Al Qaeda attacked America on 9/11 (and before 9/11) in response to American support for Muslim dictatorships in the Muslim world, American support for Israel, and direct American military involvement in the Muslim world (including in Saudi Arabia and Iraq) dating back to the first Gulf War. After 9/11, the U.S. withdrew its troops from Saudi Arabia, but it continued all the above-mentioned policies. Furthermore, the U.S. military invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, and the U.S. military has supported efforts to defeat Muslim insurgents in other regions, like the Philippines. The U.S. military may also attack Iran due to a conflict over Iranâ€™s nuclear program. Al Qaeda continues to threaten further attacks against America. For the foreseeable future, the U.S. military will be fighting in the Muslim world.
There are 1.4 million Americans serving in the American armed forces. Since 9/11, in preparation for wars in the Muslim world, the U.S. military has actively recruited American Muslims who speak the languages of the Muslim world and who understand the cultures of countries like Iraq and Afghanistan.
Out of an American Muslim population of approximately 6 million, between 5,000 and 20,000 American Muslims currently serve in the American armed forces. (Some were already Muslim prior to joining, and others became Muslim after they were already in the military.) Hundreds of American Muslim soldiers have been involved in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11.
Should American Muslims join the American military in larger numbers? Or should all American Muslims get out of the American military? Read the rest of this entry »