To: Dean of Admissions, ISCOR March 15th, 2012
From: Jonathan M.A.Ghaffar
Re: Recent Applicant, Jameel Matin
Dear respected Dean of Admissions for the ISCOR program.
May Peace and the Blessings of God be upon you.
I come before you (via this letter) to advocate on behalf of a dear and accomplished friend – someone I have known since he was a child and whom I have grown to respect as a man in every sense of the word, even when so many others, it seems, have long since forgotten how to recognize or embody any other sense besides the physical. I humbly ask you to ponder this:
Who can take the measure of a man better than the man who sets before him the goals he seeks to achieve and the challenges he vows to overcome -- and then does so? I know of no better definition of such a young man than Jameel Matin (pronounced Mateen). His very name means “the Sublime and the Strong,” and is an accurate attestation of his determination, integrity, humility and humanity. Mr. Matin was recently denied acceptance into the ISCOR program. I would like to take a few minutes of your valuable time to persuade you to reconsider that decision. Here’s why:
Mr. Matin has just finished serving his country with honor and distinction as a United States Marine assigned to an elite special interdiction unit known as F.A.S.T. (Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team), 1st Company, whose accomplishments he cannot divulge for reasons pertaining to the classified nature of the missions. Suffice it to say; the recent documentary-style movie “Act of Valor” will give you a good idea of what Mr. Matin’s field environment and responsibilities were as a member of this select unit. So while looking over his resume, keep in mind that it may appear lacking in its listings of insurgency “hot spots” regularly mentioned in the news, but their omission is two-fold: he is not allowed to list them or discuss the details of his deployments, and many of the “hot spots” are ones that seldom if ever make the news anyway, but it’s the actions of Special Ops teams like the USMC’s F.A.S.T. company and the Navy SEALs that routinely prevent “hot spots” or terrorist events from happening in the first place. We just rarely or never hear about them.
I bring this up not to aggrandize Mr. Matin or his military service, but to make a vitally relevant point with regard to the stated objectives of the ISCOR program to facilitate non-military conflict resolution in this increasingly geopolitically unstable world: you cannot hope to achieve success in non-military conflict resolution if you have not experienced and do not intimately understand the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual costs of war.
Letter of recommendation for Jameel Matin pg. 2
The frightful and prescient warnings about the military-industrial complex by President Eisenhower would have sounded on deaf ears as the hollow bombasts of a politician had he not been General Eisenhower before he was President. And both history and common sense tell us that the most ardent and impassioned advocates for peace (especially during the time of war) are never those who dodged the draft but those who dodged the bullets.
Jameel Matin has passed through the valley of the shadow of death, and now wants to bring the insight and wisdom gleaned from his military past to help the world forge a straight path of peace in and for the future. He is eminently qualified to succeed in this latest endeavor he has chosen to pursue. That it is the ISCOR program he wants to enroll in and master demonstrates the same perceptiveness of judgment and objective that kindled and focused his initial desire as a teen still in High School to apply for the toughest and most self-demanding branch of the U.S. military whose motto ”Semper Fi” is the iconic mantra of patriotic idealism. He willingly traversed the chasm of Hell, first in basic training as a raw Marine recruit, and then repeatedly in clandestine military deployments around the world, emerging each time with his psyche, his honor and his humanity intact. No small feat.
He credits this to his steadfast and unshakable faith in, and reliance upon, God. He was born and raised as a devout member of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, whose motto is: “Love for All – Hatred for None.” Much of his intrinsic value and contribution to F.A.S.T. 1st company resides in his fluency in Urdu, Hindi and Bangla, as well as his in-depth understanding of the root causes and effects of the Jihadi politics and extremist mindset of Islamic militants (such as the Taliban and al-Qaida) as a direct result of the frequent targeted persecution and killing of Ahmadi Muslims at the hands of radical so-called “Muslims” in the Middle East, Pakistan, Indonesia and in his native country of Bangladesh.
His accomplishments (what he can reveal) succinctly and eloquently reflect not just on his chosen branch of military service, but on his personal commitment to his ideals and to his moral and spiritual character as a human being. His future achievements in the struggles for peace and justice as a graduate of ISCOR will similarly reflect well on the institution and its goals which he seeks to embody and empower in the world and its people. Please help him.
In all humility and service to the cause of Peace, I thank you for your kind consideration.