Arabs and Muslims Frustrated as Boykin Controversy Drags On

May 7, 2004

Source: Reuters

On May 7, 2004 Reuters reported, "Arab- and Muslim-Americans are increasingly frustrated by the Pentagon's failure to discipline a top U.S. general who said Muslims do not worship "a real God," and say it raises questions about whether the so-called war on terrorism is not a war on Islam. Army Lt. Gen. William Boykin, head of military intelligence, touched off a brief firestorm last October after publicity about speeches he gave while in uniform that referred to the war on terrorism as a battle with "Satan" and said America had been targeted 'because we're a Christian nation.' In one speech, Boykin, an evangelical Christian, belittled a Muslim fighter who said Allah had protected him from U.S. forces. "I knew ... that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol," said Boykin, a much-decorated veteran of covert military operations. Since then, an internal investigation into the affair has worked its way slowly through the Pentagon bureaucracy. A spokeswoman said there was no deadline for its completion... Sources familiar with the investigation said Boykin would probably not face disciplinary action, noting that officials had signaled that Boykin's remarks fell into a "gray area" in rules governing the public speeches of military personnel. However, the report is expected to recommend the rules be tightened to prevent future incidents, and it may suggest that Boykin should have used more discretion, the sources said."