Islamic Society with Questionable Background Joins Forces with Justice Department to Intimidate Citizens Opposing Mosque

Thomas More Law Center, April 18, 2017:

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Thomas More Law Center (“TMLC”) has learned that the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge (“ISBR”), which was trying to obtain zoning changes to build a mosque in Bernards Township, NJ, has hidden from public view anti-Christian and anti-Semitic verses on its website, as well as its connection to the Islamic Society of North America (“ISNA”)— an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in America.  ISNA is claimed by the Muslim Brotherhood as one of “our organizations and . . . our friends.”  According to internal documents seized by the FBI, the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy is to engage in a “grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within . . .”—one of the stages of this civilization jihad is the building of mosques and Islamic centers.

Plaintiffs ISBR and Mohammad Ali Chaudry sued in March 2016, claiming that the denial of zoning changes to permit a mosque violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”) of 2000 and reflected community “religious and cultural animus against Muslims.”  Within a week of the ISBR lawsuit, the Justice Department launched its own investigation and filed its own lawsuit.

While a visible link to the quotes below was once contained on the ISBR website, ISBR has now taken the extraordinary step of hiding the links from public view.  Accordingly, the quotes cannot be found through a simple internet search or a view of the public portion of ISBR’s website, they can only be found by access to the direct links here:

“Ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them.”

“Fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war).”

“And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; … .”

The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, MI entered the case solely to protect the constitutional rights of several Bernards Township citizens who exercised their fundamental right to publicly oppose proposed zoning changes.

These private citizens had no authority to deny the zoning application; nor did they have any official role in the Township.  Nevertheless, they were served with burdensome and harassing subpoenas which demanded: all their email addresses and social media accounts; all personal documents including emails, voicemails, text messages, and social media posts concerning Muslims, Islam, mosques, the Quran, Muslim worship or prayer services, wudu, imams, burkas, hijabs, Sharia, jihad, or anything else associated with or related to Muslims or Islam; any object inscribed with or containing the words “Preserve Liberty Corner,” or anti-mosque signs, flyers, banners, email messages, or pamphlets, distributed or otherwise existing at any time within the Township.  In addition, Department of Justice (“DOJ”) lawyers began a new front of intimidation by directly contacting these private citizens, asking them to come in for interviews concerning the mosque.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, stated: “Under Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the Justice Department, using politically driven DOJ attorneys, weaponized itself against fundamental constitutional principles to intimidate American citizens with whom they disagreed.  Immediately after the San Bernardino terrorist attack and just months before DOJ inserted itself into this case, Ms. Lynch made the infamous statement chilling free speech: ‘…when we see the potential for someone lifting that mantle of anti-Muslim rhetoric…. when we see that we will take action.’  This is exactly what happened to the citizens of Bernards Township. DOJ attorneys initiated a deep state inquisition, seeking to bring citizens objecting to the mosque in for questioning.”

Click here to read previous TMLC press release on Subpoenas.

Also see:

Outrageous Unconstitutional Intimidation of Private Citizens Who Opposed Mosque Project; Thomas More Law Center Steps In

Thomas More Law Center, March 28, 2017:

ANN ARBOR, MI – If you speak out against building a mosque in your community, you may be slapped with a subpoena demanding all your personal documents, including emails, voicemails, text messages, and social media posts concerning Muslims, Islam, mosques, the Quran, Muslim worship or prayer services, wudu, imams, burkas, hijabs, Sharia, jihad, or anything else associated with or related to Muslims or Islam.

This was part of the harassment and intimidation experienced by scores of private citizens of the small New Jersey town, Bernards Township (also known as Basking Ridge), who spoke out at public hearings against a plan to build a disproportionately-sized mosque on a small piece of residential property.  The mosque project, sponsored by the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge (“ISBR”) and its president, Mohammad Ali Chaudry, was denied by Township officials for not complying with local building ordinances.

On March 10, 2016, ISBR and Mohammad Ali Chaudry sued Bernards Township in federal court, claiming various violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.  Shortly after, ISBR had coercive subpoenas served on private citizens whose only involvement was voicing concerns at public planning board meetings about whether the proposed mosque complied with local building ordinances.

The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey recently granted the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, permission to represent, without charge, several of these citizens who desired to quash the coercive and abusive subpoenas.  Westfield, New Jersey attorney Michael P. Hrycak is assisting the Law Center.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented: “ISBR is setting a dangerous unconstitutional precedent by abusing a court process to chill and trample on the First Amendment Rights of private citizens whose only involvement was to speak out against the mosque at public hearings. Because the U.S. Supreme Court has held that speech at a public place on a matter of public concern is entitled to special protection, we will ask the Federal District Court to quash the subpoenas served on our clients as a misuse and abuse of the Court’s process.”

Lori Caratzola, described in the ISBR Complaint as a fervent and frequent objector to the mosque, was a prime target for ISBR’s personal attacks.  She was personally mentioned over a dozen times in their Complaint.  Yet she has remained steadfast in her opposition.  Ms. Caratzola commented:

“Being served with a Federal Court Subpoena to turn over all my personal communications including voicemails, social media, emails, notes wherein I make any mention of anything having to do with Islam is an absolute violation of my First Amendment rights. I was a citizen exercising my right to attend public planning board meetings about a land use application that affected my community.”

She continued:

“Dr. Chaudry’s clear intent was to embarrass, strike fear, silence and cause financial harm to any citizen who dared oppose his nonconforming project.  And if these subpoenas are allowed to stand, it will set a chilling precedent for all citizens who wish to exercise their Constitutionally protected right to free speech and to petition their government.

“I was named numerous times in the Complaint, yet as a non-party, I had no standing to challenge the lies and half-truths told about me.  After the Complaint was filed, mainstream media picked up and repeated these lies and half-truths.”

Caratzola concluded:

“I have lost days, probably weeks, devoting time to trying to find counsel – only to find most attorneys are afraid of challenging an Islamic group in today’s political climate.”

Attorney Karen Lugo, a specialist on constitutional law and zoning issues, echoed Lori Caratzola’s concerns:

“ISBR’s subpoena of private citizens’ communications with local government, as well as all personal email and social media statements related to ‘anything associated with or related to Muslims or Islam’ is in direct violation of speech protections enshrined in the Constitution and in Supreme Court rulings. ISBR’s blatant efforts to chill the free exercise of speech while intimidating local citizens with these subpoenas must not only be denied, but must be rebuked, by the courts.”

Cody Smith, another subpoenaed resident who opposed the Mosque, stated:

“The planning board did exactly what it should have done—set emotions aside and judge ISBR’s application solely on its merits and whether it complied with our local regulations. It’s unfortunate that Dr. Chaudry, the Township’s former mayor, has resorted to an all-out smear campaign and retaliation against residents who exercised their fundamental Constitutional rights of Free Speech in a public forum.”

Soon after ISBR’s lawsuit, DOJ investigators opened another coercive front by attempting to   interview the private citizens who opposed the mosque.  Eight months later, the DOJ filed its own lawsuit against the Township.

Astonishingly, the DOJ was dismissive of an apparent conflict of interest between Mohammad Ali Chaudry and the DOJ’s chief investigator, Caroline Sadlowski, both of whom were serving together on the Center for Religious and Cultural Conflicts board at Drew University.

See Bernards Township Press Release here

Game On: Tennessee to Sue Feds Over Unconstitutional Refugee Resettlement

refugees

Breitbart, by  MICHAEL PATRICK LEAHY, April 19, 2016:

NASHVILLE, Tennessee–On Tuesday, the Tennessee General Assembly declared it will sue the federal government over its refugee resettlement program on Tenth Amendment grounds. The State Senate passed a resolution authorizing that lawsuit in a 29 to 4 vote one day after it passed the Tennessee House by a 69 to 25 margin.

“Today we struck a blow for Liberty by finally adopting SJR467,” State Senator Mark Norris (R-Collierville), the co-sponsor of the resolution who shepherded it through the State Senate, tells Breitbart News.

“The General Assembly clearly understands the importance of public safety and state sovereignty as demonstrated by the overwhelming support of this Resolution for which we are thankful. The Syrian surge heightens our sense of urgency to get this properly before the courts, and we urge the Attorney General to act without delay,” Norris adds.

Tennessee, which withdrew from the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program in 2008, will now become the first state to sue the federal government over its operation of the program within the borders of its state on Tenth Amendment grounds. Alabama and Texas are currently suing the federal government over the refugee resettlement program on the narrower grounds that it has failed to comply with the Refugee Act of 1980.

“As a state legislator, it is my duty to fulfill my oath and to exercise Constitutional authority,” House sponsor State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) tells Breitbart News.

“I take it seriously to do all I can to protect the sovereignty of our great state. Either we abide by the Tenth Amendment or we ignore it,” she adds.

“It’s time for states to say no more federal overreach and [I] really believe that the federal government was created by the states and not the other way around,” Weaver says.

“Proud to have been involved in the process. It’s been a long road,” State Rep. Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma) tells Breitbart News, adding:

I held our first hearing in 2013 to look into this issue and I believe we have exhausted very option other than a law suit. I am very proud of [House resolution lead sponsor] State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) and her steadfastness, as well as the House Republican Caucus for sticking with this fight to this conclusion.

The House added an amendment to the resolution that first sailed through the State Senate in February which specified the lawsuit would be conducted at no cost to the state. The State Senate passed that amended resolution Tuesday.

It is now a certainty that Tennessee will sue the federal government.

The only unknown is whether Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, will add his support to the resolution, and whether Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery will represent the Tennessee General Assembly.

Haslam previously indicated he has reservations about the law suit.

Under Tennessee law, resolutions of the Tennessee General Assembly do not require the governor’s signature to become effective.

The resolution calls for the Attorney General to consider representing the General Assembly in federal court. Should the Attorney General choose not to represent the General Assembly, the Thomas More Law Center, a respected public interest law firm, has said it will represent the state at no cost.

It is unclear how long the General Assembly will give the Attorney General to make up his mind.

Tennessee is one of twelve states that have withdrawn from the program in which the federal government has, without statory authority, handed over the resettlement of refugees to “voluntary agencies” (VOLAGs) under a regulation concocted from thin air by the Department of Health and Human Services known as “the Wilson-Fish alternative program.”

The other Wilson Fish alternative program states are Alaska, Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Vermont.

State legislatures, governors, and gubernatorial candidates in several of these states have already expressed an interest in following Tennessee’s lead or joining Tennessee’s lawsuit, sources tell Breitbart News.

As Breitbart News reported, the operation of the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program has become a lucrative industry for a number of voluntary agencies, many of which are affiliated with Christian organizations.

The passage of the resolution is timely, as the Obama administration has stepped up its efforts to increase refugee resettlement recently.

The administration announced it would accelerate the vetting time for Syrian refugeesfrom two years to three months in order to meet its self- imposed goal of bringing in 10,000 refugees from that country during the fiscal year which ends in September.

In March, the Partnership for a New American Economy, a left-wing pro-immigrant groupfunded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and several corporate executives, along with the George Soros-funded Welcoming America, announced that they have selected twenty American communities to receive “Gateways for Growth” financial grants because of their receptive attitude to immigrants.

Pro-immigrant activists within and external to the U.S. State Department appear intent on distributing resettled refugees to many small and medium-size cities around the country.

In South Dakota, for instance. a Wilson-Fish alternative program state, the small city of Aberdeen (population 26,000) has recently been targeted by that state’s voluntary agency, Lutheran Social Services, as a direct refugee resettlement site.

The Tenth Amendment case against the federal government’s operation of the refugee resettlement program in these Wilson Fish alternative program states is strong, as Breitbart News reported previously:

In 1984, Senator Pete Wilson (R-CA), concerned at the disproportionate number of refugees sent to the state of California and the high cost of the program borne by the California state government in the form of payments made to refugees settled under the program who seemed to be unable to establish self-sufficiency in a timely manner, introduced an amendment to the 1984 Immigration and Naturalization Act to address that problem.

On October 2, 1984 when Senator Wilson introduced Amendment No. 6965 to the Immigration and Naturalization Act (which would subsequently be known as the Wilson-Fish amendment), he stated:

‘The specific intention of this amendment is to encourage refugee self-support and employment in California, a State which consistently receives at least 22 percent of all incoming refugees. A disproportionate number of refugees end up on welfare rolls. The language in this amendment will allow alternative approaches to this welfare dependency cycle.’ (emphasis added)

The language of the amendment, which was incorporated into the law passed in 1984, reads:

‘[T]he Secretary shall develop and implement alternative projects for refugees who have been in the United States less than thirty-six months, under which refugees are provided interim support, medical services, support services, and case management, as needed, in a manner that encourages self-sufficiency, reduces welfare dependency, and fosters greater coordination among the resettlement agencies and service providers.’

The Wilson-Fish amendment does not mention or even allude to using the Secretary’s authority to fund Wilson-Fish alternative projects as a way to usurp the authority of state governments, such as whether a state would even agree to a refugee resettlement program operating in the state.

Tennessee State Rep. Weaver sums up the attitude of most Tennesseans to the federal government’s continued efforts to tell states what they are allowed to do under the Obama administration.

“There are numerous other departments of federal overreach we need to push back as well. To name a few—EPA, education, and health care, and Second Amendment rights,” Weaver tells Breitbart News.

“By golly, guess what? We the people of Tennessee are responding!” she adds.

Public School System Sued for Pushing Islamic Propaganda

High school / AP

High school / AP

Former Marine fought daughter’s high school for promoting Islam

Washington Free Beacon, by Morgan Chalfant, Jan. 28, 2016:

A public school system in Maryland is being sued for promoting Islam over other religions.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court Wednesday on behalf of a former Marine and his wife who fought back at their daughter’s high school for forcing students to complete assignments that endorsed Islam.

The Thomas More Law Center filed the civil rights complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, accusing leaders at the Charles County Public Schools of violating the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.

John Kevin Wood, who served eight years in the Marine Corps, and his wife Melissa objected when they discovered that their daughter’s World History class at La Plata High School was circulating assignments that amounted to Islamic propaganda.

Their daughter and her fellow students were instructed to write out the Islamic creed “Shahada,” which says, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” When recited by non-Muslims, the creed amounts to conversion to Islam.

Students were also required to memorize and recite the Five Pillars of Islam and were subjected to disparaging teachings about Christianity.

“Most Muslims’ faith is stronger than the average Christian,” one worksheet read.

The class also spent one day covering Christianity, while teachers devoted two weeks to instructing about Islam.

Upon learning of the lessons prioritizing Islam, Wood, who is Christian, contacted the school and demanded alternative assignments for his daughter. The school refused to allow his daughter to opt out of the assignments and threatened her with failing grades if they were not completed. She elected not to complete the worksheets.

The complaint filed Wednesday charges that the school discriminated against Wood’s daughter “by removing her from the academic environment of her World History class, relegating her to the student library, and issuing her failing grades on assignments because [she] refused to deny and insult her Christian beliefs.”

Following Wood’s complaints, the school principal also banned him from entering school grounds.

The lawsuit was filed against the Charles County Public Schools, the Board of Education, and the principal and vice principal of La Plata High School. It seeks a declaration from the defendants that they violated the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights, in addition to a temporary and permanent injunction barring them from promoting Islam over other religions and from banning Wood from school grounds.

In announcing the complaint, the president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center warned that schools across the nation are forcing such “Islamic indoctrination.”

“Parents must be ever vigilant to the Islamic indoctrination of their children under the guise of teaching history and multiculturalism. This is happening in public schools across the country. And they must take action to stop it,” Richard Thompson, the law firm’s president, said in a statement.

Problems in the U.S. Military: Denying Islam’s Role in Terror

The U.S. Army seems to have succumbed to PC-Islamist sensitivities. It has issued a special handbook for soldiers that appears to justify jihad as "communal military defense … when [Muslims] are threatened or under attack." In addition, U.S. servicewomen have been urged to don head scarves when interacting with Afghan locals while all soldiers are warned to "respect Islam" in order to prevent violence there.

The U.S. Army seems to have succumbed to PC-Islamist sensitivities. It has issued a special handbook for soldiers that appears to justify jihad as “communal military defense … when [Muslims] are threatened or under attack.” In addition, U.S. servicewomen have been urged to don head scarves when interacting with Afghan locals while all soldiers are warned to “respect Islam” in order to prevent violence there.

by David J. Rusin
Middle East Quarterly
Spring 2013 (view PDF)

Editors’ note: This article discusses many public figures in the context of the positions they held in December 2012 when the article was submitted. There has been much turnover in government and military posts since then, but the problems caused by political correctness remain despite the changes in personnel.

As U.S. service members risk their lives to combat violent jihadists abroad, military leaders, both uniformed and civilian, capitulate to stealth jihadists at home. By bending to Islamists’ appeals for religious sensitivity, these leaders ignore the most crucial lesson of the Fort Hood massacre: Political correctness can kill.

The War On Training

A key battleground in the war of ideas between Islamists and the West is military training because Islamists seek to suppress knowledge of their beliefs and goals.[1] This campaign hit high gear in 2011 when journalist Spencer Ackerman of Wired launched a series of articles documenting “offensive” training employed by various government agencies. He highlighted, among others, FBI materials stating that Islamic doctrine calls for war against non-Muslims and equating greater religious devotion with the potential for violence.[2]

On October 19, 2011, dozens of Muslim groups, many Islamist in nature, signed a letter to John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism advisor, with a copy to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, demanding that the administration “purge … biased materials” and jettison “bigoted trainers.”[3]However, Panetta’s Department of Defense was already on the case. Five days prior, Jose Mayorga, deputy assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense, had directed the Joint Staff to compile information on the “current processes used to vet CVE [countering violent extremism] trainers.”[4]

The Islamists’ most notable scalp to date—presented to them by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army general Martin Dempsey—is that of Matthew Dooley, a decorated Army lieutenant colonel who had taught at the Joint Forces Staff College of the National Defense University.[5] At issue was Dooley’s courseon Islam and Islamic radicalism during which he spoke of Islam as an ideology, not just a faith, and war-gamed provocative scenarios in which it would be confronted as such.[6]

A colonel enrolled in the class complained to his superiors, leading to the course’s suspension in April 2012.[7] On May 10, Wired published course materials focusing on a handful of slides conjecturing about “total war” and taking the conflict to civilians, but which also included a disclaimer that the specific counter-jihad model was meant “to generate dynamic discussion and thought” and did not constitute government policy.[8] According to The Washington Times, Dooley’s attorneys at the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) have maintained that “the discussion about all-out war … was conducted by a guest speaker. It involved theoretical ‘out of the box’ thinking on what happens if Islamic extremists commandeer Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and begin destroying U.S. cities: How does the U.S. respond?”[9]

External lecturers in the class were a major target of Wired, which highlighted their politically incorrect statements such as that the Crusades had been initiated after centuries of Muslim incursions and that Islamists see the fall of Arab regimes as stepping stones to global dominance.[10] Ironically, one maligned guest speaker, Stephen Coughlin, had been fired from his post with the Joint Staff years earlier because of his own controversial work on Islamic warfare.[11]

Though one could debate whether aspects of Dooley’s approach were unbalanced, the military’s reaction surely was. Hours after the Wired exposé appeared, Dempsey condemned the class at a news conference.[12] “It was just totally objectionable, against our values, and it wasn’t academically sound,” he said, adding that Dooley, referred to as “the individual,” was no longer teaching. Soon Dooley was ordered removed “for cause,” and his superiors produced a negative officer evaluation report, derailing his career.[13] On November 26, Ackerman relayed that Dooley had been transferred to a “bureaucratic backwater.”[14]

TMLC lawyers argue that the military chose to “throw him under the bus in public” without ever privately instructing Dooley to tweak the course’s content.[15] The center further asserts that Dempsey’s words prejudiced the investigation, that the syllabus had been approved, and that university policies guarantee the right to academic expression “free of limitations, restraints, or coercion by the university or external environment.”[16] Two congressmen also objected to what they saw as excessive punishment;[17] in response, the Pentagon issued a report defending Dooley’s dismissal on the basis that the class “did not meet appropriate academic standards” and was “overtly negative with respect to Islam.”[18] According to a TMLC press release, the military’s primary goal was to appease Islamists and make an example out of Dooley, so others “will refrain from telling the truth about Islam or confronting the difficult strategic challenges facing our nation for fear of jeopardizing their professional careers.”[19]

Read more at Middle East Forum

 

Newly Revealed Document Vindicates Army Lt. Colonel Matthew Dooley In Anti-Islam Controversy

pentagon_2_
In December 2011, the National Defense University’s Deputy VP for Academic Affairs, Dr. Brenda Roth, officially confirmed in writing to the Pentagon that all course materials at the National Defense University were vetted and approved by the University and its military command.  This official confirmation covered the content and outside guest speakers used in its course entitled Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism.Nevertheless, four months later General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, disregarding Dr. Roth’s official report, publicly excoriated and fired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Matthew Dooley, an instructor involved with the course, on grounds that the course was offensive to Islam and unprofessional; he also ordered LTC Dooley’s career–ending negative Officer Evaluation Report.

In the newly revealed official communication written on December 2, 2011, Dr. Roth informed the Pentagon that “The curriculum is vetted through College-level curriculum committees or academic review committees which ensure students receive a senior-level professional education (vice training) in national security strategy.”

According to Dr. Roth,“The College Dean of Faculty and Academic Programs reviews and vets proposed speakers for their subject matter expertise and academic and teaching credibility. The Commandants [Generals] have the final review of recommended speakers and issues invitations to those he approves.”

Dr. Roth’s official report was written in response to a Pentagon inquiry about the vetting process and use of outside lecturers to avoid Muslim criticism of federal agencies that present an offensive view of Islam.

Click here to read Dr. Roth’s entire Report.

The course on Islamic Radicalism was first established in 2004.  The external guest speakers used in the elective were all approved under the watch of Brigadier General Marvin Smoot, USAF, in 2009-2010, well before Dooley’s arrival.  LTC Dooley began as an instructor of the Radical Islam course in 2011.  He received the highest officer evaluations for his effectiveness as an instructor that included a recommendation that he be promoted and given a command as soon as possible.

Brigadier General Marvin Smoot, USAF, was the commandant of the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) when the various guest speakers “critical of Islam” were vetted.  Moreover, in 2011 General Smoot gave LTC Dooley an outstanding Officer Evaluation Report for his performance as an instructor. General Smoot’s replacement as JFSC commandant, Major General Joseph Ward, also thought highly of LTC Dooley, but nonetheless followed orders and wrote a negative evaluation.

Two Republican Congressmen, Representatives Duncan Hunter of California and Thomas Rooney of Florida questioned the severity of Dooley’s punishment.   Army Lieutenant General Curtis Scaparrotti, responding on behalf of General Dempsey, still blamed LTC Dooley for poor judgment but admitted “that there were institutional failures in oversight and judgment.”  Those institutional failures, therefore, must rest on the doorstep of the generals in charge of the institution, not on an instructor who received multiple accolades from his superiors for the great job he was doing.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, the public interest law firm representing LTC Dooley, commented, “Any fair-minded person would conclude that Matt Dooley was thrown under the bus to protect the generals who had institutional responsibilities over the course. I believe the Pentagon wanted to curry favor with the White House and the Muslim community, which demanded that all training materials offensive to Islam be purged and the trainers who use them punished. The fact remains that the course and guest lecturers for which LTC Dooley was publicly ridiculed and punished were all approved by senior leaders long before he ever became an instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC).”

 

Muslims Offended—Soldier’s Career Destroyed—Official Army Records Show Loss to Nation

Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Matthew Dooley

Thomas More Law Center:

ANN ARBOR, MI – During a Pentagon press conference on May 10, 2012, General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, publicly excoriated Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Matthew Dooley, a 1994 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a highly decorated combat veteran.  His reason: The course on Islamic Radicalism which LTC Dooley was teaching at the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) of the National Defense University was offensive to Muslims.

General Dempsey characterized LTC Dooley’s course as “totally objectionable,” and ordered all material offensive to Islam scrubbed from military professional education within the JFSC and elsewhere. But that’s not all.  LTC Dooley was fired from his instructor position and given an ordered negative Officer Evaluation Report (OER) — the death-knell for a military career.

The actions against LTC Dooley follow a letter to the Department of Defense dated October 19, 2011 signed by 57 Muslim organizations demanding that all training materials offensive to Islam and Muslims be purged and the trainers disciplined.

A review of LTC Dooley’s OERs going back several years, including his OER as an instructor with JFSC, paint a picture of an outstanding officer with unlimited potential:

  • “LTC Matt Dooley’s performance is outstanding and he is clearly the best of our new instructors assigned to the JFSC faculty over the last six months. . . . A must select for battalion command. . . .  LTC Dooley possesses unlimited potential to serve in positions of much higher authority.”
  • “MAJ Dooley is unquestionably among the most dedicated and hard working officers I have ever known.…  Unsurpassed potential for future promotion and service.”
  • “Our soldiers deserve his leadership.”
  • “This officer possesses unlimited potential for future assignments.  He must be promoted ahead of his peers and selected for Battalion/Squadron Command at first opportunity.”
  • “Superb performance.”
  • “Matt is a consummate professional with unlimited potential;”

Click here for detailed excerpts from LTC Dooley’s Officer Evaluation Reports

The Thomas More Law Center, a national nonprofit public interest law firm, based in Ann, Arbor, Michigan, represents LTC Dooley. The Law Center decided to disclose excerpts from five of LTC Dooley’s previous Officer Evaluation Reports (OER) in order to give the public an idea of the loss to the Army and our Nation caused by the actions taken against LTC Dooley.

What happened to LTC Dooley is more than a personal miscarriage of justice.  When instructors are prohibited from teaching military officers about the true threat posed by Islamic Radicalism, it is a threat to our national security.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center observed, “As you read his OERs, linked here, I’m sure you will come to several conclusions about Matt Dooley.  First, he is an outstanding officer and had a brilliant career ahead of him.   Secondly, he loyally served every one of his commanders.  Third, he was respected by the men under his command.  Fourth, his superiors at the Joint Forces Staff College considered him an outstanding instructor.  And lastly, after all he has done for his country and the Army his superiors sacrificed him to the dogs of political correctness.”

OERs are required at least once a year and are normally completed by two superiors, namely, a rater and a senior rater.   The rating officer on an OER is usually the rated officer’s immediate supervisor, an officer of higher rank, who is most familiar with the rated soldier’s specific duties and performance. The senior rater is a leader who occupies the next higher duty position up from the rater and is best positioned to assess both the rated soldier’s performance in comparison to his peers, as well as the rated soldier’s future potential to serve in higher ranks and increased levels of responsibility.

The OERs clearly demonstrate that LTC Dooley’s raters and senior raters all considered him an outstanding officer and advocated his rapid promotion and advancement to the highest levels of responsibility.  Like many of his peers serving alongside him in the military, LTC Dooley has served honorably and with distinction through a number of complex operating environments. Nevertheless, he has become the latest victim of the “Great Purge” to appease the 57 Muslim groups which demanded that instructors using materials offensive to Islam be disciplined.

In fact, after General Dempsey’s public rebuke, a negative OER was ordered and prepared with direction from the Pentagon covering the period from June 2011 to June 2012.   In contrast to the inaccurate and unjust comments in the Pentagon-directed negative OER, the excerpts from earlier OERs describe LTC Dooley’s outstanding performance.

LTC Matt Dooley attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated and received his commission as a Second Lieutenant, Armor Branch in May 1994.  His assignments included deployment to Bosnia, Kuwait, and Iraq for a total of six operational and combat tours over the course of his career.   He served as a Tank Platoon Leader, Tank Company Commander, Headquarters Company Commander, Aide-de-Camp (to three General Officers), and Instructor at the Joint Combined Warfare School.  He is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College as well as the Joint Forces Staff College.