Chaplians of the Islamic Faith : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

At the service honoring the victims of September 11, a U. S. Army Chaplain of the Islamic faith read from the Koran and offered a prayer. I did not know we had military Chaplians of the Islamic faith. Were you aware of this and what do you think about it? When boxer, Muhammad Ali refused to be drafted in the US Army, he resisted the draft on the basis of his religion.


Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, October 11, 2001


Ah Ha,

Rev Paris,

America is indeed a diverse nation. All prayer is NOT Christian prayer. This is why it never ceases to amaze me when Bible waving, flag waving Christians are bent to destruction on the idea that prayer has been eliminated from our public schools and must be restored at all costs.

If we thought about it for one moment we would already be aware that all our Patriotic Hymns, which are regularly sung at many public gatherings, schools etc., include a reference to or even a prayer to God. For example, verse four of The National Anthem say, "And this be our motto, In God is our trust. "

Closer examination would also show that prayer, is not necessarily verbally spoken and it is virtually an impossibility to prevent anyone, who knows how to pray, from praying at any time in any place. Teachers, therefore, may and do consciously allow this type prayer to happen. However, as we have stated above, that teacher may or may not be Christian. He or she may in fact worship Satan.

Given all the above facts, could it be that God being infinitely wise has looked down the road thirty or forty years in the future and done US A FAVOR? Could it in fact be possible that He has used the laws of America to restore prayer and how we learn to pray to where it properly belongs--that being our homes, churches, synagogues, and Sunday Schools?

As one who taught in public schools for many years, I am aware that the teacher's power is awesome. Teachers see our children several hours doing the day and week, for all of their formative years. This may in fact add up to more time than many children spend with persons who live in their own homes. Thank God that your child's religious education is in your hands. For I shutter to think that I, as an employee of State, could have sold even your child on the idea of worship and prayer to something or some being other than the God we worship and adore.

Both in Proverbs 14 and 16 God reminds us in almost identical words, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." It is high time we take our head out of the sand, wake up and smell he coffee, and look and live.

-- Anonymous, October 12, 2001

Dear Rev. Paris,

I was aware that the US Army had muslim chaplains in addition to christian and jewish chaplains. However, the army requires them to complete a chaplains' course so that they will be indoctrinated in the army's expectations of them.

What annoys me at this time is the silence of the world Islamic clerics in regards to the clarion call of muslims in Indonesia, Egypt, Pakistan, and other places for a " Jihad/Holy War". If Islam is truly a religion of peace, how can they approve of the Taliban's sale of opium to finance their government, the establishment of terrorist camps to murder people, and other human rights violation against their own people? One would think that they would contact all the major networks and hold a press conference and denounce the actions of Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. Furthermore, one would think that they would impose Islamic punishment on the Taliban. One would also think that they should tell muslims throughout the world to stop their public demonstrations and escalations of this war. Also, I have seen very little discussion on the TV from Islamic clerics about the Taliban's actions. This religion does not appear to have any high moral ground.


-- Anonymous, October 12, 2001

Jazzman & Robert;

The fact that our Armed Forces allow diversity in religion is a testament to ths country's committment to pluralism and tolerance. Bob's point about the misunderstanding of public prayer is a fact, alien to most of us. One of the dangers of fascism is the creation of a "state-supported religion". Despite this country's affinity to pious practices, it is fundamentally secular in core and purpose. Unstable Arab republics risk succumbing to unaccountable theocracies. Jazzman's constructive comments about the muted respose by Muslim clerics to the radical fringe element within its religious body is most appropriate. I could not have expressed that criticism any better. Many thanks. QED

-- Anonymous, October 12, 2001


Before you go too far trouncing on Islam, remember that the Christian past is not totally clean either. I offer you The Crusades and The Inquisition.

-- Anonymous, October 12, 2001

The military provides chaplain positions for all denominations and religions. The number of positions going to each denomination is based on a percentage proportionate to that denomination's representation in the American population. We have Muslims in our population, so we have Muslims in our chaplain corps.

The representation also depends on the eagerness of the religious organizations to participate. Some have waiting lists of ministers wanting to be chaplains, others have vacancies, and some choose not to participate at all.

Of course each participant and candidate must meet the military's requirements, and the military does make some allowances for religious beliefs. For instance, Muslim chaplains are allowed to wear beards, but they must be trimmed. No other military member, including Muslim troops, are allowed to wear full beards.

Chaplains also do not have carte blanche in what they can preach. Preaching a doctrine specific to one movement is allowed as long as it is properly advertised. For instance a service advertised as "Pentecostal" would allow speaking in tongues, but a service advertised as "General Protestant" would not.

The military goes out of its way to allow everyone a chance to worship according to their faiths. If a chaplain you feel comfortable with is not available, military members are allowed to have their own services using government facilities under the auspices of the base chapel. Ft Hood Texas recently allowed Wiccans to begin services using soldiers as leaders, and on base property. It's really not a bad system at all.

-- Anonymous, October 12, 2001

Victor Owens,

The President of the US has said repeatedly that this is not a war against Islam. He has also visited several mosques in this country and has denounced violence and other acts of intolerance against muslims. He has clearly stated that this is a war against those individuals who murdered those innocent people in the US on Sept. 11, 2001. The President has taken the loftier plane in pursuing justice in regards to this tragedy.

The American media has interviewed various members of the muslim faith and have told us that Islam is a religion of peace. The American media has done a poor job of questioning whether or not Islam is a religion of peace. I know for certain that you can't hold all the members of a group responsible for the actions of a minority. However, Islam has high ranking clerics who have been too silent on the issues of terrorisms by radical Islamic fundamentalists in the past. The American media has told us that in the past that radical Islamic fundamentalists have gone to mosques where bombs were prayed upon and then used them to kill people. I am not trying to promote religious intolerance. As you know this country is the most tolerant country in the world. We wouldn't put muslim missionaries in jail like the Taliban put christian missionaries in jail for sharing their faith with others.

I would also like to add that it is a moral absolute that murder is wrong. Some have implied on this site that we in the US have received what we deserve for our foreign policies over the years in the middle east. Yet very few people have stated what specific US policy or polices led to the Sept. 11, 2001 tragedy.

If I could interview the Islamic clerics, I would ask them why they have not denounced loudly the actions of radical Islamic fundamentalists in the past. I would also like to know why they are not chastising muslim supporters throughout the world for their support of the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. I would also like to know why certain muslims in Pakistan and throughout the world consider this a war against Islam. Finally, I would like to know why they have not imposed Islamic sanctions on the Taliban and Osama bin Laden for murder.

Thank you Mr. Owens for responding to my post. Perhaps you can explain the conspicous silence of the muslim clerics in regards to other muslims supporting the Taliban. Yes, I am certainly aware of past sins committed in the name of christianity in the past. However, these sins happened because the christian clerics were too silent or were not following the Spirit of God. If Islam is truly a religion of peace then the vast majority of muslims need to rise up at this time and denounce the Taliban and Osama bin Laden.


-- Anonymous, October 16, 2001

Based on Jazzman's last post he should be considered a candidate for a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism and/or serve as a guest on the CNN program Capitol Gang. The power of reason is like an aphrodisiac, irresistible yet uncer control. Many thanks for the insightful commentary. QED

-- Anonymous, October 16, 2001

Jazzman...why do you write "muslim" instead of "Muslim?" Just curious.


-- Anonymous, October 17, 2001

Dear Brenda,

Although, I capitalized the word Islam in previous posts, I failed to capitalize the word Muslim. Thanks for pointing out this grammatical error to me.


-- Anonymous, October 17, 2001

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