About the Muslim Marine
Mansoor Shams is a U.S. Marine Veteran, business owner, and a Member on the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). He is also the founder of MuslimMarine.org where he uses his platform of both “Muslim" and “Marine" to counter hate, bigotry, and Islamophobia through education, conversation and dialogue. He arduously endeavors to unify an increasingly divided world. The tagline for MuslimMarine.org is “unifying people through conversation."
Mansoor served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he attained the rank of corporal (non-commissioned officer) and received several honors including a meritorious promotion, Marine of the Quarter and Certificate of Commendation.
He's been featured by PBS, NPR, BBC, Voice of America, New York Times, and more, and has made national TV appearances as a commentator on CNN and MSNBC. He has also delivered numerous talks and presentations to include at the National Security Agency (NSA), US Marine Corps, police and state government as well as at various colleges and universities across America.
Mansoor has also led various various national initiatives including the 29/29 Ramadan Initiative where he teamed up with Veterans For American Ideals to have military veterans spend a night at the home of Muslim families across America during Ramadan to encourage fellow Americans to get out of there comfort zones to get to know each other. He also carried a simple sign across America (25 states to be exact), “I’m a Muslim and US Marine, ask anything” to engage the public in conversation and dialogue.
Mansoor holds a master's degree in government, with an emphasis on national security studies, and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University.
He is currently a business owner. From 2005-2008, soon after receiving an honorable discharge, Mansoor began working for the federal government as an assistant to two SEC Chairmen.
What conflict of interest?
Some misinformed people I come across wonder how can one be an American, let alone an American Marine, while at the same time being a Muslim. What they don't realize is that loyalty to one's country of residence is part faith. In fact, it is very Muslim.
"Love of one's country of residence is a part of faith."
– Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him
To give you a logical perspective, the world has seen many Muslim-majority nations go to war with one another. But how many times have you heard the Muslims fighting in these armies lay down their arms while in a condition of war for the sake of just being "Muslim?" Never.
The reason? They are simply serving their countries - and that is being very Muslim of them. America is my home, it is my country! As a U.S. citizen, America affords me a long list of rights and privileges.
Why wouldn't I put my life on the line for the nation I love?
I'll put it simply. There's no conflict of interest between my Muslim values and my American Constitution.
"O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey His Messenger and those who are in authority among you."
– The Holy Quran, 4:60