A military spokesman says a sailor who was singled out on social media for a tattoo that featured the word “infidel” in the shape of a rifle on his arm has acknowledged the concerns raised by the tattoo, but military officials say they’ve concluded there was “no ill intent on the sailor’s part.”
Maj. Mark Gough of Maritime Forces Atlantic says the Canadian Armed Forces were alerted on June 4 about the photo of the sailor with the tattoo circulating on social media.
The force investigated after concerns were raised online about the nature of the tattoo and whether it was Islamophobic. Gough says that after speaking with the sailor, his chain of command concluded there was no ill intent by the sailor.
However, Gough added, the sailor has acknowledged and understands the concerns raised by the tattoo.
“He will abide with the Canadian Armed Forces’ policy on tattoos and he plans to tattoo over this tattoo as soon as possible,” Gough said.
The military brought in regulations around tattoos seven years ago.
The regulations state: “Members shall not acquire tattoos that are visible either in military uniform or in civilian clothing that could be deemed to be offensive (e.g., pornographic, blasphemous, racist or containing vulgar language or design).”
The military has recently committed to dealing with the involvement of Canadian Armed Forces members in hate groups after an internal report found that members had been linked to six hate groups since 2013.
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