Between Allah & Combat

On Beliefnet's message boards, members debate whether American Muslims should serve in the armed forces.

The alleged attack on U.S. forces by Sgt. Asan Akbar, an African-American Muslim, turned public attention to a topic that Muslim Beliefnet members have debated on the message boards for more than a year: Should Muslims serve in the U.S. military?

Below are highlights from the discussion. Some posts are from this board, started by two Muslim doctors now stationed in the Gulf.

Personal Experiences

Torn Between Islam & Service

"I am an American woman and have recently joined the U.S. Navy. I will be in the Delayed Entry Program until May. In all this extra time my interest in Islam has increased. Even though I have still been too shy to visit a Mosque I have begun to feel torn between the two. I have not reverted but this problem is on my mind. I have given thought to putting such beliefs on hold until after my 4 year service but I don't feel that that would be right thing. My position will be in administration, a non-combatant role. Still, I saw the this question about hating those in the military and got worried. The worse thing is to be disapproved of by the Muslim community where ever I'm stationed and hated within the military due to recent events. Being so new to Islam those kind of reactions would likely crush any faith I have. I know I will be unable to wear hijab, so how terrible is it not to wear a head cover? I like and want the benefits of the military package I've agreed to, but I am also God fearing. I'm just not sure what to think or do."


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