Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Fear of bias keeps U.S. Muslims out of military
Tue Feb 6, 2007
By Bernd Debusmann, Special Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Desperately short of soldiers who speak Arabic and understand Islam, the U.S. military is quietly courting American Muslims. But they show little enthusiasm for an institution many say is prejudiced against them.

"The military have the same problem as civilian government agencies, such as the FBI," said Ibrahim Hooper of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an advocacy group.

"There is a general reluctance to join because Muslims think there is bias against them and career prospects are limited."

Pentagon statistics show there are more Jews and Buddhists than Muslims serving in the 1.4 million strong, overwhelmingly Christian armed forces.
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