June 2012 Church & State | AU Bulletin


A course for military officers that some say contained inflammatory and inaccurate content about Islam has been suspended by the Pentagon.

“Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism” had been offered as an elective at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va., since 2004. Materials for the course claimed that Islam is at war with the West.

Complaints about the training had been received from about 20 officers, though it’s unclear when the complaints were made or how they were handled, according to the Religion News Service.  

In addition to the suspension of the class, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has ordered that all instructional materials on Islam be reviewed.

“I am concerned that academic institutions within [the Department of Defense] may be presenting material…which goes well beyond merely presenting alternative intellectual viewpoints on radicalism to advocating ideas, beliefs and actions that are contrary to our national policy, inconsistent with the values of our profession and disrespectful of the Islamic religion,” Dempsey said in a memo.