A Defense Department report on the anti-Muslim remarks of Lt. Gen. William Boykin has been criticized by the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times for its leniency. Boykin has said that the U.S. is “a Christian nation” at war with “Satan.” He has also said that “my God [is] a real God,” as opposed to the “idol” that Muslims worship. After the Defense Department investigated the matter, it concluded that Boykin had violated Pentagon rules, but it did not recommend any penalty; one official called Boykin’s offense “relatively minor.”
In an editorial today in the New York Times, the newspaper calls for Boykin to be removed from his current job. Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times went further, demanding that he be forced into retirement.
Here’s how Catholic League president William Donohue sees it:
“General Boykin’s comments were as bigoted as they were stupid. Did he really think that a man in his position could get away with offending an entire class of people? What should be done about him was perhaps best expressed by Ibrahim Hooper, the communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations: he should be reassigned to a post where he cannot continue to harm America’s image in the Muslim world. But this isn’t the end of the issue—the selective indignation of the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times is also an issue.
“In 1993, Dr. Joycelyn Elders was nominated by President Bill Clinton to be the Surgeon General of the U.S. Dr. Elders came under fire at that time from the Catholic League for her anti-Catholic remarks (e.g., ‘Look who’s fighting the pro-choice movement: a celibate, male-dominated church’; those who oppose abortion are ‘non-Christians with slave master mentalities’; the Catholic Church has either been ‘silent’ or done ‘nothing’ about social injustice). And what did the two Times newspapers say about Elders? They both gave her a ringing endorsement (the Washington Post, by the way, sided with the Catholic League).
“Catholics look forward to a day when the New York Times and the Los Angeles Timestreat us the way they do Muslims.”