This is outrageous.
The U.S. Army War College invited Raymond Ibrahim—a well-known Islamophobe and disseminator of inaccurate, ahistorical, anti-Muslim rhetoric—to speak at their upcoming 50th Annual Lecture Series on June 19th.
In a time of rising white nationalism, Islamophobia, and horrific violence stemming from these ideologies, the College is endorsing and fostering anti-Muslim hate within the military by inviting Ibrahim.
Last week, CAIR Philadelphia sent the U.S. Army War College a letter demanding that they rescind Ibrahim's invitation, but have not yet received a response. As a tax-payer funded institution, we demand that the College take action.
Ibrahim's lecture is titled after his recent book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, which advances an Orientalist and inaccurate view of Islam.
In a May 2018 interview with Frontpage Mag (a project of the David Horowitz Freedom Center run by its namesake, far-right Islamophobe David Horowitz1) Ibrahim said:
Sword and Scimitar [...] sets the much-distorted historical record between the two civilizations straight, and, in so doing, demonstrates once and for all that Muslim hostility for and terrorization of the West is not an aberration but a continuation of Islamic history.2
Ibrahim's rhetoric—characterizing Muslims as inherently angry, hostile, and prone to terrorism against "the West"—normalizes and justifies violence against Muslims, which is already a burgeoning problem for the military.
Just a few days ago, California Rep. Duncan Hunter—who ran an explicitly Islamophobic campaign for Congress—casually admitted that he and his unit "killed probably hundreds of civilians...probably killed women and children in Iraq."3
Ibrahim's statement also presents an inaccurate, revisionist view of history, by insisting that the "West" and Islam are two completely separate and inherently incompatible "civilizations."
His simplistic and flawed version of history—riddled with prejudiced stereotypes of Islam—espouses a dangerous agenda that demonizes Muslims.
As an academic institution, the College should be encouraging intellectual rigor—not promote inaccurate, fear-mongering propaganda.
This invitation is all the more concerning due to the military's continuing internal problem with white supremacists and white nationalists within its ranks.
Just a few recent examples:
In 2017, several current and former service members were linked to the violent white supremacist group, Atomwaffen Division. Some of their members were involved in the violence that erupted in Charlottesville that summer.4
One of the outed white supremacists of the Atomwaffen Division, ex-Army engineer Joshua Beckett, stated:
"The army itself woke me up to race and the war woke me up to the Jews [...] The U.S. military gives great training…you learn how to fight, and survive."5
In April, a Huffington Post investigation exposed 11 Army soldiers as belonging to another notorious white nationalist group, Identity Evropa.6
And just this past February, a Coast Guard lieutenant was arrested for stockpiling weapons and "planning to start a race war."7 Court documents stated that he planned to "murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country."8
We can't allow them to turn a blind eye.
Let's tell the U.S. Army War College: If you don't rescind Ibrahim's invitation and denounce his Islamophobic rhetoric, you're not only endorsing anti-Muslim hate, but dangerously nurturing Islamophobia and white nationalism within the military.
1. "David Horowitz" Southern Poverty Law Center
2. "Sword and Scimitar," Frontpage Mag, May 28 2018
3. "Republican congressman shrugs off war crimes, says he probably killed hundreds of civilians," Think Progress, June 2, 2019
4. "Ranks of Notorious Hate Group Include Active-Duty Military," ProPublica, May 3 2018
6. "Exposed: Military Investigating 4 More Servicemen For Ties To White Nationalist Group," HuffPost, April 27 2019
7. "White Supremacism in the U.S. Military, Explained," The New York Times, Feb 27 2019
8. "Arrested Coast Guard Officer Allegedly Planned Attack 'On A Scale Rarely Seen'," NPR, Feb 20 2019
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