Conscientious objection

Nasser Abdo, 20: His conscience overcame his initial naivete in joining the army

In his speech about house Negroes and field Negroes, Malcolm X told us that among the characteristics of house Negroes were that they 1) loved the slavemaster more than the master loved himself, and 2) were used by the master to pursue any slaves who may consider fleeing. This insight may help explain why the AIFD’s Zuhdi Jasser adamantly opposes Pfc. Nader Abdo’s conscientious objector request,  as reported by Fox News:

“‘Muslims serve with distinction throughout the United States Military and AIFD sees Abdo’s traitorous public assertions as a slap in the face to all American Muslims especially those Muslims who fight in our armed forces for the liberty and freedom guaranteed by the American Constitution,’ the group said in a statement it issued on Friday.”

Of course, Fox describes the AIFD as a neutral “Islamic group” ignoring its collaboration with imperialism and Zionism. If it’s any indication of his politics, Jasser is one of very few Muslims that anti-Islamic, pro-Zionist, self-described ex-terrorist Walid Shoebat approves of.

It’s unfortunate that Abdo put himself in this unenviable position in the first place. As we’ve written before, those who participate in imperialist wars against innocent populations, expose themselves to being treated as a lemon.

Nevertheless, we look forward to CAIR and ADC’s defense of Abdo’s right to conscientious objection.

  4 comments for “Conscientious objection

  1. March 18, 2015 at 12:02 AM

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  2. September 16, 2010 at 11:42 AM

    “over half a million Black folks migrated from the South to industrial jobs in the North that needed to be filled for war production. when the war was over, and many Black soldiers could no longer stomach the bullshit line that America was fighting for freedom, but at the same time any semblance of freedom was denied to Black folks.”

    sorry. i dropped this point, but didn’t finish my thought. i wasn’t trying to start spouting off historical trivia for the sake of it.

    i wanted to ask what are the changing conditions Muslims find ourselves in, both materially and ideologically.

    Deepa Kumar has argued
    http://socialistworker.org/2010/04/15/demonized-media-again
    http://socialistworker.org/2010/08/30/challenge-to-islamophobia

    that “Islamophobia” — i hate that word, by the way, because it’s not an irrational fear or form of psychosis that can be “cured” by some psychologist or other middle class savior; i wish people would stop comparing hatred of Muslims with a fear of spiders or something; it’s just straight up white supremacy…

    anyway, Kumar has argued that “islamophobia” is changing. whereas in the past the bulk of the guns and propaganda have been aimed at Muslims in the international arena, today we are starting to see a shift towards targeting Muslims inside the U.S.

    she makes comparisons to Europe where attacks by the Right against Muslims is much more advanced, but i don’t think it’s really comparable. for one the class composition of the broader Muslim community in the U.S. and Europe is way different. we don’t have the same sort of working class Muslim ghettos in the U.S. on the scale that is evident in Europe. a much larger portion of Muslims in the U.S. are middle class, and, for the moment, won’t risk that class position for any sort of movement.

    we’re all familiar with the psychological pressures (and sometimes outright violence) our parents push on us to become doctors, lawyers or engineers.

    U.S. immigration policy is has been a major feature that has define the American Muslim experience. i’m still thinking about other objective features that have shaped the contours of Muslims in the U.S. i wonder what the rising white populism evident in the Tea Party, SB 1070, and the continued murder of Black folks (a la Oscar Grant) will mean for how Muslims respond to current moment.

  3. Qasim
    September 15, 2010 at 6:46 AM

    Jubayr,

    That’s a good point. Some of American Indian Movement’s members were also veterans. They participated in Wounded Knee in 73.

    You’re right that there are few to no anti-imperialist Muslim organizations in the US to join. If they exist, I’m not aware of them. I would expect that mainstream Muslim American organizations wouldn’t touch this guy with a nine foot pole because he disproves the idea of patriotic Muslims.

  4. September 14, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    this is an interesting case.

    it reminds me of the Black soldiers who came back to the US after WWI and then filled the ranks of militant Black organizations like Marcus Garvey’s UNIA and the African Blood Brotherhood.

    although these two organizations were extremely different politically, they were a part of the same era of Black radicalization that occurred around the Red Summer of 1919. during that year, there were Black rebellions and skirmishes with white lynch mobs in over 24 cities across the U.S. Black pride went from being something people talked about to something people organized for.

    over half a million Black folks migrated from the South to industrial jobs in the North that needed to be filled for war production. when the war was over, and many Black soldiers could no longer stomach the bullshit line that America was fighting for freedom, but at the same time any semblance of freedom was denied to Black folks.

    many of the folks who were in the League of Revolutionary Black Workers and the Panthers were also army veterans.

    it’s interesting to read and listen to Abdo’s interview and learn about his own process of radicalization. i wonder if he’s indicative of a broader trend.

    he still has certain contradictions to work through, but i doubt there are too many Muslim organizations in the U.S. that are or would be able to reach out to him and provide him with an anti-imperialist perspective and organizing project.

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