not mutually exclusive

Deranged killer or terrorist assassin? I doubt the families of those slaughtered by Nidal Malik Hassan are concerned with such parsing, though it’s a debate certain to dominate cable news and talk radio.

Never mind that Hassan is most likely mentally unstable AND a radical Islamist. Early accounts indicate that he thought of himself as a victim, and like most narcissists he probably obsessed over imaginary enemies.

It’s also logical to assume that an educated man like Hassan would seek a loophole for his revenge fantasies, and Islamic extremism provided it. Murdering innocents is hard to rationalize; killing infidels — not so much.

Every major religion has, at one time or another, facilitated and/or enabled the killing of non-believers. We should be honest about that, and peaceful Muslims can’t ignore the corruption of their faith. Islamic fundamentalists have given sanctuary to murderous cowards, whether they dwell in caves, serve in the U.S. military or rule countries where homosexuals are lynched for sport and women are enslaved in the name of Allah. This cannot be denied.

It’s also undeniable that a significant majority of Western Muslims savor their freedoms and pose no threat to our secular traditions. Those who suggest otherwise do nothing but encourage the radicals. Truth should be paramount, and facts rarely follow tidy ideological constructs.

Neither do cold-blooded killers like Nidal Hassan.

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