SSgt Abdul Rahman Gaitan has become the first US Air Force Airman to obtain a religious exemption to grow a beard in uniform:
The biggest challenge yet, was getting approval for his shaving waiver from Air Force Headquarters. This required endorsement by the unit commander, base chaplain, installation commander up to the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel Division. This process took Gaitan almost four years to accomplish.
Interestingly, the article explains Gaitan was actually Catholic, but he apparently became disenchanted with the lack of authenticity in the liturgical faith — and he was drawn to the seeming sincerity of Islam he saw in locals while stationed in Turkey.
With the beard openly displaying his religion, Gaitan says Read more
Last week US Army SFC Ikaika Kang pled guilty to trying to help ISIS. He was motivated by his Islamic faith so much that he considered being a suicide bomber against his fellow troops at Hawaii’s Schofield Barracks.
Yet, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein and Christine “Chris” Rodda seem convinced US military Christians are the “clear and present danger” to the United States of America.
Nearly two dozen Islam-motivated plots or attacks have occurred either against or within the US military over the past few years.
Exactly zero Christian-motivated plots and attacks have occurred against or within the US military over that same time period (or prior).
Yet Mikey Weinstein and Chris Rodda have awkwardly tried to maintain their focus on Christians — even as Mikey Weinstein became entangled with some of those same Muslim troops.
Remember, after Read more
In a fascinating story that was apparently overwhelmed by other news events, US Rep Trent Franks (R-Az) had proposed an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that would have required the US military to perform a “strategic assessment” on “violent or unorthodox Islamic religious doctrine.”
The amendement was recently defeated 208-217.
Fellow Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) had an unusual take on the proposal:
“If…we’re going to study one religion and only one, we’re going to look at their leaders and put them on a list — only them — and you are going to talk about what’s orthodox practice and what’s unorthodox, then you are putting extra scrutiny on that religion,” said Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who is Muslim…
“Nobody is saying you can’t study terrorism,” Ellison said during floor debate. “You can study what motivates people to commit acts of terrorism. And we should. But we don’t — not equally. The fact is that this amendment singled out and stigmatizes one religious group.”
Having an arm of the US government perform a study and assessment on religion is Read more
Political controversies have largely led the news recently, which slightly obscured the Town Hall event held by US military commander-in-chief President Barack Obama on 28 September.
Some of the news from that event focused on Gold Star mother Tina Houchins asking President Obama why he refused to say “Islamic terrorist” — as well as his response that the issue had been “sort of manufactured.” However, Houchins wasn’t the first one to bring up the “Islamic” term. In fact, an Air National Guard chaplain Read more
Over the weekend, Tom Carpenter’s Forum on the Military Chaplaincy jumped the shark when he said the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty was a “Christian Supremacist Endorser” whose ideology was like ISIS.
Carpenter linked to a pay-per-click article with the grammatically awkward title “10 Ways The Ideology of ISIS And Franklin Graham Is Near-Identical,” written by “progressive” Christian Benjamin Corey. Carpenter then said [emphasis added]:
Could not much of the same criticisms be made of the Christian Supremacist Endorsers (ie the oxymoron Chaplains Alliance for Religious Liberty) and some of the chaplains they endorse?
(Hypocritical, don’t you think, that Read more
Bilal Abood was a translator for the US military in Iraq prior to 2009, when he left Iraq for the US and became an American citizen. He joined the US Army in 2010.
In 2014, the FBI determined he had made a statement of allegiance to al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State. He recently pled guilty to lying to the FBI about that statement:
Bilal Abood…admitted he lied to the FBI about traveling to Syria and sending a tweet pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Islamic State…
The report seems to imply Read more
In a column at the Washington Post, former US Army General and CIA Director David Petraeus rails against “inflammatory political discourse…against Muslims and Islam:”
Those who flirt with hate speech against Muslims should realize they are playing directly into the hands of al-Qaida and the Islamic State.
The terrorists’ explicit hope has been to try to provoke a clash of civilizations — telling Muslims that the United States is at war with them and their religion. When Western politicians propose blanket discrimination against Islam, they bolster the terrorists’ propaganda.
Petraeus doesn’t say what Americans should do about this objection to Read more
The Department of Defense announced a new medal to be worn by members of the US military who have participated in Operation Inherent Resolve:
The medal is retroactive to June 15, 2014, and is for service members based in Iraq or Syria, those who flew missions over those countries, and those who served in contiguous waters for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days, officials said.
Writing at The Atlantic, Uri Friedman takes issue with the medal as “too crusadery” in a passive-aggressive missive demonstrating a lack of awareness of the US military: Read more