Written by Robert Spencer
Fox News reported last week that “the U.S. Army listed Evangelical Christianity and Catholicism as examples of religious extremism along with Al Qaeda and Hamas during a briefing with an Army Reserve unit based in Pennsylvania….The incident occurred during an Army Reserve Equal Opportunity training brief on extremism.”
The list is headed “Religious Extremism”; heading it is “Evangelical Christianity (U.S./Christian),” followed by “Ikhwan or Muslim Brotherhood (Egypt/Muslim)” and then “Ultra-Orthodox” (Israel/Judaism),” making for a politically correct trifecta of the three main monotheistic religions. Also on the list are “Al Quaeda [sic] (Transnational/Islam)’; “Hamas (Palestinian/Islamist)”; Abu Sayyah [sic] (Philippines/Islam)”; “Ku Klux Klan (U.S/Christian)”; and “Catholicism (U.S./Christian),” among others.
The list also includes “Islamophobia” as a form of “religious extremism” – apparently based on the assumption, common among Leftists, that those who oppose the global jihad and Islamic supremacism are Christian fanatics motivated only by some quest for religious one-upmanship.
The idea that there is any factor unifying these disparate groups is howlingly absurd, and this list would be laughable if it weren’t coming from the U.S. Army. Apparently this is the politically manipulative and ridiculous nonsense that has . On October 19, 2011, the Executive Director of an Islamic organization called Muslim Advocates, Farhana Khera, wrote a letter to Barack Obama’s then-Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and current CIA director John Brennan. It was signed by 57 organizations, including many with ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA); Islamic Relief USA; the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); the Muslim American Society (MAS); and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).
The letter denounced U.S. government agencies’ “use of biased, false and highly offensive training materials about Muslims and Islam.” Ignoring the factual accuracy of the material about which they were complaining, the Muslim groups signing the letter demanded that the task force “purge all federal government training materials of biased materials”; “implement a mandatory re-training program for FBI agents, U.S. Army officers, and all federal, state and local law enforcement who have been subjected to biased training”; and more to ensure that only the message about Islam and jihad preferred by the signatories would get through to intelligence and law enforcement agents.
The very same day that Khera sent her letter, Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole declared at a conference in Washington that he had “recently directed all components of the Department of Justice to re-evaluate their training efforts in a range of areas, from community outreach to national security.” This “reevaluation” removed all references to Islam in connection with any examination of Islamic jihad terror activity. The Obama administration placed off-limits any investigation of the beliefs, motives and goals of jihad terrorists. Accordingly, in February 2012, the government purged more than 1,000 documents and presentations previously used in training programs that the Muslim groups had deemed inaccurate or offensive to Muslims.
And now we see what the Obama administration has replaced that material with. The implications of the U.S. Army’s “Religious Extremism” list are quite ominous. Evangelical Christianity, Catholicism and “Islamophobia” are forms of “Religious Extremism” on par with al-Qaeda and Hamas? Then how long will it be before the Obama administration goes to war against them, as it has repeatedly declared that it is at war with al-Qaeda?
Note also: Obama has repeated many, many times that we are not at war with Islam, and the mainstream media line is that to suggest otherwise would be evidence of “hatred” and “bigotry.” But apparently it is not “hatred” and “bigotry” for the U.S. to declare that Catholicism is the same sort of thing as al-Qaeda. Now, the list does include “Sunni Muslims,” but specifies those in Iraq — we already know that there is no possible way that the Obama administrations means to classify all Sunni Muslims as “extremists.”
And the list also apparently specifies that only Catholicism in the U.S. is a form of “religious extremism.” But that’s bad enough: where are the Catholics flying planes into buildings, bombing Baptist churches, and threatening to conquer the nation and subjugate non-Catholics under the rule of church law?
This is not going to end well.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Did Muhammad Exist?, is now available.