It doesn’t seem to have occurred to anyone that Nidal Malik Hasan (I will not dishonor the U.S. Army by referring to him as “Major Hasan”), the Army psychiatrist who murdered thirteen people at Fort Hood on November 5, 2009 in the name of Islam and jihad, might still be fighting his jihad. But he is.
In Islamic theology, jihad warfare is fard kifaya, an obligation of the community as a whole but not of every individual believer. Jihad becomes fard ayn, obligatory on every individual Muslim to aid in some way, when a Muslim land is attacked. Many Muslims around the world today consider that Muslim lands have indeed been attacked, because of the American presence in Afghanistan and the very existence of the State of Israel. The most serious and devout among them will see those attacks and making incumbent upon them the responsibility to wage jihad warfare against the Infidels.
That obligation does not expire. A jihadi may wage jihad on a Thursday, as Hasan did when he opened fire on that Thursday in November, but that doesn’t mean that he is freed from his obligation on Friday. And the most jihad-haunted, like Hasan, will never consider the possibility that Allah will excuse them from this duty in light of their previous service. Allah wants Nidal Hasan to wage jihad. That’s all there is to it. And so he has.
There has been just one snag, however: Hasan’s November 2009 jihad, as successful as it was in slaying the idolaters wherever he found them (cf. Qur’an 9:29), left him wheelchair-bound, paralyzed from the waist down, and of course, under heavy guard. What’s a jihadi to do in such circumstances? The answer is simple: wage jihad in ways that don’t require a murder weapon, but which work toward the same goal.
Islamic theologians distinguish four types of jihad: jihad of the heart (jihad bil nafs); jihad of the tongue (jihad bil lisan); jihad of the hand (jihad bil yad); and jihad of the sword (jihad bis saif). That is, one struggles to control one’s sinful desires, one spreads the word of Islam, one acts to further the cause of Islam, and finally, one wages war against the perceived enemies of Islam.
All of these may take many forms. One can, for example, wage jihad against the enemies of Islam by draining the enemy’s resources, diverting them from the resistance to jihad and wasting them on minutiae. And so Hasan has tied up countless hours of Infidel time and untold sums of Infidel money on the endlessly but needlessly vexed question of his beard. He grew the beard, he said, because his Islamic faith requires it. Army regulations, however – and he is, still, technically, in the army, even though he is manifestly a traitor and an enemy of the United States – demand that personnel be clean-shaven.
A military judge accordingly ruled that Hasan could be forcibly shaved, and he most certainly would have been had he not been a Muslim. But he is a Muslim, and so his attorneys were able to charge that that judge was overcome by “Islamophobia” to the detriment of his duty when he ruled that Hasan be shaved, and was summarily removed from the case. The new judge, Colonel Tara Osborn, was more sensitive to the multicultural imperatives involved here, and ruled that Army regulations had to give way to Islamic law, and Hasan could keep his beard.
The fact that Hasan murdered thirteen people for the same reason he grew the beard -- because of his Islamic faith – doesn’t seem to have entered into her calculations.
In any case, Hasan’s purpose was served. He cost the Infidels a great deal of time and money on this beard farce – time and money they could have spent on resisting his fellow jihadis. And now he is agitating for a change of venue, claiming that he will never be able to get a fair trial at Fort Hood, where for some reason virtually everyone is overcome with “Islamophobia” when they think of him.
That will tie up the foolish kuffar yet again, and draw out this comedy even longer than it has already been drawn out – and that is the point. There are many ways to wage jihad, and in the final analysis the Nidal Hasan farce is not a comedy at all, but a tragedy: a sad episode that is emblematic of a nation that no longer has the will to defend itself against enemies who are implacably determined to destroy it.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His upcoming book, Not Peace But A Sword: The Great Chasm Between Christianity and Islam, will be available March 25.