US Military Faithful: ‘Not the Country They Swore to Defend’
The Washington Post covered the stories of some current and former US military members who are Muslim, and who are “disturbed by the rising anti-Muslim sentiment” in the United States [emphasis added]:
Many American Muslims say they are living through a difficult time in this country. For the Muslims who are former and current service members, the prejudice and anti-Muslim rhetoric is particularly painful. Those interviewed for this story said that hateful comments have driven a wedge between them and the country they swore to defend.
Commenters were quick to point out that one could just as easily say anti-Christian sentiment within society and the US military has made America a “different US than the one they swore to defend.” In fact, so many brought up this diverging culture in 2011 — regarding the acceptance of open homosexuality within the US military — that then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm Mike Mullen told those morally opposed to the practice to “vote with [their] feet.” While a pithy rejoinder, most troops couldn’t do so — they were obligated to serve out their terms of service, which the military under Mullen declined to waive for those with moral objections to the policy changes.
Muslims in the US and within the US military certainly are experiencing a “new” environment in the years following attacks by Islamic terrorists against America. When America’s adversaries lay claim to a religion and then kill American troops and civilians in the name of that religion, it may tend to have that effect.
Still, military leadership has gone out of its way make sure Muslims retain their religious liberty and are respected.
By way of comparison, Christians in the US and within the US military are also experiencing a “new” culture. This isn’t because Christians have killed Americans en masse. Rather, Christians have declined to decorate wedding cakes or arrange flowers to celebrate homosexuality, or have had the gall to call homosexuality a “sin.”
In response, some military leaders have threatened punishment — including kicking Christians out of the military — for doing nothing more than expressing their constitutionally-protected religious beliefs in their private capacities, or even in response to direct questions.
Interesting contrast, that.
Also at the Stars and Stripes.