Muslims in the Military

Muslim RecruiterThe New York Times published the third and last article in its series on Muslims in the US military this week.

From Headscarf to Army Cap, Making a New Life on a sister that signed-up to be a linguist in the Army.

For Recruiter, Saying ‘Go Army’ is a Hard Job about an American of Kurdish descent that tries to recruit native speakers of Middle Eastern languages to serve as linguists in the military.

Sorting Out Life as Muslims and Marines on a group of sons from New York that joined the Marines and served in Iraq.

The Headscarf to Army Cap article is filled with overbearing and melodramatic passages, which so often characterize the stereotypical western portrayal of Muslim women.

The Recruiter article far from giving any depth to a profile on Muslims in the military focuses on a man that claims he is not a practicing Muslim.

The Muslim and Marine article focuses on a group of brothers from two close-nit families and does at least make mention of the debate over whether or not it is permissible to serve in the US military and to fight against and kill Muslims as well as the mixed feelings in the Muslim community and amongst Muslims in the military themselves.

The last article mentions that over half of the Muslims in the United States military are African American but as has become the standard practice of mainstream news media, they are rendered invisible in preference to the more “exotic” Muslims of Middle Eastern descent. It is rather pathetic that a paper, which claims to be looking at Muslims in the military has ignored the largest segment of that population.


  1. assalamwa alaikum
    SUBHANALLAH, she makes me sick i couldnt even finsh the whole story! how can she leave Allah for these kafirs, to kill her own bros and sisters at that. it doesnt matter what kind of life she had there in saudi, there are many people off far worse. for her to leave her modesty is a pathetic way to get attention to be “equal” to men. instead of her spiting her husband she degraded her self for nothing. how can these people live with themselves and what will they tell allah?

  2. Asalamu alaykum,

    I actually debated whether or not to post what happens at the end of the article but since it was difficult to complete I’ll post the spoiler here:

    She like the other students had six months of intensive language training and she was granted an additional one month extension but she failed her exam. She was to be discharged on December 15.

    There are a lot of Muslims in the US military, some came in as Muslims and others converted while in uniform.

  3. Don’t forget these classics:

    “Only six months earlier, she wore the head scarf of a pious Muslim woman and dropped her eyes in the presence of men.

    “Forbidden by her husband to work, she raised five children behind the drawn curtains of their home in Saudi Arabia. She was not allowed to drive. On the rare occasions when she set foot outside, she wore a full-face veil.”

    “She had to remove her hijab, a sacred symbol of the faith she holds deeply.”

    “When Ms. Hamdan tried this with Sergeant Brannon, she thought of her father. Her eyes automatically dropped to the floor, with customary Muslim modesty.”


    I just wanted to add that included along with each article is a multimedia audio slideshow presentation which is a faster and less tedious than reading the articles.

  4. And yet her story is a tragic one that must awaken us to the plight of a woman who had nowhere to go when her husband took the kids, married a second wife, and then her brother kicked her out.

    I have a sister who was divorced and became an outcast to a lesser degree. Society that doesn’t accept divorcees forces them into difficult situations.

  5. True, her story and that of some of the other women at the base are indeed tragic. I sometimes reflect how my life might have been different if my parents had disowned me after I converted as I know has happened to some converts, in order to pay for my education, perhaps I might have ended up there at Lackland Air Force Base or Parris Island. When people talk about zakah they rarely talk about helping needy converts or people with sad situations like this woman.

    It has become almost the expected route that a woman that comes here from West Africa and is able to go to college should become an RN, its four years and then you have financial and social independence, such is the conventional wisdom. So, if you have a problem with your husband, you kick him to the curb, sue for full custody, and are able to support yourself and your family quite easily working three days a week.

  6. while discussing this article these subjects came up,
    some like to debate the fact why her brother kicked her out, we dont know how her behavior was either. if i had a sis and she was doing haram even though i was correcting her, i wouldnt want my kids to see that and think it is ok so i would have to ask her to leave.

    another silly argument is that she was shy when they asked her to wear shorts. Why be shy now when she already stripped away her modesty by removing the abayah and hijab? why expect respect for her religion when shes the one who dissed it in the first place? Allah give us all the power to decide right from wrong and obviously she chose the wrong one. no one to blame than herself. im not judging her because she has to answer to Allah for it.

    it wasnt that the article was hard to finish its just hard to read any thing more then a couple of min in my house with the kids lol. i get a lot of distractions , subhanallah.

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