MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan: ‘Who Cares’ What the Religion of the Muslim Shooter Is?

Morning Meeting host Dylan Ratigan on Friday appeared uncomfortable discussing the faith of the Muslim shooter who killed 12 people in Texas. In a tease for a segment on the subject, he noted that Major Nidal Hasan is being "described as a devout Muslim, mortified at being deployed to Iraq. Did that drive him to allegedly commit murder?" Ratigan quickly added, "And who cares what his religion was?"

Talking to Corey Saylor of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Ratigan offered a tortured, run-on question about the importance of Hasan’s Muslim faith: "Corey, it's very easy, considering, sort of, the history of the relations between our country and some nations- and some individual, really, of a Muslim faith. There's a very quick response or higher levels of anxiety for no reason other than because of the lesser familiarity."

Meandering his way to the end of this politically correct query, Ratigan concluded, "Is it appropriate to be looking at the- any sort of religious signals in a situation like this when you're clearly dealing with an American soldier, born in America, who enlisted again right out of high school?"

Speaking to FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt, Ratigan wondered what pressures Hasan may have been under:

RATIGAN: Yep. Clint Van Zandt, it's very easy to people to play pop psychiatrist or pop psychologist in a situation like this. Again, fear of war, abstractly, fear of going into combat abstractly would make anybody anxious, let alone working for as long as this man did as an Army psychiatrist, counseling men who lived and continued to live through war. Can you give us any indications, any commonalities of what happens when you're expose to do trauma like that repeatedly?

A transcript of the two exchanges, which occurred at 10:07am EST on November 6, follow:

9:59am

DYLAN RATIGAN: Still ahead here on the Morning Meeting, inside the mind of the alleged Fort Hood shooter, described as a devout Muslim, mortified at being deployed to Iraq. Did that drive him to allegedly commit murder? And who cares what his religion was?

10:07am

RATIGAN: Corey, it's very easy, considering, sort of, the history of the relations between our country and some nations- and some individual, really, of a Muslim faith. There's a very quick response or higher levels of anxiety for no reason other than because of the lesser familiarity. Is it appropriate to be looking at the- any sort of religious signals in a situation like this when you're clearly dealing with an American soldier, born in America, who enlisted again right out of high school?

COREY SAYLOR (Council on American-Islamic Relations): I think that it's really important that we, first of all, express our condolences to the victims of this tragedy and, which, those who are injured that they get better quickly. Right now, investigators need to do their jobs and look at everything. And the importance is we sew patience and sobriety in waiting for that investigation and let's hear what their conclusions are.

RATIGAN: Yep. Clint Van Zandt, it's very easy to people to play pop psychiatrist or pop psychologist in a situation like this. Again, fear of war, abstractly, fear of going into combat abstractly would make anybody anxious, let alone working for as long as this man did as an Army psychiatrist, counseling men who lived and continued to live through war. Can you give us any indications, any commonalities of what happens when you're expose to do trauma like that repeatedly?

CLINT VAN ZANDT (Former FBI profiler):Well, number one, there's going to be hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of men and women who have gone through this all the time. Dr. Hasan was not being sent in as a ground troop. He was being sent in to help care for those psychologically injured during the course of war, just like he had treated them in the states. Dylan, this was a contract that he had with the U.S. government. You and I and all of the taxpayers agree to pay his way through medical school with the understanding that he would stay in the military and that he would perform his duty, whatever the military said that was. So here, it appears we have a man who may have been in conflict between his duty to his country and his duty to his religion. And he, apparently, sided with one as opposed to the other and made the decision he was not going to go to Iraq. He was not going to be part of any action that saw the lives of Muslims taken in a combat situation and he was going to violate the terms of the agreement he had with this government.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org