Sorry Mate I dont fancy that War!

Todays Sunday Times,,176-1226907,00.html

"Some Muslims have warned, however, that the appointment could lead to difficulties if Muslim soldiers are asked to fight in Islamic countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

Last year Mohsin Khan, 25, a Muslim reservist, was disciplined for going absent without leave from his RAF base in Suffolk. In court he said his faith forbade him from fighting against fellow Muslims in Iraq.

Another soldier, who has not been named, also refused last year to fight in Iraq and was sent on a different foreign posting. He was not disciplined.

One senior cleric said: “Under Islamic law you have a right to withdraw from a war if it is unjust.”

Shahid Raza, head imam of Leicester Central Mosque and one of the most senior clerics in Britain, said: “If a soldier raises a conscientious objection to fighting in the Iraq war, then my advice would be that he should pursue his intention (not to fight) within the framework of his department’s policy. If you are not willing to fight in Iraq, then you should withdraw using the correct procedure.”

Khurshid Drabu, a judge who advises the MoD on Muslim affairs, said the ministry had become “very responsive” to Islamic needs.

He said it offered prayer facilities and halal food rations. Muslims are also allowed to grow beards and excused heavy training during the month of Ramadan."

So effectivly thats one rule for one Group and and an entirely different set of rules for another. If Muslim Soldiers or potential recruits have any problems fighting against fellow Muslims (although it has never bothered the Arab States) then they should not be allowed to serve or alternativly I too should be allowed the Freedom to pick and choose my Operational Tours. :evil: :evil:

I feel discriminated against!
It's not quite as clear cut as all that. If you read the small print you find that Mohsin Khan got away with it as the officer in charge of his case failed to tell him that he could apply to be a conscientous objector when he was mobilised. So he argued that he wouldn't have gone AWOL if he'd been allowed to do that, and the court accepted his argument. That's not quite the same thing as being able to walk out and get away with it.

And of course anyone in the forces can apply to be a conscientous objector, it's just that if an CofE English lad like myself tried to get out of an overseas holiday on the grounds that I didn't want to kill my Muslim brothers I don't think the board would accept that argument.

Finally, one of the main weapons in our enemies arsenal is the ability to paint this conflict as a clash between Islam and the West with no middle ground. Any steps the Army take to make service more accessible to Muslims should perhaps be seen in this light.
We should have stuck to fighting with the Frogs and the Jerries.

You knew where you stood then. :wink:
There were conscientious objectors durung WW1, 2 and I believe Korea. Many previous postings amongst these threads indicate that there are perhaps one or two amongst us who have had serious objections about what our politicians are throwing us in to recently.

How thin is the line between deciding not to fight , on the one hand, but holding your own moral position; and reconciling it with your profesional role as a servant of the rest of society; on the other??

Please let s not forget 2 things here:

1. We recruit from the whole of UK society. Moslem's make a small part of the UK armed forces, but some of the first QVCS awarded in Fingal / Jacana went to serving members of that faith.

2. The Immam's view on homosexuality in society, will be surprisingly close to the vast majority of those who subscribe to this forum. And well at odds with MoD / AG's view

I have worked with a number of Arab armies and when the mission requires it I have seen their clerics use their teachings to exempt soldiers from observance: Rammadan and from the prayer cycle, when operations have demanded it.

I didn't seem to notice commonality of faith being a barrier to fighting in the Iran / Iraq war, nor in Leabanon in the 1980's, or Oman / Yemen in the 1970s.

To survive, in society and on ops, our recruiting base needs to reflect the span of all of the UK population. I know that even in Hounslow there are barriers to anyone in the asian community who indicates to their own, that they might want to join the army or the police.

Perhaps we need to show that we are being inclusive here, otherwise we provide their critics with easy ready ammunition????

Please remember that the likes of "Martin Ingram" exemplify the rule; that what looks like a good story to the editor of the Sunday Times; does not necessarily mean there is any substance behind it. :wink:

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