November 6, 2009

EXPLOSIVE: Ft. Hood suspect reportedly shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’. (Via The BlogProf). On NPR I heard — I can’t find the story on their website yet — that he had given a presentation on the Koran at a professional conference where he claimed that unbelievers should be beheaded, burned, etc. to the discomfiture of the attendees.

UPDATE: Here’s the NPR segment. Key bit:

He gave a Grand Rounds presentation. . . You take turns giving a lecture on, you know, the correct treatment of schizophrenia, the right drugs to prescribe for personality disorder, you know, that sort of thing. But instead of giving an academic paper, he gave a lecture on the Koran, and they said it didn’t seem to be just an informational lecture, but it seemed to be his own beliefs. That’s what a lot of people thought.

He talked about how if you’re a nonbeliever the Koran says you should have your head cut off, you should have oil poured down your throat, you should be set on fire. And I said well couldn’t this just be his educating you? And the psychiatrist said yes, but one of the Muslims in the audience, another psychiatrist, raised his hand and was quite disturbed and he said you know, a lot of us don’t believe these things you’re saying, and that there was no place where Hasan couched it as this is what the Koran teaches but you know I don’t believe it. And people actually talked in the hallway afterwards about ‘is he one of these people that’s going to freak out and shoot people someday?’

Kind of reminds me of that old Saturday Night Live skit on “The Shooting of Buckwheat.” You know: “What was he like?” “Nice guy, quiet, kept to himself.” “Are you surprised he shot Buckwheat?” “Oh, no — it’s all he ever talked about.”

MORE: Reader Dan Friedman writes to note that AP has changed the headline in the “Allahu Akhbar” story — the report is still there, now buried in the middle, but the headline now reads “Neighbor: Fort Hood suspect emptied his apartment.” Soft-pedaling?

STILL MORE: Interestingly, the substance of the NPR segment linked above is the same, but now the words are different, and the segment is in a different order. I transcribed the above while listening online earlier; I don’t know if they’ve substituted a different segment, or what.

MORE STILL: I spoke with a very nice woman named Emily at NPR listener services, who told me that these links aren’t stable until the afternoon, when the final West Coast version is laid down and transcribed. So this is a different live interchange than the one I transcribed earlier, explaining why the substance is the same but the wording is different. She said it may change again before 3 pm Eastern. That’s not very blog friendly! But she explained that they roll the story out in different order across the country because of different time zones. Oh, well. There’s actually some additional news in the new version, which is that Walter Reed has been told not to talk to anyone outside the military, even the FBI.

And more from NPR: “A source tells NPR’s Joseph Shapiro that Hasan was put on probation early in his postgraduate work at the Uniformed Service University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. He was disciplined for proselytizing about his Muslim faith with patients and colleagues, according to the source, who worked with him at the time.” I’ve gotten flak in the past over my praise of NPR, but they do good work, though they’d benefit from more diversity. They’re certainly playing this straighter, and less PC, than a lot of media outlets.

FINALLY: Reader C.J. Burch writes: “You’re right on NPR. I heard them this morning. They’ve been pretty good on this. We shouldn’t spit nails at people because they have a slant. Lord knows, I do. We all do. As long as they get the facts right they’re doing their job. At the end of the day people of good will on the left and the right are going to have to live together. Newsweek and some other places, they’re not doing their job as well. But I’ve already run off at the keyboard about that…”