US military taught anti-Islam courses
A course at a US military academy teaching soldiers they are at war with the world’s Muslims is not the only anti-Islam rhetoric to spill out from government bodies, campaigners warned this week.
Last month, the course at the Joint Forces Staff College which taught its students that America might ultimately have to obliterate the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina without regard for civilian deaths, rose to the spotlight as the latest example of anti-Muslim material from the US.
Linda Sarsour, executive director at the Arab American Association of New York, said the course is merely the latest example in a long line of similar teaching materials in US government agencies.
“It’s part of a much larger problem,” Sarsour told Britain’s Guardian, referring to past incidents within the Federal Bureaus of Investigation, in which the agency had to change some agent training last year after discovering that it also was hostile towards Islam.
In September, FBI whistleblowers provided Danger Room, a national security blog at Wired.com, with a trove of the agency’s training materials in which counter-terrorism agents were taught that “mainstream” American Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers; that the Prophet Mohammed was a “cult leader”; and that the Islamic practice of giving charity is no more than a “funding mechanism for combat,” the Guardian reported.
The instructor at the military college, army lieutenant colonel Matthew Dooley, said in a course presentation last July: “The Muslims hate everything you stand for and will never coexist with you, unless you submit.”
The college, for professional military staff, teaches midlevel officers and civil servants on subjects related to planning and executing war. The Pentagon suspended the course in late April when a student objected to the material.
Anti-Islamic rhetoric also found its way to the New York Police Department after a series of reports from the Associated Press news agency revealed the existence of the department’s so called “Demographics Unit,” which focuses on a list of 28 “ancestries of interest,” all of which are predominantly Muslim.
“In the course of over two dozen articles, the Associated Press laid out how the NYP, with the help of CIA advisers, infiltrated mosques, Muslim community centers and local colleges,” the Guardian said.
“It’s not just the department of defense. It’s not just the military. It’s anywhere from showing a movie like the Third Jihad to 1,500 New York City police officers to training FBI agents that Muslims are easily radicalised to become terrorists.” Sarsour said in reference film which claims that American Muslims of all stripes are in the midst of an effort to seize control of the country.
“Third Jihad” was screened within the NYPD to 1,489 police officers. The film’s ominous music plays in the background as “Muslim terrorists shoot Christians in the head, car bombs explode, executed children lie covered by sheets and a doctored photograph shows an Islamic flag flying over the White House,” according to the New York Times.
Sarsour said that such Islamophobic lessons taught to US military and law enforcement personnel would further damage national security.
“There’s already a deficit of trust between the Muslim community and law enforcement,” Sarsour added.