American soldiers appear to be pushing Christianity in Fallujah.

Yeah, this is going to win the Iraqi’s hearts and minds:

McClatchy Washington Bureau – Iraqis claim Marines are pushing Christianity in Fallujah

Fallujah, the scene of a bloody U.S. offensive against Sunni insurgents in 2004, has calmed and grown less hostile to American troops since residents turned against al Qaida in Iraq, which had tried to force its brand of Islamist extremism on the population.

Now residents of the city are abuzz that some Americans whom they consider occupiers are also acting as Christian missionaries. Residents said some Marines at the western entrance to their city have been passing out the coins for two days in what they call a “humiliating” attempt to convert them to Christianity.

In the markets, people crowded around men with the coins, passing them to each other and asking in surprise, “Have you seen this?”

The head of the Sunni endowment in Fallujah, the organization that oversees Sunni places of worship and other religious establishments, demanded that the Marines stop.

“We say to the occupiers to stop this,” said Sheikh Mohammed Amin Abdel Hadi. “This can cause strife between the Iraqis and especially between Muslim and Christians . … Please stop these things and leave our homes because we are Muslims and we live in our homes in peace with other religions.”

Above and beyond the fact that the U.S. military has an official policy that forbids this sort of activity, this is the sort of thing that’s only going to piss off the Iraqis. Supposedly the incident is being investigated, but I doubt much will come of it. It would be nice, however, if our own military would stop making things any harder in Iraq than they already are.

12 thoughts on “American soldiers appear to be pushing Christianity in Fallujah.

  1. Par for the course, just ask Specialist Jeremy Hall. Marines are trying to convert Muslims and an atheist U.S. soldier has to be sent back stateside because the military can’t guarantee that his “fellow” soldiers won’t kill him. It’s not just the Republican Party that’s been taken over by theocratic nutcases.

  2. It almost makes me wonder if there’s a general that actually stated, “Does anybody know how we could fuck things up in Iraq worse and make the job on the whole a lot more difficult?”

  3. Take one step back and realise that while this certainly CAN be the work of some rather stupid Christians, it would also be VERY EASY for Islamic fanatics to fake something like this to stir up the pot (maybe it has gotten too quiet there for their like). The best lies are those that could be true, obviously.

  4. It almost makes me wonder if this is real.  I mean, no one knows better than the soldiers on the ground in Iraq how stupid this kind of thing would be.  Regardless of the fact that it is illegal under the rules of the military, it is SO stupid that my first gut reaction is to find out if it’s really true.  I’ll wait for more information.  There are plenty of groups in Iraq that would spread this kind of rumor if they could.  I’m not saying that it didn’t happen.  I’m just saying I’m not taking any one persons word for it.

  5. At this rater we’ll have women on the front line and gays serving openly before we’ll tolerate Atheists in the military.

    btw: anyone know the latest on the Specialist Hall law suit, or is it still pending?

  6. I’m don’t know whether this makes me more scared or angry! Now, not only is the guy in charge a nutjob, but the majority of the military, the only ones who’s objections could possibly influence him after he’s had all his little chats with his imaginary freind,are the same, and are only held back from giving non-christians hell by the disaproval of the rest of the country.
    Then again- religion and war have always gone hand in hand, and i’m guessing that you don’t have to be the brightest of buttons to enlist.
    So, an orginisation thats very purpose is war, and that has low requirements for intelligance, quite frankly it remains a mystery why thare are any but the devout envolved.

  7. Well according to this Washington Post article these coins aren’t being faked by the Iraqis:

    BAGHDAD, May 29—The U.S. military suspended a Marine on Thursday for distributing coins quoting the Gospel to Sunni Muslims, an incident that has enraged Iraqis who view it as the latest example of American disrespect for Islam.

    The Marine, stationed in the western city of Fallujah, handed out silver-colored coins this week that said in Arabic: “Where will you spend eternity? (John 3:36).” The other side read: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).”

    “We are sorry for this behavior,” said Mike Isho, a U.S. military spokesman in Anbar province, which includes Fallujah. He said the Marine, whom he did not identify, distributed only a few of the coins and that the episode was under investigation.

    “This incident doesn’t represent the morals of the Marines,” he said.

    Unless, of course, the Marines are just making up their story about suspending a soldier to smooth over the made up Iraqi story about the coins. Conspiracy theories are great that way.

  8. Unless, of course, the Marines are just making up their story about suspending a soldier to smooth over the made up Iraqi story about the coins.

    At this point, neither scenario would surprise me.  If it’s true, soldiers don’t usually have a reputation for being the sharpest tacks in the drawer.  An ex-marine friend of mine almost died in the service of his country when he and a bunch of his friends learned that JP-4 has alcohol in it and since it “smelled tasty” as one of them put it…..  Well let’s just say they spent quality time in the infirmary and I’ve never let him live it down.

    so yeah… I’ll believe soldiers will do anything.  Hell, it might have been a dare.  I’m just not going to take our governments word for it.

  9. My dad has served in the military and now as a deputy, and he’s said that atheists are almost universally looked at with strange eyes and met with criticism. He’s an extremely religious person himself and admitted to partaking in this.

    So yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if marines decided to start pissing off muslims too.

  10. Have you read that piece about the Koran found on a snipers range, this dose not surprise me one bit.

  11. Have you read that piece about the Koran found on a snipers range, this dose not surprise me one bit.

    It’s one thing to do something stupid on the base.  It’s another to do something stupid that requires you interact with the local Iraqi’s.

    If they want to make the terrorists even more determined to get rid of us, make the local population hate us and even make the government more inclined to tell us to go away, it would be hard to think of a better way than this to do it.

    It doesn’t bother me that soldiers would do something like this.  What bothers me is that it might have been unofficially condoned by the military and perpetrated by organized religious groups.

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