The Wrong Lesson

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Retired Lt. Gen. William Boykin will not speak at West Point's National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 8.

Late last week, retired Lt. Gen. William Boykin, an outspoken Christian, spoke during a prayer breakfast in Ocean City, Md. Boykin discussed his personal spirituality and how it was interwoven throughout his life and career. Under normal circumstances, a retired war horse addressing a group of citizens in a small resort city attracts less attention than the surf report in a retirement community. But the left-wing hate group People for the American Way and the terrorist-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations decided to make Boykin’s speech the event of the offseason.

Following the hubbub, Boykin “has decided to withdraw speaking at West Point’s National Prayer Breakfast” on Feb. 8, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Military Academy. Boykin’s withdrawal followed a round of complaints from PFAW, CAIR and others. A statement by CAIR’s executive director Nihad Awad read:

We welcome Mr. Boykin’s withdrawal from this event and hope that the speaker who replaces him will offer cadets a spiritual message that promotes tolerance and mutual understanding.

When did tolerance and understanding earn a place in CAIR’s belief system? CAIR’s founders are the aforementioned Awad and Omar Ahmad, both former officers of the Islamic Association of Palestine. In his book Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad, former FBI analyst and U.S. Treasury Department intelligence official Mathew Levitt described IAP as “intimately tied to the most senior Hamas leadership.” Let’s not sugarcoat it, people. CAIR is an Islamic terrorist public relations firm.

Some of you will read this and wonder why I didn’t discuss Mitt Romney’s triumph in Florida’s RINO-match of a primary or something equally as politically immediate. I will respond by warning you not to dismiss tales of this nature. A retired veteran was denied an opportunity to share fellowship with the cadets at West Point because of pressure brought by fringe liberals with a decided left-wing agenda and ties to terrorist groups. This is precisely the sort of camouflaged incrementalism that weakens the Nation from the roots up. What CAIR and its accomplices accomplished in pressuring West Point to send Boykin packing is a step toward policy. West Point isn’t some resort town; it’s one of the places from which the future leaders of our armed forces — men and women like Boykin — will be culled. What lessons will those future leaders learn when extremist groups can successfully censor the opinions of the leaders who came before them? More importantly, what lessons will they miss?

It is true that Boykin holds some fairly strong opinions about Islamofascists. That ought to surprise no one since his career sometimes pitted him against Islamofascists. Furthermore, Boykin’s opinions are less than shocking, considering the fact that Islamofascists hardly try to hide their feelings about him (and the rest of us). But to punish Boykin at the behest of vermin like CAIR and PFAW is the wrong message from the wrong people at the wrong time.

Personal Liberty

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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