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US reviews inflammatory military course against Muslims

Published: 30/04/2012 07:03:00 AM GMT
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Washington: The training material for military officers in the US has been ordered to be reviewed by the top US military officer as the course was believed to promote the views among military that the United States is at war with Islam.

By Farhan Iqbal


Washington: The training material for military officers in the US has been ordered to be reviewed by the top US military officer as the course was believed to promote the views among military that the United States is at war with Islam.

The Pentagon has confirmed that the military training material contains error in it and the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, has sent a letter to leaders of the Army and other services besides regional commanders and officials heading the National Guard. The general has ordered in the letter to all the recipients to review the relevant training and education material distributed across the military.

General Dempsey wrote in the letter, “This review will ensure our professional education programs exhibit the cultural sensitivity, respect for religion and intellectual balance that we should expect in our academic institutions.”

The review in the material was first reported by Wired.com and it was prompted by a soldier on his complaint. The soldier recently completed an elective course at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia and the course title was “Perspectives on Islam and Islamite Radicalism.”

When a Pentagon spokesman was asked to cite any example of objectionable material in the training course, Captain John Kirby pointed out that there is a slide in power point presentation for students asserting that “the United States is at war with Islam and we ought to just recognize that we are at war with Islam.”

He commented, “That’s not at all what we believe to be the case. We are at war against terrorism, specifically al-Qaeda, who has a warped view of the Islamic faith.”

Kirby also said that Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, showed grave concern about the issue as well. The discrepancy in the training material has exposed the reasons of the gap between conservative Muslims across the globe and the western soldiers fighting Islamic extremists.

Inclusion of objectionable material in the course has dented the efforts of Obama-led US government as they are willing to repair US relations with the Muslim nations and particularly seek positive image of the US among common Muslims. In addition to this, there have been some incidents which added fuel to the flame such as burning The Holy Quran by US soldiers in Afghanistan that flared up bloody riots across the country. Another instance, when US soldiers’ photos were published while they were posing with corpses of the Afghans.

General Martin Dempsey has ordered inquiry to find out that how the objectionable and inflammatory material, as described by Captain Kirby, got added into the training course at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia.     

The course is being taught since 2004 and hundreds of officers have passed the course since then. The inquiry prevailing over 30 days will only answer that how long the objectionable material has been a part of the course.  

Meanwhile, the teaching of the eight-week course has been stopped until the inquiry furnishes its report. Kirby also informed that the course instructor has not been suspended from his duty.


Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey

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