US Navy Chaplain Brings Islam to Africa

People tend to connect more through their faith than anything else.
– Chaplain Abuhena Saifulislam

US Navy Chaplain (Cmdr) Abuhena Saifulislam, stationed in Ramstein Air Base, Germany, as the USAFRICOM deputy command chaplain, recently spent a week in Djibouti

with members of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Religious and Civil Affairs, they met with the deputy director of Islamic affairs for Djibouti, the Sultan of Tadjoura and representatives of the Red Crescent Society of Djibouti among others.

Besides meeting with local leaders, Saifulislam participated in religious services at a local mosque and the American Camp Lemonnier.

Oddly, the CJTF-HOA article awkwardly tries to portray Chaplain Saifulislam as a celebrity chaplain:

He has served as chaplain for such dignitaries as Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama as well as Marine Gen. James Mattis.

There isn’t really such a thing as a “chaplain for dignitaries” in the US military, and Presidents and Generals aren’t “served” by chaplains. President George Bush, in particular, would probably take issue with the implication “his” chaplain was an Imam. Other than trying to make Saifulislam seem important, it’s unclear why the article even makes such references.

The article also notes Saifulislam — whose name means “sword of Islam” — “developed a passion to serve Islam” long before he was even a naturalized US citizen.

More interesting, given today’s society, is that people like Michael “Mikey” Weinstein and his assistant Chris Rodda have not attacked Chaplain Saifulislam for evangelizing his faith to local nationals, elevating his faith above his country, and failing to support homosexuality.

But since he’s Muslim, he apparently gets a pass.



  • Anonymous Patriot

    JD, you are also forgetting that Africa is predominately a Muslim country; that is why he is getting a free pass. If a Christian chaplain had tried this, MRFF would be on him like stink on…you know.

    • @Anonymous Patriot
      Perhaps (re: the continent). For an interesting contrast, remember Chris Rodda accused a military chaplain of violating regulations and the law when he shipped Swahili Bibles into Iraq. BUT — those Bibles were for the Christian Third Country Nationals from Uganda who were supporting coalition forces there, not the local Iraqis in the Muslim-majority nation. They were for non-Iraqi Christians who had asked for them — and still the MRFF declared them illegal.

      You can read Chris Rodda’s (poor) attempt to explain the awkward attack on Christians and religious liberty in the comments section here.

    • JD, you are also forgetting that Africa is predominately a Muslim country;

      Someone didn’t do very well at school.