Early in the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, an emblem lifted from the Major League Baseball symbol was used to demonstrate the feelings of many American Soldiers and Marines deploying in support of OIF and OEF. It depicted a soldier in place of the traditional baseball hitter, against a background of red and blue, with the figure in white. Of course, the colors red, white and blue were synonymous with the American flag. The phrase “Major League Infidel” was attached at the bottom. Infidel, “Kafir”, or کافر is a popular moniker within the U.S. Military because this is the language used in propaganda videos put out by Al Qaeda, Taliban, or current Daesh groups. Soldiers and Marines hear this and take to the term as a sort of endearment as being unliked. Of course, these same Soldiers and Marines don’t realize that the word “Kafir” exists in Arabic versions of the Christian bible as used by Christian Arabs across the MENA region.
Even the extremely popular Crye Precision brand, that makes top quality camouflage clothing and patterns, has this on their website–
We created this trademarked slogan and icon to remind everyone that all “non-believers” in senseless violence are “infidels” and to celebrate the ones who actually do something about it… the Major League Infidels™
The Islamophobic rhetoric notwithstanding, the symbolism has interestingly made its way into Iraq, by way of the Iraqi ISOF forces. This time the logo is depicting the colors of the Iraqi flag; red, white, and black, with the motto found on the flag- الله اکبر, Allah Ak’bar, or translated as “God is Great”. The figure depicted is that of an Iraqi Special Operations Forces soldier with a raised Rock River Arms 14.5″ LAR-15, and Aimpoint CompM4 optic, both standard issue among ISOF forces. It is probable that the creator of this image wasn’t entirely sure of the original intent and meaning of the MLI originating from the States, but regardless he took the image and used it in a very pro-Iraqi context, which is actually anything but what the intention of the symbol was in the beginning. Thus, it has literally come full circle in the meaning, essentially changing it entirely.
In addition, it is cognisant of a much more important dynamic and that is the admiration and imitation of Iraqi and Afghan forces for U.S. forces. Copying everything from the way pouches are being set up on their plate carriers, helicopter safety lines, even attachments on their small arms to include Airsoft M203 imitations trying to replicate the look of real ones.
Below is a gathering of the original form of the meaning, to demonstrate just how clear the original intent was-
This particular logo has actually gone past the political and cultural ramifications and moved into Call of Duty.