An Arizona college professor charged that American soldiers are anti-Muslim rapists who pose "a greater threat" to world peace than ISIS, and says he leveled the charge to make the U.S. "stronger and better."
University of Arizona instructor Musa al-Gharbi, who also is an academic affiliate at the university's Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle East Conflicts, made the comments in a column penned for the online forum TruthOut, and defended them when reached by The Washington Free Beacon. He called Americans "hypocritical" for expressing moral outrage at the Islamic State, which has raped, murdered and beheaded thousands of Muslims and Christians in its quest to establish a Muslim caliphate in Syria and Iraq.
"It would not be a stretch to say that the United States is actually a greater threat to peace and stability in the region than ISIS — not least because U.S. policies in Iraq, Libya and Syria have largely paved the way for ISIS' emergence as a major regional actor," al-Gharbi wrote in the article titled, "How Much Moral High Ground Does the U.S. Have Over ISIS?"
Al-Gharbi claimed that the isolated instances of U.S. soldiers committing atrocities including rape, for which they face court-martial and imprisonment if found guilty, are on a level with the widespread and systematic brutality of Islamic State radicals.
"Many of the same behaviors condemned by the Obama administration and used to justify its most recent campaign into Iraq and Syria are commonly perpetrated by U.S. troops and are ubiquitous in the broader American society," al-Gharbi wrote. "U.S. soldiers and contractors have and continue to torture their enemies, often taking obscene photos to brag about and reminisce upon their acts."
Al-Gharbi also claimed that the U.S. military has been "heavily infiltrated by white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups."
Al-Gharbi has written previously for Al Jazeera, including a column in July blaming Israel for provoking Hamas into firing rockets into Israel so it could invade Gaza.
The University of Arizona's Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle East Conflicts distanced itself from al-Gharbi's writings in an email to the Free Beacon.
"SISMEC is a consortium of researchers, instructors and intellectuals who work both collaboratively and independently on critical issues related to the MENA region," a spokesman said. "We stand behind all work published on the SISMEC website, to include the research of al-Gharbi. However, those works published externally represent the views of the author and do not represent the initiative."
Robert Spencer, author of "Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs," said al-Gharbi's views are shared on campuses around the country.
"Musa al-Gharbi is not singular," Spencer wrote on the site JihadWatch.org. "There are professors all over the country who say essentially the same things."
Al-Gharbi, whose column acknowledges the rather obvious point that Islamic State poses a threat to the Syrian and Iraqi governments, claims the Obama administration's strategy for fighting the Islamic State will empower the terrorist army and "undermine the security and interests of the United States and its allies." He told the Free Beacon his controversial article was intended to improve U.S. policy.
"The goal of all of my work is to render U.S. policy more effective, efficient, and beneficent," Al-Gharbi told the newspaper by email. "I do this work out of my commitment to challenge America to grow better and stronger."