A shocking decision made by the secretary of the Army last month — in the case of an U.S. Army soldier with the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell who refused to deploy to Afghanistan claiming that Islamic law prevented him from killing other Muslims — vindicates Fort Hood killer Major Nidal Hasan. He made identical claims and threatened that “adverse events” would occur if military officials didn’t accede to shariah principles.
The subject of the Fort Campbell case is PFC Nasser Abdo, who was granted conscientious objector status last month, only to be brought up on charges last week — two days after being informed of the secretary of the Army’s decision — after child pornography was found on his government-issued computer. The news reports about Abdo’s arrest were the first to mention the Army recognizing him as a conscientious objector. After his arrest, Abdo is now claiming that the child porn charges are the Army’s way of retaliating against him.
musBy granting PFC Abdo’s conscientious objector claim, the Army may have created trouble for themselves in the court martial of Major Hasan for the murder of his thirteen fellow soldiers at Fort Hood. Hasan’s attorney can now claim that by refusing to acknowledge Major Hasan’s claims under Islamic law as a conscientious objector and granting him an honorable discharge, the Army created irreconcilable conflict that prompted the Fort Hood massacre. And they can use the secretary of the Army’s decision in the Abdo case as proof.
But they have also created a greater problem. By bowing to the dictates of Islamic law, which defines the killing of a Muslim by another Muslim without right as terrorism, the U.S. Army has tacitly endorsed a religiously bigoted position that it is perfectly fine for Muslim service members to kill non-Muslims, but killing their co-religionists is totally out-of-bounds and is grounds for an honorable discharge. Is any other religion granted such accommodation? Will this decision help or discredit those Muslims serving honorably with both their fellow soldiers and the Muslim community?