Colin Powell and others have made much of the Muslims who have served with distinction. But this young man is basing his refusal to fight against other Muslims on the Qur’an and Islamic law. It would be refreshing to see a comprehensive refutation of his views by the American Muslim advocacy groups that dismiss as “Islamophobia” any suggestion that there is any difficulty in reconciling one’s obligations as an American soldier, or American citizen, and one’s obligations as a knowledgeable and committed Muslim. Will Honest Ibe Hooper or Brave Ahmed Rehab step up to the plate on this one?
“Muslim soldier with 101st Airborne says he won’t go if deployed,” by Kristin M. Hall for AP, August 24:
NASHVILLE — A U.S. Army soldier wants to leave the military service as a conscientious objector based on his beliefs as a Muslim, but he says he’s concerned he may be deployed to Afghanistan anyway.
Pfc. Naser Abdo, a 20-year-old infantryman assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, said Monday that if the military orders him to deploy, he will refuse to go despite the fact that it may result in a military charge against him….
Abdo said when he joined the Army more than a year ago, he initially felt he could be a soldier and a Muslim at the same time. But he said he now believes Islamic standards would prohibit his service in the U.S. Army in any war.
According to documents provided to The Associated Press, Abdo cited Islamic scholars and verses from the Quran as reasons for his decision to ask for separation from the Army.
“I realized through further reflection that God did not give legitimacy to the war in Afghanistan, Iraq or any war the U.S. Army would conceivably participate in,” he wrote.
He also said he was harassed during basic training because of his religion, including hearing insulting comments about Islam and Muslims. He said that at times, he hasn’t been able to make his daily prayers because of his military service….