Woman Lobbies to be Army's First Muslim Female Chaplain

May 2, 2004

Source: The Boston Globe


On May 2, 2004 The Boston Globe reported. "She's a 43-year-old wife and mother from Quincy, but Major Shareda Hosein is also on the brink of becoming a 4-foot-10, fatigue-clad symbol of all the tension between the Middle East and America. She's been in the Army for 24 years, either on active duty or serving in the reserves. Her jobs have mostly been administrative; she served, for instance, as a transportation officer, making sure units were ready to be mobilized. But then a few years ago, she decided she wanted something different from the Army, and since last fall, she had been looking forward to February, not just because she would be travelling to Mecca to perform hajj for the first time, but because she was to hear the Army's decision on her application to become the first female Muslim chaplain in the history of the US military. For a woman to have any religious authority in conservative Islamic cultures is extraordinarily rare, especially when it's authority over Muslim men. This is why some people familiar with Hosein's case are speculating that if the Army does make her a chaplain, it could be seen as an attempt by the US government to push Islam in a more moderate direction."