On October 31, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey was speaking at Syracuse University when a bearded Muslim held the microphone to ask a question, and Dempsey quickly asked, “Are you Taliban?”
Dempsey then added, “Just kidding.”
According to Mediaite.com, Syracuse.com tracked the bearded Muslim down after the event. His name is Yusuf Soule, and he said he did not even hear Dempsey’s quip. After Syracuse.com repeated it for him, Soule said he was not bothered by it.
Soule also said those kind of questions are common and “[General Dempsey’s] a funny guy.”
But The Hill reports that another member of the audience, Ibrahim Hooper, took offense to Dempsey’s “sentiment.” Hooper described it as “another symptom of the growing anti-Muslim sentiment in our society.”
In response to this, Dempsey’s spokesman Colonel Ed Thomas said, “The chairman regrets that his use of humor was misunderstood.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRhawkins Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.