Peacemaker: Throckmorton

Keith Throckmorton

First of all, I am not calling out or disrespecting our dedicated physicians or any of our healthcare providers in any way. On the contrary, we trust our healthcare to them exclusively, confidentially, as in no other profession. However, my question is, what do we know about them and their background? I want to justify my inquiry with the following examples.

On Nov. 5, 2009, Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. Army psychiatrist, shot and killed 13 people and wounded 30 others at Fort Hood, an Army base in Texas. Hasan is an American-born Muslim. Intelligence officials knew months before the shooting that Hasan tried to contact people associated with al-Qaeda. Before and after the shootings, investigators discovered 18 email communications between Hasan and Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaeda regional commander, who quickly declared Hasan a hero, as “fighting against the U.S. army is an Islamic duty.” In addition, Hasan wrote an open letter to the Taliban last month congratulating them for their Afghanistan takeover.

The letter, written by Hasan from death row at Fort Leavenworth and dated Aug. 18, included a note to his attorney, retired Army Col. John Galligan, explicitly requesting it be passed along to the Taliban leadership. It reads like this: “Greetings Mr. Galligan: We Have Won!!! As my attorney I would like for you to communicate to the Taliban leadership the following: ‘All Praises be to All-Mighty Allah! Congratulations on your victory over those who hate for the Laws of All-Mighty God to be supreme on the land. I pray to Allah that He helps you implement Shariah Law fully, correctly, and fairly. We must learn from the nations of the past and not let our wretchedness over come us thus earning His (God’s) wrath. It is to All-Mighty God we give thanks.”

In 1990, a Muslim mosque, Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Centre, was constructed in Fairfax County, Virginia. That is a highly congested area, including residential and high-rise condominiums and shopping centers. The mosque was located in the single-home residential section.

Worshipers at the mosque would park in the street and block driveways. As a result, parking became a nuisance for the surrounding community. Parking was also a public safety issue because of the difficulty faced by first responders.

Residents petitioned the county to enact the county-restricted parking ordinance in the area. The worshipers at the mosque were soon made aware that this process had been filed with the zoning commission, and the residents were pursuing the procedure. As expected, this news was not received well by the worshipers.

I will paraphrase a letter sent to the Fairfax County zoning chairman by a worshiper. It was as follows: “I am a practicing Muslim and worshiper at the Mosque. We are the only true religion in the world. It is our duty, as Muslims, to educate, subjugate, or kill infidels, which you are. There will be a day that your women will not be unveiled on the streets. I am warning you not to interfere with our “worship.” This letter was signed and listed the writer’s address. A departmental investigation was conducted and found him to be a practicing medical doctor in Arlington, Virginia.

What do we know about our doctors? We, as Americans, must remember that radical extremists are elected to Congress and are embedded in every walk of our society, including the medical profession. We may not know who they are, but they do. Therefore, we must do what we can to know our doctors.

Keith Throckmorton, who retired from the Fairfax County (Virginia) Police Department, is a resident of Perquimans County.