USA: An “Ahmadi Muslim Marine” examines intersecting identities


By on March 22, 2017

By Shelby Brown—

U of L’s Engage Lead Serve Board hosted “The Muslim Marine” Mansoor Shams March 21. Shams travels across the country to speak his time in the U.S. Marine Corps as an American Muslim. He also talks about carrying his sign that reads “I’m a Muslim and a U.S. Marine, Ask Anything.” He also responds to emails on his website.

“You have a man before you, before your very eyes claiming Islam, claiming American, claiming U.S. Marine all at the same time. How can this be?” Shams asked.

U of L student Fatma Haji thinks it’s important for the university to host diverse events to foster education.

“We can fill the gaps,” Haji said. “People can understand and have different perspectives from Muslims themselves and not just what they see on the media. I think stories and personal interactions do that better.”

Shams is a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a revivalist movement within Islam.

“I served this country because it was the most natural thing for me to do,” he said. “Loyalty to my country of residence is a part of my faith. It’s actually taught by Islam.”

Shams addressed Donald Trump and ISIS, making the distinction from Islam.

“You may have heard the phrase #notmypresident,” he said. “That is not my stance at all. That is not how Islam as a religion commands me to operate. The Holy Quran teaches us something quite different: to not create disorder, to obey people in authority above you, even when you disagree.”

Shams says that one person or group will not define his America. He believes the same logic should be applied to ISIS.

“This is where the dilemma begins, which shouldn’t really be a dilemma but it is,” he said. “Ruthless killers, murderers killing innocents … creating havoc. Whether it’s a Muslim or not. ISIS has killed more Muslims than any other faith group, that is a fact.”

Shams still speaks a message of hope.

“I know it’s rough out there,” he said speaking to the… read more at source.

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