Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton scored a grand slam in the media by having an extreme rarity–Muslim Gold Star parents–appear at the party’s national convention in Philadelphia this week. Only the husband, Khizr Khan, spoke while his wife, Ghazala, stood dutifully mute by his side.
Screen image of Gold Star parents Khizr and Ghazal Khan at the DNC National Convention, July 28.
While taking nothing away from the service and sacrifice of the Khans’ son, Army Capt. Humayun S.M. Khan who gave his life in Iraq in 2004, the Muslim community in the United States is woefully under-represented in the U.S. military when compared to its share of the U.S. population.
A 2016 Pew Research report estimated there are about 3.3 million Muslims in the U.S. out of a population of about 322 million meaning Muslims make up one percent of the population.
A Pentagon report from December 2015 states that out of 2.2 million active duty and reserve military members only 5,896 self-identify as Muslims.
400,000 service members out of the 2.2 million declined to provide a religious affiliation leaving open the possibility that a statistically consistent 1,200 additional Muslims may be serving totaling to about 7,000 Muslims out of 2.2 million.
If Muslims served in proportion to their one percent of the U.S. population there would be about 22,000 Muslims in the service. 7,000 is about one-third of one percent–statistically insignificant.
Capt. Khan is one of only 14 U.S. Muslims killed in action in the decade since the war on terror began in 2001, according to a 2011 report by Rep. Peter King (R-NY).
A 2011 Commentary Magazine article included an excerpt from King’s report.
“At least 6,024 U.S. service members who declared Islam as their faith have served honorably in overseas war deployments since the 9/11 attacks, and 14 Muslim-American troops have been killed in action, all in Iraq, the Pentagon informed the Committee’s Majority Staff. We honor these American heroes, four of whom are buried in nearby Arlington National Cemetery, for making the ultimate sacrifice in service of our nation.”
Apparently no Muslims have been killed in action since King’s 2011 report as the media only cited that statistic in reports on the Khans’ appearance at the DNC National Convention.
A separate 2011 report estimated 2 million service members had served in the Global War on Terror. King’s report stated about 6,000 Muslims had served in theater meaning less than one third of one percent of U.S. Muslims served in theater in the war on terror in the decade following 9/11.
According to Wikipedia 5,793 service members have been killed in combat in the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and the war against ISIS. The 14 Muslims killed in action is about one fourth of one percent meaning Muslims have been killed in action in even less percentage than the one third of one percent of Muslims serving.
As if to prove the point of the lack of Muslim support for the U.S. in the war on terror, a rally held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. one week ago was attended by “dozens’ of Muslims according to media reports when the Muslim groups that organized the rally planned for thousands to attend.
This listing at Eventbrite shows there were almost as many sponsors as attendees.
In his speech, Khan accused Trump of sacrificing nothing (“You have sacrificed nothing and no one”.) The Muslim community in America has sacrificed next to nothing.
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