Published July 28, 2011
The U.S. military serviceman arrested after raising concerns over another alleged plot to attack Fort Hood said he endured harassment, discrimination and intimidation due to his Muslim religious beliefs during basic training, he told FoxNews.com last year.
Pvt. Naser Jason Abdo, a 21-year-old AWOL soldier from Kentucky's Fort Campbell who remains in police custody, said he was also the target of "resentment" from fellow soldiers due to his prayer schedule.
"Some of them would say I hate Jews, some of them even asked me, 'Would you kill your own family? Are you sure you're not on the wrong side?'" Abdo told FoxNews.com exclusively during a phone interview last September. "It was daily. It was daily for sure."
Abdo, the Texas-born son of a Muslim father and a Christian mother, said his relatives and wife stood by his decision to seek conscientious objector status after he said his religious beliefs would prevent him from fighting in any war. That request was initially denied by his superiors at Fort Campbell, but was later overturned.
"I was more faithful to God before I joined the military and that's what kind of stirred me," he said last year. "Military duties have really consumed every part of my day and did not allow me time to involve myself with the Islamic community to maintain what duties I felt that I owed God. This is really what made me come to the conclusion that I'm not ready to die"
Abdo continued, "I knew that if I went to Afghanistan and, God forbid, something were to happen, that my faith was so weak that I wouldn't be admitted into heaven … The conclusion I came to is that I can't participate in the U.S. military, including any war it's involved in or any war it will be involved in in the future."