WASHINGTON — An investigation into student complaints about anti-Islamic teachings in a course for U.S. military officers has prompted the Pentagon to remove the instructor permanently, officials said Wednesday.
“Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism” has been part of the curriculum at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va., for years, but over the last two years had taken on a harsher tone as outside materials and speakers assumed a greater role.
“It was not focusing on certain radical elements ... but painting all of Islam in a negative light,” Col. David Lapan, spokesman for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
According to course materials posted online by Wired.com’s Danger Room blog, the class was taught in recent years by Lt. Col. Matthew A. Dooley.
After complaints from a student, the Pentagon suspended both the course and Dooley in April and commenced a review of the class, as well as courses at DOD-backed institutions elsewhere. The wide-scale review, conducted by the Joint Staff, the National Guard Bureau and combatant commands, turned up no other problems with how course curricula and lecturers were approved, Lapan said.