[Sayma-Announce] CO needs help

JERE LICCIARDELLO 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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