This morning on separate Sunday show appearances, the Army chief of staff — Gen. George Casey — expressed his “concern” that speculation about the motivations of Ft. Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan may “cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers.” Casey said he has instructed his Army leaders to “be on the lookout for that.” On CNN’s State of the Union, he added:
As great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well. [...] I worry that again that speculation could cause things that we don’t want to see happen.
On ABC, Casey emphasized that the diversity of our Army and society as a whole “gives us all strength.” Watch it:
Some of the “speculation” that Casey is concerned about has emanated from right-wing circles. For example, the hosts of Fox & Friends suggested that “special debriefings” and “special screenings” of Muslim soldiers should be considered. Also, Allen West — a Republican congressional candidate and Iraq war vet — used the murders to claim the “enemy is infiltrating our military.”
On a trip to the United Arab Emirates, Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said, “Obviously, we object to — and do not believe — that anti-Muslim sentiment should emanate from this.” Speaking with a group of women university students, she said, “This was an individual who does not, obviously, represent the Muslim faith.”
Earlier this week, right-wing columnist Ralph Peters claimed that “political correctness killed those patriotic Americans” because military officials pander to “America-haters.” Reacting to this common right-wing argument, Sen. Lindsey Graham said on CBS that Hasan’s “actions do not reflect on the Islamic Muslim faith.” He added, “This man’s actions reflect on him. And if we missed some signals on him that we should have known, great. But let’s don’t take this to a level that we should not.” Graham concluded, “Let’s don’t accuse people for giving him a pass because he’s a Muslim because I don’t think there’s any evidence of that.”