Is this really an issue?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Solent, Aug 8, 2003.

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  1. Call for Muslim army chaplains

    Barnie Choudhury
    BBC News social affairs correspondent

    A Muslim member of the House of Lords, Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, has called for full-time Muslim clerics to be employed in Britain's armed forces.

    British soldiers saw service in Iraq
    It follows an investigation by BBC News that found that around 300 Muslim servicemen and women are currently forced to seek religious guidance outside the military.

    In a letter seen by the BBC, the Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon says their number is not high enough to justify appointing full-time imams.

    Lord Ahmed says that view leads him to question the loyalty of the government to Muslims willing to die for Britain.

    Pastoral care

    At the moment, there is one full-time chaplain for around every 650 Christians in Britain's armed forces.

    Their job is to offer spiritual, moral and pastoral care to all service personnel, irrespective of religion.

    The Ministry of Defence relies on an advisory panel and religious contacts outside the services to help the remaining major non-Christian faiths.

    BBC News has obtained a letter from the defence secretary to his counterpart in the Foreign Office.

    In it, Geoff Hoon writes that currently with under 300 Muslims in the armed forces, he cannot justify full-time Muslim clerics.

    But this is not good enough for several leading Muslims in Britain, including a Labour member of the House of Lords, Lord Ahmed of Rotherham.

    He questions the loyalty of the government towards Muslims who are willing to go into battle and risk their lives Britain, given the fact there are no imams.
  2. Nothing ever is good enough for the leading muslims of this country (whoever they are).
  3. Yes, it is an issue, if someone is prepared to put a uniform on, the armed forces should provide them with the right spiritual support.

    There is no reason why their should not be one full time iman and/or a group of TA for deployment, ditto with jews, hindu's etc. In fact I would have thought that a full time Iman could be more than fully justified by employing him in a Psyops role when not ministering to his congregation.

    Like it or not there is a growing group of people in this country who are not christian and whose needs should be met. The more the armed forces bury their head in the sand about this, the less ethnic recruits there will be. As Britains white population ages the military has to be as acessible as possible to all.

    it may not be an issue to christians, but it clearly is for muslim soldiers.
  4. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    A muslim member of the RAuxAF is being tried by court martial at the moment for going AWOL when mobilised for GW2. Apparently he thought it unreasonable that he should have to be involved in a war in which other muslims may be killed by his side. Apart from the issue that the Iraqis/Al Qaeda/PLO/any other muslim terror group/army would not give a shit if they killed him, he was offered a support post in UK. Apparently his defence is that the MoD is being racist.

    A uniformed Imam could presumably put people like this on the right track, and so could be a good thing.
  5. Well said lads, my only caveat would be the assumption that there is a mechanism in place for this already. I assumed that there aren't enough Muslims in any one place to make it worthwhile.

    It's not like we didn't have sh*tloads of Muslims in the old Indian Army, there must have been mechanisms then.
  6. Can't see what the problem is. Get one in, it's not difficult. If this Government seek to enlist muslim soldiers as part of their 'multi-cultural-pinko-lefty-yoof-bollox' drive, then provide those soldiers with the correct spiritual guidance. After all, there's enough Grand Masters employed in the Service for those masonic tw*ts.......unofficially of course!

    If they do get their own iman..................can I and my brothers and sisters from the 'Holy Chapel of the Kneetrembler Against the NAAFI Wall After 12 Pints of Stella And A Kebab With Chilli & Garlic Sauce' (Otherwise known as the Holy Chapel of the KATNWTOSWC&GS) have a porn star or leading brewer as our spiritual leader? There's 1000's of us in the mob, so surely justification wouldn't be a problem :lol:
  7. Surely the padres are charged with the task of looking after the spiritual wellbeing of ALL soldiers in the British Army?
    I assume that they have a duty of care for all soldiers in their care regardless of their faiths and beliefs.
    Their role isn't negated by the variety of beliefs held.
    If numbers of a particular faith appear to be growing within the army it does seem like time for a clear procedure.
    Padres should be able to introduce any moslem soldiers who request it to local Imans where available.
    Padres are better equipped to facilitate this than anyone else.
    A padre should be responsible and available for ALL the soldiers in his care regardless of belief.
  8. whats betting that saddam doesnt have that in is army :p mind you when ihe gets caught i think he will be meting Allah he will be conferting a bit quicker
  9. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    True; in fact, all officers and NCOs are responsible for the care of their soldiers.

    However, given that islam sees Christianity in all its forms as fundamentally wrong (evil, even), it is unlikely that Chaplains would be able to do much for muslim soldiers.

    What is really needed is for the self-appointed so-called leaders of the muslim community to endorse serving one's country without all the mediaeval rhetoric that accompanies everything else they say.
  10. BUT this is STILL a Christian country.
    The British Army is STILL the army of a Christian country.
    Therefore if moslems see Christianity as wrong how can they in good concience serve the British Army which has the Defender of the Christian faith at it's head?
    A decision therefore needs to be made surely? Either this is broadly a Christian country and army or it isn't.
    Chaplains are available for all soldiers regardless of sex,creed or views and are well able to facilitate appropriate spiritual counsel for all.
  11. Yes there is a need for an Imam

    We had a lot of Muslims applying to join us before SDR, we still have applications now. 2 of our muslims have gone on to regular service, because they enjoy it. As one of them said "I'm a muslim, but I'm British, so why shouldn't I join"?

    Maybe the lack of Imams, is one of the reasons more don't join the regs?

    Yes it is a Christian country, with a Christian monarch, but that didn't stop us during WW2, and it didn't stop Muslims volunteering to fight for King and Country either.

    Maybe you need to look at it another way. Muslims will happily fight other muslims (Iran Iraq) as long as they feel it's for the right reason. Most muslims I asked at the time of GW1, felt that Saddam was out of order, and they would fight to defend muslims who had been attacked. This time around, not so keen, possibly because of the way it was perceived and conceived?

    Blondebint, no matter how many times I read that, and whichever angle I look at it, it's still an ignorant statement. Is a Catholic going to take the last rites from an imam?
  12. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator


    I agree with much of what you say; this is, despite the much-trumpeted 'diversity' stuff, a mainly Christian country.

    However, it would be very difficult to exclude some citizens because they are of a different religion. If only we still had National service; a great leveller.

    I get very angry with muslims who bang on about being British but don't contribute by joining the forces/police etc.

    maybe what's needed is citizenship education, compulsory swearing of allegiance by immigrants (as practised in USA, Australia, Canada etc.), and deportation of those who refuse.
  13. Just a guess but the British Army doesn't want to have to have a referendum amongst it's troops to see if they have their support for particular actions. Personal views and beliefs have to be suspended-it's a job not a mission.
    Moslem soldiers who join the British Army, as with Christian or Jewish soldiers must be prepared to behave primarily according to orders not personal faith.

    I said.....A decision therefore needs to be made surely? Either this is broadly a Christian country and army or it isn't.
    Chaplains are available for all soldiers regardless of sex,creed or views and are well able to facilitate appropriate spiritual counsel for all.

    I think a dying soldier would take the last rites from whoevers there!
    With only 300 Moslem soldiers in the British Army, to have enough Imans appointed to be instantly available to administer last rights anywhere in the world isn't an's simply not practical!
    Which is why wherever these 300 moslem soldiers are posted in the world I am suggesting that, if they request it, the Padre who is looking after them will link them with the local Iman- the most practical way to aid the furthering of their religion.
    A padre has hundreds of men in his care with an amazing array of religious backgrounds and views .
    And he's the best guy to facilitate the spiritual care of ALL soldiers under his care.
  14. I need a flatline animation
  15. [​IMG]
    [​IMG] No staying power that's your problem :lol: