Is It Possible for a Practicing Muslim Soldier to Swear Allegiance to the U.S. Constitution?

The Islamic jihadi murders of their military brothers in arms by U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan at Fort Hood and U.S. Army Sergeant Hasan Akbar in Kuwait raise an uncomfortable question: Is it possible for a practicing Muslim soldier to swear allegiance to the U.S. Constitution? The common circumstance prior to each of these jihadi murders is that both Hasan and Akbar were noted to have expressed "radical emotion" -- that is, angry opposition -- regarding the U.S. invasion of dar al-Islam (land under Muslim control), specifically Iraq and Afghanistan.

This Islamic angry opposition is in complete accord with Islam's legal system of authoritative jurisprudence, the Shariah, which specifically instructs Muslims that occupation of Islamic lands by non-Muslims -- i.e., infidels -- requires followers of Islam to take up arms, oppose, and expel said infidels. To quote the Shariah, as contained in Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri:

o9.3 - Jihad is also personally obligatory for everyone able to perform it, male or female, old or young, when the enemy has surrounded the Muslims on every side, having entered our territory, ... for non-Muslim forces entering Muslim lands is a weighty matter that cannot be ignored, but met with effort and struggle to repel them by every possible means.

It must be understood that compliance with the Shariah in general, and this injunction in particular, is obligatory according to the following article of faith in the Shariah.

v1.9 - The obligation of men and jinn (genie or supernatural being) to perform acts of obedience is established by His [Allah's] having informed them of it upon the tongues of the prophets (upon whom be peace) and not by unaided human reason [that is, instead aided by Allah]. He [Allah] sent the prophets and manifested the truth of their messages by unmistakable, inimitable miracles. They [the prophets] have communicated His [Allah's] commands prohibitions, promises, and warnings, and it is obligatory for mankind and jinn to believe in what they have conveyed.

It is indisputably clear from these two Shariah passages that it is incumbent on every practicing Muslim, which indicates Shariah-compliance, to pledge his or her total allegiance to Islam. Furthermore, it is mandatory for anyone claiming to be Muslim to actively oppose by force of arms U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. It should be apparent to anyone aware of these Shariah requirements that enlisting Muslims in the U.S. military automatically poses the most extreme existential dilemma for each individual: Who am I, a Muslim or an American?

The solemn oath for an individual joining the U.S. military is:

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

The U.S. oath of enlistment conflicts directly with this incontrovertible injunction in the Shariah:

v2.1- Allah Most High sent Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), the Qurayshite [of Muhammad's Meccan Quraysh tribe] unlettered prophet, to deliver His inspired message to the entire world, Arabs and non-Arabs, jinn and mankind, superceding and abrogating all previous religious systems with the Prophet's Sacred Law [Shariah] ....He [Allah] has obligated men and jinn to believe everything the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) has informed us concerning this world and the next....

Any intellectually honest person cannot but conclude that an American Muslim who is practicing his religion -- that is, who is Shariah-compliant -- axiomatically is going to be torn between fealty to his religion and to his country, given the Shariah loyalty injunction. However, the Quran and Shariah contain just the solution for a Muslim in this situation: a mainstream Islamic doctrine known as "taqiyya." For Muslims confronted with a choice between professing Islam and deceptively disavowing Islam to advance the cause of Islam, as well as to avoid religious persecution, taqiyya as set out in Shariah permits a Muslim to lie about his loyalty and to feign apostasy (recanting Islam), if required, to secretly conduct jihad against non-Muslims.

The Quranic source for the Shariah-endorsed practice of taqiyya to deceive non-Muslims is found in Quranic sura 3:28:

Let believers [Muslims] not take infidels [non-Muslims] for friends and allies instead of believers. Whoever does this shall have no relationship left with God-unless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions.

According to Imam Tafsir al-Tabari, who has written the standard authoritative Quranic reference work for the Muslim world, The Commentary on the Quran, sura 3:28 should be interpreted thus:

If you [Muslims] are under their [infidels'] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them, with your tongue, while harboring inner animosity for them.

And once again the Shariah, as set out in the Sunni authoritative code, Reliance of the Traveller, sanctifies the concept of taqiyya in war under "Permissible Lying":

r8.2 - This much is related by both Bukhari and Muslim, with Muslim's version recording that Umm Kulthum added, "I did not hear him [Muhammad] permit untruth in anything people say, except for three things: war, settling disagreements and a man talking with his wife or she with him.

In other words, an oath to any non-Islamic authority is meaningless to a Muslim embarked upon jihad.

In contrast, the only oath that is personally controlling for a Sunni Muslim is the Shahadah, the Islamic creed as prescribed in Reliance of the Traveller (Shariah) u1.0, which states: [I profess that] "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Prophet." Recitation of the Shahadah is the most important of "Five Pillars of Islam," the five duties incumbent on Sunni Muslims. For Shia Muslims, the controlling personal oath is the "Tawhid," which is also the same basic statement of faith as in the Shahadah -- that is, "There is no god but god." The Tawhid is the foremost article of the Muslim profession of faith and is the first article of five Shia principle beliefs

To conclude, in order to carry out jihad, a Muslim is permitted and encouraged by the taqiyya doctrine to deceive and hide his Islamic loyalty from the non-Muslim U.S. authorities.

The U.S. president, our national security leadership, and Congress must acknowledge the existential conflict for an American Muslim serving in the U.S. Armed Forces and address it in an honest, factual national dialogue. They should not continue pretending that the issue does not exist, as they currently are. Jihadi multiple murders of U.S. service personnel in Fort Hood and Kuwait should make this fact crystal clear. Do we have to be stuck on stupid for a third time?

Col. Thomas Snodgrass, USAF (retired), is Director of Military Affairs for The Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE) and an adjunct professor of history at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, AZ campus.
The Islamic jihadi murders of their military brothers in arms by U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan at Fort Hood and U.S. Army Sergeant Hasan Akbar in Kuwait raise an uncomfortable question: Is it possible for a practicing Muslim soldier to swear allegiance to the U.S. Constitution? The common circumstance prior to each of these jihadi murders is that both Hasan and Akbar were noted to have expressed "radical emotion" -- that is, angry opposition -- regarding the U.S. invasion of dar al-Islam (land under Muslim control), specifically Iraq and Afghanistan.

This Islamic angry opposition is in complete accord with Islam's legal system of authoritative jurisprudence, the Shariah, which specifically instructs Muslims that occupation of Islamic lands by non-Muslims -- i.e., infidels -- requires followers of Islam to take up arms, oppose, and expel said infidels. To quote the Shariah, as contained in Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri:

o9.3 - Jihad is also personally obligatory for everyone able to perform it, male or female, old or young, when the enemy has surrounded the Muslims on every side, having entered our territory, ... for non-Muslim forces entering Muslim lands is a weighty matter that cannot be ignored, but met with effort and struggle to repel them by every possible means.

It must be understood that compliance with the Shariah in general, and this injunction in particular, is obligatory according to the following article of faith in the Shariah.

v1.9 - The obligation of men and jinn (genie or supernatural being) to perform acts of obedience is established by His [Allah's] having informed them of it upon the tongues of the prophets (upon whom be peace) and not by unaided human reason [that is, instead aided by Allah]. He [Allah] sent the prophets and manifested the truth of their messages by unmistakable, inimitable miracles. They [the prophets] have communicated His [Allah's] commands prohibitions, promises, and warnings, and it is obligatory for mankind and jinn to believe in what they have conveyed.

It is indisputably clear from these two Shariah passages that it is incumbent on every practicing Muslim, which indicates Shariah-compliance, to pledge his or her total allegiance to Islam. Furthermore, it is mandatory for anyone claiming to be Muslim to actively oppose by force of arms U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. It should be apparent to anyone aware of these Shariah requirements that enlisting Muslims in the U.S. military automatically poses the most extreme existential dilemma for each individual: Who am I, a Muslim or an American?

The solemn oath for an individual joining the U.S. military is:

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

The U.S. oath of enlistment conflicts directly with this incontrovertible injunction in the Shariah:

v2.1- Allah Most High sent Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), the Qurayshite [of Muhammad's Meccan Quraysh tribe] unlettered prophet, to deliver His inspired message to the entire world, Arabs and non-Arabs, jinn and mankind, superceding and abrogating all previous religious systems with the Prophet's Sacred Law [Shariah] ....He [Allah] has obligated men and jinn to believe everything the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) has informed us concerning this world and the next....

Any intellectually honest person cannot but conclude that an American Muslim who is practicing his religion -- that is, who is Shariah-compliant -- axiomatically is going to be torn between fealty to his religion and to his country, given the Shariah loyalty injunction. However, the Quran and Shariah contain just the solution for a Muslim in this situation: a mainstream Islamic doctrine known as "taqiyya." For Muslims confronted with a choice between professing Islam and deceptively disavowing Islam to advance the cause of Islam, as well as to avoid religious persecution, taqiyya as set out in Shariah permits a Muslim to lie about his loyalty and to feign apostasy (recanting Islam), if required, to secretly conduct jihad against non-Muslims.

The Quranic source for the Shariah-endorsed practice of taqiyya to deceive non-Muslims is found in Quranic sura 3:28:

Let believers [Muslims] not take infidels [non-Muslims] for friends and allies instead of believers. Whoever does this shall have no relationship left with God-unless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions.

According to Imam Tafsir al-Tabari, who has written the standard authoritative Quranic reference work for the Muslim world, The Commentary on the Quran, sura 3:28 should be interpreted thus:

If you [Muslims] are under their [infidels'] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them, with your tongue, while harboring inner animosity for them.

And once again the Shariah, as set out in the Sunni authoritative code, Reliance of the Traveller, sanctifies the concept of taqiyya in war under "Permissible Lying":

r8.2 - This much is related by both Bukhari and Muslim, with Muslim's version recording that Umm Kulthum added, "I did not hear him [Muhammad] permit untruth in anything people say, except for three things: war, settling disagreements and a man talking with his wife or she with him.

In other words, an oath to any non-Islamic authority is meaningless to a Muslim embarked upon jihad.

In contrast, the only oath that is personally controlling for a Sunni Muslim is the Shahadah, the Islamic creed as prescribed in Reliance of the Traveller (Shariah) u1.0, which states: [I profess that] "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Prophet." Recitation of the Shahadah is the most important of "Five Pillars of Islam," the five duties incumbent on Sunni Muslims. For Shia Muslims, the controlling personal oath is the "Tawhid," which is also the same basic statement of faith as in the Shahadah -- that is, "There is no god but god." The Tawhid is the foremost article of the Muslim profession of faith and is the first article of five Shia principle beliefs

To conclude, in order to carry out jihad, a Muslim is permitted and encouraged by the taqiyya doctrine to deceive and hide his Islamic loyalty from the non-Muslim U.S. authorities.

The U.S. president, our national security leadership, and Congress must acknowledge the existential conflict for an American Muslim serving in the U.S. Armed Forces and address it in an honest, factual national dialogue. They should not continue pretending that the issue does not exist, as they currently are. Jihadi multiple murders of U.S. service personnel in Fort Hood and Kuwait should make this fact crystal clear. Do we have to be stuck on stupid for a third time?

Col. Thomas Snodgrass, USAF (retired), is Director of Military Affairs for The Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE) and an adjunct professor of history at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, AZ campus.