Should Muslims be afraid to join the police? The FBI? The CIA?

Absolutely not, Sheikh Mohamed Moussa said at a sermon earlier this month at the North Hudson Islamic Educational Center in Edison.

"This is your country, and you are required to serve it, rather than wait for it to serve you," Moussa told his congregation.

The center posted a video of the sermon Dec. 4, but The Middle East Media Research Institute posted a video of the segment on service to community Dec. 28, with English subtitles.

"I would like to talk about the concept of 'social jihad.' What does 'social jihad' mean? It means that we should join all the charities around and compete for all the jobs and positions out there, Moussa said, according to the translation.

He said Muslim youths still ask their leaders if they are allowed to enlist in the U.S. Army.

"Of course you are. This is your country. Why shouldn't you join the Army? "Moussa said. "This army was created in order to protect you. You are a citizen here. Join the police. Why not? Join the FBI. If the CIA will have you, Join it. There is nothing wrong with this. These are the country's institutions."

Moussa said Muslims shouldn't be afraid to enter law enforcement, education or any other field of public service.

"Besides, a police officer from among our people will know the right way to treat our women and daughters. He is familiar with our culture. At least he's a Muslim," he said.

He also told the story of a member of his community who said he didn't want to risk fighting other Muslims by joining the U.S. Armed forces. But Moussa said that's not the right way to think about it — as in many wars, Muslims from one nation or group are fighting Muslims from others already.

The conundrum reminded him of a joke, he said:

"Someone asked a guy from ISIS, 'When will you fight Israel?' He answered, 'When the Israelis convert to Islam.'"

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