VIA| After Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, Independent Journal reached out to Mohammed Shaker, a 26-year old Army veteran, to discuss his experience serving in the military as a practicing Muslim.
Shaker, a Florida-born Egyptian-American who also spent time in the Middle East growing up, enlisted in 2008 and was deployed to Iraq in the 82nd Airborne as a combat medic, while also using his fluency in Arabic to teach members of the Iraqi military emergency medical training.
Shaker told the Independent Journal that he did not face the prejudice he expected upon joining the military:
“I thought I would be mistreated in the military and a lot of fellow Muslims, Muslim Arabs, have expressed that to me. But I never really felt discriminated against.”
A former Specialist in the Army, Shaker recounted his relationship with Chaplain (Captain) Richard Hill at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he was stationed while serving:
“He would really always come by and made sure that I had what I need taken care of. If I needed a Quran, he would help me find one. When it came to Ramadan, and the other Islamic holidays, he would come to me the day before and ask if I need anything, without me saying anything to anybody because I never really advertised that sort of thing.”