On the Shooting at Fort Hood, Texas

The American Muslim Armed Forces and Veteran Affairs Councail (AMAF and VAC) condemns in the strongest terms the attack on soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas resulting in the murder of at least a dozen soldiers and the wounding of many others.  We express our deepest condolences to the victims and their families.  We join the Community of Fort Hood, Texas in their mourning.

Islam holds the human soul in high esteem, and considers the attack against innocent human beings a grave sin.  This is a criminal act that is now best dealt with by the law enforcement community.

The American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council (AMAF and VAC) is a not for profit, non-political, independent American based organization.  AMAF and VAC was established to serve the spiritual needs and religious welfare of Muslims who serve or have served in the United States Armed Forces, their dependents, as well as veterans. This encompasses all branches of the US Military, including the US Coast Guard.

On the Passing of Imam Warith Deen Mohammed

Our beloved, Imam Warith Deen Mohammed affectionately known as “Brother Imam” passed away Tuesday morning, on the 9th day of Ramadhan in the year of 1429 Hijra. He was at the forefront of many efforts including the establishment of the Islamic Chaplaincy within the Department of Defense and religious accommodations for Muslims in the US Armed Forces.

The Muslim Military Members (MMM) arranged a visit on February 5, 1992 for him to tour the Pentagon and address Defense officials, Chaplains, and other Military personnel. This was but one of countless events that Brother Imam participated in respect to Muslims in the US Armed Forces.

Whether a Muslim Military Member or the leadership of the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veteran Affairs Council, his office door was always open. Brother Imam leaves behind a quiet legacy of gigantic proportions in the footsteps of greats like Thomas Jefferson, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Pope John Paul II.

As a mark of respect for the Imam we are asking President Bush to order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half staff at the White House and on all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset on Friday, September 12, 2008.

President Bush ordered similar recognition to honor Pope John Paul II on April 2, 2005.

Muslim Group Proposes Strict Disciplinary Measures of Service Members Desecrating Holy Books

In response to the recent desecration of the Holy Qu’ran by a US Soldier, the Executive Director of the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veteran Affairs Council (AMAF & VAC) plans to address this appalling and disrespectful conduct with the Joint Chief of Staff Chaplain, as well as the CENTCOM Chaplain on Monday, May 19, 2008.

Service members come in contact with people of various faith groups all around the world. Disrespect of sacred places, holy books, and other artifacts affects the success of the mission by providing justification for individuals and groups who oppose the presence of US service members. It also suggests that Americans are intolerant of other faiths.

As a result, the AMAF & VAC is recommending the following discplinary action under Article 134 of the UCMJ to discourage future indiscretions:

If a service member knowingly desecrates a Holy Book, that service member should receive a dishonorable discharge, reduction to the pay grade of E-1, and forfeiture of 1 year salary.

The American Muslim Armed Forces and Veteran Affairs Council extends our sincere apologies to the Muslims of Iraq. We believe that this inexcusable act does not reflect the true spirit of religious tolerance within the United States Armed Forces and specifically the assigned command of this US Soldier. Our belief is the US Army is sincere in its apologies of this offensive action.
Point of Contact: Abdul Rashid Abdullah, Deputy Director

Deputy Director Appointment for AMAF and VAC

Qaseem Ali Uqdah, Executive Director of the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veteran Affairs Council (AMAF and VAC) announced today his selection for Deputy Director Br. Abdul-Rashid Abdullah.

Abdul-Rashid is a veteran of the United States Army. He entered into service near the end of the First Gulf War in October of 1991. Already a new revert to Islam he experienced Basic Training, Airborne School, and Advanced Individual Training as a Muslim. This experience introduced him to the special challenges Muslims have while serving in the United States Armed Forces. His duty stations included Fort Sill, OK, Fort Benning, GA, Fort Lee, VA, Fort Bragg, NC, Schofield Barrkacks, HI and Hickam AFB, HI. His career as a Parachute Rigger provided him an opportunity to work with some of the most elite forces of the US Armed Forces.

In 1998, he became a veteran. He is married now and has four children.

He is no stranger to this effort having begun working with the early pioneers as far back as 1992. His first duty station was at Fort Bragg, one of the larger Muslim communities. Fort Bragg serves as home to the Special Operations community as well as to the Airborne, an experience that made a lasting impression on the young soldier.

Abdul-Rashid was one of first participants in the official Islamic Lay Leader Training conducted by AMAF and VAC, the first sponsored hajj program for US Service Members, and the first commissioning ceremony for a Muslim Chaplain in the US Armed Forces.

He is probably best known for his role as Moderator of MMMnet, which served as a unique discussion email list for members of the US Armed Forces prior to leaving the service. In the past, he has maintained the AMAFandVAC.org and MuslimMilitaryMembers.org websites.

Over the many years, Br. Abdul-Rashid has been a faithful personal advisor to Br. Qaseem and a consistent supporter of AMAF and VAC.

Br. Qaseem has given him two main goals to focus on initially:

  1. To advance the spiritual unity and cohesiveness amongst American Muslims in the U.S. Armed Forces.
  1. To mirror the commitment other authorized endorsing agencies from various faith groups have for their Chaplains and Lay Leaders.

There are of course several other goals that the AMAFandVAC is striving towards, however by focusing efforts on these first two goals, we hope to build a foundation on which other goals will be more easily obtainable and sustainable.

If you have any questions, please contact Br. Abdul-Rashid or Br. Qaseem Ali Uqdah. Br. Qaseem kindly asks that you extend to Br. Abdul-Rashid the warm courtesy you have shown to him over the years.

Ma Salaama

For additional information contact:

Qaseem Ali Uqdah, Executve Director