Pentagon suspends class for 'inflammatory' teaching on Islam
WASHINGTON—A course at a military staff college that included what the Pentagon called “objectionable and in fact inflammatory” statements about Islam has been suspended after a student who completed the class last month complained to military authorities.
An initial review has uncovered worrying material that contradicts years of official doctrine about the global war on terrorism.
“It was presented as an assertion that the United States is at war with Islam and we ought to just recognize we’re at war with Islam,” sad Capt. John Kirby, Pentagon spokesman. “Well that’s not at all what we believe to be the case. We’re at war against terrorism, specifically al-Qaida, who has a warped view of the Islamic faith.”
Now, the Defense Department is gearing up for an inquiry into how the material made it into the 8-year-old course, entitled “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism” at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va. And Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey has ordered a broader review of what’s Defense Department educational institutions are teaching, as reported by Wired Magazine’s Danger Room blog, which broke the story.
“This review will ensure our Professional Military Education programs exhibit the cultural sensitivity, respect for religion, and and intellectual balance that we should expect in our academic institutions,” he wrote in a letter sent Tuesday to the service chiefs and commanders of combatant commands.