Monday, January 21, 2008

Pentagon Firing of Islam Expert Decried

The Pentagon's top Islamic expert, Maj. Stephen Coughlin, was fired after a Muslim staff member complained Coughlin had found evidence linking the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) to the Muslim Brothhood, a radical Islamic terrorist organization. Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) deserves recognition for her comments, in bold:

Coughlin also took issue with an effort underway by intelligence community analysts to declare al Qaeda terrorists and insurgents in Iraq as “false Muslims,” whose version of jihad conflicted with “true” Islamic teachings.

Over the past two weeks, the White House has launched its own investigation into the Coughlin affair, and has conducted at least one interview with Coughlin himself, sources knowledgeable of the probe told Newsmax.

However, Coughlin would appear to hold out little hope of a White House “rescue.”

As he pointed out in his 333-page thesis, "To Our Great Detriment: Ignoring what Extremists say about Jihad," President Bush’s statements downplaying the role of Islam in the terrorist attacks on America have “exerted a chilling effect on those tasked to define the enemy’s doctrine by effectively placing a policy bar” on examining the role of jihadist teachings.

Even Coughlin supporters such as Frank Gaffney Jr., president of the Center for Security Policy, doubt that the Army reservist lawyer and expert on Islamic law will get his contract reinstated by the Joint Chiefs.

But Gaffney has urged members of Congress in both parties and others who care about the war on terror to make Coughlin “a cause célèbre” over the next two months.

Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., has taken that call seriously, and said last week that she was examining the possibility of holding congressional oversight hearings on Coughlin’s dismissal.

“We want to get to the bottom of this,” Myrick said. “This sounds like another example of someone protecting national security and being told to shut up,” she told Cybercast news service. “If we don’t get over being politically correct, we won’t be here as a country.

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