Muslims Call for Pentagon Action Over General's Remarks

Commander of Marine division in Iraq says shooting people is 'fun' (WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/3/05) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on the Pentagon to discipline a top general who earlier this week said it is "fun to shoot some people."

At a public event in San Diego, Calif., Lt. Gen. James Mattis said:

"Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot…You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them." The audience applauded the general's remarks.

Mattis leads the 1st Marine Division in Iraq. He is based in Quantico, Va.

SEE: TOP MARINE GENERAL'S BLUNT COMMENTS DRAW FIRE http://www.nbc4.tv/politics/4155808/detail.html (Video of the general's remarks is available at this site.)

"We do not need generals who treat the grim business of war as a sporting event," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. "These disturbing remarks are indicative of an apparent indifference to the value of human life." Awad urged that "appropriate disciplinary action" be taken against Gen. Mattis.

In 2003, CAIR called for similar action against Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, who told church audiences that he is in "the army of God" and claimed Muslims worship an "idol." A Pentagon investigation of Boykin's remarks concluded that he violated regulations by failing to make clear he was not speaking in an official capacity and did not obtain prior clearance for the remarks.

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

To read CAIR's Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About

CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair-net.org

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