US Military Instructors Propagating Extremism and giving Hate Lessons against Muslims to the New Recruits
First published by Wired.com on May 10, the Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism course used at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, endorsed “total war” against Muslims.
In an obvious disregard for international law the course also promotes “taking war to a civilian population,” and possibly destruction of Islam’s holiest sites.
Perspectives, which has been taught since 2004, was offered five times a year with around 20 students each time. Around 800 students took the course over the years.
Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) President, Mikey Weinstein, described the course as the “Abu Ghraib by power point and lectern…It’s even worse than Abu Ghraib. What they are talking about is essentially genocide of Muslims.”
The military announced a review of its training materials and cancelled the “Perspectives” course in late April.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair, Gen Martin Dempsey, has ordered an inquiry into how the course became part of the College’s curriculum.
“It was totally objectionable, against our values and it wasn’t academically sound,” Dempsey said. The General went on to say that the course ran counter to American “appreciation for religious freedom and cultural awareness.”
However, Army Lt Col Matthew Dooley, who taught the elective course, remains on staff at the College, which is a component of the National Defence University and teaches midlevel officers and Government civilians on subjects relating to the planning and execution of war.
Dooley, who served in Bosnia and Iraq and won a Bronze Star Medal, still works for the College but is no longer teaching.
In his presentation, he said: “They hate everything you stand for and will never coexist with you, unless you submit.”
He added that as America waged that war it would be free to ignore provisions of the Geneva Convention that sets the rules for armed conflict and which protect civilian populations, as “no longer relevant”.
“This would leave open the option once again of taking war to a civilian population wherever necessary (the historical precedents of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki being applicable…” to achieve “Mecca and Medina’s] destruction.”
Saying Islam has “already declared war on the US”, Dooley called the current American stance of seeking common ground with Islamic leaders around the world as “illogical” and the better option was “waging ‘near total war’”.
“We have now come to understand that there is no such thing as ‘moderate Islam’,” Dooley said in the July presentation. “It is therefore time for the United States to make our true intentions clear. This barbaric ideology will no longer be tolerated. Islam must change or we will facilitate its self-destruction.”
Class materials also called Islam a “barbaric ideology” and presented outcomes such as “Saudi Arabia threatened with starvation…Islam reduced to cult status.”
MRFF, Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and have all called for the dismissal of Dooley and all personnel involved in the running of the course.
In a letter to Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, CAIR National Executive Director, Nihad Awad, said it was “imperative” that those who “taught our future military leaders to wage war not just on our terrorist enemy, but on the faith of Islam itself be held accountable.”
ADC Legal Director, Abed Ayoub, said the revelations were “very troubling.”
“You’re sending American soldiers overseas with these trainings and these biases … I think there definitely should be a study as to what impact these trainings have had on their actions.”
MRFF has filed request under the Freedom of Information Act seeking to surface all communication and documentation about the Perspectives course.
Michael Weinstein, a former Air Force Judge Advocate General, believes the course is merely a symptom of a larger problem. In recent years he has campaigned against the military’s invitation of speakers that are known for virulent anti-Islam views.
“This is simply a small cancer cell that is rapidly metastasizing,” he said. “This is representative of a larger more sinister force which is fundamentalist Christianity.”
A former Assistant Defence Secretary, Lawrence Korb, has gone a step further and suggested there is a direct link between this kind of course and the incidents of US forces destroying copies of the Qur’an and mistreating Afghan corpses.
Korb said: “If you feel that the enemy is not al Qaeda or the Taliban but is Islam, when you see something like the Koran you say, ‘Well, this is part of the enemy’ rather than something that is sacred to people who are not your enemy.
“The fact that this climate is created makes these incidents more likely.”
The FBI, meanwhile, has revealed that it too has recently been forced to revise some of its instructional materials to excise references that could have been insulting to Islam.