A prominent national Islamic civil rights and
advocacy group today welcomed a Department of Defense (DoD) report that
says speeches made by a top general who claimed Muslims worship an "idol"
violated Pentagon rules and warrant "corrective action."
Last fall, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR) asked that disciplinary action be taken against Lt. Gen. William G.
Boykin, whose views came under scrutiny when media reports revealed that in
a public discussion of his efforts to capture a Muslim Somali warlord, he
said, "I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God
and his was an idol." The Pentagon launched an internal investigation into
the propriety of the general's public speeches.
The final report from the DoD's Office of the Inspector General found that
Boykin's speaking activities violated military regulations because he
failed to clear the content of his speeches, failed to issue required
disclaimers and failed to report a travel payment from a non-government
source. The report recommends that "appropriate corrective action" be taken
by the military.
SEE: "U.S. General Violated Rules with 'Satan' Speeches"
"We welcome the Pentagon's report and urge that any disciplinary action be
commensurate with its findings," said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim
Hooper. "General Boykin is free to hold whatever views he wishes, no matter
how stereotypical or inaccurate. But he should not use his position of
respect in our nation's military to promote those views."
Hooper repeated a recommendation made by CAIR last year that Boykin, a top
intelligence officer in the war on terror, be reassigned to a position in
which he will not be able to harm America's image in the Muslim world. He
also said that the findings of the investigation could have mitigated some
damage to America's international image had they been released earlier.
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in
Washington, D.C., and has 28 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.
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