On September 11, 2001, nineteen members of the Islamist extremist organization al-Qaeda launched four coordinated attacks on the United States, killing 2,977 people. These events and the government’s subsequent “War on Terror” refueled long-standing negative stereotypes about Muslims and Islam among many Americans. And yet thousands of practicing Muslims continued to serve or chose to enlist in the U.S. military during these years.
In Service in a Time of Suspicion, fifteen such service members talk about what it means to be Muslim, American, and a uniformed member of the armed services in the twenty-first century. These honest accounts remind us of our shared humanity.
“In a time when Islamophobia shapes political discourse in society, Sandhoff unveils the diverse experiences of Muslims in our most hallowed social institution—the military. Service in a Time of Suspicion delivers compelling narratives that help the reader connect with the unique space between being Muslim and military service.”—Captain David Smith, USN, U.S. Naval Academy
“Sandhoff gives voice to an often caricatured group of military personnel. In so doing, she raises questions about what it means to be an American for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. A humanizing and urgent book about identity, inclusion, and the contemporary vitality of our nation’s founding ideals.”—Kim Philip Hansen, author, Military Chaplains and Religious Diversity
“Despite a re-emergence of American Islamophobia, thousands of Muslims have served in our armed forces since 9/11. Sandhoff’s interviews with service members demonstrate that one can be both American and Muslim, and that their personalities, motivations, and military experiences are as diverse as those of any other group of service members.”—David R. Segal, founding director, Center for Research on Military Organization, University of Maryland
“Sandhoff provides us a rare gift—an in-depth study of American military service members during a time of war—the more so because her subjects are all Muslim Americans. Her analysis reveals experiences that are nuanced and compelling; a diversity of experiences is the norm.”—Morten G. Ender, author, American Soldiers in Iraq