General known for anti-Islam views withdraws as West Point speaker

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The liberal veterans advocacy group VoteVets.org wrote a letter last week to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno protesting Boykin’s inclusion in the breakfast, saying his comments put troops in harms way because they “threaten our relationships with Muslims around the world.”

“To allow LTG Boykin to address the corps of cadets would be disrespectful to the Muslim cadets currently enrolled at West Point,” the group’s leaders wrote. “It would be a slap to the face to Muslim Americans who have served their country, not to mention those who gave the fullest sacrifice for their nation and their comrades.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations joined in the protest on Thursday, calling on West Point officials to retract the invitation to Boykin.

Boykin’s comments on Islam in 2003 drew a rebuke from then-President George W. Bush, who said the statements “didn't reflect my opinion.”

The Army took action against Boykin for his statements in 2004, but said it was “not significant.”

Boykin now helps run an evangelical group called Kingdom Warriors and is a visiting professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Hampden-Sydney, Va. He did not respond immediately to a request for comment.