations that may face the believers. The term has also been used to describe divisions which occurred in the early years of the Muslim community.

In modern usage, it is used to describe forces that cause controversy, fragmentation, scandal, chaos, or discord within the Muslim community, disturbing social peace and order. (in other words, don’t buck the radical Muslim system lest you seek the same fate as the infidel(non-muslim/non-conformist)

 ummah: Islamic community or Islamic nation

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