The Thomas More Law Center represents LtCol Matthew Dooley, the Joint Services Staff College instructor who was removed from his position following complaints about a class he taught entitled “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism.” Richard Thompson, president of the TMLC, now says it has
obtained an official communication that vindicates their client. Read more
A variety of news sites have begun to cover the case of US Army LtCol Matthew Dooley, formerly an instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College where he taught entitled “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism.” The course was judged as poor by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey excoriated Dooley during a Pentagon press conference in May, characterizing his course, “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism” as objectionable, unprofessional, Read more
Omid Safi, a Professor of Islamic Studies at UNC Chapel Hill, took issue with a recent story about Navy SEAL training and the realistic mock-ups they use — which included mosques and paper targets of hijab-wearing women. From Read more
The Associated Press reported a West Point press release indicating General Jerry Boykin had withdrawn from the upcoming West Point National Prayer Breakfast:
Late Monday afternoon, West Point issued a brief statement saying Boykin had decided to withdraw speaking at the Feb. 8 event and that another speaker would be lined up in his place.
The choice of Boykin to speak at the event was criticized by several groups because of his prior statements about Islam:
CAIR also asked West Point officials to retract Boykin’s invitation
“It gives Islamophobes a platform Read more
Students participating in the Army Junior ROTC high school program will now have more options when it comes to religious clothing in uniform. In October, Demin Zawity, a freshman at Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, TN, was told she could not wear her Islamic headscarf while in the Army JROTC uniform. While that policy was consistent with the US Army policy, there was some consternation even by Army officials, some of whom called JROTC a “citizenship” program, not a military program.
Now CAIR, the group that originally accused the Army of discrimination, has said the DoD told them
the Department of Defense will now allow Muslim Read more
A few websites have noted Tennessee State Representative Rick Womick’s statement to ThinkProgress interviewers that Muslims should be removed from the US military. The video is available on YouTube.
It’s worth noting Womick’s political position has been somewhat inflated in a few reports. For example, ThinkProgress suffixed his name with (R-TN), as did some others, which is inaccurate. The “party-state” designation is used for members of the US House; it is redundant to say “Tennessee state rep (R-TN).” The more accurate description is (R-34) or R-Rockvale, as Womick represents District 34 in the Tennessee State House. As a state representative, Womick has no influence over the US military. (As an aside, Rep Womick was an F-15 fighter pilot during Operation Desert Storm.)
That said, his comments were widely reported and not well received (with one exception). He’s been described as un-American and said to be “defaming all members of the military.”
Womick uses US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan and PFC Naser Abdo (though he forgets his name) as support for his position, saying they are examples of the Islamic inconsistency with military service.
Ironically, it seems Rep Womick agrees with religious freedom critic Michael Read more
The Stars and Stripes ran an article entitled “Some Muslim servicemembers struggle to balance faith and service,” though the article cited only a single former servicemember, former Army SSgt Mohammad A. Hasan. After 9 years of service, with his Islamic faith a non-issue, he said a deployment to Iraq set him apart from his peers:
With a dark complexion and Muslim name, the Bangladesh-born soldier’s loyalty was at times questioned by suspicious troops during his deployment in Iraq, he said.
The article continues to use the plural with reference to “struggling” Muslim Soldiers, though it fails to mention any others. In fact, it quotes both former Navy Read more
The Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has said US Army JROTC uniform policies are discriminatory after Demin Zawity, a freshman at Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, TN, was told she could not wear her Islamic headscarf while in the Army uniform.
There’s no reason for them to have a policy that excludes people such as Zawity, said Gadeir Abbas, a CAIR staff attorney. It paves the way to encourage all faiths to participate, he added.
While noble-sounding, Abbas’ statement was ignorant. JROTC programs are designed to be nearly identical to their ROTC and operational military equivalents — including following generally the same uniform rules. In this case, the JROTC rule accurately reflects US military policy (to which there have been some notable exceptions).
Abbas also made a misleading and potentially incendiary statement: Read more