CNSNews.com is reporting the firing of a well respected Pentagon analyst of Islamic Law, since apparently he stepped on the wrong (Muslim?) toes. Political correctness, not objectivity is winning once again.
To give you an idea of the “flavor” of the CNSNew.com article please read a key quote in the article below:
“The first ‘radicalizing’ lessons Saudi youth receive that motivates them to travel to Iraq and fight coalition forces does not come from ‘extremist’ groups like al Qaeda, but rather is taught as part of Saudi Arabia’s standard secondary school curriculum.”
But, we knew that. Didn’t we? In essence, Saudi Arabia is not a friend of the USA…but, we knew that too! Don’t we?
By Fred Lucas
CNSNews.com Staff Writer
January 16, 2008
(CNSNews.com) - Members of Congress are seeking more information regarding the firing of a top terrorism expert at the Pentagon following reports that he was dismissed for being too critical of Islamic law.
Earlier this month, the Pentagon Joint Staff told Stephen Coughlin, a specialist on Islamic law at the Pentagon, that his contract would not be renewed in March. The firing apparently resulted from pressure by pro-Muslim officials working in the Department of Defense, according to numerous news reports.
Meanwhile, members of Congress have not had much success in getting answers from the Pentagon either, said Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), co-chair of the bi-partisan House Anti-Terrorism Caucus.
“We want to get to the bottom of this,” Myrick told Cybercast News Service Tuesday. “We are contacting everyone to see who we can talk to.”
Coughlin - who supporters say had one of the most important jobs in analyzing how Jihadists think — crossed Hasham Islam, an aide to Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, according The Washington Times.
The paper reported, without attribution, that the aide told Coughlin to “soften his view” on radical Islam. When Coughlin refused, Hasham Islam called him a Christian zealot “with a pen,” according to the report.
The incomplete reports and near silence from the Pentagon creates the need to get at the truth, Myrick said.
“This sounds like another example of someone protecting national security and being told to shut up,” Myrick continued. “If we don’t get over being politically correct, we won’t be here as a country.”
This week, Myrick said she began contacting other co-chairs of the Anti-Terrorism Caucus, such as Rep. Jane Harmon (D-Calif.), Rep. Richard “Bud” Cramer (D-Ala.), and Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) about setting up a meeting with Coughlin and Pentagon officials to find out the circumstances behind the firing.
Myrick stressed that any congressional inquiry is in the early, talking stages, but she has contacted the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, and the House Homeland Security Committee to inquire about investigative hearings into the case.
While any inquiry by Congress would be significant, the Anti-Terrorism Caucus is only a group of House members that can hold a meeting and ask questions. It does not have authority to take action or issue subpoenas, which congressional committees have.
Myrick said the Pentagon is requiring any congressional requests to go through the Defense Department’s Legislative Affairs Office before Coughlin would be available to speak to anyone.
Coughlin, an attorney, a former Army intelligence officer, and a major in the Army Reserves, could not be reached for comment for this story. Those who know him say he will not talk to the media until his employment with the Defense Department is over.
Coughlin’s 333-page thesis, ” To Our Great Detriment: Ignoring What Extremists Say About Jihad,” was accepted last year by the National Defense Intelligence College. The report describes an Islamic culture that teaches violence from an early age.
It says, for instance, “So how does one explain the prevailing assumption that Islam does not stand for such violence undertaken in its name with the fact that its laws and education materials validate the very acts undertaken by ‘extremists’ in Iraq?”
And continues, “The first ‘radicalizing’ lessons Saudi youth receive that motivates them to travel to Iraq and fight coalition forces does not come from ‘extremist’ groups like al Qaeda, but rather is taught as part of Saudi Arabia’s standard secondary school curriculum.”
The sentiments of Coughlin’s research apparently were too much for some in the Pentagon, said Andrew Bostom, an author and lecturer on Islam, who has known Coughlin for more than three years.
He and Coughlin conducted a lecture at the Naval War College in Rhode Island last year, and Bostom spoke to Pentagon officials on other occasions at Coughlin’s request.
“The general sense I got from Steve is that no one at the Pentagon could argue in a rational way against his analysis, so there was unfortunately a lot of petty resistance,” Bostom told Cybercast News Service.
“His law-based presentation, fact-based presentation demonstrates that the so-called extremists are firmly rooted in Islamic law,” said Bostom. “You can’t just ascribe al Qaeda as a phenomenon that comes out of a vacuum. Invoking sociological and anthropological ideas and ignoring Islamic law will not get us far.”
Jerome Gordon, a former Army intelligence officer who knows Coughlin, said many rank-and-file Defense Department officials are supportive of Coughlin.
“He was the only expert they retained on the Joint Staff with that kind of knowledge of Islamic law and jihad in what we’re calling the long war against Jihad,” Gordon told Cybercast News Service . “Steve used authentic Islamic sources. The documents he used stand equivalent to legal briefs supporting the legal doctrine of Jihad.”
Questions submitted by Cybercast News Service to the Pentagon were not answered by press time.