[Sayma-Announce] CO needs help
licciardelloj at bellsouth.net
Mon Nov 29 23:48:45 JEST 2010
We Quakers come from a long tradition of opposing all violent conflict. We have
stood alongside those who would seek not to be combatants in war, instead
choosing conscientious objector status.
One such fellow is Pfc. Nasser Abdo. This young man has been in the U.S. Army
for a number of years.
He is not the first soldier to choose to stand up for his belief in opposition
to war. One might think this turn of conscience is very, very rare. But it is
coming to pass ever more often now. Facing great difficulty, such as ostracism,
and a permanent black mark on his personal record to be sure, this soldier is
showing heroic bravery, as do all who choose to petition for CO status.
I have visited with Pfc. Nasser Abdo twice. He has worshipped with me at
Chattanooga Friends Meeting and met many of our meeting regulars. It is not our
common experience to get such an opportunity. It offered a chance to
personalize what we read about the matter of going CO from active duty, and from
an Islamic perspective.
Now Nasser is praying for some financial help. He has looked forward to
military trial. But now that day suddenly is coming upon him. All following
upon his expressed determination never to participate as a combatant in any
wars, now or ever. I have met with Chuck Fager about Nasser Abdo. As you know,
Chuck is a pacifist Quaker who heads Quaker House in Fayetteville NC. As he is
quoted, "A Muslim soldier whose interpretation of his faith leads him to the
conviction that he can't participate in war deserves the same respect from the
SArmy as does a Quaker, a Mennonite, or any other person following their
Nasser is a religious man, well versed in his scripture. He came across very
well to me. He is quite likeable.
Financially, I can give him something. But Nasser likely needs money as a
retainer for his
counsel immediately. He offers to repay donors to his defense, in thirty days.
But I simply cannot provide all the money myself, nor would it be appropriate.
In the greater scheme of life, 2,500 dollars is small. Finding it all at once
in cash is harder. For any of us.
Finding one generous new friend is good. Finding many friends is community.
Are we in community with CO petitioners?
The website Courage to Resist details the circumstances surrounding CO status
among active duty soldiers.
If you are so inclined, please go to www.freenasserabdo.org to send Pfc. Nasser
Abdo a donation earmarked for his defense.
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