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War for religion

Reader comment on item: Muslim Soldiers in the West, Criticized by their Communities
in response to reader comment: Do muslims fight secular wars?

Submitted by Rafi (United States), Nov 8, 2009 at 09:54

In reality, a war for the sake of stabilizing a region IS a war for the Muslim people in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Saddam Hussein was no friend of the Islamic religion - he gave it a bad name and murdered his coreligionists alongside others. When the United States fought in WWII, it was a religious war because we were fighting for our religiously-inspired values and to defend the cause of good in this world.

It is true, Islam is usually seen as forbidding war against fellow Muslims (similar to both Christianity and Judaism, by the way), but there is also a requirement that Muslims also fight to free their coreligionists from brutal sinful rule. An Afghanistan under Taliban rule would be horrifically sinful, and any Muslim who doesn't think so shouldn't serve in the US military! An Iraq under al-Qaeda or Iranian rule would be similarly sinful and oppressive of the Muslim people.

Unfortunately, the Islamic communal leadership (certainly not all of it though) in the US tends to portray the US military as oppressing Muslims. This is unfortunate not only because it causes great emotional difficulty for US Muslims who would like to serve their country in the military, but also because if the US fails to bring stability to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, part of the blame would rightly fall on the Islamic leadership in this country! Can they live with that?

To end with an anecdote: When David Ben-Gurion finished the War of Independence, a group of extremist Jews desired to continue the fight. They had extra weapons shipped to them. Ben-Gurion made what was probably the most influential choice in Israeli history, and fired on those JEWISH extremists when they repeatedly refused to stop the fighting. US Muslims in the military are the one that have to make that difficult choice against Muslim extremists, so that they can bring peace to their coreligionists. It will be difficult, but history and G-d will recognize them as the heroes they are.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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