U.S. army officers were taught ‘America is at war with Islam:’ Pentagon probe

U.S. military officers were enrolled in an elective class on Islamic radicalism which was first offered in 2004. (File photo)

U.S. military officers were enrolled in an elective class on Islamic radicalism which was first offered in 2004.
The Pentagon announced on Wednesday it was investigating how a claim that the United States was at war with Islam had been used in training course materials for mid-ranking army officers.

The course included lessons which suggested “the United States is at war with Islam and we ought to just recognize that,” said Navy Captain John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, on Wednesday, according to the Army Times.

Kirby said the material did not reflect the view of the U.S. military.

 “That is not at all what we believe to be the case. We are at war against terrorism, specifically al-Qaeda, which has a warped view of the Islamic faith. We don’t consider ourselves at war with Islam,” he told reporters.
The course, “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism” taught at Joint Forces Staff College to lieutenant colonels, has been suspended, Kirby added.

“Our concern is that there are some unprofessional things being taught to students in a professional military education curriculum.”

In addition to the inquiry at the staff college in Norfolk, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has ordered a force-wide review of all training materials to “scrub” and remove any anti-Islamic elements.

Hundreds of military officers have enrolled in the elective class on Islamic radicalism since it was first offered in 2004. The curriculum was reviewed and approved in 2011, but it is unclear when the information about a broad war between the U.S. and the Islamic religion was added.

“What we do not know is when this inflammatory language got inserted into the actual course material. That is what the inquiry is going to find out — how long have some of these notions been taught?” Kirby said.

(english.alarabiya.net / 25.04.2012)

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