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Muslims in the United States military

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Muslim Americans have served in the United States armed forces dating back to before the colonial era and during the American Revolutionary War, where Muslim Americans served on the side of the Thirteen Colonies for independence.[1] Muslim military personnel have served in all branches of the armed forces and in every major armed conflict to which the United States has been involved, including the War of 1812,[2] the American Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War,[1] and others. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, as of 2015 there were currently 5,896 known Muslim Americans serving in the armed forces.[3]

A number of Muslim American servicemen have gained fame due to their military service, and many have received awards and decorations for distinguished service, valor, or heroism.

Frocking ceremony for U.S. Navy's first Muslim chaplain, when Navy (rabbi) Chaplain Arnold Resnicoff attaches new shoulder boards with Muslim Chaplain crescent insignia to uniform of Imam Monje Malak Abd al-Muta Noel Jr, 1996

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Participation by war

The Hospital corpsman Umar Iqbal draws blood from a patient for medical testing in the Intensive Care Unit.

Muslims have fought and died in both World War II and the Vietnam War. Some Muslim Americans served in World War II in North Africa, Europe, and Asia.[4] Additionally, at least 12 Muslims are known to have died in the Vietnam War.[4] Before the abolition of slavery in America, many African Muslim slaves fought for the Union.

War of 1812

An African slave by the name of Bilali Muhammad defended Georgia's Sapelo Island from British attack during the War of 1812. His group consisted of 80 slaves who were mostly Muslim and were armed with muskets.[5]

Civil War

291 Muslims are known to have fought during the Civil War.[1] Some sources claim that the highest-ranking Muslim officer was Captain Moses Osman, the son of Robert and Catherine Osman.[1] However, Moses Osman was confirmed in the Zion German Lutheran Church in 1843 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.[6][7]

The most highly ranked Muslim in the war may be Nicholas Said. He came to the United States in 1860 and found a teaching job in Detroit. In 1863, Said enlisted in the 55th Massachusetts Colored Regiment of the United States Army and rose to the rank of sergeant. He was later granted a transfer to a military hospital, where he gained some knowledge of medicine. His Army records state that he died in Brownsville, Tennessee, in 1882. Another Muslim soldier from the Civil War was Max Hassan, an African who worked for the military as a porter.[8]

World War I

5000 Muslims are known to have fought for the US during World War I.[9]

After World War II

Abdullah Igram, a Muslim-American World War II veteran, campaigned for Islam to be an option in servicemembers' religious identification. His organization provided additional tags that soldiers were permitted to wear starting in 1953, and by then dog tags included codes for 'other' and 'prefer not to say'. By the Vietnam War, personnel could use a wide list of spelled-out religious names. [10]

21st century

According to the Department of Homeland Security, a total of 6,024 Muslim-American troops served in overseas deployments in the ten years following 9/11, with 14 fatalities reported in Iraq. As of December 2015, there were approximately 5,897 active Muslim members of the US military, accounting for roughly 0.45% of the total. However, practicing Muslim service members are required to shave their beards and other facial hair and often face difficulties obtaining food that meets their dietary requirements, in accordance with military policy.[11] The involvement of Muslim Americans in the military has received increased attention following events such as the September 11 attacks, the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, and Khizr Khan's 2016 Democratic National Convention speech.[12]

Notable Individuals

Humayun Khan

Humayun Khan was a Pakistani-American born in the United Arab Emirates on September 9, 1976, to Pakistani parents. After graduating from the University of Virginia in 2000, he joined the U.S. Army's 201st Forward Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division. Throughout his four years of service, he rose in ranks to become an officer in the U.S. army before being killed by a car bomb on June 8, 2004, saving the lives of his fellow soldiers.[13] President Donald Trump’s temporary immigration ban based on a list of terror-linked countries (created under the Obama administration) brought Khan's parents, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, into the public spotlight as they addressed Trump at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Speaking out to defend their son and others who died in the American military, they created an "unexpected and potentially pivotal flash point in the general election".[8]

Colonel Douglas Burpee

Colonel Douglas Burpee is a retired U.S. Marine, having flown helicopters for 27 years. Burpee was born an Episcopalian but converted to Islam when he was 19 in the late 1970s while attending the University of Southern California.[14] He was accepted into the Officer Candidates' School in Quantico, VA, after graduation. At the end of his service, Burpee was the highest-ranking Muslim in the U.S. Marine Corps.[14]

Corporal Kareem Khan

Corporal Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan was a Corporal in the US Army's 1st batallion Stryker Brigade Combat Team, having enlisted in 2005 and rising up the ranks. Khan was deployed to Iraq and in August 2007 was killed in Baqubah a town outside of Baghdad. He was killed in the process of clearing a house and posthumously awarded his rank and both the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.[15]

Muslim American Military Insignia

The Army Chief of Chaplains requested on December 14, 1993, that an insignia be made to symbolize Muslim chaplains, and on January 8, 1994, a crescent-shaped design was produced.[16]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d Curtis, Edward E. (2010). Encyclopedia of Muslim-American History. ISBN 9781438130408. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  2. ^ Robin Wright (August 15, 2016). "Humayun Khan Isn't the Only Muslim American Hero". The New Yorker.
  3. ^ "How Many Muslims Are Serving in US Military?". ABC News. December 9, 2015. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  4. ^ a b University, Craig Considine Sociologist at Rice (April 10, 2015). "Saluting Muslim American Patriots | Huffington Post". The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  5. ^ Richard Brent Turner (2003). Islam in the African-American Experience. Indiana University Press. p. 33.
  6. ^ Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 691
  7. ^ https://www.library.illinois.edu/ihx/archon/?p=collections/controlcard&id=169 Osman, William. Letters, Letterbook, and Diary, 1826-1946, 1993-1994, 2003, Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
  8. ^ a b Haberman, Alexander Burns, Maggie; Parker, Ashley (July 31, 2016). "Donald Trump's Confrontation With Muslim Soldier's Parents Emerges as Unexpected Flash Point". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 4, 2016.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ "The Role Of Muslims In WW1". 2023.
  10. ^ Rothman, Lily (August 3, 2016). "The Khan Family and American History's Hidden Muslim Soldiers". TIME.
  11. ^ Philipps, Dave (August 2, 2016). "Muslims in the Military: The Few, the Proud, the Welcome". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
  12. ^ Kendall, K.E. (2017). "Why Did Khizr Khan's Speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention Go Viral? Personifying Collective Values in an Epideictic Speech". American Behavioral Scientist. 61 (6): 611–623. doi:10.1177/0002764217723044 – via Sage.
  13. ^ "What you need to know about Humayun Khan". CBS News. August 2016. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  14. ^ a b Watanabe, Teresa; Helfand, Duke (November 12, 2009). "Service members bridge gap between mosque and military". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  15. ^ Curtis, Edward.E. (October 17, 2016). Muslim Americans in The Military:Centuries of Service. Indiana University Press. p. 8. ISBN 9780253027214.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  16. ^ Emerson, William K. (1996), Encyclopedia of United States Army Insignia and Uniforms, University of Oklahoma Press, ISBN 9780806126227, retrieved August 22, 2015
This page was last edited on 10 June 2024, at 06:20
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