View Full Version : Bias fear keeps US Muslims out of military

08 Feb 07,, 17:14
Bias fear keeps US Muslims out of military

WASHINGTON: Desperately short of soldiers who speak Arabic and understand Islam, the US military is quietly courting American Muslims. But they show little enthusiasm for an institution many say is prejudiced against them.

Is this courting of Moslems in anyway to the Moslem gays chucked out of the Army?

“The military have the same problem as civilian government agencies, such as the FBI,” said Ibrahim Hooper of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an advocacy group. “There is a general reluctance to join because Muslims think there is bias against them and career prospects are limited.”

After 9/11 and the beheadings, it is obvious that there would be apprehensions, but I wonder if it will be so strong that career prospects would be affected. But then, who knows?

Pentagon statistics show there are more Jews and Buddhists than Muslims serving in the 1.4 million strong, overwhelmingly Christian armed forces.

That the US Armed Forces will be overwhelmingly Christian is axiomatic and there is no requirement for emphasising the same. If Buddhists and Jews are in greater numbers, it means that they are joining the Armed forces. None can be blamed if the Moslems don't join, can one? The news report seems to suggest that there is some sinister work underfoot to discriminate! :eek:

In the Marine Corps, there are only slightly more Muslims than Wiccans, who practice witchcraft. And in the Air Force, Wiccans outnumber Muslims by more than two to one.

What a comparison! What is the underlining message that this sentence wants to convey?

The Pentagon lists 3,386 Muslims in active service, compared with 1.22 million Christians of a wide array of denominations, including little-known groups such as the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel or the Pentecostal Holiness Church International.

Imagine that! 1.22 million Christians and only 3386 Moslems! In the Pakistani Army, there is only ONE SIKH!

The statistics are drawn from personnel records that include a “religious faith code,” a rubric soldiers are asked, but not obliged, to complete. Some Muslims in the military say their real number is higher, and estimates go up to 10,000.

Now, we are getting to the home truth! Thank heavens, they did not mention that most would be African American (or whatever is the latest PC term)!

Whatever the figures on religion, it is a lack of Arabic-speaking officers and soldiers steeped in Islamic culture that is so striking, a subject that comes up in most conversations with people returning from duty in Iraq.

True there should be more Arabic speaking officers. Speaking Arabic doesn't mean that the person has to be a person steeped in Islamic culture. One wonders how many Moslem immigrants to UK and US are steeped in British and American culture!

While there is no specific recruitment drive aimed at Arab and Muslim communities in the United States, the Pentagon has made well-publicised moves to show that the military does not equate Islam with terrorism and is making efforts to accommodate Muslim Americans who want to serve both God and their country. For example: Last July, the Marine Corps dedicated a new Muslim prayer centre at its base in Quantico, Virginia. A month later, the Air Force Academy commissioned its first Muslim chaplain. And in September, the US military academy at West Point inaugurated its first Muslim prayer room.

Why have the Wiccans being discriminated. They are a smaller minority as per this report! And why special favours are required to show the 'love' for their Moslem citizens? Why not for other faiths and denominations of Christianity?

West Point is the oldest military academy in the country and reaction to its move highlighted a general climate of suspicion and distrust of Muslims in America since the attacks on New York and Washington of Sept 11, 2001.


Let us hear it from the horse' mouth. Special prayer room? Does that mean they miss classes at least three times a day since the curriculum surely would start real early and end late!

“A chief concern of the US military is Islamist infiltration,” the conservative Investor’s Business Daily said in an editorial. “Yet the Army, in a show of blind tolerance, just made that easier with the dedication of a new mosque at West point. “Erecting mosques at our military bases and academies ... gives berth to erect a Fifth Column inside our military.” Black Americans make up for the majority of Muslims serving in the US armed forces. reuters
Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan (http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007\02\08\story_8-2-2007_pg1_9)

Lastly, why are the Moslems not joining?

Wasn't there this report that one Moslem soldier shot up his comrades in the beginning of the Iraq War?

08 Feb 07,, 19:00
Well this Muslim has pretty much been sidelined thanks to a purple heart worthy injury at the hands of the hate group creativity movement. One terrorist group made things a little easier for a few more.

Otherwise I not only could of been one more pair of boots in Iraq or Afghanistan, but could of been usefull with Diplomacy, or whatever resembles it in the Muslim world. Maybe also put the "muslim savage" schtick to good use...even while minding the UCMJ.

08 Feb 07,, 19:22
West Point is the oldest military academy in the country and reaction to its move highlighted a general climate of suspicion and distrust of Muslims in America since the attacks on New York and Washington of Sept 11, 2001.


The comment on the West Point quote refers to the following editorial:

Today in Investor's Business Daily stock analysis and business news (http://www.investors.com/editorial/editorialcontent.asp?secid=1501&status=article&id=247363882578735&secure=271)

This single editorial appears to be the foundation of their claim of "a general climate of suspicion and distrust."

As far as the reaction here at West Point, there hasn’t been any fuss, and I'm not aware of any special scheduling accomodations beyond what a normal cadet might receive (e.g. our varsity athletes have the classes stacked up one after another in the morning so that they can attend afternoon practices). Here’s the post newspaper’s article on the dedication of the prayer room (not quite the mosque that the editorialist wrote of).


Community Muslims give thanks for prayer room

Kathy Eastwood, Staff Writer

West Point Muslim Imam Asadullah Burgos dedicated a prayer room Oct. 19 at the Cadet Interfaith Center in Bldg. 147 here.

“As Muslims, we are commanded to show kindness to all and to be grateful, because a grateful way wins a lot of hearts,” said Burgos. “This is the month of Ramadan. It is a time of worship and contemplation, a time to strengthen family and community ties and, therefore, is a perfect time to show our appreciation to those who have helped us.” Imam is an Arabic word meaning honorable leader. Burgos, who is also a transit authority police officer in Beacon, N.Y., has been the West Point imam for 10 years.

The prayer room was named Masjid As-Saber, meaning prayer room of the most patient one, and is located upstairs in the center. Inside, a small carpet is placed in a corner under the mimbar, or pulpit, which faces Mecca.

At the entrance to the room is a shoe rack. It is tradition for visitors entering a Muslim prayer room totake off their shoes to show respect in God’s home, Burgos explained. Another tradition that some Muslim worshipers follow is wearing a kufi, or Islamic prayer cap, he added.

According to U.S. Military Academy Chaplain John Cook, the idea for the prayer room was based on need. “Cadets have always used the facility, but, because it was shared they were not able to fix it up to meet their needs,” said Cook. “Although it is primarily for cadets, the West Point Muslim community is welcome.”

Cook took his idea for helping roughly 30 Muslim cadets to a member of the West point Class of 1954. “Col. Cook decided the Muslim cadets needed a place to worship last year,” said Lou Gross. “So we took a look at it and got the Department of Public Works involved to paint, built windows and add air conditioning.” Gross and Herb Lichtenberg (USMA 1955) donated funds to the academy for refurbishing the entire building, including a new roof, as well as assisting with the prayer room. DPW also had to build the actual mimbar inside the room, as it was too large to get through the doors.
Among those attending the dedication were the imam of Newburgh and Muslim chaplain at Bard College in Annandaleon-Hudson, N.Y., Salahuddin Muhammad, Highland Falls Mayor Joseph D’Onofrio and USMA Jewish Chaplain Carlos Huerta, who also read from the Quran, a collection of Islamic scriptures.

As part of the dedication, the imam gave plaques to those who assisted in the venture. USMA Superintendent Lt. Gen. Franklin L. Hagenbeck, Garrison Commander Col. Brian Crawford, Commandant of Cadets Brig. Gen. Robert L. Caslen and Cook received plaques.

Burgos spoke to the crowded room about the importance of being careful about not turning away from God, the importance of achieving balance in one’s life and the misconceptions facing Muslims today.

“We are delighted to be here,” he said. “What better place to teach and share each other’s cultures and religions than West Point? There are a lot of international people here and yet we have much in common. We are all children of Adam and Eve, of Abraham, of Moses, of Jesus and of Muhammad.”

10 Feb 07,, 21:35
Kind of a catch-22 for those involved. Hire Arab-speaking Muslims and risk a mole and security breaches, and if you ARE Muslim, you have to deal with increased security scrutiny, suspicion, and potential harassment from those around you. I don't blame anybody for the mutual suspicion.

10 Feb 07,, 23:09
this is really a shame, I would think muslim american soldiers would be the most effective troops in such a war.

11 Feb 07,, 01:45
this is really a shame, I would think muslim american soldiers would be the most effective troops in such a war.

They'd just be Cassandras of Troy.

13 Feb 07,, 22:41
They'd just be Cassandras of Troy.

If there's anything about me that'd launch a thousand ships, it wouldn't be my beauty. Maybe a starter pistol or a thousand bottles of champagne?

14 Feb 07,, 03:01
Cassandra, not Helen. lol

14 Feb 07,, 04:17
Anything, but the Trojan Horse! :)

No offence meant to anyone!