by Billy Hallowell
Parents of fallen service members spoke at a press conference on Thursday morning, an event during which they accused the U.S. government of complicity in the deaths of their sons. The families highlighted a number of grievances, including the notion that military brass invited a Muslim cleric to their children’s funeral in 2011 — an imam who they claim “disparaged in Arabic the memory of these servicemen.”
Three families of fallen Navy SEAL Team 6 special forces members and one family of an Army National Guardsman held the event at the National Press Club to make this startling allegation, among many others. Their children perished during the fatal Chinook helicopter crash that occurred in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011. The presser was an effort, as noted in a press release, to corroborate the notion that the U.S. government is “as much responsible for the deaths of their sons as is the Taliban.”
As for the claim about the Muslim cleric, the families believe that the faith leader attempted to intentionally sully the memory of their sons by “damning them as infidels to Allah.” The group showed video of the prayer to prove their contentions, complete with translation.
Audio from the ceremony, which has been circling for at least a few months, includes a U.S. soldier speaking in English; he begins the ceremony by appealing to the “almighty and awesome God” and goes on to honor the fallen, speaking directly to God and invoking Christian scripture in doing so. After the presiding officer concludes, the imam’s purportedly controversial prayer begins; it is this latter portion that has sparked outrage among the families.
On Wednesday, TheBlaze spoke with attorney Larry Klayman who is representing the grieving parents to learn more about the Arabic comments in question. Noting that he has consulted with a certified translator, he paraphrased the meaning of the imam’s words as follows: “That the fallen seals should be damned and go to hell as infidels.”
If this translation is valid, the notion that it was spoken over U.S. service members bodies at a funeral is potentially problematic, although it should be noted that the prayer may have been intended only for the Afghan soldiers who perished. Let’s first explore what the Muslims leader said during his sermon. Here’s one translation that has been given of the cleric’s comments (this is the version that Klayman showed at the press conference along with video of the prayer):
“Amen I shelter in Allah from the devil who has been cast with stones. In the name of Allah the merciful giver. The companions of the fire are not equal with the companions of heaven. The companions of heaven are the winners. Had we sent this Koran to a mountain, you would have seen the mountain prostrated in fear of Allah. Such examples are what we present to the people; to the people, so that they would think. Blessings are to your God, the God of glory of what they describe. And peace be upon the messengers and thanks be to Allah the lord of both universes.”
And here’s the audio, with subtitles:
Another translation that was commissioned by Islam expert Stephen Coughlin is somewhat less pointed:
“I announce the evil by all-aha. By the name of the merciful all-aha. People of hell and people of heaven are not equal (even, not the same), people of heaven are the winners, if we [unintelligible word] the Koran on the mountain, you will see, you will see him in submission and humble of alla-aha’s fear. Those (who are in submission) are examples for the people (the public) may these people (the public) remember, praise alla-aha. Alla-aha God of glory, of the people behaviors (he is wondering or questioning the people’s behaviors). And peace to the Prophets, thanks to alla-aha, please (asking alla-aha) to forgive him, comfort him and accept him in paradise. [The prayer ends, however this subject was talking to some audience he was telling them I LOVE TO....then the audio ended].”
Here’s another version of the imam’s comments without subtitles and in Arabic:
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