Source: The Wall Street Journal
The deadly rampage at Fort Hood is forcing Pentagon officials to confront difficult questions about the military's growing Muslim population.
The military has worked hard to recruit more Muslims since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the number of Muslim troops, while still small, has been increasing. There were 3,409 Muslims in the active-duty military as of April 2008, according to Pentagon statistics.
Military personnel don't have to disclose their religions, and many officials believe the actual number of Muslim soldiers may be at least 10,000 higher than the Pentagon statistics. For instance, the military "Officer Record Brief" of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the suspect in the Fort Hood shootings, said he had "no religious preference" and didn't identify him as a Muslim.
Even now, Muslim soldiers remain fairly rare in some parts of the military. At West Point, Army officials said there were just 24 Muslim cadets out of a total student body of 4,400. The Muslim cadets worship in an interfaith center on the bucolic New York campus, but don't have a dedicated mosque.