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Jan 8

Written by: Diana West
Tuesday, January 08, 2008 6:46 PM 

Frank Gaffney today fired off a column outraged over the dismissal of  Stephen Coughlin from his post at the Pentagon where Coughlin was the sole expert in Islamic law charged with  instructing  military leaders in jihad doctrine.

Gaffney wrote:

If allowed to stand, the effect of Maj. Coughlin's dismissal would be a surgical strike on a man who is arguably  one of the most knowledgeable opponents of Shariah--not only in the Defense Department, but inside the entire US government.

Frank Gaffney's consternation is well justified. Cutting the Pentagon off from the fact-based brief on Islam provided by Stephen Coughlin is a massive setback to any catch-up effort to teach our military leadership the basics on jihad, which, across the board, they sorely lack. Such a lesson is crucial to any successful strategy in the so-called War on Terror--and one that has been missing all these years since 9/11.

But even as Gaffney is clear in his outrage, he is fuzzy in his terminology. Describing the dismissal, he writes: "It raises questions as to whether our government is being rendered incapable of fighting successfully an ideology best described as Islamofascism...." 

Best described as "Islamofascism"? Is that really the best term for jihad doctrine based in Islamic law?

Of course not. "Islamofascism" is a made-up word that draws a politically correct curtain over mainstream, traditional Islam, in effect shielding the religion and its tenets from scrutiny when considering what drives our jihadist enemies--as they are the first to declare. Indeed, pulling aside that curtain to examine Islam's tenets is precisely the point of Coughlin's work. It is also what makes it both exceptional and crucial. There is something depressingly ironic that even among Coughlin's staunchest defenders we see the same PC punch-pulling his kind of analysis is designed to KO. It just goes to show how very much his work needs to be done.         



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