The US military’s “Islam problem” captured news headlines even before Wired.com ‘s 2012 breaking story about a military course teaching soldiers that the USA was at “war with Islam.” Since 2007 the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and its founder Mikey Weinstein have diligently documented violations of religious freedom within the military. During that time many of MRFF’s documentation of violations have included cases of anti-Islam/Muslim propaganda and activities.
In addition to these very troubling stories reported in the mainstream press and by rights organizations, Islamophobia Today has uncovered facts indicating that the pervasive “Crusader” sub-culture within the ranks of Islamophobes isn’t limited to internet forums and blogs but also exists within the US Military.
Anti-Muslim/Islam and pro-Crusader themes tied to military-use paraphernalia, including: T-Shirts, insignias, bullet coating, rifle scope cases as well as tattoos inscribed “Kafir,” and “Infidel” have become common within a sub-set of the US military.
Many soldiers have expressed deep concern about this Crusader sub-culture. A growing network of e-stores, as well as large chains such as SEARS (online) to this day are selling the aforementioned anti-Muslim/Islam commodities.
Most troubling, Crye Precision, which is under Department of Defense contract for the production of Multicam camouflage for the US Military is also involved in the anti-Muslim/Islam trade with a brand of “Infidel” themed clothing wear and accessories.
Allow me to provide some examples:
The anti-Islam sub-culture that degrades and dehumanizes the Muslim ‘other’ has given rise to online e-stores that seek to fill the special niche of serving officers with the most dehumanizing representations of Muslims and Islam, as well as selling pro-Crusader images and insignia. Those involved are not only small online retailers, but such large and well know retailers as Crye Percision (manufactures all camoflague for US military) and SEARS.
For a country that has invaded two Muslim nations, continues drone strikes in several more and suffers from a severe deficit of trust with 1.5 billion Muslims, claiming to want to seek to “win hearts and minds” may well be viewed in an altogether different, more cynical light.
There are a number of internet businesses that propagate this culture. Two of the more well known sites to purchase “infidel” clothing and accessories are http://www.opsgear.com and http://www.milspecmonkey.com. Milspecmonkey.com is the manufacturer/e-retailer of the: “Infidel,” “Infidel Strong,” “Pork Eating Crusader, and “Hadji Don’t Surf” patches shown in the body of this report. Opsgear.com especially caters to military, law enforcement, and aficionados with their infidel t-shirt line:
One retailer to take note of is Crye Precision.
What makes them stand out in particular is the fact that Crye is the manufacturer of Multicam, which is the new camouflage for all US armed forces. Crye is also under DOD contract to produce newer camouflage for the Department of Defense as well as (of 2012) to supply uniforms to US forces.
Crye’s side project apart from the Department of Defense contracts is a line of product called the “Major League Infidel” line. The most alarming part of this is that Crye manufactures camouflage and uniforms for the US Military and manufactures this brand of infidel products (which are also aimed towards service personnel). Here are some examples of what one can find at http://cryeprecision.com :
One of the most alarming aspects of this cottage industry may be that the “infidel” label is creeping into the mainstream. I came across Kafir/Infidel items for sale at a major retailer, SEARS.
From rifle scope covers to t-shirts and more, SEARS is selling all the aforementioned on their website:
“Alarming” may be an understatement: American military personnel are purchasing these goods and are displaying them in theater. One wonders what the indigenous Afghani and Iraqi citizens, police, contractors, and military personnel feel/felt when they see/saw US soldiers wearing these items?
Another extremely concerning aspect within this industry of hate is a product called Silver Bullet Gun Oil (www.silverbulletgunoil.net/), or SBGO.
It is quite clear what Silver Bullet Gun Oil is used for by the rhetoric on their websites blog:
SBGO claims that it sends Muslims ‘straight to hell’ if a shooter uses the product in their weaponry. I should point out that the gun oil contains 13% liquified pork fat and that it is directly marketed towards coalition soldiers and law enforcement in Western nations:
This product is symptomatic of a greater Islamophobia that permeates deeper than clothing and tattoos. Because the product (reportedly) sends “Allahs’ followers to HELL”, or at least– that is the language employed by it’s manufacturer– one can say that it is actively pushing an agenda of Holy War against Muslims, as that is the language employed throughout the website:
While the US Military took action against Sgt. Dooley, suspending him for teaching courses that discussed “total war on Islam,” it is vital that the military also address the Crusader sub-culture within its midst.
A corrective course of action that both acknowledges the existing sub-culture and makes amends where it can is the only way to nip such sentiments in the bud. The belief that the USA’s “War on Terror” is really a “War Against Islam” is widespread in Muslim nations, by not addressing these issues the military will provide AlQaeda and its affiliates with a propaganda coup.