Update: J.B. Wells wonders aloud if the DoD intentionally produced the policy to change the religious freedom focus to turbans and beards while keeping “liberal constituencies” like Michael Weinstein “at bay.”
There have been a wide variety of responses to the US military’s update to DODI 1300.17 (accommodating religious freedom), with language that seems to imply a more open attitude toward outward display and expression of religious belief.
The Christian Post, like many sites, focused on the apparent ability to wear religious accoutrements:
The Pentagon reportedly decided to change its policy on religious wear after Major Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, a Sikh, spoke at a Congressional briefing about the challenges American Sikhs face in the military earlier in January. Kalsi told members of Congress that he believes he can effectively serve his country while still maintaining his religious appearance, including an uncut beard and a turban.
While that may or may not have been a factor, the DoDI clearly includes language from both the 2013 and 2014 National Defense Authorization Acts — that is, requirements levied by Congress, not just reconsideration based on serving Soldiers.
The US Navy appeared to try to quell Read more
The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) has called on the US Army to deny PFC Naser Abdo’s application for status as a Conscientious Objector (previously discussed).
“Muslims serve with distinction throughout the United States Military and AIFD sees Abdo’s traitorous public assertions as a slap in the face to all American Muslims especially those Muslims who fight in our armed forces for the liberty and freedom guaranteed by the American Constitution,” the group said in a statement it issued on Friday.
The group’s president, Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser (a former Navy officer), went one step further, saying the root of Abdo’s dissension with the US military was not Islam, but the very “Islamism that threatens our security:”
Abdo’s actions are an affront to every American Muslim who has proudly donned a U.S. military uniform. His assertions are not built on Islamic teachings but on a feeble adherence to the global political ideology of Islamism that threatens our security and radicalizes our Muslim youth.
The statement by the AIFD has a scathing rebuttal to Abdo’s claim Read more