We know that Dr. Hasan is a devout Muslim who once told a fellow officer that “Muslims have a right to stand up against the U.S. military.” Clearly, yesterday’s rampage was not motivated by love. Given Hasan’s worldview, it’s probable that he was motivated in part by an animus toward Christians and Jews. Assuming that murder charges are brought against him, will Hasan also be charged with a hate crime?
For Scarborough, the recently-enacted hate crimes legislation, which amended the law to include provisions for prosecution of people who commit violent crimes motivated by bias against LGBT people, discriminates against Christians because it would criminalize preaching against homosexuality. (The previous version of the law provided for enhanced prosecutions of crimes motivated by racial, ethnic, or religious bias.) That’s the standard religious right take on the hate crimes bill; to my knowledge, though, Scarborough is the first religious right leader to make the leap to suggest that failure to prosecute Hasan under the hate crimes law would demonstrate anti-Christian bias.
“Gay activists will use it [the hate crimes law] against preachers who present the Biblical view of homosexuality. Muslim groups will use it against those who speak the verifiable truth about Islam. The federal Hate Crimes Law doesn’t target crime, but free speech,” the Scarborough statement continues.
Scarborough goes on to claim, without proof, that Hasan “had received poor fitness reports for proselytizing his patients for Islam,” and whines about an “entrenched double standard.”
“If a Christian doctor witnessed for Jesus to his patients, I can guarantee he would have been discharged from the United States Army in a New York minute,” Scarborough complained.
Perhaps Scarborough should take a look at Jeff Sharlet’s recent piece in Harpers, “Jesus Killed Mohammed,” about Christian proselytization in the military.