Two stories that cropped up today call attention to the fact that -- for nearly eight years -- Muslims have been praying on "sacred ground" a few steps away from where American Airlines Flight 77 slammed a giant hole in the Pentagon on September 11th.
Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Mormons and Episcopalians regularly hold services in the multifaith chapel that was dedicated in November 2002 after reconstruction of the section of the Pentagon hit by Islamist hijackers on September 11, 2001.
"I've been here four years next month and the chapel and its function and role have never been an issue," George Wright, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon, said on Thursday.
Petula Dvorak in today's Washington Post Metro section explains "In this Pentagon chapel, Muslims can unroll their prayer mats once a day and give praise to Allah. On Fridays, they bring in an imam to conduct a service."
She wonders, where's the outrage?
"Nope, never heard a word about it," folks in the Pentagon chaplain's office told me Thursday after we visited the crash site memorial and the chapel next to it. "No one has had a problem with it."
As we were talking about the 3,500 Muslim service members, one of the chaplains
told me that there are plenty of U.S. military facilities across the globe that have spaces dedicated to Muslim services, not just interfaith chapels. "On bases in Iraq and so forth, we have mosques," he said. "No one has ever raised any concern about that."
Dvorak concludes with a statement framed as a question: "Why should anyone?"