By Nancy A. Youssef

Monday, August 23, 2010

WASHINGTON — Inside the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial Chapel, a female Air Force sergeant unlaced her combat boots, set them under the pews and slipped her black veil around her hair and over her camouflaged uniform.

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The men pushed back the altar for Christian services to make room for their large green prayer rugs; then they moved the podium from one side of the room to the other so that the congregation would be facing Mecca.

“Allah akhbar,” called out Ali Mohammed, a contractor who works at the Pentagon, raising his hands to his face as he chanted the call to prayer. While politicians and others across the country in an election year debate the propriety of building a Muslim center, including a mosque, two blocks from the former World Trade Center site in New York, there’s no sign of such debate at the Pentagon.

Instead, about 400 worshipers, including Muslims, attend prayer services every week in the chapel, a non-denominational facility built over the rubble left behind when American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the Pentagon.

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Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.