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Val123's avatar

The Ft. Hood gunman is saying all American Muslims should be released from the armed services as Conscientious Objectors, because of who we're fighting in Afghanistan. Do you agree with him?

Asked by Val123 (12668points) November 10th, 2009

I don’t. We’re not fighting Muslims because of their religion. We’re fighting terrorists because they’re terrorists, and they happen to be Muslim. The vast majority of the Muslims are peace loving, and in no way condone what the terrorists are doing.

Releasing them from service would be about like stating that atheists should have been released from service in WWII because Hitler was an atheist, IMO.

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31 Answers

trailsillustrated's avatar

muslims should not be in the us military at all. Although most of them are peaceful individuals and do not condone terrorism, it’s too risky, freedoms and rights for military personnel are different and they know that going in. Especially as it is voluntary service.

Les's avatar

I tend to not agree with people who kill other people. It’s a rule I have.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I agree with @Les ‘s rule. Intelligence prevents me from believing every Muslim serviceman/woman agrees with his stance.

Jayne's avatar

Hitler was not an atheist. He was a pragmatist as to what church doctrine he endorsed, but his racist and nationalist ideas were strongly informed by mysticism and religion.

@trailsillustrated; that’s ridiculous. A Muslim can’t fight for his country because some other Muslims somewhere else are fighting on the other side? Should all Christians be excluded from the armed forces deployed to combat the Irish Republican Army, a Catholic terrorist group?

trailsillustrated's avatar

@jayne- dunno- not really what I meant- just don’t know how they’ll sort out, sift the ones with extremist views from the others, .difficult question

Jayne's avatar

@trailsillustrated; they can’t. They can’t sort out the crazy non-Muslims from the sane ones, either. They’ll just have to take everyone on a case-by-case basis without using religion as the standard. There is probably a slightly higher chance of recruiting a Muslim than a non-Muslim nutjob at the moment, but that does not justify taking the extremely loaded measure of institutionalized religious discrimination.

oratio's avatar

Hitler was christian.

No, it’s my understanding that they have chosen to serve in the military in the US. If there had been conscription and there are justifiable reasons – like they are Pashtun by origin or similar – I would feel more understanding to a statement like that. That’s just bull.

MrItty's avatar

@trailsillustrated that’s just a phenomenally backwards way of thinking. Freedom of religion and Freedom of association mean just that. They mean you can be whatever the hell religion you want and not be persecuted because of what others who claim to be members of the same religion have done.

By your logic, we should also ban all Christians from the service, since there are non-American Christians who’ve committed acts of terror (IRA leaps to mind). Of course, we also have to ban all Jews, because of all those Israeli terrorists. And all Athesists, because those who don’t believe in God have started wars as well.

SpatzieLover's avatar

To solve this issue, couldn’t deeper psychological testing be conducted yearly?

trailsillustrated's avatar

@MrItty like i said not really what I meant, in that way- difficult question- unanswerable, for me , I guess

Val123's avatar

@oratio and @Jayne Thanks for the info about Hitler. Did a little more searching and came up with

@SpatzieLover IDK. How would you read a test that is given to someone who has been deeply indoctrinated into the “art” of killing people?!

@trailsillustrated Why shouldn’t Muslims be in the military?

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Val123 They already conduct psychological testing upon entrance for certain positions. Maybe due to the nature of the job, this testing should be an annual requirement. It has little to do with being “able” to kill and everything to do with how you determine when it’s the “right” time/place, etc to use force.

I also think this situation has highlighted the fact that our military psychiatrists need more back up. Yes, he had access to counseling, but it wasn’t forced. I think when someone has to deal with incredible stress due to helping soldiers exit war, they themselves need to have help.

robmandu's avatar

For purposes of military service in the United States, a conscientious objector is defined as a person opposed to all wars. Not just particular ones.

By that definition, Major Hasan – and indeed, anyone who participates in jihad (religious war) – cannot be a conscientious objector.

Now, of course, people will want to expand that definition. Or make another case.

No point playing semantics here. He should’ve left of his own volition long ago. It’s a volunteer army! The concept of conscientious objector really only makes sense when there’s a draft or some other form of compulsory service.

mattbrowne's avatar

Of course not. We are fighting criminals like the Taliban which has a political agenda. We are not fighting a religion. Most Muslims actually support this fight against islamist extremism. They are also afraid of becoming victims. They want safety. They want to live in peace.

aprilsimnel's avatar

No, I don’t agree with him. There are differing levels of adherence in Islam as there are in Judaism and Christianity. If someone wants to serve in the armed forces, it is their right. We’re not fighting “Muslims.” We’re fighting extremists who are using religion for their own political ends. If he’s not figured that out yet, then I wouldn’t know what to say to him.

Val123's avatar

@patg7590 @mattbrowne always has good answers!

Trance24's avatar

You know my grandpa said something to me the other day concerning this: “Christians will fight other Christians, but Muslims won’t fight other Muslims.” I don’t know if I agree with this because in a lot of cases some of these young Muslims signed up for the armed services even after the Iraq war started. So they would obviously know they are fighting other Muslims, and those who do not want to well simply won’t enroll. If their are Muslims in the army who signed up before the war, they should have realized in the first place that we could go to war with anyone. In some cases I could see what my grandpa says but I think there are extremes in all religions. I don’t think anyone should be kicked out or denied entry into the service based on their religious background.

oratio's avatar

@Trance24 I don’t know how to fit the 8 year Iran-Iraq war in that, Pakistani combat with Taliban forces, Shia sunni killings or even the Turk empire. We could make a list, but it’s not correct.

Trance24's avatar

@oratio Im sorry but I don’t know what you mean? Are you saying I am incorrect in what I am saying? All I was saying is I do not think we should discharge all Muslims because we are are at war with a predominately Muslim country.

oratio's avatar

@Trance24 I agree with that. I am referring to your grandpa’s sentiment that Muslims don’t fight Muslims. It’s just incorrect.

Trance24's avatar

Lol yea I did disagree with him on that and told him so.

Grisaille's avatar

To parrot what has been said here:

- We are not fighting against Islam. This is not a holy war.

- Radical practitioners of Islam are our primary target, as they operate to promote their political agenda. Their religious agenda would have no impact or relevance to us had it been a peaceful one.

- Hitler was not Atheist.

- Discharging any military personnel on ideological grounds or because of their philosophical beliefs spits on religious freedom and tolerance – you know, what America was supposedly built on.

- This man was obviously not in a solid, rational state of mind. Why are we taking his opinion seriously?

- An American is an American. Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Asian, Atheist, Hispanic, Caucasian. Enough prejudice with regards to what is not a “popular” or “normal” set of ideals. Psychoanalyze intelligence, morality, and mental health, not credence and belief.

Val123's avatar

@Grisaille I know now that Hitler was not an Atheist. Not sure where I got the idea that he was, except for the bans he put in place against religion. I stand corrected and I haven’t forgotten.

I don’t think anyone here is taking his opinion “seriously.” It’s just something to think about, kinda like green poop!

mattbrowne's avatar

There’s still a lot of debate about this issue. Here’s a useful source:

“Scholars are still unsure whether or not Adolf Hitler was a believing Christian or just a politically cunning theist, but what is certain however is there is no evidence he was an atheist.”

JLeslie's avatar

I think Muslims who don’t want to fight in Iraq or other Middle Eastern countries should not be forced to serve in those countries. If we were fighting against the Israeli’s and I was in the army, I don’t think I could mentally handle being sent to fight against them even if the war was political and not religious. Let Muslim Americans serve the US in some other way in the service.

It is not a matter of the current wars being a holy war or not, it is about identifying with the person you are killing. It can cause an extremely high conflict mentally

Val123's avatar

@JLeslie I understand, but in WWII many of the service men were of German origin….if you sign up to fight a war, and you know where the war is taking place when you signed up….well, you signed up! You gotta go! Don’t you think?

JLeslie's avatar

@Val123 I really do understand your point, and especially if the war is in full swing when you sign up you should expect you might wind up on that front I guess? I have no problem with Muslim and Arab Americans being in our military and fighting for our country, but if they have deep psychological problems with fighting against someone that could easily be a family member I kind of empathize. Maybe when they join up they aren’t sure how they are going to really feel in the situation, many are 18, 19, and 20 when they join. The Psychiatrist at Ft Hood asked not to go, seemed he knew he was losing control, I think we should have at minimum sent him to a counselor to try and get more in touch with what was going on in his head.

As far as WWII your point is good, I have thought of that example as well. I think if a German soldier felt he could not fight against or kill other Germans he should be assigned to the Japanese front.

There was a MASH episode years ago about this. A Chinese American was having a nervous breakdown, because he had to fight against the Chinese who were allied with North Korea. He was a loyal American, but traumatized about killing people from his national background and ethnicity.

The young people I know who have joined up in the last 5 or 6 years talked about how they were going to be able to travel and eventually go to school, or get trained in a trade they were interested in. None of them talked about seeing battle, and when I asked if they were nervous about the fact that we are in a time of war, they all said no. I am only talking about 4 people here, not a large sample, but it does make me think that many young people don’t think the whole thing through, and all were having trouble securing jobs, the military was more of a job opportunity for them.

Val123's avatar

@JLeslie Yes…it’s all about the “leg up”...but, I just got a call from one of my son’s friends (been friends since they were 12) who’s in the military. Well, he has two friends in the military, Alex and Zach. Zach is currently stationed at Ft. Hood, and his job is…mechanics. Not likely to see “action,” even in he is deployed.

The call I got tonight was from my son’s friend, Alex, who is stationed in Afghanistan….his job is “clearing” or something….walking the roads to check for bombs, making sure who is friendly or not…makes me feel sick. Is that what Alex signed up for….? Did he know when he signed up? How did Zach wind up in “Mechanics,” and Alex on point??

JLeslie's avatar

@Val123 Some people are told what type of jobs and opportunities they might be able to have if they join up, and sometimes it is switched on them once in because they need more soldiers at the front. There is no real guarantee most of the time. I’m not sure what you meant by is that what Alex signed up for? He joined the Army, he signed up for the army.

You might be interested to know that the Israeli army does not allow Arab Israeli’s to serve in the army. Not apples to apples, but I found it interesting.

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