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Navy SEALS taking target practice at hijabi Muslim women

Here is a very curious story from a paper in Virginia Beach:

The story talks about the difficult conditions under which the Navy special warfare community (Navy SEALs) have to train, including simulated conditions in which they go through rooms that are designed to resemble “a mosque, bank, post office, market and residential compound. In one section, nine chairs painted in primary hues sit behind desks in an elementary school classroom.”

The story doesn’t mention it, but something caught my eye:  the image that they are using for target practice is unmistakably that of a Muslim woman wearing hijab, with what looks like Qur’anic inscriptions behind her on the wall.

These houses are called “kill houses.”

The person who designed these so-called “kill houses” touts their high technology:  Larry Pacifico, “who manages the complex, said instructors will control each scenario using an iPad to adjust the lighting and movement of the targets. Cameras will record the action, so SEALs will find out where the bullets they fired came to rest, he said, down to specific bones and organs.”

Apparently the Navy has enough concern about technology to want to know which bones and which organs the Navy SEALs would be hitting, but not enough concern to know that they are taking target practice shooting at Muslim women.

Yeah, we are not at war with Islam, they keep telling us.
We just train our most skilled soldiers to kill Muslim women.

God have mercy on us.

It’s not so much that this looks bad.
This is bad.    It’s rotten to the core.

Can the folks in charge at the NAVY not see how this contributes to the dehumanizing of Muslims, not just Muslim women, not just Muslim civilians, but all Muslims?

Tags: islam, islamophobia, military, muslim women, muslims, navy, president obama, seal, seals, shooting, target, training, war


  1. Considering Muslim women are also being recruited to kill Americans and allied soldiers in Middle Eastern countries, I’d say this is fair game in using them as target practice.

  2. Considering Americans are an invading force in middle eastern countries, i’d say they are fair game for women and children trying to protect themselves against invaders. Exactly what American Women would do if the Mexican Army invaded Texas I reckon.

  3. I notice she has a weapon held in a stance indicating she’s prepared to fire. It is important in training to quickly identify people normally benign that in fact are armed and ready to kill.

  4. Jack Pratt: that is pretty sickening. I hope you are ashamed of yourself.

  5. Omid, I work as a therapist in a community counseling agency.  One of our recent clients was military special forces and described himself as ‘an elegant killer’ - and can’t wait to get out there and kill more people.  It’s sick - and this is how our military trains people - to be completely cut off from their emotions and enjoy killing.

  6. Are our NAVY try to train solders to kill women in mosque? Are they had a lot of women in mosque attacked them? It is look to me weired.

  7. Any form of battle inoculation as is happening here are primarily used to desensitise people so they can act against an intended target.

    If you desensitise people in such a way they can easily become problematic when they come back to live in real life civilian encounters… This is sometimes called stimulus generalisation.,.. This may not become apparent immediately but may become problematic when individual is faced with severe stress…

  8. I would not expect a columnist for Religious News Service to understand even the first thing about the United States and Navy Seals. Simply put: they train to fight. And, fighting against a culture that does put arms in the hands of its women and send them out as terrorists to kill and maim requires the SEALS to be ready to engage them and kill them. Period.

    All this liberal hand-wringing is ridiculous.

    The very reason they use realistic looking targets is to prepare the SEALS to do something that, in our cultures, does NOT come naturally, as it does to Islamist terrorists: killing women and children.

  9. Phobia—a fear of.  The fear is justified because they want Israel off the map and are killing Christians wholesale in Nigeria and the Middle East.  This is not new because it started in 711 when Islam entered Spain to conquer the West, but Charles Martel conquered them.  It has continued since then throughout history (read about it). 
    Do not some Islamic women wear bombs strapped to themselves? Well, the target is unfortunately justified.
    When Islam behaves properly allowing Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists their rights, perhaps, we can all behave properly.

  10. What?  You mean that Islamic terrorists won’t be able to use American soldiers’ aversion to killing women against them anymore?  Curses, now they’ll have to think of something else.

  11. What this article is not telling you is that there is an almost 100% chance that the SEALS practice shooting white, black, and Hispanic targets (male and female) too. Is it sexist to practice on the white female? Or racist to practice on a black man? WOuld outrage be caused in one of these situations? No, because common sense would tell you it is important for these SEALS to be prepared for any situation, no matter the offender. People put too much emphasis on race, religion, and sex when what really matters is if the person is “bad” or not. Simple as that. Adding an extreme point of view to the argument…maybe the arabs should be thankful a Muslim person was added to the training exercises because they were just trying to add all races to the training exercises rather than excluding one. Point is…we do not know and there is surely a justifiable reason behind this. These people are trained to protect us and our country at any means and we should be forever grateful for this… not critical of their training techniques.

  12. The point remains: the Islamist radicals love it when Americans like many of those commenting here assume the position of, “Oh, boo-hoo, you mean we have to kill people who want to kill and destroy us? You mean we have to shoot women?”

    Yes, we do.

    Thankfully, there are strong men willing to do what the weak sisters represented in this comment stream apparently would never be able, or willing, to do. Protect their nation from those who would do us harm.

    It’s a big, bad world out there, people.

  13. So if it were a paper target of a muslim man, or a white man holding a gun?  What’s the difference?  This warfare business is terrible and should not be happening, but I dont see the outrage.

  14. Why is it always specifically Muslims? War can rise between any two countries, but they constantly pick on Muslims to use against them. Muslims are NOT the enemy. You have just been brainwashed by society to think they are. Put yourself in somebody elses shoes before you say “it’s a fair game”.

  15. @misbah you say any 2 countries can be at war..if One is at war with a predominantly Muslim country (such as the US or anyone for that matter) than it makes perfect sense that a Muslim target would be used because they ARE indead the enemy in some cases. It is “fair game” just as any other race, religion, or sex is when they are plotting to kill the other. Just because you believe society has it out for Muslims does not mean that we should show them any preferential treatment over other religions (especially when the extemists we are at war against are Muslim). As I stated earlier, who knows if the next practice room is filled with white males or Jewish females. Speaking of Jewish people, have you been brainwashed by yor society to believe they are the enemy? Everything here is subjective because I do not know you and neither of us know the entire story. You say think about walking in someone else’s shoes, maybe you should do that first before you suggest it for others.

  16. Interesting discussion. And here I thought we Muslims were the only ones being brainwashed by a violent and extremist religion.

    I am delighted to discover Jack S Pratt, Paul T McCain, Leo, Carbon & Common Sense. Their very rational comments have provided me great hope for the dawn of a glorious era when the American Navy Seals will have entered all Muslim mosques, banks, post offices, markets, residences and schools in every country of the world and killed every Muslim woman they can locate. The extinction of Muslims (or at-least of dangerous Muslim women) will surely be the high point of the glorious American civilization.

    I have only one regret. Being a Pakistani Muslim woman, I will be totally unable to join in this wonderful future, since I will have been reduced to fertilizer.

    Unfortunately, I do find myself confused by the following comments:
    (1) From Paul T McCain’s last comment: I always thought protecting one’s own country meant that if one’s country was attacked, one fought back. America’s definition seems to be attacking women living in their own country?
    (2) From Leo’s last comment: I always thought Islam was a religion, practiced in different ways by many different people around the world. Leo’s comment “When Islam behaves properly” seems to suggest that it is one person who is being nasty to all the other people around him. Maybe the problem is just that I don’t understand English very well ...
    (3) From Omid’s article: I get the impression that the navy’s purpose truly is to dehumanize all Muslims. I find it strange that Omid is wondering “whether or not” the navy sees what it is doing. Unless, of-course, Omid has reason to believe that the American navy is headed by retards?

    Before y’all judge me too harshly for these misunderstandings, please do take into account the fact that I’m only a brainwashed, sub-human, female terrorist destined to be fertilizer for some Angelic American gardener.

    I would request y’all to “forgive and forbear” but it occurs to me that “forgiveness and forbearance” is a religious duty only for us extremists Muslims. Instead, I guess I’ll apologize for existing and humbly pray for the dawn of America’s glorious age.

  17. Honestly, the purpose of including female Muslims as targets is probably not to dehumanize Muslims, but rather to prepare SEALs for the unfortunate reality that some combatants they will encounter may, infact, be female Muslims.

    Muslims are not the enemies, it’s just that, right now, most of America’s enemies are Muslim. It would be a disservice to American troops to avoid training them on realistic targets in order to avoid controversy.

    Now, were she unarmed, yet the SEALs were still instructed to fire, then there would be an issue. This would not be, however, because she wore a hijab, nor because it would be a women, but simply because she would be disarmed.

  18. My point is confirmed by the totally idiotic responses from people who choose to stick their head in the sand and make believe that there are NOT in fact people who are determined to kill as many Americans as they can.

    Thankfully, idiots like you guys, are not the ones who are responsible for our national self-defense.

    It is interesting that the only response to factual argument from the leftist cry babies is simply emotional ad hominem.’

    I suppose that people like you blame America for the 9/11 attacks?

  19. Mr. Mc Cain,

    Do you *REALLY choose to dismiss the absolutely blatant irony of your statement:

    “Thankfully, there are strong men willing to do what the weak sisters represented in this comment stream apparently would never be able, or willing, to do. Protect their nation from those who would do us harm?”

    Seriously…at *least u could have the common decency to call it urine (and not rain)...

    Ps… Got vicadin in your medicine cabinet?

  20. Mr. McCaine,

    And, since when, have “pre-emptive strikes,” based on false/manipulated Intel, pertaining to non-existent wmd’s, *ever* been Justly qualified as “defense!?!”

    I’ll take your quick to defer to labelling, intent to insult, and non-exemplary responses as my answer…

    May God forgive you.

  21. Love how the people hiding behind fake names have nothing to offer to this discussion more than ad hominem.

    Tell you what, when you guys decide to become men and post under your real names, with intelligent remarks, then maybe somebody will take you seriously.

    Otherwise…run along now…I hear mommy calling you in for dinner.

  22. Nice try.

    That all you got….

    Nay…. Perhaps *YOU should run along now wink

    NEWS FLASH: YES, if you invade a place of worship, in a place You Are INVADING/OCCUPYING, You Deserve To Get SHOT…

    Move along Sir.

  23. Are those crickets I hear?


    To be expected.

    Whenever someone represents falsehood, they will resort to slander.



  24. Seems the USA needs every decade a new enemy, how coud you survive without a bad guy? Who will it be after the muslims? China? No, they own you.. hm…Russia again?

  25. I think the Seals and their trainers as well as their headshrinks and propaganda personnel have their brains in their AHs.

  26. West do not know what to do with their moral bankruptcy, they have to invent an easy target, like Saddam, Qaddafi and Bashar Al Assad, they proved insufficient target.  Hence they picked Islam, the most popular among the non Muslims the the Islam- fobs.

  27. They can not kill real terrorists that is why they are practicing on women.


  28. Many of you miss the point… it is completely ignorant to assume that since ONE of their practice targets happens to be a woman… pointing a gun…. that this must mean that we are training them to kill women…. that is not the case… This is used to train operators to distinguish threats from benign citizens… Unfortunately we live in a world where people dont fight in uniform….  War has never been black or white… but it is really gray these days…..  The Irony of this is… while this image may be disturbing… it will actually save the lives of many Muslim women that arent hostile threats….  These SEALS are trained to make a split second decision….When the threats they encounter happen to be women wielding AK 47’s and suicide bombs, the training has to be changed to augment that..  Unfortunately al Queda has used the tactic of concripting women for their cause…  The moment a person picks up an arm… they are a combatant… and have leveled the playing field…..  I guarantee noone likes to take lives in the military….  But it’s a dirty business, and they have to train to eliminate the risk of harming unarmed civilians….  these targets help train them to distinguish it….

  29. Women can and have carried weapons. This target is not a civilian, it is an armed insurgent. “Yeah, we are not at war with Islam, they keep telling us. We just train our most skilled soldiers to kill Muslim women. God have mercy on us.” That is probably the biggest pile of cr*p I’ve heard in the past year. Of course we aren’t at war with the religion. It just so happens that the unstable countries we are fighting INSURGENTS in are predominantly Islamic. In WWII we fought the Germans. Germany is mostly christian. Thus, using your logic, we were at war with Christianity. Wrong, we were at war with the National Socialist Party. “I think the Seals and their trainers as well as their headshrinks and propaganda personnel have their brains in their AHs.” The only person with their brains in their “AHs” is you. Considering the fact that many of you likely live in the U.S., I should think that you would be a bit more grateful that the brave men and women of the U.S. armed forces fight and die to defend YOUR freedom of speech and religion. And sadly, many, like you, use that freedom to insult them. I have no quarrel with any religion. I only have a problem with the pretentious a$$hats that have to end every statement with “I will pray for you” or “May God have mercy on you, for he is all loving, as in this scripture quote…”. That is cr*p, and you know it. unless you can bring an informed argument, keep your conceited selves in check and keep off the men and women that defend your rights.

  30. Omid, your position on this issue is honestly quite disappointing. It seems more like an emotional gut reaction rather than the result of rational thought.
    The taliban are dressing themselves in burqas and killing innocent people in Afganistan (happened at a hotel last month). They are recruiting children as young as 8 to be suicide bombers (happened to a girl last year).
    Imagine a situation where your child is inside the mosque that’s taken over by these extremists. Would you prefer that the soldiers be trained for this scenario? As others pointed out the US military is prepared for all kind of radicals and situations. Your opinion makes it sound as if its never gonna happen and they are just doing this to insult your religion.
    Is there any country on earth which provides more freedoms than the US? Your readership consists of moderate muslims and they value your opinion quite a bit. Not all of them analyze the situation. Thus, their support for this great country is reduced after reading this article. I hope you give this issue a bit more thought and publish a more thought out piece.

  31. dear Vikram, and other friends,
    Thank you all for your letters.    It seems that the US Navy agrees with my take above, and has decided to withdraw this offensive image:  “We have removed this particular target and Arabic writing in question from the range in the near term, and will explore other options for future training.” 
    I would urge those of you who had written in to express your disappointment to consider the reasons that the Navy may have had to reverse its policy.

    respectfully, Omid Safi (author)

  32. Dear Omid,

    My question to you: how do you know this woman is muslim? And more importantly, so what? She can claim to be anything. Should we care? She could have been wearing a green bandada with verses of Quran and she may be reciting the Quran as well, but should we care? [ the terrorists that LeT sent for Mumbai attacks in 2008 disguised themselves as hindus].

    All I see in the picture is an imminent threat to the Navy Seal and potentially other innocent people around this woman in a mosque like setting.
    A terrorist is a terrorist. In my opinion, we should not attribute their proclaimed background to them. If we do so, we may end up furthering biases that ultimately lead to discrimination within our society.


  33. How many innocent women were in the world trade center…... How many innocent muslim womem and children have been killed by suicide bombers in Iraq and Afghanistan by muslim terrorists? Seems to me its ok to kill if youre muslim but the rest of world has to be sensitve to Islam faith. Why dont you condemn your own before for you start the hate campaign against the good Ole USA.  Did we not come to the rescue of the muslims in Kosovo.  The world should praise America and be greatful for the Navy SEALs

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