Washington, Sept 3 (ANI): A Muslim soldier, Naser Abdo, from Texas who joined the U.S. Army last year, has said that he wants to leave the military, claiming he is a conscientious objector because Islam is a peaceful religion and his God does "not give legitimacy to the war" in Afghanistan, Iraq or elsewhere.
"I realized that God did not give legitimacy to the war in Afghanistan, Iraq or any war the U.S. Army would conceivably participate in," Fox News quoted Abdo, as saying.
Abdo, a 20-year-old infantryman assigned to the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, filed for conscientious objector status in June because his faith and the military do not match with each other.
He claimed that his devotion to Islam has suffered since he took an oath to defend the United States against all enemies.
"Islam is a peaceful religion, it's not a religion of warfare and it's not a religion of terror. As a Muslim, we stand against injustice, we stand against discrimination, and I feel it's my duty as an individual to do this," he added.
The Texas-born son of a Muslim father and a Christian mother, Abdo said his relatives and wife stand by his decision and added that he will likely refuse to deploy if his application for conscientious objector status is denied.
Meanwhile, Fort Campbell spokeswoman Kelly DeWitt said Abdo's deployment has been deferred, but according to Army regulations he may be deployed to Afghanistan at any time like other members of his unit.
"The Army recognizes that even in our all-volunteer force, a soldier's moral, ethical or religious beliefs may change over time. The Army and Fort Campbell has procedures in place for soldiers who declare themselves to be conscientious objectors and who apply for conscientious objector status," an Army statement read.(ANI)