Commentary Magazine


Topic: Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Islam

So Many Red Flags, So Little Action

The Washington Post‘s editors concede that there were “red flags” all around Major Nadal Hasan:

There was his troubling presentation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Islam and the U.S. military, and questions among colleagues about the psychiatrist’s competence and even his sanity. And there was the e-mail correspondence with a known radical Muslim cleric that caught the attention of the FBI. In isolation, they may have appeared less than actionable.

And so begins the search for an answer to the question that now absorbs the entire country: how could the Army have missed these flags? One clue, the editors note, is a report that “Walter Reed psychiatrists may have been deterred from trying to dismiss the psychiatrist because of onerous procedures; an official on a review committee reportedly asked whether the termination of a doctor who happened to be a Muslim would create an appearance problem.” Uh oh. The diversity police strike once again. Those who might have acted may have had an “appearance problem” — the fear that citing a Muslim for extremist views, aberrant behavior, and “research” with the local imam would bring on a torrent of questions and accusations. Who wants to be accused of being insufficiently “sensitive” to diversity goals?

We will see how the investigation pans out, but if the reaction to the massacre is any indication of the mindset at work here, we may find that we have once again lost our way in the diversity maze, confusing discrimination with common sense. Here the governing elites may find that the public has precious little patience for the cottage industry dedicated to lambasting those who appear “intolerant.” After all, 13 people are dead.

The Washington Post‘s editors concede that there were “red flags” all around Major Nadal Hasan:

There was his troubling presentation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Islam and the U.S. military, and questions among colleagues about the psychiatrist’s competence and even his sanity. And there was the e-mail correspondence with a known radical Muslim cleric that caught the attention of the FBI. In isolation, they may have appeared less than actionable.

And so begins the search for an answer to the question that now absorbs the entire country: how could the Army have missed these flags? One clue, the editors note, is a report that “Walter Reed psychiatrists may have been deterred from trying to dismiss the psychiatrist because of onerous procedures; an official on a review committee reportedly asked whether the termination of a doctor who happened to be a Muslim would create an appearance problem.” Uh oh. The diversity police strike once again. Those who might have acted may have had an “appearance problem” — the fear that citing a Muslim for extremist views, aberrant behavior, and “research” with the local imam would bring on a torrent of questions and accusations. Who wants to be accused of being insufficiently “sensitive” to diversity goals?

We will see how the investigation pans out, but if the reaction to the massacre is any indication of the mindset at work here, we may find that we have once again lost our way in the diversity maze, confusing discrimination with common sense. Here the governing elites may find that the public has precious little patience for the cottage industry dedicated to lambasting those who appear “intolerant.” After all, 13 people are dead.

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