Le Figaro, January 14, 2009
Several Muslim soldiers refused to fight in Afghanistan, citing their faith, according to the blog release “Secret Defense, confirmed by the Army.
These are young Muslims who did not want to fight other Muslims in Afghanistan, “wrote Liberation journalist Jean-Dominique Merchet on his blog.
“”The refusal to go on a mission for reasons faith is a micro-phenomenon that involves less than five cases a year,” said Colonel Benoit Royal, head of Information and Public Relations of the Army (SIRPA -Earth), questioned by AFP.
It reflects in his view, “beyond the reason given by the soldiers, an error of understanding of the meaning of their commitment to bear arms of France to defend its interests and values at all times and in all places”.
Also according to the Royal Colonel, “a disciplinary procedure is systematically engaged in case of refusal to go into operation, resulting in most cases to termination of contract”.
Libération’s blog states that a case was reported last October in the 1st Infantry Regiment Sarrebourg (Moselle). The soldier is, however, reversed his decision after having met a Muslim army chaplain.
Fell ill while he was to leave the stage of preparation, the soldier will only be sent by Afghanistan as planned next month, also confirmed by Colonel Royal.
The number of French soldiers of the Muslim faith is unknown, said “Secret Defense”, the French law prohibiting recognition of religion.
Translation from original article.