Congress narrowly rejects proposal for military to conduct a ‘strategic assessment’ of Islam

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Tucked into a massive military spending bill was a provision that would have required the Department of Defense to study “the use of violent or unorthodox Islamic religious doctrine to support extremist or terrorist or terrorist messaging.”  A narrow majority of the U.S. House of Representatives — including all but one of the members from Minnesota — stripped that proposal out of the bill on Friday.

The idea of government scrutinizing people’s faith, rather than their actions, “goes against everything we strive to be,” said U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, a Minneapolis DFLer and the first Muslim elected to Congress.

The amendment to the $696 billion National Defense Authorization Act asked military and outside experts to identify “Islamic religious doctrines, concepts, or schools of thought used by various extremist groups” and then come up with ways to counter them.

Ellison questioned why a study of religious extremism would focus on just a single faith.

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http://www.startribune.com/congress-narrowly-rejects-proposal-for-military-to-conduct-a-strategic-assessment-of-islam/434705283/?utm_source=NSHR%20Rapid%20Response&utm_campaign=7f8b05b015-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_06_19&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3a915757be-7f8b05b015-391722642&mc_cid=749f5986be&mc_eid=83e6bcb3fa