The US military’s ‘anti-Islam classes’ How widespread is the use of anti-Islamic material in the US military?

Al Jazeera has obtained exclusive material of a course taught on a US military base implying that Hamas has influenced the US government at the highest levels.

The course is called “Understanding the Threat to America.” And in it are hundreds of slides that claim to link the Muslim Civil Liberties Advocacy Organisation (CAIR) and other American Muslim groups to the Palestinian group Hamas.

It was taught to senior military officers at a base in the state of Virginia.

The US military is conducting a review of all material taught to its officers after the website Wired.com exposed another course teaching anti-Islam material.

One of the slides presented by Army Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley says the model he is presenting presumes that the Geneva Conventions are “no longer relevant,” when fighting Muslims.

It goes on to say that historical precendents of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki are applicable to “Mecca and Medina’s destruction.”

Dooley’s 31-page presentation entitled “So What Can We Do?” A Counter – Jihad Op Design Model, comes to some startling conclusions: “Given the factual basis of what “Islamists” say they seek to impose on the world, the United States has come to accept that radical “true Islam” is both a political and military enemy to free people throughout the world…. It is therefore time for the United States to make our true intentions clear. This barbaric ideology will no longer be tolerated. Islam must change or we will facilitate its self destruction.”

Both the courses obtained by Al Jazeera and Wired.com were voluntary courses and it is not clear if similar material has been taught in other military colleges.

Call for Islam classes in Amsterdam

Public elementary schools in Amsterdam’s Slotervaart district attended overwhelmingly by Muslim students face a great need for Islam classes. A study by the Vrije University of Amsterdam reveals that parents favor Islam classes outside regular school hours. Most who want the classes think that curriculum should also be devoted to teaching other religions and life philosophies.

Amsterdam Public Schools Will Not Give Islam Classes

Public schools in Amsterdam’s Slotervaart district will not offer Islam classes, Telegraaf reports. The classes were requested a year ago by district mayor Ahmed Marouch, who hoped that offering the classes outside the regular school-day would offer parents an alternative to religious education in the mosques. Currently, in-school Islamic classes are offered to children in Rotterdam and Lelystad. While the education is possible if parents request the classes, it is unclear whether a lack of demand for the classes stems from lack of awareness among parents or a disinterest in the classes themselves.

Meeting Muslims, senior German affirms need for religion

German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble praised religious values as an antidote to the world economic crisis, at a meeing with Muslim leaders Monday. “The crisis has demonstrated what happens when values are no longer followed,” he told the seminar in the town hall of the southern German city of Regensburg. The meeting was a continuation of three years of official consultations between the government and Islamic leaders on how to ease friction and offer Islam classes in public schools to Muslim pupils. Speaking on how a secular system works, Schaeuble said it was not up to the state to ordain moral values. Rather it was faith groups who made a major contribution to the community by instilling moral values. He added that Germany did not privilege any one faith, adding, “A secular state is based on openness to all faiths.” The minister repeated his support for Islam classes in public schools nationwide. But he said it was up to the different Islamic organizations to settle among themselves the terms for such classes. He added that universities would need professors of Islamic education to train the teachers. The choice of Regensburg for the meeting was significant for many Muslims, as it is the hometown of Pope Benedict XVI, who upset many Muslims with a lecture at another venue, the city university, in 2006.

Germany faces Islam teacher shortage

German education ministers have announced plans to expand classes on Islam to include all students, but the plan faces a shortage of teachers. Officials seeking to open the Islam classes to non-Muslim students face hurdles in finding qualified instructors — only 2.8 percent of Muslims in German high schools eventually graduate, Der Spiegel reported Friday. Only about 120 Islam teachers are currently working in Germany — one-eighth of the estimated number needed.