Leaked State Department Memo Called for ‘Islamic Reformation’

state department

A State Department memo dating from last year advised the Trump administration to push for “Islamic Reformation” in an effort to counter Iran and the Islamic State, a suggestion which was eventually rejected.

However, even though it was not adopted as part of the National Security Strategy announced in December, a discussion of a “reformation of Islam” at the highest levels of the government shows that the approach to foreign policy has taken a different turn.

The Intercept writes that if it was adopted as official policy, it would mark a radical departure by directly inserting the U.S. government into an anti-Muslim theological discussion, usually carried out by Islamophobic zealots.

“The goal against Iran and ISIS is to break each’s brand and Islamic extremism,” reads the document. “In seeking a public diplomacy means for undermining the ideological basis for supporting the current Iranian or ISIS structures, an emphasis on ‘Islamic Reformation’ should factor in heavily.”

The State Department Policy Planning Staff submitted the document to the White House National Security Council in 2017 while Rex Tillerson was at the helm of the State Department. At the time, the NSC was drafting the Trump administration’s National Security Strategy, but Tillerson distanced himself from President Donald Trump’s anti-Islam rhetoric.

However, his replacement Mike Pompeo has worried many about what the department’s approach to Islam will now be considering that Pompeo is known as an anti-Muslim ideologue.

A State Department official confirmed the authenticity of the memo and told The Intercept that the paper was “one of dozens” of documents that helped inform the framing of the National Security Strategy.

“As with all pre-decisional documents designed to stimulate discussion, a healthy dose of skepticism is appropriate,” the official wrote, adding that ‘Islamic Reformation’ was a phrase “used in the article as a historical analogy, not a policy prescription.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.