The Stars and Stripes ran an article entitled “Some Muslim servicemembers struggle to balance faith and service,” though the article cited only a single former servicemember, former Army SSgt Mohammad A. Hasan. After 9 years of service, with his Islamic faith a non-issue, he said a deployment to Iraq set him apart from his peers:
With a dark complexion and Muslim name, the Bangladesh-born soldier’s loyalty was at times questioned by suspicious troops during his deployment in Iraq, he said.
The article continues to use the plural with reference to “struggling” Muslim Soldiers, though it fails to mention any others. In fact, it quotes both former Navy Read more
US Army Capt Michael Cummings writes an interesting commentary at the New York Times on the “religiosity” of the US Armed Forces in Afghanistan: “Where did God go in Afghanistan?”
In what could be considered a disappointing indicator of the spiritual tenor in Afghanistan, Cummings writes that no one seemed interested in attending their Chapels, at least not publicly:
As I entered [the makeshift chapel], I thought for a moment I was in the wrong place. Read more
SPC Zachari Klawonn, who has previously voiced vague complaints of mistreatment in the military because of his Islamic faith, recently gave an interview to the Arabic language channel of al Jazeera. The segment was reportedly titled “The Right In America Declared War On Islam Inside and Outside America.” In the interview, Klawonn has nothing positive to say about the US military — even as he wore the uniform on-screen:
Interviewer: …How can you be talking about suffering when the military establishment claims that it is the most open toward minorities toward women, and toward all those who suffer in society in general?
Zachari Klawonn: …The reality is that there is a sense of Islamophobia and there is a big misunderstanding of the Islamic faith and that contributes to people’s negative notions coming into the military. Also the training we get and the information we are subject to constitutes propaganda against Islam.
He also demurred, again, when asked to specify how he had been mistreated:
Interviewer: …Can you give us some examples of the harassment you are talking about, which you experienced personally?
Zachari Klawonn: Sure, I received numerous disrespectful comments and even harassment to my personal property from an array of soldiers, even in some instances from the command itself.
Interestingly, according to CNSNews, Klawonn “informed” his commander Read more
A protest in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan was inspired by a claim that international troops “destroyed copies of the Koran.” NATO said one person was killed–a sniper targeted by coalition forces–while Afghan officials reported six deaths.
As reported on al Jazeera,
Residents in Garmsir district of Helmand province on Tuesday said that Nato-led forces raided a house in the area on Sunday and destroyed copies of the holy book in a local mosque… Read more
Christopher Hitchens, author of God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything and co-author of Is Christianity Good for the World with Pastor Douglas Wilson, takes on religion in the US military in his latest article in Vanity Fair, for which is he a contributing writer.
The lead-in to the article demonstrates a set of false assumptions which are never substantiated within the article:
It’s no secret that conservative Christians dominate the US military, but when higher-ups start talking about conversion missions, it’s time to worry.
Hitchens never provides evidence that any ideological belief, never mind conservative Christianity, “dominates” the US military. He also misrepresents Read more
A recent Military Religion Question of the Day involved a sermon delivered in Afghanistan by Chaplain (LtCol) Gary Hensley. The question and subsequent answer have already been discussed. The discussion noted that groups used Hensley’s sermon as proof of religious impropriety in the military, though their accusations were demonstrably false.
The relationship of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation to this incident, however, requires further illumination. Read more
Last week, a question was posed about whether a Chaplain’s sermon in Afghanistan was a violation of military rules. The background, and links to the video, can be seen here.
So, did the Chaplain, as the accusers imply, violate military regulations due to the content of his sermon?
The shortest, most accurate answer: Read more
In May 2009, al Jazeera broadcast a show that included film from a military chapel in Afghanistan. In the sermon, US Army Chaplain (LtCol) Gary Hensley told his congregation they had a responsibility to be a ‘witness for Jesus.’ He said:
The special forces guys—they hunt men basically. We do the same things as Christians, we hunt people for Jesus. We do, we hunt them down.… Get the hound of heaven after them, so we get them into the kingdom. That’s what we do, that’s our business.
As a result, some organizations have accused the Chaplain of violating Read more