U.S. Military Ordered to Practice Islam, Claims Christian Activist (Audio)
Tony Perkins, head of Christian-based Family Research Council, recently claimed on his radio show that the Obama administration was forcing members of the U.S. military to practice Islam.
On his "Washington Watch" radio show, Perkins referred to an article in the Stars and Stripes, but left out some important details, notes RightWingWatch.org (audio below).
The Stars and Stripes article states that during Ramadan, a month-long Islamic holiday, U.S. troops in Bahrain are asked not to offend their host Islamic country:
While not required to fast during Ramadan, in Bahrain, Americans can be fined or detained by local authorities for eating, drinking or smoking in public when off-base during daylight hours.
Navy officials are requiring U.S. personnel to dress more conservatively off-base during Ramadan. Although not a requirement by Bahraini authorities, the Navy is demanding that men wear long-sleeved shirts and women wear sleeved blouses that cover their elbows. Also, men must wear long trousers, and women should wear pants or skirts that cover the knees.
However, Perkins greatly exaggerated and fabricated the story.
"Thanks to the Obama administration, our military can finally practice a religion: Islam's!" Perkins stated. "...To most of our troops, who can't even practice their own religion under this administration, this a slap in the face. Our troops are expected to observe the Muslim faith while the expression of their own Christianity is unwelcome in the military fighting for freedom."
Of course, U.S. troops are allowed to practice their religion, but they are not allowed to proselytize others or verbally attack gay people, which amounts to persecution, according to some Christian conservatives.
Snopes.com notes that there was a false Internet rumor going around in June that claimed, "U.S. troops stationed in Muslim countries are being ordered to fast and practice Sharia law during Ramadan."