A US military press release highlights Marine Lance Cpl Malike Mejdouli, a “devout Muslim” who fasted even while in combat in Afghanistan. It was not without impact:
“You just have to deal with it,” said Mejdouli about practicing his faith. “I was sick for like five days out here while fasting, throwing up and everything.”
In many discussions on Islam, soldiers are generally exempt from fasting. Mejdouli notes he couldn’t fast last year because he was in basic training. USAFA cadets Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion Afghanistan, fast, Islam, koran, malike mejdouli, marines, Military, quran, ramadan, Religion, religious freedom
The investigation into the burning of Islamic religious material confiscated from an Afghan prison was reportedly completed, with no one criminally charged or court-martialed. (Recall that “religious freedom” advocate Michael Weinstein had demanded the court-martial of these Christians — without explaining how he knew what, if any, faith they held.) Administrative “non-judicial punishments” were meted out for the error, which was determined not to be malicious: Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion Afghanistan, army, bagram, Bible, christian, Islam, john allen, koran, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, quran, Religion, religious freedom
Ramadan occurred during basic training at the US Air Force Academy this year — a strenuous time of physical exertion during which the religiously-mandated fast would likely be detrimental to both health and performance.
Islamic USAFA basic trainees were able to abstain from their fast due to a fatwa issued by Imam Mohamed Jodeh, a civilian described as “the liaison between the Academy’s Muslim community and the chaplains:” Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion Chaplain, chris rodda, fatwa, hanukkah, Islam, koran, kwanzaa, mikey weinstein, Military, mohamed jodeh, MRFF, quran, ramadan, Religion, religious freedom, USAFA
An Army article entitled “For God and country, chaplains provide soldiers peace-of-mind, place to worship,” details the service of Chaplain (1Lt) Julio Vargas and his assistant Spc. Justinet Oquendo as they serve the soldiers training in exercises in California: Read more…
Categories: Chaplain army, Bible, chapel, Chaplain, cross, julio vargas, justinet oquendo, koran, Military, quran, Religion, religious freedom, torah
A US military official announcement and supporting media articles indicate as many as 7 servicemembers may be given “administrative punishments” for their role in the riot-inducing religious material burning a few months ago.
That’s the same incident for which Michael Weinstein called the Christian perpetrators to be court-martialed.
As noted at A Soldier’s Perspective, it remains unclear for what any US military member could be punished, particularly since the official US position continues to be Read more…
Admiral James A. Lyons (Retired) served as the commander of the US Navy’s Pacific fleet when he retired in 1987. Since then, he has frequently spoken on the military and foreign policy issues, mincing few words when he has done so. He is an associate in the production of Sharia: The Threat to America, which includes James Woolsey and LtGen (Ret) Jerry Boykin among its contributors.
Most recently, Adm Lyons took President Obama to task for forcing the US military to submit to Islam:
The recent contrived uproar over the inadvertent burning of the Koran…should be seen for what it is: a power-play tactic to make our military forces more submissive to the dictates of Islam, Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion Bible, Islam, james lyons, james woolsey, karzai, koran, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, Navy, Obama, quran, Religion, religious freedom, sharia, william boykin
The “training” US troops received on how to handle the Koran in Afghanistan closed with this bold-faced, 48-pt font quote on the last slide:
“We will hold sacred the beliefs held sacred by others.”
That was probably a typo, since under the US Constitution the United States officially holds no beliefs sacred; instead, it protects the rights of each citizen to Read more…
The Commander of US and coalition troops in Afghanistan, General John Allen, gave an interview to ABCNews in which he “dismissed criticism” over the profuse American apologies over the Koran burning in Afghanistan.
“Why wouldn’t we [apologize]?” the general asked. “This is the central word of God for them. Why wouldn’t we? We didn’t do it on purpose but we should apologize and we did.”
Interestingly, when the US military burned the central word of God for Christians, on purpose, it didn’t apologize. In fact, it defended the need to put the Bibles in the trash. Why wouldn’t we apologize? Good question.
Meanwhile, other reports indicate all US troops have been given “mandatory refresher training” on handling Korans. Few Read more…
In a fascinating but brief column, Dr. Tawfik Hamid of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies suggests the US military should use the Quran to influence the Islamic population’s reaction to their conduct [emphasis added]:
The Koranic text can actually be used in such situations to control the Afghan anger and prevent its spread. In fact, the religiosity of people in these parts of the world makes the use of religious text more effective in controlling people’s anger than using formal apologetic approaches.
(Dr. Hamid joins a chorus of other resources who have written on the issues of “apologies” in the Iraqi and Afghan cultures. They are not viewed the same way a Western citizen would view an apology.)
Dr. Hamid suggests several Quranic texts that might be used to “defend” Read more…
As he has with every public controversy in the US military, perennial religious freedom critic Michael Weinstein claims Christians are to blame for the burning of Qurans at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.
[The Koran burning] once again reveals a noxious undercurrent of fundamentalist Christian supremacist exceptionalism…This culture of religious bigotry is fueled by militant, unchecked Christian fundamentalism.
Weinstein pontificates for another thousand words (most of them adjectives, as is his tradition) without really saying anything more of substance. He does make some fairly ridiculous Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion Afghanistan, Bible, chris rodda, christian, conspiracy, Constitution, crusader, Iraq, Islam, koran, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, Public Expression, quran, Religion, religious freedom
Jan Kubis, head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and secretary-general Ban Ki-moon’s special representative in Afghanistan, has called for “disciplinary actions” against the US Soldiers involved in the burning of the Quran at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.
“I agree with those who say that after this apology and after the investigation disciplinary actions should follow, those who were behind this grave mistake should be held accountable for it,” he told a press conference in Kabul on Thursday.
While he criticized the ensuing violence, Kubis described the Afghan reactions as Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion Afghanistan, bagram, ban ki-moon, Bible, christian, Islam, jan kubis, kabul, koran, Military, Public Expression, quran, Religion, religious freedom, united nations
Various reports indicate the US military has identified five soldiers (and an Afghan-American interpreter) who are “responsible” for burning the Quran at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. The Islamic holy texts (which were reportedly defiled by Islamic detainees) were among more than 1,600 books and other materials intended for destruction due to their apparent use by detainees to pass messages.
The probe launched by the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Marine Gen. John R. Allen, is still underway, but five soldiers were involved in the incident, NBC News reported Friday.
A careful reading of the reports indicates it is possible not a single one of the five involved knew there were Korans among the texts.
Obviously, the results of the American investigation were made public to some end, which may only fuel the calls for Americans to be put on trial in Afghanistan (including by the Afghan President):
Afghanistan’s senior religious leaders have said that an Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion Afghanistan, bagram, Bible, christian, david petraeus, fox news, Islam, john allen, koran, Military, Obama, peter mansoor, Public Expression, quran, Religion, religious freedom, todd starnes
Prominent milblogger BlackFive obtained a copy of a US Army memo from Afghanistan restricting the distribution of Qurans:
Qurans will only be distributed to US Servicemembers who are Muslim as indicated on their identification tags…Exceptions…will be granted if the Service Member has a memorandum signed by his Commander that states the reason for obtaining a Quran provided by the chaplain.
Qurans will not be placed in general literature distribution racks. They will be kept in a secure location…
The memo is signed by US Army Chaplain (LTC) Eric Albertson, a Catholic Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion Afghanistan, army, blackfive, Catholic, Chaplain, eric albertson, Islam, jon trainer, koran, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, Public Expression, purple heart, quran, Religion, religious freedom
Reuters reported last week that Afghanistan wants NATO to put the “Koran burners” on trial — and Afghanistan reportedly claimed NATO had agreed to a trial, though Reuters qualified the statement as not “immediately verified.”
“NATO officials, in response to a request for the trial and punishment of the perpetrators…promised this crime will brought to court as soon as possible,” Karzai’s office said in a statement.
While it is unlikely NATO actually made such a concession — NATO has already said the burning was “inadvertent” and there is no crime against burning Korans in the Western world — the confusion may be understandable. Even President Obama’s Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion Afghanistan, Bible, george little, imam, isaf, Islam, john allen, koran, lavoy, leon panetta, Military, mosque, nato, Obama, quran, Religion, religious freedom
Ever the one for florid vitriol, and never failing to connect Christianity to military scandals, Michael Weinstein claims the recent burning of Korans at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, was an intentional act of Christian “exceptionalism aimed at the people of Afghanistan.”
The root of this ongoing crisis is the fundamentalist Christian extremist scourge within the U.S. Military.
Naturally, Weinstein fails to say how he knows the religious beliefs or the malicious motivations of the troops involved — yet he still Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion Afghanistan, Bible, christian, clare lopez, isaf, Islam, karzai, koran, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, nato, newt gingrich, Obama, quran, Religion, rochelle davis