France: Several soldiers refuse to fight fellow Muslims

France: Several soldiers refuse to fight fellow Muslims

French Muslim soldiers have refused to serve in Afghanistan, saying their faith forbids them from fighting fellow Muslims, a military spokesman confirmed to AFP.

"The refusal to be assigned to a mission for religious reasons is a micro-phenomenon concerning fewer than five cases per year," said Colonel Benoit Royal, confirming a report on the Web site of left-wing daily Liberation.

Liberation's respected "Defense Secret" blog reported Wednesday that an infantry soldier in eastern France had in October refused to be stationed in Afghanistan but later agreed, after meeting a Muslim chaplain.

Soldiers who refuse a mission face disciplinary action and in most cases are discharged from the army, Royal said.

The army spokesman said the refusal by some soldiers showed a "lack of understanding of their commitment which is to bear arms for France to defend its interests and values at all times and everywhere."


Source: Easy Bourse (English)

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