A Muslim woman garbed in a religious scarf called a hijab, which was being used as a target, as well as verses from the Quran have been removed from the new SEAL training range in Fort Story.
The decision made by the U.S. military was welcomed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), after it was announced by the Navy following a letter sent by the Washington-based civil rights organization to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, asking that the target and the religious text be removed from the facility.
Lt. David Lloyd, spokesman for Naval Special Warfare Group 2, shared: “We have removed this particular target and Arabic writing in question from the range in the near term, and will explore other options for future training.”
Nihad Awad, CAIR National Executive Director, said: “We welcome the Navy’s prompt action to address community concerns and hope this incident serves as a reminder that credible scholars and experts need to be consulted when designing training materials relating to Islam and Muslims for our nation’s military personnel… This is a welcome first step, but a serious and comprehensive review is needed to deal with the issue of Islamophobia in military training.”
CAIR is the largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization in America, as described in the press release. It seeks to “enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding,” as enumerated in the feature.