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MRFF's SUPPORT AND DEFENSE OF MUSLIMS IN THE U.S. MILITARY


MRFF FEATURED BY
MAJOR NEWS NETWORKS

Coverage of MRFF's Offer To Donate a New Qur'an to Afghan Army for Every One Destroyed by Terry Jones

September, 2010

After being contacted by scores of our active duty military clients asking us to do something in response to Terry Jones’s planned “Burn A Koran Day,” MRFF has decided that the most appropriate response would not be to try to stop Jones, but to donate to the Afghan National Army, as a gesture of good will and a statement of opposition to this entirely un-American act of religious bigotry, a new Qur'an for each one destroyed by Jones and his followers.

Click to Read MRFF's Coverage


MRFF's LETTER TO U.S. SENATE

MRFF Submits Testimony for Historic U.S. Senate Hearing

Monday, March 28, 2011

Click to read MRFF's Senate Testimony

Click to read response on the MRFF website


MRFF SUBMITS
STATEMENT TO CONGRESS

MRFF Submits Statement to Joint Congressional/Senatorial Hearings, Details Toxic Environment of
anti-Muslim Bigotry
Within Armed Forces

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

MRFF Details Plight of Service Member Clients of the Muslim Faith, Victims of Islamophobia
to
Joint Hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental  Affairs: "Homegrown Terrorism: The threat to military communities inside the United States"

Click to read MRFF's Statement

Statement also featured on Veterans News Now


MRFF's WORK COMMENDED BY
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"Department of Justice
Commends MRFF and Initiates
Community Outreach Collaboration"

Dear MRFF,

It is good to know that you are one of the fine civil rights advocacy organizations out there with which we can initiate outreach activities. I appreciate the relationships that I have established with the Muslim communities in the Midwest and especially through Sheila Musaji with The American Muslim Network of St. Louis, Missouri. I know that Sheila is a good friend of yours and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). Sheila Musaji provides our office with information and materials on a regular basis. Matter of fact, she played an important role for Region VII DOJ/CRS when we instituted a training program focusing on Muslim, Arab-American and Sikhs. The training was geared toward law enforcement getting a better understanding of the cultures described. Establishing a good relationship with MRFF is welcomed as well.

CRS looks forward to working with MRFF in establishing a solid working relationship and its many military member clients. Sharing information, educational perspectives, and religious and racial conflicts, civil rights that impact a community is a concern of this agency.

William Whitcomb works out of Region VII that covers the states of Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska.

Again, I refer you to our website which is http://www.justice.gov/crs

Thanks for the interest.

P.S. I heard that you are a 2010 Nobel Peace Prize nomination. Congratulations!!

U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service

Click to read on the MRFF Website


ABC NEWS COVERAGE

Army Investigation Over False Accusations Ruined Our Lives,
Say Muslim Soldiers

Friday, May 13, 2011

Selected Article Excerpts:

  • Five Muslims who joined the Army to work as military translators say their lives and careers were ruined after they were falsely accused of trying to poison their fellow soldiers. In an interview for ABC News, two of the men say an Army investigation into the matter has cast a stigma on their lives, preventing them from gaining citizenship and employment.

  • In November of 2009, the five Muslim recruits were arrested by the Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) over a tip that they were allegedly plotting to poison their fellow soldiers at Fort Jackson. The news of the investigation broke on the Christian Broadcasting Network and quickly became national news.

Click to read on ABC News

Click to see ABC News Video


THE NEW YORK TIMES
NEWS COVERAGE

Allegations Upend Lives of
2 Muslims in Army

Friday, May 13, 2011

Selected Article Excerpts:

  • Khalid Lyaacoubi and Yassine Bahammou, immigrants from Morocco, enlisted in the Army National Guard, recruited for a program that promised higher rank, bonuses and quick citizenship to Arabic speakers who could help fill the military’s need for interpreters.

  • Shortly before Christmas 2009, they graduated from boot camp, proud just to have made it. But as they prepared to leave Fort Jackson, S.C., they were instead questioned by military investigators who suspected them and three other Moroccan immigrants of plotting to poison fellow soldiers.

  • Mikey Weinstein, president and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit group representing the two soldiers, said his group had seen a steady increase in Muslim clients who claimed they had been discriminated against since Fort Hood. He called the Army’s Fort Jackson investigation "draconian and clearly unconstitutional."

Click to read on The New York Times


MIKEY WEINSTEIN OP-ED
FEATURED ON ALTERNET

Abu Ghraib and Hiroshima by PowerPoint and Lectern

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Selected Op-Ed Excerpt:

A grossly exaggerated and noxious brand of faux-patriotism has had the United States in its grips since at least September 11, 2001. The nefarious engine of this jingoistic phenomenon is uber-patriotic, religion-infused exceptionalism. Nowhere is this unconstitutional sickness clearer than on the grounds of the once-prestigious institutes of higher learning under the command of the United States Department of Defense.

It is on these campuses that an insidious blend of abject racism and fundamentalist Christian supremacy, sometimes subtle and sometimes explicit, warps the minds of the servicemen and women who are being groomed to lead present and future generations of American war fighters. Indeed, by PowerPoint and by lectern, the future leaders of the U.S. military are being inculcated in a deranged martial spirit which sees the nuclear bombing of civilian populations as not only justified, but consecrated by a grotesquely distorted, weaponized version of Jesus Christ. The course material similarly commands the unquestioning application of internationally infamous Abu Ghraib-like interrogation tactics more befitting an aggressive, marauding military dictatorship than a Constitutionally-grounded democracy.

"This barbaric ideology will no longer be tolerated. Islam must change or we will facilitate its self-destruction." These vile and genocidal words were taught at the venerable Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) in Norfolk, VA by faculty member and instructor Army Lt. Col. Matthew Dooleyin a course entitled "Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism." Dooley also taught officers from all four branches of the military that the U.S. should take "war to a civilian population wherever necessary," applying the precedents of "Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, [and] Nagasaki" to the two foremost holy cities in the Muslim world, Mecca and Medina. Such statements from this United States military officer, under the colorable authority and aegis of the prestigious JFSC, are beyond the pale of acceptability and their consequences will be extraordinarily severe.

Click to read on AlterNet


LETTER FROM
LONG TIME MRFF
STAFF VOLUNTEER
F.J. TAYLOR (USMC RET.)

Muslims in the Military
(Re: Rep. Womick)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rep. Womick,

I read with disgust your appalling comments on Muslims in the military. During my years in the Marines (which included close personal ground combat), I served with a number of Muslims, some from other countries, and some who were natives of the US.

They performed their duties in an exemplary manner, being well-disciplined, orderly, mannerly, obedient to orders, conscientious in the execution of their duties, and courageous in action — and all performed at least as well as (and in some cases better than) their counterparts of other faiths. I would have absolutely no misgivings about serving with them again in garrison or combat.

I must remind you that the Constitution which we both swore to uphold and defend specifically forbids religious discrimination. Since you seem to have forgotten the Constitution (or perhaps your oath), let me remind you of the relevant passages:

“. . . no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” (Article VI, Section III)

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .” (1st Amendment)

That means, sir, that we are a secular nation, but one in which all religions are equal, and free to practice — and before you start trying to tell me that we are a “Christian” nation, and that the Founders were all Christians and never expected us to tolerate other religions and cultures, let me remind you of the words of Mr. Jefferson, the primary author of the Declaration of Independence on just that subject. Writing in his Autobiography about the passage of the Bill Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia, he said:

“…a singular proposition proved that it’s protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it should read ‘a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion,’ the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and infidel of every denomination.”

James Madison, the principal author of the Constitution (and known as the “Father of the Constitution” expressed a similar sentiment when describing the same incident.

( How’s that for “original intent”? )

I also attach below for your enlightenment a fact sheet of Muslims who have served honorably and well in the American Armed Forces, a history which goes all the way back to the Revolution. I charge you to read it, and especially look at the tombstones of those men who have been KIA and received decorations for valor — and then tell their widows and families why they were unfit to wear the uniform.

I remain,

Semper Fidelis,

F. J. Taylor
USMC (Ret.)

http://sites.google.com/site/usmccaposcar

Click to read more


MRFF DENOUNCES
REP. PETER KING

MRFF Universally Denounces Rep. Peter King's Anti-Muslim, McCarthyistic Hearings on Domestic Terrorism

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation universally denounces the horrifying, McCarthyistic hearings currently being held by Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. These malicious hearings, allegedly investigating domestic terrorism, are inexcusably racist and denigrating. Rep. King and his reprobate ilk are shaming the United States of America. Since these “hearings” were first announced, MRFF has received a non-stop torrent of calls from its Muslim American United States soldier, sailor, marine, airman, cadet, and midshipmen clients who feel dehumanized, marginalized, comprehensively humiliated, and threatened by these transparently bigoted “hearings.” To date, 259 Muslim American military MRFF clients have stepped forward to ask for our help. They know America’s checkered past – African American slavery, Japanese internment camps during WWII, McCarthy’s black lists during the Cold War – and they are deeply afraid.

MRFF is proud to serve them. Our civil rights advocacy relationship with U.S. Muslim military personnel has been commended and specifically supported/endorsed by the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the entire Muslim community within the Pentagon (where MRFF stopped rabid Islamophobe Franklin Graham from preaching on the evils of Islam at the National Day of Prayer event there), Sheila Musaji, Editor of The American Muslim Magazine, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Muslim American communities such as American Muslims of Puget Sound, and many interfaith organizations. We honor all brave Muslim American armed forces personnel who have given their lives for our country while Rep. King is busy ignominiously hunting down and terrorizing their families. Rep. King’s wretched anti-Muslim campaign is horribly offensive to all our United States servicemen and women who richly deserve our deepest honor and respect for their sacrifice.

MRFF will not allow this vile desecration of the human and civil rights of our Muslim American armed forces clients, nor will we stand by while this disgusting travesty blatantly threatens our national security. Rep. King is conducting a scurrilous witch hunt in the face of Department of Homeland Security findings indicating that white supremacist lone wolves pose the most significant domestic terrorist threat. Instead of mercilessly demonizing the peaceful, innocent American-citizen followers of the world’s second largest religion, perhaps Rep. King would have more success rooting out the very same scourge among his staff and supporters which his hearings are recklessly and inhumanly fostering – intolerance, hatred, bigotry, racism, prejudice and extremism.

Click to read on the MRFF website


LETTER OF SUPPORT

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) State letter to Secretary of Defense Hagel in support of Mikey and MRFF

Monday, May 13, 2013

Click to view full CAIR letter


Nightline logo

MRFF's INBOX

Letter to Mikey Weinstein

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Muslim American Soldiers

Dear Mr. Weinstein,

On behalf of myself and my family I want to thank you and the MRFF for having the courage to speak up for and defend the Constitutional rights of all Muslim American U.S. armed forces troops, of which I am one. I read very carefully in the NY Times and the ABC news story about the horrible things that where done against my fellow U.S. soldiers and fellow Muslim Americans Spc. Khalid Lyaacoubi and Spc. Yassine Bahammou. My wife cried when she read it all because we (and most all other Muslim Americans we know in the Army) have suffered in many of the same ways as they have. I wish I had the stamina and fearlessness to go public but I just do not. The hatred is everywhere and we can trust noone. We live in fear on Fort (military installation’s name withheld). Our family’s crime is that we are not of the active Christian faith which is what the Army leadership makes it very clear is what they want you to follow to be the best soldier and have the best “spiritual fitness”. Being Muslim is not being “spiritually fit”. You have described it all so well for years in your fight as the leader of the MRFF. I have read everything on your website in the last several days since the stories became public about Spc. Lyaacoubi and Spc. Bahammou. We have ordered your book from amazon. My wife wept again when she read the words you testified to with the senate Committee of Sen. Dick Durban. You described our lives of fear and hatred and humiliation so well. We have little children. They suffer as well. Noone has helped until now. Please do not reveal anything about me. Please let me still stay in touch with you and the MRFF under this way of not revealing me or my family or my base. Please tell the 2 Spc. that we can never thank them enough for coming forward. We love them both. Thank you Mr. Weinstein and the MRFF for your not being afraid of speaking of the words we all want to tell the Army but cannot because they will use them to hurt us. They already have and will again. Maybe they can be stopped from hurting us more by you and the MRFF telling about our stories to tv and the newspapers. I just do not know anymore.

(name, rank, combat MOS, military unit and installation withheld)


Response from MRFF Volunteer

Dear sir,

Thank you for your service to our nation, for the courage which you, your wife, and your small children are being forced to develop and maintain wihtin our military community. Perhaps someday, when militant religious extremism is fought and conquered, your experiences will have honed you into leaders of a Constitutional United States, the nation we have drifted to far from being.

Meanwhile, know that you have many supporters through MRFF, including others who, like yourself, stay anonymous for safety’s sake. Mikey is the brave hub, voice, and spearhead of our organization, the founder and guide, seeing what could and should not come of the current trajectory of our nation, if we don’t band together to protect it.

Incidently, you might notice my use of the word “nation” rather than “country.” In grade school, I was taught that countries are owned and run by royalty. Nations are democracies, owned and run by their citizens and with laws based on a specific written reference, i.e., Constitution. May we return to and stay forever a nation of citizens and equals, never returning to the pre-revolutionary days of being a country.

DR
(P.S. Those aren’t my initials. They;re the initials of a nickname given me by Mikey. It is, for me, an intermediary step, as I slowly test the waters of non-anonymity without giving up who I really am. In time, you may want to chose a pen name, or nom-de-plume as well. I sense in you a good writer. — DR

Click to read on the MRFF website


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