Because Kuwait has a majority of its population from India for its labor force, Hadji was used to identify the Indians (Friends) from the Muslims.
This word originated from the cartoon character 'Hadji' from the 1964 television cartoon series 'Jonny Quest'. Hadji was a dark-skinned, turban wearing, south-indian sidekick. As Hadji was Jonny Quest's companion, so were the Indian workers that provided camp labor support; including cooking, laundry, waste removal, etc.
As new troops began to arrive in Kuwait, they saw the original troops calling "dark-skin people" Hadji and assumed the term was meant for ALL people in the region.
After the start of the war, "Hadji" became the new derogatory slur for the enemy by April 2003.
The term was later changed again to identify all Muslims in the area after the inital invasion ended and new replacement troops began to occupy the region.
Hadji is actually a term of respect for muslims who have made the piligrmage to Mecca and completed the "Hajj". Those who have completed the Hajj often have Hajj added as a prefix to thier name when being formally addressed.
(origins) American soldiers of the Second Persian Gulf War report that this derogatory and semi-racist term for arabs may have originated with the cartoon character 'Hadji' from the 1964 television cartoon series 'Jonny Quest'.(Released to DVD September, 2004) Hadji, a dark-skinned, turban wearing, south-indian sidekick with mystical powers was also a main character in the 1996 series 'The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest'