Following are excerpts
from an Al-Jazeera TV report on Muslim US serviceman Nasser Abdo, who
has refused to be sent to Afghanistan. The report aired on August 21,
Muslim US soldier Nasser Abdo prays five times a day where he lives
near the Fort Campbell base in Kentucky, from where some 5,000 soldiers
are to be sent to Afghanistan, as part of President Obama's plan, which
strives to eliminate the Taliban. Abdo's fellow soldiers are preparing
for deployment to Afghanistan soon, according to their orders. But this
Muslim soldier is refusing to be sent with his unit, because, he exclaims,
as a Muslim he is forbidden to kill Muslims.
Nasser Abdo: I
don't believe I can involve myself in an army that wages war against
Muslims. I don't believe I could sleep at night if I take part, in any
way, in the killing of a Muslim.
says that he has chosen to live his life according to the teachings
of Islam. Therefore, he has requested – in accordance with US law
– to be discharged from service, because this runs counter to the
teachings of his religion. But he says that his commanders have been
procrastinating, and to this day, have not given him a clear answer.
He has decided not to go to Afghanistan, even though he knows that he
might face two years in prison.
Nasser Abdo: They
haven't processed my packet at all. I even heard from my unity commander
that they lost my military record. I can't deploy with my unit to Afghanistan
and participate in the war – I can't both deploy and be a Muslim.
armed command at Fort Campbell issued a written statement in response
to our questions regarding the case of serviceman Nasser Abdo, according
to which the US army recognizes that a soldier's religious beliefs may
change over time. It said, however, that discharge is an administrative
procedure that takes six months.
Army sources told Al-Jazeera
TV that the serviceman Nasser would not be sent to Afghanistan within
the next few days, and that his application was under review, but the
final decision whether to send him to Afghanistan or not was up to his
direct commander in Fort Campbell. For his part, serviceman Nasser Abdo
expects to get his deployment orders at any moment.
It is a military secret,
and therefore serviceman Nasser Abdo cannot tell us when his unit will
be headed to Afghanistan. It will, however, be soon, and Abdo will not
be with them. He will, apparently, be facing a prison sentence.
He has one lawyer, and
his wife from Canada runs a website to raise money to finance his defense.
The family of serviceman Naser Abdo is preparing for a lengthy and bitter
This is Nasser Hussein,
Al-Jazeera TV, from Kentucky.