I received this interesting email from an Australian military officer, referring to this post:
I was interested to read about British troops helping build a mosque in Afghanistan.
When I was in Aceh with the Australian Army following the Tsunami, despite this being the main stronghold for political Islam in Indonesia, and despite youths running around in OBL T-shirts, a well-meaning but surprisingly naive Australian senior army surgeon asked soldiers to put money into a hat at eid al adha to, you guessed it, help rebuild their mosque. After explaining how eid al adha is the “point of departure” between Judaism and Christianity vs Islam, he went on about how we are all Abrahamic cousins, without the slightest clue about how that in fact represents replacement theology of the worst kind on the part of Islam.
Anyway, I refused, saying exactly what you did, to wit that it would be used to preach hatred towards us and that that could manifest in tangible ways. I said that we had given 1 or 2 months away from our families and seen all sorts of horrible things (and helped hundreds of wounded) and that is the payment I would make. I would not put a cent into rebuilding their house of hate.
These sorts of dhimmi vs enlightened discussions are rare, unfortunately, as the Australian Army is riddled with either under-informed or misinformed individuals. The post-modernist left are not all that apparent, but some misguided but otherwise observant christians are quite prominent. This particular surgeon is a good man who has done great things and is very active in his (Roman Catholic) church, but for every copy of your books, or most recently Lee Harris’ “Suicide of Reason” I lend him, he will read something by Fisk or Jeremy Scahill (Blackwater). It’s very frustrating.
I think it is a really uphill battle to counter the fear of being labelled racist in the military environment. As I have said to many others before, political correctness doesn’t just result in ostracism, but is backed up by Defence Force Discipline Act and can result in a charge.