WASHINGTON — The administration of President Barack Obama has been identifying Muslims in the military in an effort to encourage their presence.
Officials said the Defense Department has been keeping records and tracking Muslims. They said the administration sought to attract Muslims both to the military and to the Pentagon.
“Our nation and our entire military family remain stronger because of the service and sacrifice of people of all faiths, including the thousands of patriotic Muslim Americans who have served and still serve in this long period of war,” Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said last week.
The U.S. military currently has 4,500 uniformed Muslims, the Pentagon said on July 3. It was not clear how the Pentagon identified the Muslims. The department has not given statistics on members of other religious faiths.
Critics have accused the administration of promoting Islam as the preferential faith in the United States. Over the last year, a senior adviser to the Homeland Security Department, Mohamed Elibiary, issued a statement that said the U.S. Constitution was “Islamically compliant” and that a Muslim caliphate was “inevitable.”
On July 3, Work attended the annual Pentagon ceremony of Iftar, or the evening dinner after a day-long fast that continues throughout the Muslim month of Ramadan. The Pentagon has been conducting the ceremony since 1998 in commemoration of Islam.
“Tonight is an opportunity for people of different faiths to come together in the spirit of respect and tolerance to share the richness of our beliefs and to enjoy the traditions of hospitality that are such an important part of the Muslim community,” Work said.
Full article: Obama administration tracking Muslim candidates for military, Pentagon positions (World Tribune)