Practicing Islam can be Difficult at Armed Forces Installations

September 24, 2007

Author: Gene Rector

Source: The Houston Telegraph

Talib M. Shareef and Rashad Abdul-Azeem see no disconnect between their Islamic faith and their jobs at Robins Air Force Base.

Certainly no mixed loyalties. No lack of purpose or focus. No argument with the mission.

Chief Master Sgt. Shareef - a 28-year veteran of the Air Force - is chief of personnel service delivery and field operations for Air Force Reserve Command. Abdul-Azeem, a civilian employee, works in the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center's critical software maintenance group.

Both are Muslim lay leaders at the Robins chapel, where about 20 military active duty members attend Friday prayer services with some frequency along with a few civilian workers and contract employees.

With the global war on terror raging against radical Islamic elements in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is not easy being Muslim in America. It can be especially difficult in the military.