Nov 10, 2009 9:52 PM by Andy Koen

Local Muslim speaks out about Ft. Hood shooting

As the military and the FBI continue to investigate Nidal Hasan's connections with a radical imam overseas, local Muslims say it's important that people recognize his alleged actions do not represent their faith. 

Arshad Yousufi of the Islamic Society of Colorado Springs says that Islam condemns harming innocent civilians, even in the heat of battle.

"What he did was absolutely contrary to Islam," Yousufi said.  "There is absolutely no basis for it, not for him, not Bin Laden, not anyone else."

Yousufi believes that Hasan likely used his religious beliefs to cover up underlying emotional issues.

He believes the imam Hasan is thought to have communicated with has misinterpreted the teachings of Islam and that Hasan used that support to validate a distorted way of thinking.

"It is valid to say, yes, religion is a factor in here and it was a factor in this person's thinking, but it was only because he was already emotionally disturbed that he sought that approach."

When the war in Afghanistan first began, Yousufi counseled Muslim soldiers from Fort Carson who expressed similar reservations about fighting against fellow Muslims.

"What I told them basically was, if you are defending the country as an American, you have the obligation and the duty to do so."

Yousufi also believes more should be done to de-stigmatize mental health issues in both the military and society as a whole.


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