Company offers to stop putting Biblical verses on US military rifle sights
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A manufacturer that has been inscribing Bible references on rifle sights used by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan announced Thursday that it will stop putting scripture references on products the U.S. military uses. Gen. David Petraeus, commander of United States Central Command, said Wednesday -- apparently before learning of the company's announcement -- that the references were a "big concern" to the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps, which have contracts for the scopes.
"I hope you can sense ... this is of serious concern to me and the other commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan because it can indeed create a perception that is absolutely contrary to what it is that we have sought to do," he said.
He said U.S. troops are much more sensitive "about this kind of thing," apparently, than is the contractor involved.
On its Web site Wednesday, the Muslim Public Affairs Council said the references "feed into the violent extremists' narrative that the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are a 'crusade against Islam.' "
Trijicon Inc., the manufacturer, said in a written statement that it has "offered to voluntarily stop putting references to scripture on all products manufactured for the U.S. military-- and will provide, free of charge, 100 modification kits to the Pentagon to enable the removal of the references that are already on products that are currently deployed."