Remove biblical messages from gunsights, Defence Minister tells forces

Brandan Nicholson; 23/1/10

Defence Minister John Faulkner has told the defence forces to find a way to remove biblical messages etched into gunsights that are prized by Australian special forces in Afghanistan. The use by US, British, Australian and New Zealand troops of sights bearing references to scriptural passages has raised alarm among military and political leaders that it could reinforce the view that the West is waging a crusade against Islam. Senator Faulkner examined some of the US-manufactured sights during a tour of defence facilities in Victoria yesterday and asked Defence officials to suggest options to get rid of the controversial inscriptions. “It’s a sensitive matter and we’ll have to deal with them,” Senator Faulkner’s spokesman said later.