Soldiers Often ‘Racialize’ to Cope

November 12, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

New America Media, Interview, Aaron Glantz

Editor’s Note: The horrific shooting Thursday at Fort Hood that claimed 13 lives and hospitalized another 30 people has set off a great deal of speculation as to why the alleged shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, did what he did.

NAM Editor Aaron Glantz spoke to former Marine Corps Cpl. Dave Hassan, who served in Iraq in 2005 and 2006. Hassan, an Egyptian American, said that while he was in Iraq, racist language was so pervasive that he began to use it himself.

egyptian soldier guy from NAM article

When you heard that the shooter was an Arab-American major what was your reaction?

This is not going to end well. That was essentialy my first reaction. I don’t know if the guy did it or not but assuming that this guy did do it, somebody who shoots a whole bunch of people ought to get punished for it, but in a broader sense, it’s just going to fuel more of the anti-Arab racism that’s grown up in the past decade or so. It’s going to be fun for the rest of us. [laughs]

What about the fact that he was a psychiatrist?

He was probably treating guys with PTSD [post traumatic stress disorder] and there’s a lot more overt racism in that crowd than there is in the rest of the military.

Talk about that.

Well, your average service member is not particularly racist and not necessarily more racist than your average American. But in order to go be involved with killing large [numbers] of other human beings, you have to dehumanize the enemy, and the easiest way to dehumanize them is to racialize them. In my experience, they’re much more prone to talking about ‘f** hajji’s,” if only “these f** hajjis wouldn’t be here, this wouldn’t have happened.’

But after you were deployed to Iraq, you used that language even though your family is Egyptian.

Oh, absolutely. I absolutely used those words. I didn’t think anything of it. It was just a part of how you talked about the people who were in Iraq and it didn’t even register that I was even talking about my own ethnic community until I started thinking about it after I got home. That was a little hard for me.

But it’s just how you talk about Iraqis and Afghans. It’s a word that’s used for specific people in Arabic. It means someone who has completed a pilgrimage so it’s a term of respect in Arab cultures. Now it’s present at every level of the military chain of command, so everybody uses it. In the military, things stop because commanders want them to stop and that wasn’t the case for that kind of language.

They’re hajji’s and you don’t even think about the fact that it’s a pretty racist term to be using it the way that we used it. And he [Hasan] would have heard a lot of it, because he was treating a lot of pretty angry folks.

And how was that day-to-day for you?

For me, it never went beyond the use of language. People would say, ‘Why are hajjis wearing dresses all the time,’ [talking about traditional Iraqi dishdash]. One or two of the officers that I had contact with would call me over and say ‘Hassan, how come these hajjis want to be doing this?’

So thinking of all this were you surprised when Major Hasan opened fire at Fort Hood?

I was surprised that it was a psychiatrist that shot a lot of people. It’s no longer surprising to me that returning veterans would kill a bunch of people. But this guy was a psychiatrist who hadn’t been deployed, and he was also a major, which means he was in for a long time. If he had been at Walter Reed for a long time it was probably the first time that he had to think in detail about actually deploying to a foreign country and what that means. He would have been a lot closer to the ‘action’ there.

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Examples of Advanced Ancient Technology

March 5, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

By Harun Yahya

Excerpted from the book A Historical Lie: the Stone Age

Cogs Used by the Mayans

Research in regions inhabited by the Mayans shows that they used devices containing cogwheels.

mayan cogwheels The photograph overleaf, taken in the major Mayan city of Copan, is one of the proofs of this. A society using cogwheel technology must also possess a knowledge of mechanical engineering.

It is impossible for anyone lacking this knowledge to produce a cogwheel mechanism. For example, if you were asked to produce a similar mechanism to that in the photograph, then without the appropriate training you could not do so, nor ensure that the mechanism would function properly.

Yet that the Mayans managed to do this is an important indicator of their level of knowledge, and proves that those who lived in the past were not “backward,” as evolutionists claim.

The examples up to now are only a few that demonstrate the advanced levels of civilization achieved by communities in the past. These point to one very significant truth: The evolutionist thesis imposed for so many years, that societies in the past lived simple, backward, primitive lives, is simply wrong. Societies with different levels of civilization and different cultures have existed in all ages; yet none evolved from any other. The fact that some backward civilizations existed 1,000 years ago does not mean that history itself evolved, or that societies progress from the primitive to the more advanced. Because alongside these backward communities, there were also highly advanced ones that made huge strides in science and technology and founded deep-rooted civilizations. Yes, cultural interaction and the accumulated knowledge handed down through generations may well play a role in societies’ development. But this is not evolution.

In citing examples of the communities that lived in the past, the Qur`an tells us that some of these did indeed build advanced cultures:

Have they not traveled in the Earth and seen the final fate of those before them? They were greater than them in strength and left far deeper traces on the Earth . . .

Al Ghaffar:21

Have they not traveled in the land and seen the final fate of those before them? They were more numerous than them and greater in strength and left more and deeper traces on Earth, but what they earned was of no use to them.

Al Ghaffar:82

How many wrongdoing cities We destroyed, and now all their roofs and walls are fallen in; how many abandoned wells and stuccoed palaces!

Al Hajj:45

These statements imparted in the Qur`an are supported by archaeological findings. When archaeological discoveries and the sites where past communities lived are examined, it can indeed be seen that most of these societies enjoyed a higher level than some present-day communities, and that they made enormous advances in the fields of construction technology, astronomy, mathematics and medicine. This yet again invalidates the Darwinist myth of the evolution of history and societies.

The Impasse of Language Evolution

In recounting the myth of the evolution of mankind’s history, evolutionists encounter a number of serious problems. One is how human consciousness emerged in the first place. Another concerns the origin of speech—one characteristic that distinguishes human beings from all other living creatures.

When we speak, we are able to shape our thoughts thanks to language, and to express them in such a way that another party can understand them. Although this requires highly specialized muscular movements of the lips, throat and tongue, we are hardly aware of this. We merely “want” to speak. Sounds, syllables and words emerge through the harmonious contraction and relaxation of some 100 different muscles, and sentences comprehensible to others are formed by the appropriate sequences of such grammatical elements as subject, object and pronoun. The fact that we do nothing more than “wish” to use such an ability, based on such complex stages, clearly shows that speech is not merely an ability that arises from essential biological structures.

The human capacity for speech is an exceedingly complex phenomenon that cannot be explained in terms of the imaginary requirements or mechanisms of an evolutionary process. Despite lengthy research, evolutionists have been unable to produce any evidence that an exceedingly complex ability like speech evolved from simple animal-like sounds. David Premack from Pennsylvania University made this failure abundantly clear when he said, “Human language is an embarrassment for evolutionary theory . . .”

The well-known linguist Derek Bickerton summarizes the reasons for this “embarrassment:”

Could language have come directly out of some prehuman trait? No. Does it resemble forms of animal communication? No . . . no ape, despite intensive training, has yet acquired even the rudiments of syntax . . . how words emerged, how syntax emerged. But these problems lie at the heart of language evolution.

All languages on Earth are complex, and not even evolutionists are able to imagine how such complexity could have been acquired gradually. According to the evolutionist biologist Richard Dawkins, all languages—even the tribal ones regarded as most primitive—are highly complex:

My clear example is language. Nobody knows how it began . . . Equally obscure is the origin of semantics; of words and their meaning . . . all the thousands of languages in the world are very complex. I am biased towards thinking it was gradual, but it is not quite obvious that it had to be. Some people think it began suddenly, more or less invented by a single genius in a particular place at a particular time.

Two evolutionist brain researchers, W.K. Williams and J. Wakefield of Arizona State University, say this on the subject:

Despite the lack of evidence for intermediate stages in linguistic evolution, the alternatives are hard to accept. If some species-specific characteristic did not evolve in piecemeal fashion, then there would seem to be only two ways to explain its appearance. Either it was put in place by some still-undiscovered force, perhaps through divine intervention, or it was the result of some relatively abrupt change in the development of the species, perhaps some sort of spontaneous and widespread mutation . . . but the fortuitous nature of such a happenstance mutation makes that explanation seem suspect. As has been pointed out (Pinker and Bloom, 1990), the chances against a mutation resulting in a system as complex and apparently so ideally suited to its task as is language are staggeringly high.

Professor of linguistics Noam Chomsky comments on the complexity of the ability to speak:

I’ve said nothing so far about the production of language. The reason is that there is little to say of any interest. Apart from peripheral aspects, it remains largely a mystery. 

To anyone not trapped inside evolutionist preconceptions, the origin of the capacity for speech is perfectly clear. It is Almighty God Who bestows this ability on Man. God inspires speech in human beings and causes them to speak, as is revealed in a verse from the Qur`an:

. . . They will reply, “God gave us speech as He has given speech to everything. He created you in the first place and you will be returned to Him.”

Fussilat:21

In the same way that evolutionists are unable to account for the complexity of the biological structures that enable speech, they are also unable to explain the origin of the consciousness that makes language possible. Human consciousness and the complexities of language show that language was created by a superior Intelligence that belongs to Almighty God, our Lord.

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Michiganders React to Turkey’s Kurdish Incursion

February 28, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

By Adil James, MMNS

Farmington—February 27—“Let it be over quickly”—that is the prayer of all concerned except perhaps the PKK themselves.

“This is the fourth day of this ground operation, and there have been some determined targets, and the operation is going as planned,” explained Mr. Fatih Yildiz of the Turkish Embassy in Washington. “Our sole target is the PKK terrorists—we are taking the utmost care so no civilians are hurt, we made it very sure from the very beginning.”

He explains the Turkish government’s perspective, that Turkey had made its will known very clearly but without results—“Had the Iraqi authorities taken the necessary measures against the PKK during the five years…[since the Iraq War began] there would be no need for these operations… We tried other ways, trilateral talks… Not only with the Americans, but bilaterally also.” Perhaps the Turkish government’s demands were beyond the willingness of the other parties to abide with—they demand, in Mr. Yildiz’s words, “the extradition of PKK leaders, whose names are on Interpol bulletins, the closure of PKK camps in the north of the country.”

In November of 2007, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan came to Washington, DC to meet with President Bush, and there was a general understanding that this was to lay the groundwork for a Turkish military response to PKK killings of many Turkish soldiers.

Turkey estimates that the PKK had about 3,000 fighters in northern Iraq at the beginning of the incursion. Turkish incursion forces, whose numbers are not published by the Turkish government, but are estimated at between 1,000 and 10,000 under air support, invaded the Kandil mountain range in northern Iraq, following five bombing campaigns. Since the incursion, the Turkish military has inflicted some losses on the PKK, which has in turn claimed to have killed Turkish soldiers as well.

The residents of Iraq, whether they be Arabs, Kurds, or Chaldeans, have grave concerns over the potential for disturbance of the peace that rested until now on the shoulders of the Kurds of northern Iraq. And this concern is reflected in the voices of those in Michigan who come from the affected areas.

The underlying grievances are long-standing, consisting of repression against Turkish Kurds and a long-standing military feud. “These people (the Kurds) asked for some freedom inside Turkey,” says Umid Gaff, an ethnic Kurd who now lives in Michigan. “They are not allowed to talk their own language,” and [the Turkish government] calls them ‘Mountain Turks’ rather than Kurds. You can’t speak your language, can’t do school by your language, can’t have a Kurdish [political] party.”

Mr. Yildiz, on the other hand, emphasizes that Kurds in Turkey do have rights, and are represented in the political process there, some of them reaching very high ranks in the government. “In fact Kurds can speak their language, first of all,” he says. And he explains that over the past half decade there have been a number of democratization programs aimed at gaining Turkish admission into the EU that have benefitted all Turks, including the Kurdish people of Turkey.

The view expressed by some Kurds is that an unwanted conflict between their wayward countrymen and the Turkish authorities is spinning out of control—and they fear the repercussions. Umid Gaff explains that “We are not responsible for what happens between [the Turks] and PKK. The PKK does not get approval. Inside Iraq they are without any power from us—we do not support them. The area they are in is mountains, not under Kurdish government control—between Iraqi Kurdistan and Turkey, far from control.”

Mr. Gaff comes, as he explains, from the “Southeast of Kurdistan—Sulaymaniyya.” Sulaymaniyya is in a more developed region of Kurdistan than where the PKK is conducting its guerrilla war. Mr. Gaff’s perspective is perhaps more nuanced because of his experience of the Kandil Mountains—he explains that “Most of this area is mountains that don’t have any people—the problem to us,” he explains, is that the Turkish military is damaging the infrastructure by “attacking some villages and some bridges.”

“In 1993 we had a war with the PKK, supported by the Turkish government.” Despite looking in the Kandil mountains for the PKK, “we don’t do anything—lost a lot of peshmerga in Iraqi Kurdistan.”

“Tomorrow the PKK goes to a different place—can’t find him.”

Another perspective is that of Iraqi bystanders, who seem universally startled and outraged by the Turkish attack. This is summed up in the words of Kamal Yaldo, who describes himself as an Iraqi activist. “When the Turkish military crossed the border, it was a violation of the mutual interests of both countries. Everyone is seeing what’s happening in Iraq now, now on top of this an intervention, an invasion from a foreign military—I mean how much Iraq can take? How much?”

Mr. Yaldo is a Chaldean, born in Baghdad but who has lived in the United States for long enough that only a moderate echo of his original accent lingers in his voice. He explains, “There are 150,000 to 180,000 Chaldeans in the metro Detroit area.” This small community is perhaps equal to the number of Chaldeans left in Iraq, as he explains that perhaps half of the original 800,000 Iraqi Chaldeans left Iraq as refugees in the wake of the war and the following instability—during which they and other non-Muslims are often targeted by extremists.

He explains that there is from Iraq also “a small Arabic community living mostly in Dearborn—they are mostly Shi’a, conservatively 15,000 to 20,000.”

Also hailing from Baghdad is Michigander Nabil Roumayah—he is the president of the Iraqi Democratic Union. He explains in impassioned terms that the conflict “will lead to further destabilization of the region and Iraq and the whole area. What’s happening, it should be resolved by political means—military solutions as we have seen do not produce results, only short-term results.”

Says Mr. Roumayah, “There is a genuine problem for Kurds in Turkey. They are discriminated against—this has to be solved politically. The problem of a Kurdish minority in four countries—has to be solved politically… Nobody is asking for a state, but they need an economy, like everyone else in the world.”

The ghost of reconciliation is the silver lining in this cloud of war. Says Mr. Gaff, “We don’t like to fix the problem by the gun. We don’t like the gun—don’t like to shoot, don’t like to kill anyone. We don’t have any problem with the PKK, but don’t support them in that.”

“We want good relations with the Turkey government, they help us after 1991,” explains Mr. Gaff, referring to Turkish government support for the Iraqi Kurds who suffered reprisal attacks from Saddam Hussein after the Gulf War.

Gaff’s sincere appreciation of the support from Turkey for Iraqi Kurds is a reflection of Turkish feelings of support for the Kurds. “In the economic trade sense,” explains Mr. Yildiz, “Turkey is the primary counterpart of the recovery process in the north of the country. Most of the commodies transported there are from us. Turkish businessmen are quite active in the region in rebuilding that area. Any kind of instability in the region or in Iraq will not be in the interests of Turkey—it is fair to say that the presence of a terrorist organization in the north is a key element of instability.”

All of the voices of Iraq seem to resonate on one point, the desire for a quick end to the fighting. Fatih Yildiz, speaking for the Turkish Embassy in Washington, explained that “As soon as the planned objectives of the operation is achieved, our troops will be leaving northern Iraq.”

Mr. Gaff echoes in a few well-chosen words the underlying fear of all of the others—“That’s the point, we are scared, don’t want these people [the Turkish military] to stay a long time. We are scared they may pass these people [the PKK] and attack the villages.”

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