The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have expelled three officer cadets for allegedly defiling a Quran.
Two students at Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean were accused of video taping a third cadet masturbating over the Muslim holy book.
The academy is the French-language branch of Canada’s Royal Military College, equivalent to West Point or Annapolis.
Two of the students are appealing the decision of the summary trial that occurred sometime between the Easter long weekend and Friday afternoon when the CAF’s chief of military personnel issued a sketchy statement about the incident. The names of those accused have not been released.
Lt.-Gen. Charles Lamarre told CBC News that the video in question has disappeared.
“It was destroyed. It was deleted,” he said.
He does not believe the video was copied or posted to social media.
“A recent situation in which three officer cadets from Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean are alleged to have shown disrespect to the Qur’an falls far below this standard. Due process will be applied, and those found to be responsible for this vile act, will be held accountable for their actions,” read Lamarre’s statement.
The general echoed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s creed on inclusiveness.
“We are a diverse and inclusive force. We reflect the Canadian mosaic; diversity is our strength. We demand the best of those who serve, as Canadians rightly demand the best of us.”
According to the CBC, a highly placed military source elaborated on the incident. The official detailed how eight cadets were accused in the matter that occurred away from the military academy at a private cottage. Only three faced expulsion from the military. The remaining five will received reprimands that will remain on the military service records.
The appeal is expected to be completed by mid-June.
The CBC reports that the CAF sought the opinion of the Quebec Council of Imams when determining the degree of military justice. Spokesman Hassan Guillet said it was good the military cracked down on the cadets now.
“Imagine if they had not done this horrible act now, we would not have discovered them,” he said, suggesting they could have enjoyed a successful career in the military despite their “racist attitude.”