Pentagon sacks instructor over anti-Islamic course
Washington: The Pentagon has sacked an instructor who presented anti-Islamic study materials in a course for senior military officers suggesting that the US is at war with Islam.
The instructor has been removed from his teaching job at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, an official said, citing outcome of an inquiry by Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey.
"The elective course's military instructor has been relieved of his instructor duties until his permanent change of station, which was previously planned for August 2012," Dempsey's spokesman Col David Lapan said.
Lapan said the course, entitled 'Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism', had "portrayed Islam almost entirely in a negative way”.
"The inquiry recommends the course be redesigned to include aspects of US policy and reduce its reliance on external instruction. It also recommends modifying JFSC processes for reviewing and approving course curricula while improving oversight of course electives," he said.
"The inquiry also recommends the actions of two civilian officials at JFSC be reviewed by the supervisory chain to determine if administrative or disciplinary action is appropriate, and a second military officer will receive administrative counselling," he said.
He said the course was being taught since 2004 but over a period of time it was modified in a way that it became inappropriate.
"It was more towards the 2012-2012 timeframe that the modifications were made in the course," he said.
Lapan said the elective course relied on outside instructors who emphasised negative aspects of Islam.
"The review found that a lack of leadership on the course contributed to the problem, leading to an unbalanced approach to teaching the subject matter," he said.
"The curriculum itself did not contain current US government policy on countering violence extremism. The material on Islam was presented almost all in a negative light," the Pentagon official added.