Thursday, 12 November 2009

Muslims in the army

A friend from Melbourne days has a blog on which he's discussed the risks of Muslims in the military:

The contents of a two-year old seminar presented by Major Nidal M. Hasan, the medico believed responsible for the Fort Hood massacre, were apparently recorded in the form of powerpoint slides.

These slides are in one sense nothing new. They review the basics of Islam: the pillars and core beliefs, the Koran, abrogation ('later verses abrogate former ie: peaceful verses no longer apply' – slide 35), the rewards for believers in paradise and punishments of hell for those who do not submit to Allah's will, defensive and agressive jihad. However, in addition, Major Hasan explains the implications of this theological material for the lived situation of Muslims in the US armed forces. He is saying that Muslims can experience problems in the military for two reasons.

One reason is the prohibition against Muslims killing other Muslims ('whoever kills a believer intentionally, his punishment is hell' – slide 12).

The other is the requirement that Muslims wage war against non-believers in both defensive jihad (slides 37-41) and aggressive jihad (slides 42-48). This command, he is saying, can be expected to be followed by devout, God-fearing Muslims ('Allah expects full loyalty' – slide 49), especially if they are persuaded that in so-doing they would be 'fighting against the injustices of the "infidels,"' (slide 48). His point is that if US Muslim soldiers can be persuaded that fighting against fellow-Muslims is an injustice, this could trigger a deadly attack against fellow US soldiers instead, e.g. by means of 'suicide bombing, etc' ('We love death more than you love life!' – slide 48).

As Mark says "It is a tragic irony that Major Hasan may well have acted in accordance with his own training material."

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