Here’s a true or false question for our readers:
True or false? A Navy SEAL will, at some point in their career, most likely have to shoot anti-American Islamic extremists.
Based on the experience of SEAL Team 6 in killing Osama bin Laden, we’d say it’s probably a fairly safe bet that this statement is true. However, apparently preparing them for that possibility via training targets is now an attack on all Muslims, even those who would never take up arms against the United States. At least, that’s the argument advanced by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in response to news reports showing that the following training target is used to train Navy SEALS:
A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today called on Pentagon officials not to use a target depicting a Muslim woman wearing a religious head scarf (hijab) and verses from the Quran in combat scenarios for training Navy SEALs at the new close quarters combat range at Joint Base Fort Story in Virginia Beach, Va.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said that military facility, referred to as a “kill house,” features a number of combat scenarios, including a mosque and a movable target of a Muslim woman wearing hijab and aiming a handgun. Verses from the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, are also displayed behind the target.
“Using a Muslim woman wearing a religious head scarf with [verses from the] Quran behind her as a target for our nation’s military personnel is offensive and sends a negative and counterproductive message to trainees and to the Muslim-majority nations to which they may be deployed,” wrote CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad in a letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. “This is yet another example of why the Department of Defense needs to fix what appears to be an ongoing problem by consulting credible scholars and experts to review all training and training materials related to Islam or Muslims.”
CAIR’s press release also links to this video, which informs us that CAIR has also contacted Attorney General Eric Holder and asked him to probe the usage of the targets, claiming that law enforcement at all levels are being taught to hate Muslims:
But is anti-Muslim sentiment all that’s really involved here? CAIR cites a number of articles from progressive sources about how the law enforcement community is prejudicially anti-Muslim, but it seems to us that such an accusation would be difficult to make without first knowing what other targets are used in these training exercises. Would it, for instance, be considered racist against whites to have a target shaped like Timothy McVeigh? And if not, then what distinguishes that from this claim that essentially, training our soldiers and law enforcement to deal with one kind of Muslim is an attack on all Muslims?