They were also told to learn more about Islam and the brigade commander provided a link to a website about Islam, and specifically Ramadan. That’s the directive that has gone out to active duty military personnel at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, a Department of Defense medical and graduate school in Bethesda, Md. The brigade commander sent an email to military personnel before the start of Ramadan, advising them to show respect to Muslim colleagues.
They’ll either sue you or slit your throat
FOX News via TROP “This is a period of great personal restraint and commitment in addition to renewed focus on worship,” Brigade Commander Col. Kevin Glasz wrote. “I’d like to encourage you to learn just a little more about this religion, but more importantly, I’m asking you to be considerate and do not consume food or drink in front of our Muslim colleagues; it is a simple, yet respectful action.” During the month-long period known as Ramadan, Muslims refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours.
Now that raised the ire of some of the officers and doctors training at the USU, and several of them reached out to me with their concerns – provided I not disclose their names. “I respect the intention behind this email, but note that there is no similar call honoring other faiths,” one Marine told me. “There is no similar invitation for non-Jewish colleagues to refrain from eating leavened products during Passover, or non-Christian colleagues to refrain from eating meat during Lent.”
The entire incident smells of political correctness, the Marine told me. “Our veterans have sacrificed too much blood, sweat and tears to have their own rights and freedoms be sacrificed on the altar of progressive political correctness,” the Marine said.
I contacted USU about the email. I wanted to understand the brigade commander’s intent. I gave them 20 days to respond, but no one returned my calls or emails. Another individual who studies at USU was concerned about the wording of the email.
“It could be construed as an order and one that violates the First Amendment freedom of everyone who received it,” my source said. “This is an appalling violation, especially coming on the heels of so many instances where those of conservative Christian faith in the military are vilified.”
Meanwhile, Navy officials have ordered personnel serving in Bahrain to dress more conservatively off base, according to a report in Stars and Stripes. Men were ordered to wear long-sleeved shirts and women were told to wear blouses that cover their elbows and skirts or pants that cover the knees.
Stars and Stripes reported that base cultural advisers had spent several weeks conducting Ramadan briefings to “educate Americans about the holy month.” Personnel were given briefings on Islam, the lunar calendar and Ramadan customs. “It’s customary to say ‘Ramadan Kareem’ during Ramadan,” read a to-do list compiled by NSA Bahrain Public Affairs.
The military’s quest to be culturally sensitive to celebrants of the Islamic faith stands in stark contrast to its recent crackdown on public expressions of the Christian faith.
Last Christmas, soldiers at Camp Shelby in Mississippi were told during a diversity briefing that they could not use the word “Christmas.” A VA hospital in Texas refused to accept holiday cards from boys and girls because the cards mentioned “Christmas” or “God bless you.” And a Nativity scene near a lake on Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina was removed after someone complained.
So you might understand why Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, is a bit surprised by the Pentagon’s recent behavior. “There is a good biblical word for this: hypocrisy,” Crews told me.
“Our troops are being told to respect the Muslim Ramadan and encouraged to say ‘Ramadan Kareem,’ while at the same time they cannot have a cross on chapels, display a manger scene or say ‘Merry Christmas’ for fear of offending,” Crews said. “There is something wrong with this picture.”
Demands by Muslims and Leftists for an apology from Germany’s biggest newspaper, Bild, poured in after a highly critical and controversial editorial piece which attacked Islam as a barrier to integration appeared in its Sunday sister paper.
The Local (h/t Maria J) “I don’t believe in God, but at the same time Christianity, Judaism or Buddhism don’t bother me. Only Islam bothers me more and more,” wrote Nicolaus Fest, vice editor-in-chief of the Bild am Sonntag newspaper in the editorial published on Sunday.
Fest then laid out why Islam’s “criminality,” “murderous contempt” and “honour killings” did not belong in Germany, in comments which prompted a raft of hostility online against the Axel Springer-owned tabloid. “I’m bothered by the considerably disproportionate criminality of youths from Muslim backgrounds,” wrote Fest. “I’m bothered by Islam’s murderous contempt for women and homosexuals. I’m bothered by forced marriages, ‘justices of the peace,’ ‘honour killings.’”
All this, wrote Fest, was making Islam “a barrier to integration” – something which should be weighed up when assessing claims for asylum and visa applications to Germany. “I don’t need any imported racism and I don’t need anything else Islam stands for,” he concluded.
The short piece, which by Monday morning had been shared over 9,700 times on social media, quickly drew harsh criticism of the paper by politicians calling it racist (What ‘race’ is Islam?) and calling for the paper to apologize to the estimated 4.3 million Muslims in Germany.
“I’m an engineer and a Muslim and I was born in this country this debate is very offensive,” wrote Twitter user Lahieb. Meanwhile, others such as Green party politician Volker Beck took to Twitter to demand an apology from Germany’s best-selling paper.
On Sunday evening, Bild’s editor-in-chief Kai Diekmann attempted to calm the debate with an online editorial rejecting Fest’s arguments for not drawing the line between Islam as a religion and the political beliefs of Islamism.
“For Bild and Axel Springer there has been a clear, unshakeable dividing line between Islam as a world religion and the degrading ideology of Islamism,” wrote Diekmann, Bild’s editor-in-chief since 2001 and executive board member of the Turkish daily Hürriyet.
“That’s why in Bild and Axel Springer [publications] there is no room for generalized, depreciating comments against Islam and the people who believe in Allah.”We don’t want such a debate along religious lines. We don’t want to lead it, take it up or conjure it. For they always end in disaster – history has shown that to us often enough.”
The debate comes in the wake of a number of anti-Semitic incidents by German Muslims during protests against Israel’s Gaza operation over the past weeks.
Muslims flying the flag of al-Qaeda in Bonn, Germany
MUCH MORE ON THE MUSLIM PROBLEM IN GERMANY
Like all Palestinian Muslim scum, this kid lies like a rug. He totally fabricates what happened there, backed up by his bagheaded mother. Hamas-linked CAIR is behind this circus, naturally.
THE REAL STORY:
Israel is escalating its air strikes on Gaza killing 100 more, bringing the death toll to over 1,200. Hopefully they will deal them the final death blow this time.
Western Journalism (h/t Frederic F)
Last week a convoy carrying medical supplies to Gaza from Egypt was turned back by Egyptian soldiers over 100km from the border. The convoy’s organizers knew they risked being stopped – but that was part of the point. “It was expected.” “They do not want Egyptians to show support for Palestinians. They want to make sure that this siege and this isolation continues.”
The Guardian During this latest Gazan war, the conflict has been predominantly portrayed as one between Israel and Hamas. But a third party has exacerbated the tensions in Israel’s favour: Egypt. A traditional broker of Israeli-Palestinian relations, Egypt is usually assumed to act with Gaza’s best interests at heart – and has done its best to maintain that perception in recent weeks.
It has condemned Gazan deaths, called for a ceasefire, and allowed a few critically injured Gazans to be treated in Egyptian hospitals..but that’s about it.
Other Egyptian actions – both over the past year, and in recent days – have led to accusations that Egypt is indifferent to Gazan suffering – and that its interests are aligned with Israel’s. Since last July Egypt has bolstered Israel’s blockade on Gaza by destroying over 1,600 tunnels that smugglers once used to bring crucial goods (and weapons) into the territory. The end of the tunnel trade, which Egypt had tolerated for years, crippled Gaza economically, since the simultaneous closure of Egypt’s formal border at Rafah meant Gazans had no other way of importing many supplies.
Hamas’s decision to carry on fighting in recent weeks despite catastrophic civilian losses owed as much to Egypt’s refusal to lift this blockade as it does to Israel’s. Egypt wanted Hamas to accept an immediate ceasefire without preconditions. But Hamas wanted Egypt to spell out how it might ease the siege before it did so.
Egypt’s leaders are loathe to help Hamas because the group is an offshoot and ally of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood – whose scion, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted from office last July. To shore up its power, Egypt’s new regime, headed by the former army chief Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, has since waged a brutal crackdown on the Brotherhood inside Egypt. The squeeze on Hamas is part of the attempt to starve the Brotherhood of any remaining support.
To this end, Egypt has banned Hamas from operating inside Egypt, accused the group of aiding Egyptian terrorists, accused it of espionage, and tried many of its members in absentia. As Egypt’s counter-revolution gathered steam, Hamas was even blamed for a jailbreak during the 2011 Egyptian uprising.
Egypt’s pliant media have provided rhetorical backing to the government’s war on the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas – and parts are doing something similar with Gaza. The country’s media are usually sympathetic to Gazans, but this time several columnists and presenters have appeared far more hostile.
Some journalists have even denied any distinction between Gaza and Hamas. As Israel began its ground invasion earlier this month, Adel Naaman, a columnist for al-Watan, a private Egyptian newspaper, wrote: “I’m sorry people of Gaza: I’m not going to sympathise with you until you get rid of Hamas’s gang.”
The public’s attitudes are harder to gauge. Returning from the blocked aid convoy to Gaza, Salma Said said her colleagues’ work had revealed huge sympathy for Gazans among ordinary Egyptians. “The television makes it seem like no one in Egypt wants to help Gaza – but we are trying to show that’s wrong,” said Said.
Three weeks into the conflict, there are signs that Egypt’s official stance may be softening too – but for political reasons rather than wholly humanitarian ones. Rival countries – Qatar and Turkey – are also angling to broker a ceasefire, and the fear that Egypt may lose its traditional mediation role may finally spark its leaders into easing their stance. (Not likely. Egypt has kicked out al-Jazeera, cut ties with Qatar, banned Turkey’s PM Erdogan from entering Gaza, boycotted Turkish products, and banned the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.)