In early 2000, I wrote about the pattern of American Muslim converts coming to hate their own country. I noted, for example, that white Islamist converts "typically condemn America for its immorality, consumerism, tolerant social policies, and warm relations with Israel. They talk about 'our society's unrelenting greed' and its neglect for the downtrodden. In some cases, they associate with hostile governments." I then returned to this theme several times later, such as a column in late 2002 on the motives of John Muhammad, the Beltway sniper.
According to testimony in the preliminary military hearing of Hasan Akbar, the alleged fragger (for more on him, see my "Murder in the 101st Airborne"), there is a further problem, one I had not thought of back in 2000: that in the process of conversion, Americans might shift their allegiance to specific other countries, in his case Iraq. For example, Maj. Shawn Phillips testified at the Akbar hearing that he said he "deliberately targeted the leadership of the brigade because we were going to rape the women and kill the children of the Muslim faith. And he was going after the leadership to stop this." From this and other statements by Akbar's colleagues, it appears that he felt himself to be the protector of Iraqis rather than an American warrior. That no such protector was not needed is hardly the point; that Akbar has transferred his loyalties is very much the point. (June 18, 2003) (June 18, 2003)