Was religion relevant?

November 9, 2009

Motive probed for US army shooting rampage

KILLEEN, Texas, Nov 6 (Reuters) – Investigators searched for the motive on Friday behind a mass shooting at a sprawling U.S. Army base in Texas, in which an Army psychiatrist trained to treat war wounded is suspected of killing 13 people.

The suspected gunman, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a Muslim born in the United States of immigrant parents, was shot four times by police, a base spokesman said. He was unconscious but in stable condition.

I was wondering why, in the article about the suspect in the Fort Hood shooting, he was identified as, “Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a Muslim born in the United States” and the article about the Orlando gunman did NOT identify his religion?

I think this type of reporting perpetuates negative, stereotypes that label people inappropriately, there are plenty of murderers of all religions that are not immediately identified with a specific religion in the headline news. In fact, their religion is usually NOT used as an identifier.

Old Crabber

It is our policy not to use race, religion, etc. in a story unless it is relevant to the events. In this case, our story said the gunman had yelled “Allahu Akbar” — Arabic for “God is Greatest” — just before the shooting, which in my mind justifies mentioning his religion.

Further, the story also quoted the man’s cousin as saying he had complained, as a Muslim, of harassment by fellow soldiers, another detail which makes religion a relevant detail: GBU Editor

Major Nidal Malik Hasan. REUTERS/Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences/Handout

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5 comments

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The present news is only 1% of full coverage. The news has to come up with more openness and highlight the dangers that democratic and civilized society has due to presence of muslims. It also needs to undertake in depth study as to why muslims pose the greatest threat to any multicultural society and how should that threat be erased for good.

Posted by IGT | Report as abusive

Muslims seem more patriotic to their religion than to their nation. Unfortunately terrorists from Al Qaeda and Taliban all pose themselves as Muslims. As long as the US is at war with them overseas, emotional reactions at home should be carefully monitored among Muslims. Such bloodbath killings as taken place on school campus and inside army base, could happen on capitol hill and inside White House, with no surprise.

Posted by Seymour | Report as abusive

Since radical Islam is at war with the US and this man was a radical Muslim, it is entirely appropriate. Why people are scared to have the truth spoken when terrorism worldwide is largely by Muslims is incomprehensible.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

Who cares if he’s paralyzed! There are 13 people DEAD because of him…

Posted by Craig | Report as abusive

Why was Dr. Hasan Nidal identified as a Muslim? Gee, Old Crabber, maybe it was because he yelled, “Allahu akbar” before gunning down 13 innocent people, including a pregnant woman and a civilian, as well as wounding some 30 more.Will Old Crabber be joining dear Dr. Hasan’s defense committee?

Posted by Craig Abernethy | Report as abusive