Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

The final form of this project represents not just the labor of many years, but also the contributions and support of an entire community. I extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make this project a reality.
I would like to start by thanking the editors and reviewers who saw potential in this project and provided me with feedback to improve it. In particular, thanks to Kim Hansen who has provided guidance, advice, and a willing ear from the very beginning of this project....

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

On September 11, 2001, four passenger jets were hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon (and the fourth intended for another target in Washington, DC) in a coordinated terrorist attack that killed almost 3,000 people. It was an unprecedented act of terror on American soil, and defined the new century as the United States struggled to find a balance between national security and civil rights while engaged in what became long-lasting, unconventional wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The events of 9/11 and the...

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One - Being Muslim in the United States

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pp. 13-26

Fear and even hatred of Islam and Muslims is not a new phenomenon caused by 9/11, but rather the reinvigoration of prejudices and fears that likely traveled to American shores with the first European colonizers. The historian Denise Spellberg observed that “it is notable how much the anti-Islamic invective inflamed by 9/11 resembles the denigration of Islam in America as far back as the seventeenth century.”1 Other scholars trace the roots of contemporary fears about...

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Two - The Military Context

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pp. 27-47

During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, military forces in the United States and Europe were large in size, at least during wartime, and were often referred to as “mass armies.” Usually these military forces relied on conscription to fill the ranks and their primary mission involved large-scale combat. With the end of World War II, many nations, including the United States, started to reduce the size of their active forces. Though the Cold War meant troop levels remained relatively high, the specter of nuclear warfare meant there was less emphasis on sheer numbers of...

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Three - Introducing the Range of Experiences

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pp. 48-64

Muslims in the military have many different experiences. Although there are some common factors that seem to shape these experiences, differences in personality, background, and the particulars of the unit they serve in create a range of experiences, demonstrating that being Muslim in the military can mean very different things. In this chapter I’ll introduce four people who highlight how diverse the experiences of Muslims in the military can be. Mahmood and Kareem had generally positive experiences during their military service, while Sadia...

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Four - The Importance of Leadership

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pp. 65-87

As I spoke with people about their experiences and reflected on the stories people were sharing, it became clear that leadership was a crucial variable in understanding the experiences of Muslims in the military. Leadership involves using social influence to get a group of people to accomplish a given goal. Leadership is a central component of U.S. military culture, and it plays a crucial role in the success or failure of efforts to integrate diversity in the force. The sociologists Mady Segal and Chris Bourg argue that “the degree to which the organization...

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Five - The Role of Diversity

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pp. 88-108

The military structure and an emphasis on equal opportunity contributed to positive experiences for several of the people who spoke with me. Strong leadership also facilitated feelings of being included, while weak leadership shaped atmospheres of divisiveness within other units. Strong leadership is more likely when leaders recognize the importance of diversity and see it as a resource that can help them achieve their mission. In this chapter, I’ll share two stories where diversity was not fully utilized, and two stories where diversity was used proactively....

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Six - Being Muslim and American

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pp. 109-128

Many of the people who spoke with me articulated a sense of patriotism and national belonging that shaped their decision to join the military. They saw themselves unequivocally as Americans. In some of the stories they shared with me, the importance of being both Muslim and American stood out particularly clearly. Sometimes these moments were elicited by expressions of the assumption that one must be either Muslim or American. Through dialogue and education, these service members and veterans challenged these assumptions and claimed a space as both Muslim and American....

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Seven - The Diversity of the Muslim Military Experience

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pp. 129-142

The preceding chapters explored some of the diverse experiences of Muslims serving in the U.S. military. Since 9/11, the dominant narrative in American society has been one that treats the identities of Muslim and American as being mutually exclusive. The events of 9/11 and the subsequent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq reinvigorated very old stereotypes that defined Muslims as dangerous and fundamentally incompatible with American life. Policies targeted Muslims and anti-Muslim sentiment grew, as did violent expressions of this hatred and fear....

Notes

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pp. 143-158

Index

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pp. 159-162