How widespread is the use of anti-Islamic material in the US military?
Al Jazeera has obtained exclusive material of a course taught on a US military base implying that Hamas has influenced the US government at the highest levels.
“There is a cottage industry of these Muslim bashers who are training law enforcement personnel, military personnel… and you are breeding a generation of leaders in our society who have this suspicion of Islam and hostility towards American Muslims and Muslims in general. The intention of these trainers is to demonise Islam and to marginalise American Muslims.“
– Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR’s national communications director
The course is called “Understanding the Threat to America.” And in it are hundreds of slides that claim to link the Muslim Civil Liberties Advocacy Organisation (CAIR) and other American Muslim groups to the Palestinian group Hamas.
It was taught to senior military officers at a base in the state of Virginia.
The US military is conducting a review of all material taught to its officers after the website Wired.com exposed another course teaching anti-Islam material.
One of the slides presented by Army Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley says the model he is presenting presumes that the Geneva Conventions are “no longer relevant,” when fighting Muslims.
It goes on to say that historical precendents of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki are applicable to “Mecca and Medina’s destruction.”
Dooley’s 31-page presentation entitled “So What Can We Do?” A Counter – Jihad Op Design Model, comes to some startling conclusions: “Given the factual basis of what “Islamists” say they seek to impose on the world, the United States has come to accept that radical “true Islam” is both a political and military enemy to free people throughout the world…. 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.”
“The Geneva Conventions has always been our bedrock document for the military, so for a military instructor to stand up in a professional military education course and say we are going to put it aside and go to total war is just astounding.“
– Morris Davis, a retired Air Force Colonel
Dooley has since been suspended but still holds his position at the college where this material was taught.
Both the courses obtained by Al Jazeera and Wired.com were voluntary courses and it is not clear if similar material has been taught in other military colleges.
So how widespread is the use of anti-Islamic material in the US military? And is the government doing enough to put an end to its use?
To discuss this, Inside Story Americas, with presenter Anand Naidoo, is joined by Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR’s national communications director; Morris Davis, a retired Air Force Colonel who served as chief prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay between 2005 and 2007; and Al Jazeera’s Josh Rushing.
“In all of our learning institutions we want students to get a wide array of views and perspectives – we want the instruction to challenge them and challenge their thinking; that’s all healthy. But it needs to be blanced and certainly needs to be in keeping with our core values as an institution. The material that was presented to us as a matter of concern by this young officer student certainly is not in keeping with our values – and more importantly, not even in keeping with the strategy as we see it in the ‘War on Terror’.”
John Kirby, US Department of Defense spokesman