U.S. Army decision to grant Pfc Nasser Abdo Conscientious Objector status a black day for American Muslim service members

PHOENIX (July 18, 2011) – The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) takes deep exception with the U.S. Army’s recent decision to grant PFC Nasser Abdo Conscientious Objector status. Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder and president of AIFD and a former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander, released the following statement condemning the Army’s decision:

“Recent allegations of child pornography by Pfc. Nasser Abdo have brought to light the grossly misguided decision by Secretary of the Army John McHugh to grant Abdo Conscientious Objector (CO) status. As with the Pentagon report on the massacre at Fort Hood, the U.S Army has once again fallen victim to the insidious influence of political correctness. Abdo’s assertion that his faith precludes him from serving ‘in Afghanistan, Iraq or any war the U.S. Army would conceivably participate in.’ is patently false. It is a slap in the face and extraordinarily offensive to every Muslim who has served the U.S. military honorably, like me. American Muslims serve with distinction throughout all commands every day and it is appalling that the U.S. Army did not recognize that granting Abdo CO status would have a direct impact on their service.

This decision has implications that are far reaching. Our country faces our greatest potential security threat from radical Islamists. That threat has been exponentially increasing since 9/11. In the words of Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square Bomber, and Major Nidal Hasan, perpetrator of the Fort Hood Massacre which killed 13 and injured over 30, they are “Muslim Soldiers.” Islamism (political Islam ) fuels Islamist terror groups by instilling the ideology among Muslims that the “ummah” is a single global political unit and nation state that stands against all non-Muslim states. This decision directly feeds that false narrative that Muslims are unable to participate in war against other Muslims. History tells us quite differently and our citizenship oath demands otherwise. The Army took the politically correct, easy way out and appeased a traitor who had a yearlong campaign against our nation and our military. Nasser Abdo is exploiting his Muslim identity and faith for his own political agenda. He represents a fringe group of radical Muslims who take their Muslim identity over their American identity. His argument that the Qur’an only allows Muslims to participate in “just wars” against non-Muslims is bigoted and inaccurate.

Abdo’s claims of conscientious objection clearly violate the requirements for CO status as delineated by DOD directive 1300.06. On August 21, 2010, he treasonously told the foreign Islamist media arm, Al Jazeera, “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.” In his own published web statement he further states that “being a soldier in the U.S. Army may not be permissible according to Islamic doctrine. It did not take me long to find an abundance of religious sources on the matter… fighting in an unjust war particularly against a fellow Muslim brother would be considered to be a form of disbelief or kufr”

According to DOD directive 1300.06 (May 31, 2007), CO status is given to those enlisted who have “a firm, fixed and sincere objection to participation in war in any form or the bearing of arms, by reason of religious training and/or belief.” CO status cannot be selective for any particular war. It is only against all war or any military service. The Military has made the application for CO status extremely clear so that soldiers, sailors and marines can not abuse the system and run from their military responsibility. Abdo entered the Army in April 2009 freely and knowing full well that he stood a significant chance of being deployed in one of two theaters of war. Abdo’s statements clearly demonstrate that not only does he exploit the CO provision, but he is a traitor who clearly is serving his Islamist loyalties and beliefs about the “ummah” above his sworn loyalties to the United States and our security. His actions are a cowardly attempt to use his faith to make a political statement about wars in Muslim majority nations.

Lest any Muslim be perceived as a future Nasser Abdo, AIFD would like to take this opportunity to make it explicitly clear that Mr. Abdo is not only a traitor but has departed from mainstream interpretations of Islam and our duties to the United States of America. In fact his interpretation is dangerous and part of radical Islam globally. It fuels a profound resentment against Muslims in America. It is imperative that other American Muslim organizations speak truth to emphatically denounce this decision by the Secretary McHugh. Abdo has essentially made it so every American Muslim serving in uniform should be questioned for their loyalty to service. As such Muslim organizations need to stand with American Muslims who have the courage to step on the battlefield to defend all of our liberties. Fore Muslim leaders there is no equivocating here. Abdo’s condemnation of their service is pathetic and deserving of condemnation, not CO status.

Abdo disgraces the pride of being an American which we instill in our American Muslim children. His use of CO status is not only false it is un-Islamic. Abdo’s obsession with Islamophobia is the same logic that drove the murderous rampage of Maj Nidal Hasan on Nov. 5, 2009 at Fort Hood. Abdo’s adherence to the global Islamist ideology above his American loyalty runs to the core of what we Muslims need to fight in real counterterrorism. Abdo’s actions are an affront to every American Muslim who has proudly donned a US military uniform. His assertions are not built on Islamic teachings but on a feeble adherence to the global political ideology of Islamism that threatens our security and radicalizes our Muslim youth.”


Gregg Edgar
Gordon C. James Public Relations

About the American Islamic Foundation for Democracy
The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. AIFD’s mission advocates for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state. For more information on AIFD, please visit our website at

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