Phi Beta Cons

Radical Islam as Epistemological Quagmire

First, writes Raymond Ibrahim, there was former top Pentagon official William Gawthrop’s 2006 lament:

The senior service colleges of the Department of Defense had not incorporated into their curriculum a systematic study of Muhammad as a military or political leader. As a consequence, we still do not have an in-depth understanding of the war-fighting doctrine laid down by Muhammad, how it might be applied today by an increasing number of Islamic groups, or how it might be countered.

Today matters are even worse. After the War College published something of an apologia for the terrorist organization Hamas, defense analyst Mark Perry observed, “It’s worse than you think. They have curtailed the curriculum so that their students are not exposed to radical Islam. Akin to denying students access to Marx during the Cold War.”

These academic omissions about Islam’s war doctrines are deeply rooted, as demonstrated in a study by the American Textbook Council

And — to our peril — there is no end to such obfuscation. In testimony before the House, Ibrahim stated:

Educational failures exacerbate epistemological ones, and vice versa, leading to a perpetual cycle where necessary knowledge is not merely ignored, but not even acknowledged as real in the first place. When American universities [or high schools] fail to teach Islamic doctrine and history accurately, a flawed epistemology permeates society at large. And since new students and new professors come from this already conditioned-towards-Islam society, not only do they not question the lack of accurate knowledge and education; they perpetuate it.

Candace de Russy — Candace de Russy is a nationally recognized expert on education and cultural issues.

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