An experienced military trainer who taught US Army soldiers about his Muslim faith has been suspended from working on military bases pending a continuing criminal inquiry, according to a report in the Dallas Morning News.
The [Louay] Safi affair reveals the deep divisions within the U.S. government over how to combat terrorism and over what constitutes moderate Islam.
Some believe insight into Islamist thinking can be gained only by engaging a wide range of people in North America’s close-knit Muslim community, where leaders may well have ties to extremists – ties that do not necessarily signal alliances or support. Others argue that engagement should be limited or shunned to avoid legitimizing radicals or embarrassing the government.
Safi is a senior official of the Islamic Society of North America, the country’s largest Muslim organization. ISNA has been consulted for years by Washington and is described as a partner in the fight against terrorism. In addition to serving as ISNA’s communications director, Safi runs its program certifying Muslim chaplains for work in the U.S. military and prison system. He publicly denounces terrorism and advocates peace.
“You have a schizophrenic government and a schizophrenic institution,” Zelikow said, referring to ISNA. “The schizophrenia cuts right into how the government views the whole Fort Hood affair. We don’t know whether to treat him [Hasan] as part of an international conspiracy or as a lone wolf who happened to have gotten solace from a radical imam.”