November 21, 2018
Commander Immediately Rescinds Order that Muslim Soldier Dress-Up as Santa Claus
While serving oversees in a Muslim nation, a Muslim U.S. Army soldier informed MRFF President/Founder Mikey Weinstein that his unit was told by his commanding officer that this year the unit would not be having a (unit name withheld) “Holiday Party” but instead a (unit name withheld) “Christmas Party” because “Christmas is the real reason for the season.” This soldier sought out assistance from MRFF because he was ordered by his commanding officer to dress-up as Santa Claus to show that “Christmas is not just for Christians, it is for everyone”. This soldier (who speaks Dari, Pashto, and [Muslim country name withheld] Sign Language) has been promised American citizenship if he serves honorably in the U.S. Army. With the writing assistance of his ‘battle buddy’, the soldier described the situation in an email to MRFF:
I was shocked and hurt. I was embarrass. Humiliated.
Now everyone know I am Muslim. Everyone know we are deployed to (country name withheld). Which is a Muslim country. I did not want to be force to play Santa Claus. I call my parents and they were afraid for me to say no to (name and rank of Commander withheld). But they were angry and also confuse. So my battle buddy knows of the MRFF. He seen Mr. Weinstein stand up for all soldiers and military fighters before. He say to call Mr. Weinstein. I call Mr. Weinstein and he answer his own phone. He was nice. And said I was a good soldier. And not bad to ask for help.
After I told him about being told by our (unit name withheld) Commander to dress up as Santa Claus Mr. Weinstein also talk to my battle buddies who were witness to this. We gave Mr. Weinstein the name of another officer to speak to about this. Mr. Weinstein say he will fix this and also offers to talk to my parents.
Mikey immediately called the Commander’s Executive Officer to inform him of the situation and explain how the Commander’s actions violate the U.S. Constitution along with numerous religious neutrality policies and regulations of the U.S. Armed Forces. In his email to Mikey, this MRFF client explained in detail the positive impact of Mikey’s swift actions for this soldier and his unit:
I know it is coming a day late after celebrate Thanksgiving but this was soon as I could prepare it. I give thanks all day yesterday to the MRFF for getting me out of the humiliating problem my (unit name withheld) Commander (name and rank withheld) make for me a few days ago.
Mr Weinstein spoke to our (unit name withheld) (unit title withheld) Officer who directly works for our Commander. Next day comes and I am told I no longer have to put on the Santa Claus clothes. And that the party will also be now a “Holiday Party” again just like for last years! So everyone feel good again!
And just so you know I have many Christian battle buddies who support me. And I like my Christian battle buddies. I just do not want to play Santa Claus at a Christmas Party. We have many soldiers. Most are Christians. But not all are Christians. But we all deserve respect. My battle buddy who helped me write this is a Christian and he was upset by this too. Another battle buddy is Jewish. And he very mad about all this too. They all have my back. And I have there’s. The MRFF has all our back.
Being ordered as a Muslim soldier to dress up as Santa Claus especially while we are deployed to (Muslim country name withheld) is so stupid. And degrade.
Thank you go to Mr. Weinstein and MRFF. You fix this just the very next day after I call you. Like you say you would. My parents thank you too.
Assalamualaikum the MRFF (Peace be unto you the MRFF)