White House press secretary Josh Earnest warns that heightened anti-Muslim rhetoric in the presidential campaign is helping terrorists defeat the Obama administration’s “war of narratives” against the Islamic State.
“In some ways this is actually just a war of narratives, and so we want to make sure that we get out our counter narrative against ISIL and we’re having some progress,” Earnest said during an appearance on MSNBC, urging Americans to stop blaming terrorist acts on Muslims.
He urged more moderate American voices to condemn the “poisonous, empty, bankrupt, mythology” of the Islamic state.
Earnest made his comments in response to the New York City Manhattan bombing that injured 29 people, as law enforcement officials have discovered additional bombs placed around the city and in New Jersey. Earnest, however, appeared more concerned about feeding the news narrative propagated by the Islamic state.
“The last thing, and the president has talked about this a lot, we also can’t give them the narrative victory of suggesting that every Muslim is responsible for this kind of terrorism,” he said. “We can’t give into this narrative, that ISIL wants to build up, that the United States is at war with Islam. That is false, that is not true.”
Earnest suggested that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump repeatedly blaming radical Islam for the attacks would only helping the terrorists win the narrative battle.
“We can’t allow that kind of narrative victory to be given to them, we need to push back against that, and that’s part of the distressing rhetoric that the campaign has been a part of,” Earnest said.