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View Diary: Religious Training for Detainees (25 comments)

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  •  This is a powder keg in so many ways (5+ / 0-)

    Assume that it is literally true, some CIA type who has "studied " Islam gives the minders and military police the guidelines for what sort of cleric to bring in to the prison for extended indoctrination.

    1. Is it a Shia, or Sunni, or which mosque's leaders  get this privilege?
    1. Do the persons who got the training thanks to Americans advertise that fact(when they are released?
    1. Are the Iraqis on board with this, or do they know how extensive this is?  I can imagine that certain ones, not necessarily alQueda but those imans left out of the training loop or bypassed would have some harsh words for the ones selected to be "trainers".
    1. On balance this is real interference with the people of the country. What if the evangelicals here hear about it, won't they get excited that they don't get a crack at the prisoners to convert or exhort them for the Christian God? They will be up in arms about this.
    1. Muslims will probably be pretty annoyed at Christian Americans deciding what a Muslim is and what an approved American style of Muslim is. That should really be embraced with enthusiasm by the masses over there. Not!
    1. How long is this war/occupation going to continue?

    10 to 12 years by the Iraqi puppet government estimates; 100 years by John McCain, as many years as it takes to drive the foreigners out and the Christians away from Muslim holy places- everyone else.

    Just wait until this information gets widely circulated in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Gaza/Jerusalem and other Muslim areas around the MidEast.

    Adding a huge spark to an already fully fueled and explosive situation.  

    He's a survivor, not hero. McCain IS a warmonger. Unlike most Republicans, he actually HAS dropped bombs on a country and people that didn't attack America.

    by Pete Rock on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 09:32:18 PM PDT

    •  Good points all (1+ / 0-)
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      Neon Mama

      The OIF website does not provide any answers to your questions, nor could I find any other sources that offered more detailed information.  This may be a new program; I didn't find any pre-2008 media mentions of it.

      I see all of the same problems you describe.  But remember that we can't argue only the Establishment Clause side of this.

      If the First Amendment applies here at all, then both the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses apply equally.  While the former forbids us from prescribing religious doctrine, the latter compels us to provide services and support for detainees' religious practices.

      So we've a quandary.  If the First Amendment does apply, the Free Exercise Clause requires letting volunteer and lay teachers in to provide religious services and support.  But while U.S. forces would have a duty to exclude volunteers who pose safety threats, the Establishment Clause forbids them from excluding volunteers based on religious doctrine.

      But this conflict has been cast as a "war against radical Islam."  That is, a war against a religious doctrine, Wahabist Sunni and the radical strains of Shi'a, both of which teach that sharia should be the fundamental civil law in the Muslim world.  And as stated explicitly by John McCain, these religious doctrines are "the transcendant challenge of our time."

      This calls into First Amendment question the entire Bush/McCain "war against radical Islam," for such a war establishes a specific religion as an enemy of the United States.  While we may protect ourselves from criminals, the Establishment Clause forbids us to specify criminality based on religious doctrine.

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