Sometimes we forget about the story behind the headlines. We do not have TV, so I follow the news about Ft. Hood online. I read an article about Major Malik Nidal Hasan. Turns out that he is still alive, although he was shot in the fracas. The immediate question is: 'What sort of a mind can justify this?' and I have been reading news reports for the answer to that question.
I had not thought of it, but the man had a family. His parents are dead, but when the media contacted his brother and told them what he was accused of, that brother fainted. His family (aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers) is trying to distance themselves from his actions, trying to make it clear that they are loyal Americans, and I find myself feeling really sorry for them. How horrible that must be for them. I'm sure that as Muslims, they must have already been dealing with some amount of hostility from stereotyping bigots. And now, one of their own stands accused of the most heinous crime ever to occur on a military base. They are caught in the white hot glare of the media spotlight. The suspicious eyes of a nation fix upon them. They did not bring this attention on themselves, and they will not be able to make it go away. I imagine the terrified eyes of a deer in the headlights, and I find myself praying for these people, the victims behind the headlines, just as I am praying for the victims of the shooting. Because I am a poor Christian, I cannot yet bring myself to pray for the Major.