Muslim Soldier Loses “Free Exercise” Appeal
The soldier had pled guilty, then sought to reverse that plea. The soldier’s initial contention was that he could not deploy to Iraq because his internet research of Muslims had led him to believe that it was wrong to kill fellow Muslims.
This advice was not only inconsistent with what the Muslim Chaplain said, but it was also irrelevant: his commander gave him the opportunity to deploy in a non-combatant role. He filed conscientious objector status on the same day he missed movement; the court noted that CO status applied to those who objected to war, not to those who objected to one aspect of a certain war. The court also affirmed that his commander attempted to accomodate the soldier’s religious beliefs.