Friday, October 17, 2003

Pentagon Defends Gen. William G. Boykin, Who Chided Muslims

God Envy?

This story from discusses the Army Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, a man and military officer who is trying to construe the war on terror as a "battle with Satan," and that Muslims worship idols.

Before I continue with the explanation, I just wanted to clarify something about that statement. Now, I am no religious scholar, but I think Islam also frowns on the worship of idols, and that is why you never see idols, photo's, or physical dieties claiming to represent Allah. So, right from the get-go, Lt. Gen. William Boykin's claims seem to be misguided.

Anyway, according to the story, Boykin has made several speeches some in uniform at evangelical Christian churches in which he cast the war on terrorism in religious terms. Boykin said of a 1993 battle with a Muslim militia leader in Somalia: "I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol."

Yeah, I don't know what this man was thinking when he made these comments. Well, he was probably thinking about his audience, evangelical Christians, but still I think it is pretty stupid to say, "I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol." This sounds to me like nothing more than elementary school chatter. What is even weird though, is that no one in the administration or military seems to be calling for an apology or any kind of remorse on Boykin's part.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday he had not seen Boykin's comments, but he praised the three-star general, who is the Pentagon's deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence.

"He is an officer that has an outstanding record in the United States armed forces," Rumsfeld said at a news conference.

Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he had spoken in uniform at prayer breakfasts, adding he did not think Boykin broke any military rules by giving talks at churches.

"There is a very wide gray area on what the rules permit," Myers said. "At first blush, it doesn't look like any rules were broken."

However, Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee of Rhode Island said he had not been aware of Boykin's statements as reported in the news media, then added, "If that's accurate, to me it's deplorable."

A Muslim civil rights group on Thursday called for Boykin to be reassigned.

"Putting a man with such extremist views in a critical policy-making position sends entirely the wrong message to a Muslim world that is already skeptical about America's motives and intentions," said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Awad's statement noted that a verse in the Quran says Muslims believe in the same God as Jews and Christians.

Boykin's church speeches, first reported by NBC News and the Los Angeles Times, cast the war on terrorism as a religious battle between Christians and the forces of evil.

Appearing in dress uniform before a religious group in Oregon in June, Boykin said Islamic extremists hate the United States "because we're a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christian. ... And the enemy is a guy named Satan."

Anyway click here to
read the whole article and click here to see Boykin's bio.


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