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Pentagon's Top Islamic Authority a Victim of Political Correctness

Maj. Stephen Coughlin, the military's top authority on Islamic war doctrine, was pushed out of the Pentagon, where he worked as an intelligence analyst for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after a high-level Muslim official protested his making a connection between Islamic law and terror.

Hesham Islam, a personal aide to deputy Defense secretary Gordon England, criticized Coughlin for telling a hard truth that could save soldiers lives and help us win the war against jihadists.

But what really set him off, according to Washington Times Pentagon correspondent Bill Gertz, were briefings Coughlin recently prepared for the U.S. military warning that major U.S. Muslim groups were fronting for the Muslim Brotherhood, a worldwide jihadist movement based in Egypt.

Turns out Islam, who was born and raised in Egypt, is heavily involved with one of the groups -- the Islamic Society of North America, which U.S. prosecutors last year named an unindicted co-conspirator in a major terrorfunding case.

Islam has persuaded his boss England to do various outreach with ISNA, including speaking at its convention last fall, a move that scandalized counterterrorism officials.

Addressing the confab, DOD's No. 2 intoned that "there is no contradiction between the peaceful religion of Islam and America's values and principles."

Coughlin reached a 180-degree opposite conclusion.

In a 333-page report submitted to the National Defense Intelligence College, he warned that Islamic law sanctions violence. In fact, he wrote that the Quran and other Islamic texts make clear that it is an obligatory requirement for Muslims to wage jihad when non-Muslim forces enter Muslim lands.

"So how does one explain the prevailing assumption that Islam does not stand for such violence undertaken in its name with the fact that its law and education materials validate the very acts undertaken by 'extremists' in Iraq?" he asked, logically.

The mandate to wage jihad is also taught, still, in Saudi school textbooks, Coughlin says, and explains why the home to Islam's holiest shrines is the No. 1 foreign supplier of suicide bombers in Iraq.

"The first 'radicalizing' lesson that Saudi youth receive that motivates them to travel to Iraq and fight coalition forces does not come from 'extremist' groups like al-Qaida," he observed, "but rather is taught as part of Saudi Arabia's standard secondary school curriculum."

Bottom line: "The enemy is driven by Islamic law," he warned -- not poverty, lack of education or other socioeconomic factors often used by official Washington and the punditry to blur the demonstrable link between Islamic devotion and terror.

Unfortunately, Coughlin's critical findings were too politically hot for Pentagon brass trying to make nice with Muslim groups at the urging of Muslim aides involved with them. So instead of the aides, he got the boot, which is outrageous but not surprising for Washington.

England is the same PC-addled official we singled out in an editorial in 2006 for dedicating an Islamic prayer center at Quantico (the first in the Marines' history) at the behest of a Muslim chaplain trained at a radical Islamic school raided by the feds after 9/11.

The chaplain, Abuhena Saifulislam, is friends with Islam and works closely with him on Pentagon outreach projects involving the Wahhabi lobby in Washington.

The first rule of war is to know the enemy and what motivates him. The highest levels of the Pentagon appear to have violated both parts.

To deny the connection between Islamic law and jihad, and exclude it from the U.S. military's enemy threat doctrine, is to deny not only reality, but valuable information that could help soldiers fighting terrorists in the field.

More disturbing, the Pentagon seems to have been infiltrated at high levels by Islamist sympathizers, who are throwing sand in the eyes of decision makers. Some, like England, are already blind, apparently more concerned with political correctness than protecting the nation.

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