Muslim Chaplain Arrives at Guantanamo Bay

Story Number: NNS020124-10Release Date: 1/25/2002 9:30:00 AM
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From Joint Task Force 160 Public Affairs

U.S. NAVAL BASE GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- A Muslim Navy chaplain joined the ranks of Joint Task Force 160 Jan. 24, to advise the commanding general and minister to the spiritual and religious needs of the detainees here.

Lt. Abuhena M. Saiful-Islam visited Camp X-Ray and prayed the Dawn (Fajr) Prayer with the detainees after meeting with Marine Brig. Gen. Michael Lehnert.

The purpose of an "Imam" -- a Muslim chaplain -- on the JTF staff serves two purposes: to advise the commanding general of issues pertinent to the spiritual and religious needs of the detainees and minister directly to the detainees.

After he prayed with the detainees early on the morning of Jan. 24, Saiful-Islam briefly spoke with many of them. He said the detainees were "very appreciative of the efforts we are taking."

Saiful-Islam is currently one of three Navy Muslim chaplains and one of 14 in the U.S. military. He is the second Muslim chaplain to join the Navy and the first to serve in the Marine Corps.

For more information on Operation Enduring Freedom and the war on terrorism, go to

U.S. Navy Muslim Chaplain Camp X-Ray
020125-N-6967M-501 Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Jan. 25, 2002) -- U.S. Navy Lt. Abuhena Saif Ul Islam, a Muslim Chaplain, speaks with a congressional delegation touring Camp X-Ray. Islam leads prayers five times a day for al Qaida and Taliban detainees being held there during Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Shane T. McCoy.
February 19, 2002
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