Muslim Americans in the Military Centuries of Service By Edward E. Curtis IV (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2016. 102 pages.)

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Amir Hussain

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Abstract

Edward E. Curtis IV is one of the most important scholars of Islam in the
United States. This slim volume is a welcome addition to his work, and
should be required reading for all who are interested in the place of Muslims
within the history of America. One also wishes that the book be read
widely by American Muslims. As the latter day prophet, Bob Marley, once
sang about other soldiers in the Americas, “If you know your history/ Then you would know where you’re coming from.” Curtis’ book helps us, as
American Muslims, to learn about our own history in our country.
The book is not written for a specialized audience, and could easily be
used by undergraduate or even senior high school students in a number of
courses on Islam or religion in America. It is a very short volume, coming
in at 82 pages of text with a single additional page of notes. The book is divided
into five chapters of roughly equal length. The first chapter introduces
the contemporary issues of American Muslim soldiers in the United States
armed forces through the stories of Captain Humayun Khan and Corporal
Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan. Corporal Khan became widely known when
a photo of his mother, Elsheba, cradling his gravestone was mentioned by
General Colin Powell in the 2008 election. Captain Khan’s introduction to
the American public was more recent, when his father, Khizr, spoke about
his son’s sacrifice on the final night of the Democratic National Convention
in 2016 ...

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