On June 26th an article appeared in Stars And Stripes (the newspaper “authorized for publication by the Department of Defense for members of the military community”) which reported on US personnel in Bahrain being required to abide by Ramadan practices. You can read the article here : http://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/us-personnel-in-bahrain-prepare-for-ramadan-1.290721
What bothered me most about our own government requiring certain behavior for religious reasons was that if someone back home in the USA says, “Merry Christmas”, the politically correct response is that he is forcing his religion on others. Any vestige of religious practice in public seems to elicit a tremendous reaction based on the nebulous fancy that the state should be separated from influence from the church. The ACLU and others fight to restrict the display of Christian and Jewish symbols on public and government property because, they argue, it violates the “establishment clause”. But when US military personnel are in Islamic theocracies, they are required by our own authorities not only to respect the religion of Islam, but to actually adhere to its religious requirements, practices and traditions.
What’s wrong with this picture? Why is our own military — directed by our own government — not only respectfully compliant but eagerly proactive in conditioning non-muslim Americans to submit to Sharia? The American spirit used to aspire to universal freedom of speech. That means the freedom to publicly voice one’s opinion in opposition to the will of the majority. Free speech was designed for critical speech, not politically correct speech. In the article, under “Things to Know During Ramadan” is listed, “Avoid critical remarks about fasting or any religious practice.” In Islam, there is no allowance given for doubt, debate or disagreement. And our military goes along with that — not on the basis of following military orders, but on the basis of enforced religious behavior.
Is our military’s cooperation with Islamic theocracies justified because our presence in places like Bahrain is as much for political reasons as for military reasons? I understand as well as the next person the idea that when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Of course it makes sense not to offend the host country where we station our troops. But here is the problem. Islamic theocracies consider anything non-muslim to be offensive. And to those of us who grew up in the petri dish of Western freedom, the offense taken by Muslims seems quite irrational.
Another item under “Things to Know During Ramadan” is, “Arabs are good hosts and may offer you food or refreshments during daylight hours. Such offers should be declined.” So, even though natives to Islamic culture know full well that eating during the day is forbidden (Remember, their religious practices are enforced by law.) they do not see enabling others to eat as a wrong thing. Rather, they consider hospitality such an important virtue that it should be brandished for others to see, even when the acceptance of such hospitality constitutes a crime. Apparently, there is no culpability in tempting or abetting others to violate the strictures of Ramadan.
So, why does our military so willingly cooperate with the religious zeal of Islam? This question has a very real and rugged edge on it, in light of the recent beheadings of American journalists. The answer is hidden somewhere in the political fog of our foreign policy. That fog has made it difficult to see what national defense interests are so vital as to make us not just willing to fund major international military operations, not just willing to risk American lives, but willing and eager to forego the very freedoms for which we ostensibly are there to defend.
When it comes to geopolitical strategy, we supposedly maintain our military presence in the Middle East to promote regional “stability”. The justification for this is that it is in our national interest to promote stable oil production in the Middle East, in order to ensure prosperous economies in the West. The benefits of this strategy come at a cost, which now appears to be acquiescing to Islam. Will we soon be bowing down to Mecca?
Now, that wouldn’t be so offensive to Bible-believers if Allah really were just another name for the God of the Bible, but that isn’t the case. The bottom line is that in order to maintain the flow of oil to keep the pockets of industry stuffed with cash, we have surrendered the greatest freedom of all: to live according to our own faith, and not be forced to conform to any state religion. This fact is a great offense to Christians and Jews around the world. But the powers that be take little notice because Christians and Jews don’t cut off people’s heads when they are offended.
Perhaps we need to rethink America’s so-called super-power role in the world. Are we willing to continue to strain our already depleted economy in order to feed the fantasy that we are making the world “safe for democracy”? In order to sustain this fantasy, ideologue politicians, aided by a relativistic judiciary have perverted the principles of our Constitution. Read it. The Constitution did not design our military for the purposes of geopolitical influence. It is strictly designed for national defense.
Most people seem to be blissfully ignorant of that fact. Rather, they blindly accept our role as security police to the world, as practiced since the second half of the twentieth century. Frankly, as recent events illustrate, it is dangerous not to be aware of these things. It is dangerous not to question how Islam impacts us, not just personally but politically. A mere glance at current events in the Middle East and North Africa illustrates just how dangerous Islam can be. As Americans, living on the other side of the world, we must soberly ask ourselves where we stand, in terms of how we choose to relate to Islam. We can no longer afford to ignore a very real threat.
The cow trails in our minds force us to think of war as a struggle between nations. But Jihad recognizes no borders. What is happening in Syria and Iraq is a war of religion, made abundantly clear by the slaughter of non-Muslims. If we continue to view such atrocities as crimes, rather than acts of war, while using our military as diplomats of religious tolerance, rather than armed forces for the purpose of defending against war, then what will prevent Jihadists from raping, pillaging and cutting off heads in America?
History repeats itself. Is it possible we might be headed for a reiteration of the Crusades? Most people hold to the distorted view that the Crusades stand as a great black mark against Christianity. I find it fascinating that there is a striking absence of similar disrepute for Islam. Yet, the so-called “Christian” role in the Crusades was in response to ruthless Muslim attacks on civilians simply because they would not convert to Islam, an assault that did, in fact, encroach on Europe. And keep in mind, the Holy Roman Empire was not simply “Christian”. It was ruled by politicians and militarists. This was before secular governments. Almost every nation was a theocracy.
So, here we are today, wringing our hands because adherents of Islam actually believe the Koran when it instructs them to fight the infidel until all religion is for Allah. Remember, that first and foremost, Mohammed was a ruthless warrior. When he said fight, he meant slay with the sword. Present-day Jihadists are emulating their violent “prophet” with fanatic dedication. In the meantime, our military focuses on being as inoffensive as it can be, making sure that members of the US Armed Forces conform to proper Islamic etiquette during Ramadan. How’s that working out for us?