Right Wing wrong for equating ISIL with Islamic Terrorism
President Obama made it clear in no uncertain terms why he will not characterize the terrorism effected by ISIS / ISIL as Islamic Terrorism. Many conservatives, some liberals, and a media that receives its talking points from the Right Wing have been accusing the President of attempting to be too politically correct and worse.
Chuck Todd said as much on MSNBC even before the President made the speech. "I can already predict exactly what the criticism is going to be of the President," Chuck Todd said. "You don't see the word Islam or Islamic or Radical Islam anywhere in the fact sheet. They use extremist. They are very careful not to associate it with one religion. And this has been an ongoing debate." Chuck Todd further wondered if the President should not be using the the term Islamic Terrorism in order to coerce Muslim countries to do more since the acts are being committed by Muslims under the pretext of Islam.
The President was clear with his answer. "We have to confront squarely and honestly the twisted ideologies that these terrorist groups use to incite people to violence," President Obama said. "Leading up to this summit there has been a fair amount of debate in the press and among pundits about the words we use to describe and frame this challenge.
So I want to be very clear about how I see it. Al-Qaeda and ISIL, and groups like it, are desperate for legitimacy. They try to portray themselves as religious leaders, holy warriors in defense of Islam. That’s why ISIL presume to declare itself the Islamic State. And they propagate the notion that America, and the West generally, is at war with Islam. That is how they recruit. That is how they try to radicalize young people.
We must never accept the premise that they put forward. Because it is a lie. Nor should we grant these terrorists the religious legitimacy they seek. They are not religious leaders, they are terrorist. And we are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted in Islam."
It is unlikely this speech will pacify the Right Wing. It is unlikely this speech will pacify those entrenched in their bigotry toward Islam. For those with open minds and those that can think unhindered by peer pressure, those statements will ring true.