- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 22, 2003

A senior Saudi Arabian official last night said Lt. Gen. William Boykin’s remarks about Islam were “outrageous” sentiments worthy of Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-born terrorist who has been hunted by the U.S. military since his group carried out the September 11 attacks.

“If you switched the religions around,” Abdel al-Jubeir told reporters at the Saudi Embassy, “the words could have been said by Osama bin Laden.”

Gen. Boykin, deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence and special operations, is facing an internal Pentagon investigation as a result of remarks he made while in uniform at several evangelical Christian meetings and prayer breakfasts.

Speaking of a Islamist warlord in Somalia, Gen. Boykin said, “I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.” On another occasion, he said that the U.S. war on terror was a fight “with Satan,” and that Islamic radicals want to destroy the United States “because we’re a Christian nation.”

Mr. al-Jubeir, a senior adviser to Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, said that comments such as Gen. Boykin’s damage the cause of U.S. allies in the Muslim world by bolstering the contention of Muslim extremists that the U.S.-led war on terrorism is a war on Islam.

If they had been accurately reported, he said, Gen. Boykin’s comments were “outrageous, insensitive, divisive and hurtful.”

“They were unbecoming of a government official,” he said. “There is no room for such remarks.”

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