A Muslim's Concerns

r_yh__n

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Hi guys, I am a 15 year old British Pakistani Muslim in Year 10, and I plan on joining the Royal Marines. I plan on completing my GCSEs, but I'm not sure about A-Level, but might complete it to open up the role of Officer to me - though I have heard that I can become an officer with GCSEs and a large amount of hard work.

As a Muslim, I have some religious restrictions - but there is some flexibility too them. I have to have a strict Halal diet, so when joining will I be provided with a Halal or Vegetarian option? And in the field, would it be possible for me to have Halal or Vegetarian rations? I also have an obligation to pray five times a day, but I am allowed to delay these in case of an emergency or battle and make up for them later down the line. I also have an obligation to cover an area called an Awrah, which is from my knees to my navel, although some scholars in my religion consider this as just your rear and genitals. My concern for this is because a close friend of mine told me that you must sleep without clothing on, and that you must stand to attention naked. As this would violate my religion, I am not allowed to do this. Would I be allowed the luxury to wear boxers, or would I be refused entry into the Marines?

I also have concerns that because of my religious needs, I will be seen as a needy weakling in comparison to the group, and would be shunted aside, and be constantly given roles to keep me out of harms way. I am perfectly capable of engaging in combat, but I wouldn't want to be seen as a liability. I have also heard that drinking is a big tradition, and I feel I might again be seen as an outsider.

I also think that some of my concerns are unnecessary, but I feel that some older Marines may be slightly racist, after all they did operate in Iraq and Afghanistan. I would just like some guidance, and to see whether it is even worth me joining, if I am going to be treated second class, and because of some dispositions I might be refused a promotion or other opportunity. I one day dream of becoming a Royal Marine Officer, or higher, but I want to stay true to my religion as much as possible, and really don't want to violate it on a routine basis.

Thank you for reading this, and any guidance would be welcome.

r_yh__n
 

Johnny_Anonie

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You are not required to sleep or stand to attention naked. With regards to rations there are options available for different diets, including vegetarian, kosher and halal.

Alterations to uniform or appearance are permitted providing that they do not compromise operational effectiveness or Health and Safety policy. This applies both in barracks and on operations.

You may find this link useful

 

Rob20

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I also think that some of my concerns are unnecessary, but I feel that some older Marines may be slightly racist, after all they did operate in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Step carefully here lad. Views like this based on zero experience could easily get someone's back up. Why would operating in a muslim country make someone racist? The government choose where they send us. Not us.

I'm not sure how many of your needs will be able to be met although I'm sure effort will be made where possible. The rations are halal as far as im aware and there are veggie ones available. With regards to covering yourself up and daily prayers, I'm unsure how this would fit in to daily life in the field.
 

r_yh__n

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Thanks a lot guys, a guy in another thread said that racism was slightly 'ingrained' into some older soldiers, so I'll bear in mind to check my sources. I'm glad to hear that there would be options to eat Halal, and certainly glad to hear that I will be fully clothed when standing to attention.

The link was extremely helpful, and showed me how diverse our Armed Forces are.
 

Rob20

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Thanks a lot guys, a guy in another thread said that racism was slightly 'ingrained' into some older soldiers, so I'll bear in mind to check my sources. I'm glad to hear that there would be options to eat Halal, and certainly glad to hear that I will be fully clothed when standing to attention.

The link was extremely helpful, and showed me how diverse our Armed Forces are.

It is certainly not ingrained into anyone.
 

Chelonian

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I also think that some of my concerns are unnecessary, but I feel that some older Marines may be slightly racist, after all they did operate in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Welcome.
I was raised in a devout Roman Catholic environment and served in Northern Ireland in the 1970s and 1980s where the sectarian and political divide meant that Provisional IRA Roman Catholics made several determined attempts to finish me off in South Armagh.
In fairness, Loyalists also had a go on more than one occasion.

None of my oppos ever equated my religious upbringing with even the slightest notion I had any sympathy with terrorist forces.

On the topic of religious observance I'd suggest talking with a spiritual leader about which compromises might be permitted in abnormal circumstances or because of practical neccessity.
Such compromises do not mean that one is abandoning one's faith; merely applying it practically across one's lifetime.

...a guy in another thread said that racism was slightly 'ingrained' into some older soldiers, so I'll bear in mind to check my sources.
Please can you give me a link to that thread? Thanks.
 

Vine

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Hi guys, I am a 15 year old British Pakistani Muslim in Year 10, and I plan on joining the Royal Marines. I plan on completing my GCSEs, but I'm not sure about A-Level, but might complete it to open up the role of Officer to me - though I have heard that I can become an officer with GCSEs and a large amount of hard work.

As a Muslim, I have some religious restrictions - but there is some flexibility too them. I have to have a strict Halal diet, so when joining will I be provided with a Halal or Vegetarian option? And in the field, would it be possible for me to have Halal or Vegetarian rations? I also have an obligation to pray five times a day, but I am allowed to delay these in case of an emergency or battle and make up for them later down the line. I also have an obligation to cover an area called an Awrah, which is from my knees to my navel, although some scholars in my religion consider this as just your rear and genitals. My concern for this is because a close friend of mine told me that you must sleep without clothing on, and that you must stand to attention naked. As this would violate my religion, I am not allowed to do this. Would I be allowed the luxury to wear boxers, or would I be refused entry into the Marines?

I also have concerns that because of my religious needs, I will be seen as a needy weakling in comparison to the group, and would be shunted aside, and be constantly given roles to keep me out of harms way. I am perfectly capable of engaging in combat, but I wouldn't want to be seen as a liability. I have also heard that drinking is a big tradition, and I feel I might again be seen as an outsider.

I also think that some of my concerns are unnecessary, but I feel that some older Marines may be slightly racist, after all they did operate in Iraq and Afghanistan. I would just like some guidance, and to see whether it is even worth me joining, if I am going to be treated second class, and because of some dispositions I might be refused a promotion or other opportunity. I one day dream of becoming a Royal Marine Officer, or higher, but I want to stay true to my religion as much as possible, and really don't want to violate it on a routine basis.

Thank you for reading this, and any guidance would be welcome.

r_yh__n
There are Muslims serving in various roles across the military mate and you’ll be treated by the lads exactly the same as anyone else work hard keep you’re head down you’ll fit in. As for drinking etc that culture it isn’t anything like it used to be, I barely drink these days and never had any issues fitting in infact can be good to be duty driver or shark watch. The service will bend over backwards for you to maintain you’re religious views and needs and doing everything possible to ensure you’re treated fairly across the board. The whole the military is racist simply isn’t true at all there are many colours, creeds and religions and any form of discrimination or bullying is immediately dealt with. If it’s you’re dream go for it mate get your application in and work hard.
 

ThreadpigeonsAlpha

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Hi guys, I am a 15 year old British Pakistani Muslim in Year 10, and I plan on joining the Royal Marines. I plan on completing my GCSEs, but I'm not sure about A-Level, but might complete it to open up the role of Officer to me - though I have heard that I can become an officer with GCSEs and a large amount of hard work.

As a Muslim, I have some religious restrictions - but there is some flexibility too them. I have to have a strict Halal diet, so when joining will I be provided with a Halal or Vegetarian option? And in the field, would it be possible for me to have Halal or Vegetarian rations? I also have an obligation to pray five times a day, but I am allowed to delay these in case of an emergency or battle and make up for them later down the line. I also have an obligation to cover an area called an Awrah, which is from my knees to my navel, although some scholars in my religion consider this as just your rear and genitals. My concern for this is because a close friend of mine told me that you must sleep without clothing on, and that you must stand to attention naked. As this would violate my religion, I am not allowed to do this. Would I be allowed the luxury to wear boxers, or would I be refused entry into the Marines?

I also have concerns that because of my religious needs, I will be seen as a needy weakling in comparison to the group, and would be shunted aside, and be constantly given roles to keep me out of harms way. I am perfectly capable of engaging in combat, but I wouldn't want to be seen as a liability. I have also heard that drinking is a big tradition, and I feel I might again be seen as an outsider.

I also think that some of my concerns are unnecessary, but I feel that some older Marines may be slightly racist, after all they did operate in Iraq and Afghanistan. I would just like some guidance, and to see whether it is even worth me joining, if I am going to be treated second class, and because of some dispositions I might be refused a promotion or other opportunity. I one day dream of becoming a Royal Marine Officer, or higher, but I want to stay true to my religion as much as possible, and really don't want to violate it on a routine basis.

Thank you for reading this, and any guidance would be welcome.

r_yh__n
First of all, no one is ordered to stand naked, unless you want to of course. It’s not required.

There’s plenty of other religions in the Royal Marines that have certain requirements and the Military try to fulfill them as much as they can.

You will have a Halal and Vegetarian options while on Camp. And you can get Vegetarian and Halal rations, you can even get blessed rations if your religion dictates.

There are faith rooms in most camps and time will be given for any requirements. The only time like you say, was in times of emergency or where it’s not appropriate, you can delay your own praying.

I know of a Sikh Marine who wanted to pass out with a Green Beret but due to his family pressure opted for wearing a Turban with Cap badge.

There is still a big drinking culture within the forces however people being non-drinkers are left alone because it’s more accepted, as people won’t drink alcohol for various reasons from health and fitness, to religion to mental health.

The only thing that matters is your attitude, your resolve and passing the same standards as everyone else.
 

SCOTTY6

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I was in training with a Muslim lad he got on just fine, there was never any issues with it. He just got pick of the rations in order to get the ones to suit him. He said he had to relax his religious beliefs a bit in terms of praying and things due to the nature of recruit training. And he would always come out on piss and not drink but would be dancing about like an idiot more than anyone else. Unfortunately he didn’t pass out but that was due to poor physical fitness.
 

Rob20

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I was in training with a Muslim lad he got on just fine, there was never any issues with it. He just got pick of the rations in order to get the ones to suit him. He said he had to relax his religious beliefs a bit in terms of praying and things due to the nature of recruit training. And he would always come out on piss and not drink but would be dancing about like an idiot more than anyone else. Unfortunately he didn’t pass out but that was due to poor physical fitness.

I know exactly who you're on about. What a character
 

r_yh__n

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Please can you give me a link to that thread? Thanks.


The guy at the top - the other seemed to dismiss it but it kinda bothered me. But I suppose there's always the odd idiot around.
 

Chelonian

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The guy at the top - the other seemed to dismiss it but it kinda bothered me.
Thanks for that. I've reviewed the first half of the thread which was started by someone who related an unpleasant personal experience.
From a forum point of view the incident he described was condemned and challenged by several forum users which is how things should be.

Funnily enough one of those was me:


To a great extent this forum is self-moderating. Anyone expressing opinions which are racist, sexist or detrimental to others (not only protected groups) is briskly called out about it.
 

Rob20

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The guy at the top - the other seemed to dismiss it but it kinda bothered me. But I suppose there's always the odd idiot around.

So he was in the Army YEARS ago where there was clearly different attitudes towards such matters.

Is there an extreme level of banter in the forces? Absolutely. There has to be, the work is extreme at times so the sense of humour matches that. But is it malicious and hurtful, no. Its called a sense of humour. However I've never seen it stretch to racism.

As has been said, you need to assess what compromises you are willing to make in order to join the club. The Corps will respect your faith and do what it can to support it however, you will also have to adapt and adjust to the marine way of life, as we all have had to do regardless of our faiths/beliefs/personalities
 

r_yh__n

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Well, thanks a lot guys. I now know that I won't be at any disadvantage, and that I will be presented with the same opportunities as those around me, and that my religious beliefs will be taken into consideration. Once again thank you for helping me to consolidate my decision to join the Royal Marines, and hopefully serve this great nation.
 

R

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So was the point of this thread as to if recruit training and the marines will make special accomodations to your religious requirements? I'm not going to say much regarding the ranks that were deployed to Afghan racism bs. End of the day the only colour Bootnecks see when they look at other bootnecks is Green!

When I went through RT we had 2 members of the emirates Al Nahyan in the officers batch, and I've been at CTC as a trained rank when a Lebanese army officer was also in training. The centre gave dietary allowance in the form of Halal food, and obligations for pray were observed in their own time. Your own time of which you won't have much in Recruit training.
 

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