Message From MRFF President and Founder Mikey Weinstein
Greetings MRFF Supporters!
"[The United States is] at war with Islam and you are a Muslim." These shocking and inflammatory words were not uttered by a radical Al Qaeda ideologue such as Ayman al-Zawahiri but by an officer of the US Army Criminal Investigation Division, addressing honorable men eager to serve their adopted homeland. These valiant recruits had volunteered to serve as battlefield translators in the most lethal theaters of operation that the United States are contending with, namely Afghanistan and Iraq. However, these brave men were instead faced with a campaign of anti-Arab and Islamophobic persecution redolent of the worst periods in modern Western civilization, harkening back not only to the days of Joseph McCarthy but to the tribunals of the Spanish Inquisition.
The accusation, coming hot on the heels of the Fort Hood atrocity perpetrated by the rogue Major Nidal Hassan, was that these five men were plotting to poison their comrades at Fort Jackson. These unfounded accusations and the subsequent witch-hunt were prominently featured by Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, an international television network known for its opposition to America's foundational principles of religious freedom and the separation of church and state. After having endured 45 days of detention, the Muslim soldiers were abruptly released without explanation (unsurprisingly, the CBN failed to report on the unproven nature of the allegations once the soldiers were released). However, the charges had already stuck: unable to find a job, pass background checks, or even win the scantest form of redress from the Army, Khalid Lyaacoubi and Yassine Bahammou reached out to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.
Springing into action immediately, MRFF mobilized all resources at our disposal to get their horrific experience into the national and international spotlight so that Khalid and Yassine's ordeal would be known. Due to MRFF's unflagging persistence, the resulting investigation by both the New York Times and ABC News' flagship program Nightline revealed that the 45 days' detention was the tip of the iceberg, with disruptive effects resulting from this massive human rights violation continuing to erect huge barriers in the lives of these aspiring citizen-patriots whose only goal was to serve the United States of America.
MRFF have on numerous occasions proven our mettle and resolve when it comes to challenging the onslaught of religious bigotry which the men and women in our armed forces face daily, and this egregious incident was absolutely no exception. My testimony before the US Senate Committee hearing entitled "Protecting the Civil Rights of American Muslims," was but one example of our stalwart and unconditional defense of the civil rights of all religious minorities. Indeed, this latest case of religious oppression and its exposure in the press comes amidst the announcement of a new round of Congressman Peter King's McCarthyesque investigations of a so-called "radicalization of the Muslim-American community". Apparently some in the United States would like to have their cake and eat it too: they insist on (or turned a blind eye towards) the unjust jailing of Muslims on flimsy pretexts, promoting or condoning the witch-hunt of entire communities and questioning their patriotism, while interrogating them regarding why on Earth they would consider taking an oppositional stance to the same trends which entail their ruthless persecution! While the anti-Constitutional inquisitionists' ability to notice the contradictions in their stance has long slipped from their grasp, MRFF's 20/20 vision has allowed us to highlight the unjust treatment of our Muslim brothers and sisters in the US military as well as that of all soldiers, irrespective of religious or non-religious beliefs, shining the spotlight on this hideous campaign for all to see, as was the case most recently with the MRFF-exposed ABC News Nightline investigation of Khalid and Yassine's sickening encounter with these hypocrites.
This latest episode should serve as a wake-up call to those who continue to insist on retaining their complacent attitude towards ongoing religious persecution in the US military. Just this month we received a disparaging letter from a Mr. "Detractor" (name withheld), a Jewish parent of two Air Force Academy cadets, who claims that the lack of bigotry in relation to his children at the US Air Force Academy somehow debunks our well-documented and verifiable record of anti-Semitic incidents and exclusivist, evangelical fundamentalist proselytizing in the armed forces. This is equivalent to an African-American in the Deep South writing off the Civil Rights Movement, claiming that since he personally did not have crosses burned on his own front lawn, the broadly-felt racist attacks perpetrated through Ku Klux Klan terrorism and Jim Crow legislation were somehow "exaggerated". As MRFF supporters (and anyone who wasn't born yesterday) know, such impressionistic claims are patently absurd and ridiculous on the face of it.
We need your help to continue the fight. You may remember that the Military Religious Freedom Foundation exposed the usage of Biblical/Scriptural references on the scopes of rifles ("Jesus Rifles") used by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan. If we're going to continue holding the U.S. military accountable in the courts and in the media, we need your generous donations. Help us push back against those that would turn our armed forces into a 21st century crusader force! With your continuing generous support, we can keep fighting for unconditional religious freedom for every single honorable and noble serviceman or servicewoman in the U.S. armed forces. Please do so today by pledging a donation to Help Build The Wall separating Church and State in the United States military. Your donation is fully tax-deductible, as always, and you can submit your own text for a brick.
MRFF Featured on
ABC News Nightline
"Army Investigation Over False Accusations Ruined Our Lives,
Say Muslim Soldiers"
Two MRFF clients featured on
ABC News Nightline, exposing shocking
and systematic human rights violations and
rampant Islamophobic bigotry in the Army
Click the "Play" Button after clicking the link above
Save the Date: Mikey Weinstein to be first-ever
recipient of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State "Person of the Year" Award
"We've never named a 'Person of the Year' before, but I can't think of anyone more deserving than Mikey Weinstein,"
said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "Time and again, he has stuck his neck out to
defend the religious liberty rights of the men and women serving our country in the armed forces."
Monday, Nov 7th, 2011
More details will be provided when available
Selected Excerpts from Vibrant and Heated Debate
I have been very pleased that [my son] has been able to find a level of traditional faith that he is comfortable with at the Academy...
While this is not a scientific survey, with respect to proselytizing, evangelizing, and Antisemitism; I have specifically asked both of them over the years if they have encountered any [Antisemitic] activity. Neither of them have had any incidents to report in four years. Not one...
As Officers they may be called upon to make decisions that will require them to rely upon their faith to properly carry out their duty.
From my family's perspective the Air Force Academy is providing an environment that allows individuals to develop their own personal spiritual beliefs and observe their own level religious observance...
"Detractor" (name withheld)
There have been serious problems at the Air Force Academy that went straight to the top of the chain of command. The most obvious examples in my mind were the advertising of The Passion [of the Christ], invitations to creationist speakers, and invitations to the fraudulent and radical "ex-terrorist" Walid Shoebat (this one is especially embarrassing—Google the name). Each of these occurrences required high level approval...
So count yourself lucky that your children never were pushed to the point where they felt they needed to be among MRFF's clients... Because the administration at the Academy (I can guarantee) would never have developed the inertia to address this issue if it hadn't been for the pressure of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.
USAF Academy 2005
"Enclosed with this letter is a 200-dollar money order for MRFF. I support MRFF in its campaign to defend the religious freedom of all U.S. servicemen. By doing so, MRFF defends the freedom of all Americans."
"I greatly admire Mike Weinstein, a courageous fighter on behalf of religious freedom for all U.S. citizens. He is precisely the kind of person that we need in this battle [...] What a magnificent man, a hero to those who love liberty."
"...it's difficult to convince some creatures that their part in God's plan involves an oven... sometimes only a physical reminder will suffice."
"Spare a Jew from the grave, and he will insult
the military that saved him.
Spare a nigger the whip, and he'll turn to insult
the man who made the whip.
The lesser need to understand that they're made that way. We must cultivate enough knowledge in those who are beneath men that their mouths only open to say 'yes sir!' in the full bloom of joy that comes with appreciating their role."
"Nothing new here for me except the size of this place...40 Sq. Kilometers. One can't walk around the damn place in an afternoon."
"But Mikey, I see it different. I don't see it as much about the Jews, Gypsies or whatever as an out of control and unrestrained government and military. The Jews were just a symptom of a more systemic problem in Germany. That's why the Founders set up the controls and feedback mechanisms they did. The more I learn about history and government the more the founders impress me."
"And that's why what you're doing is so important."
"I was browsing today at the Andrews Air Force Base Exchange after lunch when I came across the following two books respectively entitled "The Airman's Bible," and "The Soldier's Bible." I do not object to the generic use of "Airman," and "Soldier," as these are terms that could apply to a member of any country's Air Force or Army respectively. What is disturbing about these volumes is that they so prominently feature the Department of the Air Force and Army seals.."
MRFF Needs Your Constant Vigilance to Uncover
Unconstitutional Religious Incursions in the Military
The constitutional violations occurring in our military are so numerous and widespread
that we can't possibly find all of them ourselves. MRFF counts on its supporters and volunteers --
the indispensable "eyes and ears" who alert us to everything from the most egregious of constitutional
violations to articles we might be interested in.
So, keep the emails coming, and never think that anything is too insignificant or assume
that we might already know about it. You never know -- you might have stumbled into the
of a story and not even realize it.
And don't forget that you can join the discussion by posting
your own comments on every story on our website!
The media outlets referenced in the links above have no affiliation with the
Military Religious Freedom Foundation, nor have expressed endorsement thereof.
While we make every effort to ensure that news articles pertaining to our Foundation
remain available for you to access, we are unable to guarantee that the articles linked
above will remain online and unchanged indefinitely.