A New Jersey Muslim leader is urging members of his faith to join the U.S. Army and law enforcement agencies including the FBI and CIA, arguing that they should serve their country before asking the U.S. to serve them.

Sheikh Mohamed Moussa, in a sermon earlier this month at the North Hudson Islamic Educational Center, responded to a questions from Islamic-American youth about whether their faith allows them to enlist in the U.S. military.

“This is your country and you are required to serve it rather than wait for it to serve you,” Moussa told the congregation in Arabic. Excerpts of his speech were translated and posted by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

Participating in military service is part of a concept Moussa referred to “social jihad.”

“What does ‘social jihad’ mean? It means that we should join all the charities around, and compete for all the jobs and positions out there,” he said.

“Our youths still ask us: ‘Are we allowed to enlist in the [U.S.] Army?’ Of course you are. This is your country, so why shouldn’t you join the Army? This Army was created in order to protect you,” Moussa said.

Moussa recalled a conversation with a Muslim man who was offered a position as a doctor in the U.S. Marines, but was worried about accepting because he was afraid he might have to fight other Muslims. But the cleric said he told the man he had nothing to worry about, since so many armed conflicts in the world today are being fought by Muslims against Muslims.

“You are a citizen here. Join the police. Why not? Join the FBI. If the CIA will have you, join it. There is nothing wrong with this. These are the country’s institutions. Law enforcement, jobs in education, join whatever you can. This is your country and you are required to serve it rather than wait for it to serve you,” he said.

Muslims should become U.S. police officers, Moussa added, because they have the cultural sensitivity to know “the right way to treat our women and daughters.”

 

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