About the Muslim Marine
Mansoor Shams is a U.S. Marine Veteran, business owner, and Muslim youth leader. He’s also the founder of MuslimMarine.org where he uses his platform of both “Muslim" and “Marine" to counter hate, bigotry, and Islamophobia mainly through education, conversation and dialogue. His 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. Last year he visited 24 states across America with a simple sign, “I’m a Muslim and US Marine, ask anything” in an effort to start conversations. This year he launched the "29/29 Ramadan initiative" where he teamed up with Veterans For American Ideals during the 29 days of Ramadan to bring US Military Veterans to spend a night at the home of random Muslim families across America in an effort to encourage fellow Americans to get out of there comfort zones and get to know each other.
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 owner and partner of a technology distribution company, Eye Deal Systems LLC. He is also owner and partner of FHM LLC dba T-Mobile. From 2005 to 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