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March 28, 2012

Muslim chaplain visits Fort Irwin

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Written by: anradmin
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Capt. Mohammed Muqsood Ali Khan, right, a Muslim chaplain with the 18th Airborne Corps, delivers a Jumu'ah, a Friday prayer service, at Center Chapel March 23. Khan's sermon discussed God's role in the lives of Muslim Soldiers and talked about the rewards of overcoming adversity.

Capt. Mohammed Muqsood Ali Khan, a Muslim chaplain for the 18th Airborne Corps, visited with Muslim Soldiers and civilians during a Jumu’ah, a Friday prayer service at Center Chapel March 23.

Khan’s sermon discussed God’s role in the lives of Muslim Soldiers and talked about the rewards of overcoming adversity. Khan also visited with the leadership of the 51st Translator Interpreter Company, Regimental Support Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, to inform and discuss the specific needs of Muslim Soldiers. The 51st TICO has one of highest concentrations of Muslim Soldiers in the Army.

“Every Soldier needs a chaplain and for this unit to have a Muslim chaplain is much needed,” said Khan. “It will give them a sense of dutifulness, not just toward their job but toward God and their spirituality too.”

People from all ethnic groups, religions and backgrounds join the Army. All Soldiers share a common bond that comes from service to the people of the United States, but Soldiers have needs that must be met to ensure that they are able to fulfill their duties. The Army is a pluralistic environment requiring different needs for every Soldier.

“Our main priority is to take care of Soldiers and meet whatever religious needs they have,” said Capt. Farid Awad, chaplain for the RSS, 11th ACR. “I think our biggest job as chaplains is to either perform the task or provide for it. So, if I can’t perform a task because it would be conflicting with my religious needs, my job then becomes to provide for them and that is exactly what we are doing with this visitation.”

Khan discussed cultural awareness and understanding with leadership of the 51st TICO to help avoid things that may offend Muslim Soldiers or be deemed taboo.

“I’m here to help the Muslim Soldiers understand the commanders and the commanders to understand the Soldiers,” said Khan.  “Inform them of what they can and cannot do and resolve their issues with experience and knowledge.”




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