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Fighting for our servicemembers' rights, so they can fight for ours.

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MRFF's SUPPORT AND DEFENSE OF MUSLIMS IN THE U.S. MILITARY

As the only organization solely devoted the separation of church and state within the United States Military, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) has often encountered blatant Islamophobia and state-sanctioned anti-Muslim bigotry & hatred. As such, MRFF represents slightly over 18% of all Muslims currently serving in the United States Armed Forces.


MRFF's DISTINGUISHED 9
SIGN "THE 722"

The 722: The Military Religious Freedom Foundation's Statement on Trump's "Muslim Ban"

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Click to view full article on Huffington Post


MIKEY's HUFFINGTON POST OP-ED

5/20/16 – We Built That –
How Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Created the Very Thing
We Say We Fear

Friday, May 20, 2016

"A recent article by retired U.S. Army General and former CIA director David Petraeus published over on Stars and Stripes hits the proverbial nail on the head when it comes to the absolute immorality of anti-Muslim rhetoric in our Armed Forces and on American soil – not to mention the inadvisability, recklessness, and downright idiocy of alienating those who are our allies.

This isn't new – in 2011, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), of which I am Founder and President, helped expose the fact that for 20 years chaplains at Vandenberg Air Force Base used "Christian Just War Theory"; to train those directly in charge of launching nuclear missiles ("Jesus Nukes"). New Testament scriptures were used to assure that these young, impressionable officers were willing to turn the key to initiate nuclear Armageddon for Jesus Christ. The overwhelming majority of MRFF's clients on that matter were Christians. (In fact, for situational awareness purposes, MRFF's client totals currently number in excess of 45,400 armed forces and veteran personnel, about 96% of whom are practicing Protestants or Roman Catholics. Additionally, MRFF represents slightly more than 16% of all Muslim-Americans in the U.S. military and 912 LGBT armed forces and veteran members.) ..."

Click to read the full OP-ED


HEARTFELT LETTER OF GRATITUDE

6/16/16 US Army Soldier of Muslim Faith Expresses Extreme Gratitude to MRFF – "muslim are good soldier"

Thursday, June 16, 2016

"Thank you for talk to my (Army Sr. NCO title withheld) here at Fort (Name withheld) because of what he say about Muslim in the army. My older brother fight in Fallujeh battle and lost some finger and my other brother is in marines for long year. He deploy many time and have purple heart and 2 (combat medal name withheld). They have got America citizenship and I getting mine soon I hope. Being a soldier helps. Being told that Muslim are bad for American and the army is not good. Really not good in a (Army unit name withheld) meeting where everyone there. Nobody say anything but I wanted to. But if I do it make worse. Thank you for doing it Mr. Mickey mrff. Thank you for answer phone late at night."

Click to read full Letter


LETTER OF SUPPORT

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) State letter to Secretary of Defense Hagel in support of Mikey and MRFF

Monday, May 13, 2013

Click to view full CAIR letter


MRFF FEATURED BY
MAJOR NEWS NETWORKS

Coverage of MRFF's Offer To Donate a New Qur'an to Afghan Army for Every One Destroyed by Terry Jones

September, 2010

After being contacted by scores of our active duty military clients asking us to do something in response to Terry Jones’s planned “Burn A Koran Day,” MRFF has decided that the most appropriate response would not be to try to stop Jones, but to donate to the Afghan National Army, as a gesture of good will and a statement of opposition to this entirely un-American act of religious bigotry, a new Qur'an for each one destroyed by Jones and his followers.

Click to Read MRFF's Coverage


MRFF's LETTER TO U.S. SENATE

MRFF Submits Testimony for Historic U.S. Senate Hearing

Monday, March 28, 2011

Click to read MRFF's Senate Testimony

Click to read response on the MRFF website


MRFF SUBMITS
STATEMENT TO CONGRESS

MRFF Submits Statement to Joint Congressional/Senatorial Hearings, Details Toxic Environment of
anti-Muslim Bigotry
Within Armed Forces

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

MRFF Details Plight of Service Member Clients of the Muslim Faith, Victims of Islamophobia
to
Joint Hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental  Affairs: "Homegrown Terrorism: The threat to military communities inside the United States"

Click to read MRFF's Statement

Statement also featured on Veterans News Now


MRFF COMMENDED BY
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"Department of Justice
Commends MRFF and Initiates
Community Outreach Collaboration"

Dear MRFF,

It is good to know that you are one of the fine civil rights advocacy organizations out there with which we can initiate outreach activities. I appreciate the relationships that I have established with the Muslim communities in the Midwest and especially through Sheila Musaji with The American Muslim Network of St. Louis, Missouri. I know that Sheila is a good friend of yours and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). Sheila Musaji provides our office with information and materials on a regular basis. Matter of fact, she played an important role for Region VII DOJ/CRS when we instituted a training program focusing on Muslim, Arab-American and Sikhs. The training was geared toward law enforcement getting a better understanding of the cultures described. Establishing a good relationship with MRFF is welcomed as well.

CRS looks forward to working with MRFF in establishing a solid working relationship and its many military member clients. Sharing information, educational perspectives, and religious and racial conflicts, civil rights that impact a community is a concern of this agency.

William Whitcomb works out of Region VII that covers the states of Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska.

Again, I refer you to our website which is http://www.justice.gov/crs

Thanks for the interest.

P.S. I heard that you are a 2010 Nobel Peace Prize nomination. Congratulations!!

U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service

Click to read on the MRFF Website


ABC NEWS COVERAGE

Army Investigation Over False Accusations Ruined Our Lives,
Say Muslim Soldiers

Friday, May 13, 2011

Selected Article Excerpts:

  • Five Muslims who joined the Army to work as military translators say their lives and careers were ruined after they were falsely accused of trying to poison their fellow soldiers. In an interview for ABC News, two of the men say an Army investigation into the matter has cast a stigma on their lives, preventing them from gaining citizenship and employment.

  • In November of 2009, the five Muslim recruits were arrested by the Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) over a tip that they were allegedly plotting to poison their fellow soldiers at Fort Jackson. The news of the investigation broke on the Christian Broadcasting Network and quickly became national news.

Click to read on ABC News

Click to see ABC News Video


THE NEW YORK TIMES
NEWS COVERAGE

Allegations Upend Lives of
2 Muslims in Army

Friday, May 13, 2011

Selected Article Excerpts:

  • Khalid Lyaacoubi and Yassine Bahammou, immigrants from Morocco, enlisted in the Army National Guard, recruited for a program that promised higher rank, bonuses and quick citizenship to Arabic speakers who could help fill the military’s need for interpreters.

  • Shortly before Christmas 2009, they graduated from boot camp, proud just to have made it. But as they prepared to leave Fort Jackson, S.C., they were instead questioned by military investigators who suspected them and three other Moroccan immigrants of plotting to poison fellow soldiers.

  • Mikey Weinstein, president and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit group representing the two soldiers, said his group had seen a steady increase in Muslim clients who claimed they had been discriminated against since Fort Hood. He called the Army’s Fort Jackson investigation "draconian and clearly unconstitutional."

Click to read on The New York Times


MIKEY WEINSTEIN OP-ED
FEATURED ON ALTERNET

Abu Ghraib and Hiroshima by PowerPoint and Lectern

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Selected Op-Ed Excerpt:

A grossly exaggerated and noxious brand of faux-patriotism has had the United States in its grips since at least September 11, 2001. The nefarious engine of this jingoistic phenomenon is uber-patriotic, religion-infused exceptionalism. Nowhere is this unconstitutional sickness clearer than on the grounds of the once-prestigious institutes of higher learning under the command of the United States Department of Defense.

It is on these campuses that an insidious blend of abject racism and fundamentalist Christian supremacy, sometimes subtle and sometimes explicit, warps the minds of the servicemen and women who are being groomed to lead present and future generations of American war fighters. Indeed, by PowerPoint and by lectern, the future leaders of the U.S. military are being inculcated in a deranged martial spirit which sees the nuclear bombing of civilian populations as not only justified, but consecrated by a grotesquely distorted, weaponized version of Jesus Christ. The course material similarly commands the unquestioning application of internationally infamous Abu Ghraib-like interrogation tactics more befitting an aggressive, marauding military dictatorship than a Constitutionally-grounded democracy.

"This barbaric ideology will no longer be tolerated. Islam must change or we will facilitate its self-destruction." These vile and genocidal words were taught at the venerable Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) in Norfolk, VA by faculty member and instructor Army Lt. Col. Matthew Dooleyin a course entitled "Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism." Dooley also taught officers from all four branches of the military that the U.S. should take "war to a civilian population wherever necessary," applying the precedents of "Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, [and] Nagasaki" to the two foremost holy cities in the Muslim world, Mecca and Medina. Such statements from this United States military officer, under the colorable authority and aegis of the prestigious JFSC, are beyond the pale of acceptability and their consequences will be extraordinarily severe.

Click to read on AlterNet


MRFF DENOUNCES
REP. PETER KING

MRFF Universally Denounces Rep. Peter King's Anti-Muslim, McCarthyistic Hearings on Domestic Terrorism

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation universally denounces the horrifying, McCarthyistic hearings currently being held by Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. These malicious hearings, allegedly investigating domestic terrorism, are inexcusably racist and denigrating. Rep. King and his reprobate ilk are shaming the United States of America. Since these “hearings” were first announced, MRFF has received a non-stop torrent of calls from its Muslim American United States soldier, sailor, marine, airman, cadet, and midshipmen clients who feel dehumanized, marginalized, comprehensively humiliated, and threatened by these transparently bigoted “hearings.” To date, 259 Muslim American military MRFF clients have stepped forward to ask for our help. They know America’s checkered past – African American slavery, Japanese internment camps during WWII, McCarthy’s black lists during the Cold War – and they are deeply afraid.

MRFF is proud to serve them. Our civil rights advocacy relationship with U.S. Muslim military personnel has been commended and specifically supported/endorsed by the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the entire Muslim community within the Pentagon (where MRFF stopped rabid Islamophobe Franklin Graham from preaching on the evils of Islam at the National Day of Prayer event there), Sheila Musaji, Editor of The American Muslim Magazine, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Muslim American communities such as American Muslims of Puget Sound, and many interfaith organizations. We honor all brave Muslim American armed forces personnel who have given their lives for our country while Rep. King is busy ignominiously hunting down and terrorizing their families. Rep. King’s wretched anti-Muslim campaign is horribly offensive to all our United States servicemen and women who richly deserve our deepest honor and respect for their sacrifice.

MRFF will not allow this vile desecration of the human and civil rights of our Muslim American armed forces clients, nor will we stand by while this disgusting travesty blatantly threatens our national security. Rep. King is conducting a scurrilous witch hunt in the face of Department of Homeland Security findings indicating that white supremacist lone wolves pose the most significant domestic terrorist threat. Instead of mercilessly demonizing the peaceful, innocent American-citizen followers of the world’s second largest religion, perhaps Rep. King would have more success rooting out the very same scourge among his staff and supporters which his hearings are recklessly and inhumanly fostering – intolerance, hatred, bigotry, racism, prejudice and extremism.

Click to read on the MRFF website

Nightline logo

MRFF's INBOX

Letter to Mikey Weinstein

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Muslim American Soldiers

Dear Mr. Weinstein,

On behalf of myself and my family I want to thank you and the MRFF for having the courage to speak up for and defend the Constitutional rights of all Muslim American U.S. armed forces troops, of which I am one. I read very carefully in the NY Times and the ABC news story about the horrible things that where done against my fellow U.S. soldiers and fellow Muslim Americans Spc. Khalid Lyaacoubi and Spc. Yassine Bahammou. My wife cried when she read it all because we (and most all other Muslim Americans we know in the Army) have suffered in many of the same ways as they have. I wish I had the stamina and fearlessness to go public but I just do not. The hatred is everywhere and we can trust noone. We live in fear on Fort (military installation’s name withheld). Our family’s crime is that we are not of the active Christian faith which is what the Army leadership makes it very clear is what they want you to follow to be the best soldier and have the best “spiritual fitness”. Being Muslim is not being “spiritually fit”. You have described it all so well for years in your fight as the leader of the MRFF. I have read everything on your website in the last several days since the stories became public about Spc. Lyaacoubi and Spc. Bahammou. We have ordered your book from amazon. My wife wept again when she read the words you testified to with the senate Committee of Sen. Dick Durban. You described our lives of fear and hatred and humiliation so well. We have little children. They suffer as well. Noone has helped until now. Please do not reveal anything about me. Please let me still stay in touch with you and the MRFF under this way of not revealing me or my family or my base. Please tell the 2 Spc. that we can never thank them enough for coming forward. We love them both. Thank you Mr. Weinstein and the MRFF for your not being afraid of speaking of the words we all want to tell the Army but cannot because they will use them to hurt us. They already have and will again. Maybe they can be stopped from hurting us more by you and the MRFF telling about our stories to tv and the newspapers. I just do not know anymore.

(name, rank, combat MOS, military unit and installation withheld)


Response from MRFF Volunteer

Dear sir,

Thank you for your service to our nation, for the courage which you, your wife, and your small children are being forced to develop and maintain wihtin our military community. Perhaps someday, when militant religious extremism is fought and conquered, your experiences will have honed you into leaders of a Constitutional United States, the nation we have drifted to far from being.

Meanwhile, know that you have many supporters through MRFF, including others who, like yourself, stay anonymous for safety’s sake. Mikey is the brave hub, voice, and spearhead of our organization, the founder and guide, seeing what could and should not come of the current trajectory of our nation, if we don’t band together to protect it.

Incidently, you might notice my use of the word “nation” rather than “country.” In grade school, I was taught that countries are owned and run by royalty. Nations are democracies, owned and run by their citizens and with laws based on a specific written reference, i.e., Constitution. May we return to and stay forever a nation of citizens and equals, never returning to the pre-revolutionary days of being a country.

DR
(P.S. Those aren’t my initials. They;re the initials of a nickname given me by Mikey. It is, for me, an intermediary step, as I slowly test the waters of non-anonymity without giving up who I really am. In time, you may want to chose a pen name, or nom-de-plume as well. I sense in you a good writer. — DR

Click to read on the MRFF website


MIKEY WEINSTEIN OP-ED
FEATURED ON HUFFINGTON POST

We Built That – How Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Created the Very Thing We Say We Fear

Friday, May 20, 2016

Selected Op-Ed Excerpts:

A recent article by retired U.S. Army General and former CIA director David Petraeus published over on Stars and Stripes hits the proverbial nail on the head when it comes to the absolute immorality of anti-Muslim rhetoric in our Armed Forces and on American soil – not to mention the inadvisability, recklessness, and downright idiocy of alienating those who are our allies.

This isn’t new – in 2011, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), of which I am Founder and President, helped expose the fact that for 20 years chaplains at Vandenberg Air Force Base used “Christian Just War Theory” to train those directly in charge of launching nuclear missiles (“Jesus Nukes”). New Testament scriptures were used to assure that these young, impressionable officers were willing to turn the key to initiate nuclear Armageddon for Jesus Christ. The overwhelming majority of MRFF’s clients on that matter were Christians. (In fact, for situational awareness purposes, MRFF’s client totals currently number in excess of 45,400 armed forces and veteran personnel, about 96% of whom are practicing Protestants or Roman Catholics. Additionally, MRFF represents slightly more than 16% of all Muslim-Americans in the U.S. military and 912 LGBT armed forces and veteran members.)

[...]

When did hate speech become patriotism? When did our nation get dumbed down enough – yes, I said it – that we are willing to accept the spoon-fed tripe from the hands of politicians who steer themselves and their families well clear of military combat and conflict, yet eagerly feed more men and women into the maw of a ravenous war fueled by religious dogma and oppression? How can we disrespect Muslims who actively serve the US in our military, but expect them to “fight the holy war” against those we lump them in with?

[...]

Click to Read on Huffington Post

Click to Read on Daily Kos


LETTER TO MIKEY WEINSTEIN

US Army Soldier of Muslim Faith Expresses Extreme Gratitude to MRFF – “muslim are good soldier”

Saturday, July 16, 2016

From: U.S. Army Soldier’s E-Mail Address Withheld
Subject: muslim are good soldier
Date: June 16, 2016 at 3:06:51 PM MDT
To: Information Weinstein <[email protected]>

Mr. Mickey mrff

Thank you for talk to my (Army Sr. NCO title withheld) here at Fort (Name withheld) because of what he say about Muslim in the army. My older brother fight in Fallujeh battle and lost some finger and my other brother is in marines for long year. He deploy many time and have purple heart and 2 (combat medal name withheld). They have got America citizenship and I getting mine soon I hope. Being a soldier helps. Being told that Muslim are bad for American and the army is not good. Really not good in a (Army unit name withheld) meeting where everyone there. Nobody say anything but I wanted to. But if I do it make worse. Thank you for doing it Mr. Mickey mrff. Thank you for answer phone late at night.

I want bad to be America citizen and I love America. I proud to be a soldier and I am good one to. I have America flag on my barrack room. I have America in my heart. I can sing star spangle banner. One day I will sing America national anthem at ball game and I will smile and my parent and my to brother will smile both. Am very sorry about what happen in orlando florida but our (Army Sr. NCO title withheld) never should say that all Muslim are like that shooter in front of our whole (Army unit name withheld). And that Christian don’t ever shoot no one. We are not all like that shooter but many in the army say we are. I try very hard to be good solider but it is hurtful when the leaders say all Muslim are enemy to America. I study very hard for citizenship test and know a lots about America. Saying to stop all Muslim from coming here because we all shoot Christian is lie. My brother have both shot many Muslim in combat to fighting for America. They never even once time shoot a Christian. Why do they think we are the same as terrorist? I am America soldier not terrorist.

My parent come from (Middle Eastern country withheld) and make good life in (U.S. city name withheld). They love us. They teach us that America worth fighting for and me and my brother all do fight. But we only want to be respect for being soldier and not for having other soldier say Islam and Muslim are America enemy. We are just people like everyone is people.  We are not enemy. We would give our live to defend America. If I die on battlefield for America it is my duty. I am ready. So I die. America is worth it. I die with smile on my face.

We are not enemy. We are America just like Christian soldier are. Just like all soldier are. We should be give same chance as everyone.

(Army Sr. NCO rank and name withheld) should not say such bad thing about all Muslim this and all Muslim that. That is not how America stand for.

Thank you Mr. Mickey mrff for make him stop and he say he sorry in front of all (Army unit name withheld). I hope it helps but I don’t can tell yet. Thank for what you say to him.

Please not give my name or brother names. 

v/r

(U.S. Army soldier’s name, rank, MOS, unit and military installation withheld)


Thank you So much for your hard work ! The country should be grateful for your hard  specially during this thought time.

When I read  the email from the follow soldier I can feel the stress and the mental suffering  that he’s enduring. To make a decision and make a complaint as a such it wasn’t easy for him and that was his only hope..his hope was you and your organization.

The think that I can’t understand is this : Why some are forgetting the Nazi regime during the world war two  ? The immigrants coming from Germany and Netherlands played a major role ! These immigrant knew the mind set and in the same time payed an effort to lean more about the constitution of their new country and they adjust!

When some idiots puts the fear among Muslim soldiers ..these soldiers start losing their confidence to do their job correctly !

I sure the Army will expand their effort and make sure that none is harassing these soldiers furthermore supporting them and promote them ..off course after 100% vetting and making sure they all pass educational and mental tests.

It’s not easy for these guys specially if they are first generation Muslim immigrant.

God Bless you during this holy month of Ramadan to you and your family Mikey!

Yours,

(name withheld)


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