by Meira Svirsky
The U.S. military has decided to review all training and educational courses on Islamic extremism. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ordered the review – relevant to all branches of the military — to make sure that no inflammatory or anti-Islamic material was being taught.
The review was prompted by a course taught at an Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, entitled "Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism." Defense Department spokesman Capt. John Kirby said one of the problematic aspects of the course was the claim that the United States is at war with Islam.
“We're at war with terrorism, specifically al-Qaida, who has a warped view of the Islamic faith,” Kirby said.
The last two administrations have been careful to say that the United States is not at war with Islam.
The review was prompted by complaints from students who were in the course. Dempsey shut down the course until after the review is completed.
The Pentagon has similarly suspended a course about Islam for officers for the same reason.
"Our concern is there are some unprofessional things being taught to students in professional military education curriculum," Kirby said during a press briefing.
"[Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta] also completely endorses the chairman's intention to look at joint professional military education across the board to make sure we have done an adequate scrub on the content of this type of curriculum," Kirby said.
The military's move comes in the wake of a similar recent purge by the FBI of training materials found offensive to Islam.