Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Recruiting Muslim Canadians

From Darcey at Dust My Broom comes this clip on CBC Radio about a CF information session held at the Education Centre associated with Burnaby's Al-Salaam mosque.

I have two comments about this.

First, the CBC host's idea that the CF wants to recruit Muslims in order to infiltrate enemy groups shows a disturbing, but unsurprising level of ignorance about the CF. The CF has been told to reflect the nation's demographics as much as possible, and I agree with that intent, with a proviso: that demographic considerations don't trump competency in recruiting, training, and promotion. The CF needs to be operationally-focused, and if it can do that and still be more representative of our changing ethnic profile, I'm all for it.

Remember, one in five Canadian adults was born outside the country, and for quite a few of them, the military wasn't a positive force in the country of their origin. To improve the CF's political base support, it needs to make more inroads into immigrant communities.

Which leads to my second point: anyone recruited into the CF - Muslim, Christian, Athiest, or Wiccan, for God's sake, I don't care - must be willing to adhere to the CF hierarchy of loyalty. Back when I went through BOTC, that was expressed as the Five S's, in order from highest to lowest: Sovereign, State, Superior, Subordinate, Self. If you can't agree to that, you have no business serving in uniform, no matter what your religious beliefs.

By all means, recruit more Muslims. But make sure those Muslims' loyalties are clear and in line with CF values.


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