November 8th, 2009
11:41 AM ET
13 years ago

Casey: I'm 'concerned' about backlash against Muslim soldiers

Washington (CNN) – The Army Chief of Staff hesitated Sunday to get into any details of the investigation into Thursday’s shootings at Fort Hood. At the same time, Gen. George Casey said he was ‘concerned’ that the incident could result in a potential backlash against Muslim soldiers.

Maj. Nadal Malik Hasan, a U.S.-born citizen of Palestinian descent, is the sole suspect in the shootings.

Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Casey told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King “there’s an ongoing investigation and I can’t speak to the particulars of the investigation or to any motivation of Maj. Hasan.”

Echoing recent comments by President Obama and Texas’ Republican senators, Casey cautioned against speculating about the causes behind the shootings.

“We have to be careful,” Casey told King, “because we can’t jump to conclusions now based on little snippets of information that have come out.”

Casey said he was “concerned that this increased speculation could cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers” and added that he had asked leaders in his service to be on the lookout for signs of a backlash.

“As great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well,” the Army Chief of Staff also said Sunday.

Casey was quick to add that he does not think there is currently discrimination against the roughly 3,000 Muslims who serve in the Army as active duty soldiers or in the reserves.

Updated: 11:41 a.m.

Filed under: George Casey • State of the Union
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Ted

    I agree with General Casey. We have to be careful to not malign Muslims because one of them did this. When a white American citizen commits murder, do we all want to beat ourselves up? NO. We need to look at the troubled individual, not his religion or background or color or anything like that, in order to find out why he did it.

    November 8, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  2. Clive

    i think the army is being shamefully misused, and has been for sometime. They are asked to participitate in ill-conceived , poorly planned geopolitical adventures that have very little to do with defending their country – which is what they are told – but have everything to do with acquiring resources. They are shipped off, repeatedly to fight hostile people in meaningless piles of sand thousands of miles away while the rest of the country sacrifices absolutely nothing. Is it any wonder they snap sometimes. Please President Obama end this insanity – bring them home NOW!

    November 8, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  3. vic nashville , Tn

    He is right

    We are in two war One in Iraq other one in Afghanistan both countries majority are Muslim
    Some time we need Muslim solders to cry our message to civilians in Iraq and Afghan

    Some comments from Fox network worries me those comments may put our army in uncomfortable situation .Our military is doing a great job so we have to support our military we should not nuisance our forces. I hope people appearing in Fox keep their comments private

    We don’t need any kind of comments before investigation finish

    November 8, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  4. Stu

    What do they have in common?

    Sgt. Hasan Karim Akbar (Mark Fidel Kools)
    John Allen Mohammad (John Allen Williams)
    Sulayman al-Faris (John Walker Lindh)
    Ibrahim.(Jose Padilla)

    They are all muslim converts who attacked US civilians or soldiers. People of all faiths commit atrocities to be sure, but Islam has the goal of the destruction of Israel and the US. Wake up sheeple.

    November 8, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  5. aam

    this kind of words put muslim in trouble. they dont feel welcome here. even the constitution of this great country allow you to practice any religion or nor practice any religion. but i guess for extreme conservatives constitution is all about "right to bear arms"

    November 8, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. The real Dave

    When we were at war with the Japanese we wouldn't allow Japanese Americans to serve in our military. In fact we put them in detention facilities to keep them from acting on their nationalistic desires. Why then would we allow Muslims to serve in our military when it is obvious that we are at war with Islamic fundamentalist extremism? Are we going to let PC on steroids destroy our country? We need to come to our senses and provide our troops with some sense of security. Muslim soldiers can easily be replaced by non-Muslim translators. I don't see any change in policy due to the fact that we have a terrorist hugging commander in chief.

    November 8, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. mari

    Psychiatrics are at greater risk probably more than anyone to have high level stress. This guy has been hearing over and over again the horrific things that are happening in this war. Another point is muslim soldier in our army are more at risk in these wars. think about it

    November 8, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. Angela

    How are we suppose to get at the reasons this or any crime is commited if we do not look at a persons background? in this case we need to look at his religion also,9-11 did not happen because these men were unappy as a child or were mistreated by classmates, No!, it happened based on religious beliefs. The FBI was investigating his anti-American blogs and comments to others. Please do not be so pollyanish as to think in this example that religon did not play a role.The United States is trying to play this off as stress it this man did not serve in Iraq or Afganistan. What stress did he have, going to work,paying bills and living life just like all of us? We do ned to get the facts about the man but to get the facts we need to investigate (Everything) in his background.

    November 8, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  9. MWA

    Like yelling fire in a crowded theater, this will set off civil violence, turning us against each other. Then we will be weak and that's what the enemy wants. Our system as we know it will crumble and burn to the ground. C'mon are we really this weak as a country?

    November 8, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  10. Dave

    Maybe just maybe it would be a good idea to be worried about the political correctness that allowed a guy to continue to serve as a psychiatrist who was acting in an unethical manner by attempting to convert his patients and convince them that they were doing bad things by risking their lives to protect the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. This tragedy can be mostly chalked up to the fact that the military is desperate for psychiatrist and the politically correct world that we now live in that makes it okay for those who are part of a minority of some sort to get away with actions that would not be tolerated by any caucasian American. The first question that needs to be answered is that with all the problems this guy was causing who in his leadership allowed him to stay in the military. After that question is answered the question of what discrimination actually took place can be addressed.

    November 8, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. Yousaf Hassan

    I am a Muslim and a soldier in the United States Army. I love my country and I am proud of my service to the U.S. Please dont jump to conclusion about all of us. I am amazed at the arrogance of some of the comments in here. Hopefully one day many of you will learn to judge people as individuals rather than maligning an entire group. I know plenty of other Muslim American soldiers that serve with honor and are important to he war effort. They work as linguists and are mission essential in war zones. When you get a chance look up Muslim soldiers that have fallen in the line of duty to this country.

    November 8, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. Ken

    Typical liberal nonsense; AVOID PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AT ALL COSTS. Unless of course it's a right wing terrorist act, like timothy mcvay's Oklahoma City bombing. You would never hear how mcvay was the product of a bad social environment, but an evil, white, blonde-haired, blued-eyed whacko extremist from the Republican Party. It's just more hypocrisy and psycho-babble....... Hasan is a terrorist. Just call it what it is for once!

    November 8, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  13. Chris

    We are witnessing a modern age "Holy Crusade" aka The War on Terror. This major was clearly deliberate, and had to have thought thru the consequences.

    If the US executes a US-Muslim soldier, the entire Middle-east will light up. And if the US does not....then it sends a mixed message of tolerance.

    The line has been drawn....the world needs to decide which side they are on....

    November 8, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  14. Joan

    It seems like Major Hasan was a conscientious objector to this war, at least informally, as evidenced by the individuals interviewed at Walter Reed who reported their concerns about his war views. It seems clear that the guy was totally opposed to the war. WHO decided and thought it a good idea that Hasan ought to be deployed, knowing his very public position against the war!

    November 8, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. Liz

    He never went to war, so how could he have post-traumatic stress syndrome? He has a cushy office job for goodness sake! STOP making excuses. We all know that what he did was a planned terrorist attack. CNN's politically correct claptrap is why I have given up watching their news.

    November 8, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. raymond

    Religion was not the case in this situation , but more a disabled sick mind like many others the occured in the US,

    November 8, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  17. Lolly

    Just to esttablish a frame of reference 168 (19 of them children) were killed in the United States by t nhis man:
    "Timothy James McVeigh (April 23, 1968 – June 11, 2001) was a United States Army veteran and security guard who was convicted of bombing the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, the second anniversary of the Waco Siege, as revenge or to inspire a revolt against what he considered a tyrannical federal government. The bombing killed 168 people and was the deadliest act of terrorism within the United States prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks."

    Most of the domestic terrorism is committed by white Christian men.

    November 8, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  18. casper hughes

    We are here to discuss, the reason and consequences. It is unfortunate some of the racist remarks have been passed. We as a American consist of people from different back grounds and one unfortunate indecent should not be the reason to blame everybody from the same ethnicity. We support our soldiers in all wars but we should not forget the stress and sacrifices by the our brave soldiers. All this stress adding up for our soldiers and their families. Highest rate of suicide rate in USA, families destroyed and all other law and order problems faced by our soldiers. One has to accept the reality that excessive overseas posting for our soldiers are the main reason for all the problems. I am a Catholic American and have man Muslims friends and I strongly disagree with all these Racist remarks in this blog that all the Muslims are bad.

    November 8, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  19. serious1

    First, of all Gen. Casey does not have too kiss anyone but he is doing the right thing because if we do not watch what we say there will be backlash in our states. The reason why I say this because we keep saying a muslim did this and yes it was. American people in general need to step out of their little circles they have created and began to pray about this. I am not excusing what this high ranking official did something triggered this man to do something like this. We have to put al lid on our mouth. We will have all of the muslims angry in the military and the ones who are not in the military.We cannot be angry with everyone in this particular race because an individual did something horrific like this. There will be wars created in the states!(Serious1)

    November 8, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  20. Brian phoenix

    The truth in this incident will be buried so far that it will never see the light of day ever. We must be politically betcha

    November 8, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  21. Kaye

    The Christian extremists will not be satified until they round up all the Muslims and begin a Holy War (or Crusade if you prefer). Kinda like the Japanese were. Seems to me that the extremist in both religions are just alike. They both want only their religion to be THE religion. The majority of Christians and Muslims are not like this and the ones who are give the rest a bad name.

    November 8, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  22. No Hillary = No Obama

    Isn't 8 years of the Bush Wars enough? All these destructive spin-offs from wars that were started under false pretenses and continue because Obama can't find his spine need to be laid to rest. Obama – the person who kept reminding everyone over and over and over and over that he did not vote for the war in Iraq to get himself into the White House now can't seem to end it – why would you not stop a war you never supported to begin with?????????????????????????

    November 8, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  23. ATL Guy

    I do believe we should give Muslims the benefit of the doubt but why are they not on TV denouncing this act? I am a very moderate person but after a while your faith and patience gets tested. The Muslim community needs to be front and center attacking these actions rather than disappearing into the background and having other Americans talk for them.

    November 8, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |