Military review finds bias in Islamic course

Friday - 6/22/2012, 8:38pm EDT

By Taeja Smith
Special to Federal News Radio

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a recently completed review, found a series of institutional failures led the Joint Forces Staff College to allow the teaching of a biased course on Islam.

"The inquiry into the JFSC elective course, 'Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism,' concluded there were institutional failures in oversight and judgment, which allowed the JFSC course to be modified over time in a manner that ceased to include instruction on U.S. Combating Violent Extremism (CVE) policy or Counter-Terrorism (CT) strategy and to adopt a teaching methodology that portrayed Islam almost entirely in a negative way," said Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan in the report.

Lapan said in an email to Federal News Radio that the review suggests several improvements to how the military develops courses.

"The inquiry recommends the course be redesigned to include aspects of U.S. policy and reduce its reliance on external instruction," he wrote. "It also recommends modifying JFSC processes for reviewing and approving course curricula while improving oversight of course electives."

The Joint Staff relieved the military instructor who taught the elective courses of his instructor duties.

The inquiry encourages the supervisory chain to review two civilian officials at JFSC. Disciplinary actions have not yet been filed against the civilian officials. A second military officer will receive administrative counseling, Lapan said.

The Joint Staff ordered the review after complaints from military college students came to light.

The organization also reviewed standards for approving course curricula, presentations and selecting qualified guest lecturers. Lapan said in the end the review found the approval protocols were adequate.

Taeja Smith is an intern at Federal News Radio

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