Crescents Among the Crosses at Arlington Cemetery
“As of 2006, some 212 Muslim-American soldiers had been awarded Combat Action Ribbons for their service in Iraq and Afghanistan, and seven had been killed,” the New York Times reported in 2009. On Memorial Day, 2008, the organization Muslim Military Members asked that the Muslim soldiers buried in Arlington Cemetery after dying for their country be remembered:
When you wander the cemetery grounds that overlook Washington, DC, you’ll notice the grave of Army Captain Humayun Khan, who lured a suicide car bomb away from the men in his charge, saving their lives but giving up his own. You might also come across the grave of Army Spc. Rasheed Sahib, an American Muslim from Guyana who was killed in Iraq as well, under mysterious circumstances. And then there’s Army Spc. Omead Razani, a son of Iranian immigrants who also died in Iraq. Also, Marine Staff Sgt. Kendall Damon Waters-Bey was killed in a helicopter crash on his way to duty in Iraq. In fact, you’ll find the graves of fallen Muslim soldiers and Muslim veterans in military cemeteries all over the United States, from Hassein Ahmed (Army, WWII) to Ibrahim Muhammad (Navy, WWII), from Mahir Hasan (Army, Korea) to Abul Fateh Umar Khan (Air Force, Korea).
And yet more than 3,500 Muslims have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Defense Department figures provided to The Times. As of 2006, some 212 Muslim-American soldiers had been awarded Combat Action Ribbons for their service in Iraq and Afghanistan, and seven had been killed.
Too many Americans overlook the heroic efforts of Arab-Americans in uniform, said Capt. Eric Rahman, 35, an Army reservist who was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq at the start of the war. He cited the example of Petty Officer Second Class Michael A. Monsoor, a Navy Seal and practicing Christian of Lebanese and Irish descent who was awarded the Medal of Honor after jumping on a grenade and saving at least three team members during a firefight in 2006, in Ramadi, Iraq.
Yet Petty Officer Monsoor will never be remembered like Major Hasan, said Captain Rahman.
Regardless, he said, Muslim- and Arab-Americans are crucial to the military’s success in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Take a look at these conflicts,” he said. “We need those skill sets, we need those backgrounds, we need those perspectives.
- Kareem R. Khan, American Muslim Hero who made the ultimate sacrifice
- Arlington National Cemetery Website: Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, Specialist, United States Army
- VA: Muslim Funeral To Be Held At Arlington Cemetery
- Creating Enmity With Words (themoderatevoice.com)
- New U.S. Congressman, Allen West, Launching His Crusade Against Muslims’ Religious Rights (makkah.wordpress.com)
- Keystone Kongress: Peter King Muslims Aren’t American Enough In Wartime (oliverwillis.com)
- Azeem Ibrahim: Katie Couric’s Idea of a “Muslim Cosby Show” Might Not Be So Crazy After All (huffingtonpost.com)