Opinion | Columnists

America’s ‘total war’ on Islam

Its regional allies should remain wary of a so-called friend whose military teaches how to obliterate Muslims

  • By Linda S. Heard, Special to Gulf News
  • Published: 00:00 May 15, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Nino Jose Heredia/©Gulf News

I've written often about the US military's endemic culture of hate towards Muslims. The disdain for human life that produced the Dasht-i-Leili massacre in Afghanistan that the Bush administration declined to investigate, the inhumane treatment of chained detainees at Guantanamo Bay, the bestiality and torture that took place at Abu Ghraib — and soldiers' holiday snaps of themselves taken while they were holding up body parts of Afghans they'd killed like sick trophies destined for pride of place above their mantel pieces. I've talked about amphetamine-popping US pilots who cheerfully drop bombs on civilian populations in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

I've highlighted soldiers' dehumanising of Muslims in US-occupied lands with labels such as "rag heads" and worse. I've queried the few bad apples theory propagated by former US secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld and other senior officials. But never did I imagine that Hiroshima-style ‘Total war on Islam' was being taught in class at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia.

The course that endured for a year without even a single student raising a complaint dealt with America's waging of "total war" against all the Muslims on the planet on the basis that Islam, rather than extremist Muslim elements, was the enemy of the United States. It criminally advocated the abandonment of the Geneva Conventions, the destruction of entire civilian Muslim populations and the use of nuclear weapons to wipe out Islam's holiest cities Makkah and Madinah.

Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey is engaged in damage control but when this abhorrent indoctrination of commanders and officers was going on right under his nose, his excuses ring hollow. The course was "counter to our values of appreciation for religious freedom and cultural awareness," he maintains. That might be more believable had Matthew A. Dooley, the lieutenant-colonel responsible for introducing this bigoted curriculum, been instantly given a dishonourable discharge. But no, he's merely been suspended from lecturing.

How could anyone in their right mind advocate war on all followers of one of the world's greatest faiths that has almost 1.6 billion adherents, representing around 23 per cent of the global population! Why isn't he being discredited, charged with criminal incitement or shut-up in a loony-bin when he's clearly cut from the same cloth as Adolf Hitler?

The Guardian quotes part of Dooley's July presentation. "We have now come to understand that there is no such thing as ‘moderate Islam'. It is therefore time for the United States to make our true intentions clear. This barbaric ideology will no longer be tolerated. Islam must change or we will facilitate its self-destruction," he announced before setting-out a four-step plan to reduce Islam to a "cult status".

Could it be that the Pentagon was well-aware of those vicious teachings all along — and because his course had been approved he can't be brought to account? This isn't so far-fetched when the Pentagon has admitted that the course material appeared on its own website. Indeed, Al Jazeera maintains that it has material evidence, including slides, of another course on similar lines to the one taught in Norfolk, which the network received from a nauseated US officer who said "this bigoted conspiracy cabal is both disgusting and so deeply un-American". Yes, that's true. The material sounds like it's been filched from Mein Kampf. America's founding fathers must be turning in their graves.

The slides, that had been approved by two three-star generals and a former CIA director, imply that Muslim extremists have succeeded in infiltrating the US government, media and educational establishments through the offices of American-Islamic organisations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is, in fact, a respected civil liberties advocate fostering multi-faith cooperation and unity. Just imagine the outcry if there was a course on Jews infiltrating government, colleges, TV and newspapers via American Israel Public Affairs Committee! Or, if any Arab country politically allied to the US was preparing its military graduates to murder all the world's Christians.

Offensive courses

I naively imagined that mankind is now more enlightened than it was at the time of the Crusaders who massacred Muslims and Jews in the name of religion between the 11th and 13th centuries. I was wrong. The only difference is that men have painted themselves with a sophisticated veneer. Then the protagonists used swords. Today, a US military college is promoting the use of nukes!!

It seems to me that the international community has a duty to come together to take the Obama administration to task. President Barack Obama should apologise to Muslims everywhere and especially to American Muslims who must surely be shocked and scared by this news which has been compounded by reports of FBI counter-terrorism training materials referring to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) as a "cult leader" and US Muslims as mostly terrorist sympathisers.

America's predominantly Muslim allies in the Middle East and North Africa and in south-east Asia should seek iron-clad assurances that these offensive courses were not rubber-stamped in compliance with official government policy; they should also remain wary of a so-called friend whose military teaches how to obliterate Muslims from the face of the earth. Sorry folks! America has lost any vestige of moral authority it had left. It should be internationally shunned until the government admits its institutions are riddled with Islamophobia and takes concrete action to root it out.

Linda S. Heard is a specialist writer on Middle East affairs. She can be contacted at lheard@gulfnews.com. Some of the comments may be considered for publication.

Comments (15)

  1. Added 18:47 May 15, 2012

    I am not feeling any surprise at America's plan. They want to ruin Muslim from the world. Their plan to war against Iran also their secret mission. Whoever opposes America they will find a silly reason and will make infront of everybody there is a big issue. After getting whatever they want America will chew the country. That time nobody will raise the voice against America. Friends this is the time we have to wake up and oppose them. Stop America from doing what they are doing

    shebeena, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 14:33 May 15, 2012

    If you people have mind then just think you can make the diffrence. America sitting so long and thinking everything is good but actually they do everything wrong and any condition if you can see why they did not see how many people are affected because of sanctions on Iran. What they have to do with all this? Why they have not stopped Israel from developing Neculer weapon?

    Anonymous, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 13:41 May 15, 2012

    People need to wake up. Nothing surprising about all this. I am not surprised at the naive reaction of the author either because of her Western background. This all started many decades ago when the Zionist movement took control of the Western governments and made their primary goal to subdue the Muslim world and empower Israel. We in the middle of that plan which is unfolding daily.

    Abdulrahman Ahmed, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 13:29 May 15, 2012

    Dear Ms. Heard – Again you subject your readers to your unending hatred and ranting about the United States of America. As an American living and working in Kabul, Afghanistan you couldn’t be further from the truth. The problem ... is the total lack of respect and dignity they have for each other. Instead of America, you should write about Iran and Hezbollah and how they supply weapons to President Assad, which he uses to kill his own people! Turn on Al Jazeera and see the horrific images! Or the heinous crimes committed by the Taliban and Pakistan against Afghan citizens! The oppression in the Islamic/Arab world touches every Muslim country.

    An American in Afghanistan , Kabul , Afghanistan

  5. Added 13:19 May 15, 2012

    I love my country, USA; however, it greatly saddens me to watch it exploited and manipulated by extreme zionists. Politicians and generals alike fear the Jewish lobby's hand. The average American is overworked, stressed out, and blind to the realities of USA's foreign policy. I will defend any Jewish person's right to practice their faith and be treated with justice, yet will they do the same for me? I am an American Muslim. Extreme Zionist fear Islam spreading in America. They fear losing control over America. They will and are using every tool they have to spread hatred against Muslims and Islam. I pray the Christians in America will wake up and see who really is exploiting and manipulating America. Americans are good people but they believe what they see on TV. They think propaganda only exists in foreign countries. I love my country and will continue to pray for it.

    Samar Dogar, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 13:15 May 15, 2012

    Ms Heard excels this time round.The details should be an eye-opener for anybody in the Muslim world who harbours an iota of faith in the US Military or Administration, of either colour. Yet, I believe that only the scale of destruction the article- and the curriculum of the course mentioned-reveals, as intended for Muslims, is new. For the Americans have put their theory into practice before in the Muslim world. Bush talked about a 'crusade' before invading Iraq, based on a 'messianic voice' ordering him to do that. The explanation soon after that that it was a 'slip of the tongue' was misplaced. Conscience-aware American pilots admitted that their military was aware that the bombed Alamiriyya shelter in Baghdad housed only women, children and elderly people, and not fighters of Saddam, and yet the orders were given for the bombing. American fighters chasing retreating Iraqi tanks and APCs on the Kuwait-Basra highway in the first Gulf War!(1991) were caught on recording sending one of their anti-tank rockets to 'Allah'-the name Muslims use for 'God'. At the beginning of the war on Afghanistan, American pilots guided one of their missiles on a hospital in Herat, west Afghanistan, bearing the insignia of the red crescent, the counterpart of the red cross identifying hospitals elsewhere. Senator John McCain, contesting the American presidency against Barack Obama in 2008, insinuated that the first thing he would do if he became president was stop Iran from acquiring the bomb, even if that entailed using unconventional weapons. The US is currently deploying stealth fighters carrying depleted nuclear arms in the Gulf region, and has recently supplied what is called 'bunker-buster' ,in military jargon, to Israel. Target, again, a Muslim nation. The US is currently involved in two Arab countries undergoing upheavals: Yemen and Syria, directly in the first and clandestinely in the latter. In the first, it is using unmanned predators, intelligence and weaponry against what is believed to be Al-Qaida, and in the latter it is supplying what it says is Al-Qaida, with money and TNT, directly or otherwise, to spark a civil war on sectarian lines with the aim of destabilising the region. The catalogue of Muslim countries the US has been involved in, or tampered with, is long indeed: Egypt, Somalia, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan,and most recently, Syria. And the last five to six decades has been her perpetual intervention against the Palestinians and their national fight and aspirations. Look at any trouble in the Arab and Muslim world generally, and you are sure to feel American fingers there. The US enemity to Muslims in general, and Arabs in particular, is a practice, not just an indoctrination. A few days ago a couple of American Muslims of Mid-eastern origin were prevented from boarding an internal flight in the US, as their eighteen month old toddler girl was on the Internal Security list and was registered as a 'No Fly' entry. 'We were insulted, embarrased..'protested the father , and refused to board the flight with his family after the local airlines apologized to them. So much for America's respect of its Muslim citizens' rights.

    Anonymous, Oxford, United Kingdom

  7. Added 11:52 May 15, 2012

    For the people who commented and are living in the white man's country.....Why are you there when you hated them or against them so much?

    Maria, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 10:11 May 15, 2012

    The core intent of UAS is to reduce Muslim population at any cost, waging war against only Muslim countries in the name of WMD or any other reason:I am really worried about the our Muslims brothers who are suffering due to American Policy against Muslim: I thanks Linda For the above topics:

    Husain, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 08:34 May 15, 2012

    Its really shocking. It clearly shows they know nothing about Islam or Muslims. America is either really .... (which they keep on proving every now and then) or has long term plan to rip apart muslim countries (like they have done in Iraq and Afghanistan) in the name of Islamophobia. I believe these courses are mere tools to brainwash ordinary Americans to believing that Islam is a real threat.

    Ali, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 05:43 May 15, 2012

    How does one move from rhetoric on both sides to a balance that brings understanding, insight, mutual respect, and enduring peace? This is a question from the very beginning of time. Whether an evolutionary psychology approach would lead to ways of addressing all manner of fears leading to hatred leading to genocide is open to both hope and despair. Is it a biological imperative to build walls against the unknown? To create demons to justify massacres? Ms. Heard is appropriately passionate in her condemnation of the Pentagon approved inculcation of US troops. I am sure that she also knows that American bigotry, racism, and religious extremism are not in any way reserved for the Muslim religion or Muslims themselves. The American "right" blindly and ignorantly denigrates anyone or anything they don't understand. They live by the motto, "If I don't understand it, it must be wrong." The challenge is, as always, to highlight the "wrongs" without causing those rightly accused of the wrongs from fighting back (with total avoidance of the truth) to assuage their guilt. If you put someone in a corner and keep attacking them, the response is rarely for those attacked to respond with apologies and behavior change. As a Canadian who lived in the UAE for five years, I was fortunate to meet, become friends (and family) with both ex-pat and Emirati Muslims. I am a very strong Christian and it took a very short time for the "Christian" and the "Muslim" to bond through the strength and sincerity of our beliefs. Yes, I was given information about Islam, I read the Qur'an, and as a sign of respect, fasted for Ramadan three of my five years in the UAE. My beliefs did not change, my knowledge and understanding grew. A year ago I returned to Canada. Currently I am tutoring a young student from Saudi Arabia. In this comment I have used my personal experiences to underline the need for the opportunity for "sides" to meet. Only through face-to-face interaction (sorry Skype) can people come to understand each other and therefore to gain an appreciation of both their differences and similarities. It was my goal while at a women’s College in RAK, to take a small group of Emirati women to Canada to visit and speak with students at small universities in my area of Canada (I had taught at most of these universities). It was my hope that this group of young women would bridge the gap and open the hearts and minds of the young people most like themselves. Although a general audience would include men, my intention was to give the women the opportunity to meet without men, and thus to have more open dialogues. I cannot take on fortress USA. Attacking a nation's citizens or leaders (verbally or militarily) rarely creates an environment conducive to rational discussion and mutual understanding. I do think the small steps, "rapidly" but judiciously taken, to bring the parities together (the young people), will have a positive impact. The current reality, vociferously presented by Ms. Heard, is abhorrent to all. While I understand and am pained by the content of her article, my goal is to transcend that anger and create opportunities for mutual understanding and respect. There is so much that can be done. I would be honored to assist.

    FriendlyCanadian, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

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