CNN host Michael Smerconsih criticized the Obama administration for not using the phrase “radical Islam” on Wednesday’s “CNN Newsroom.”
“I think it’s dishonest by omission. Nobody is suggesting that we should describe these terror acts as having been committed by Islam, that would be ridiculous because they’re not committed by Islam. But they are committed by individuals who represent a very violent strand of radical Islam. And I think that to not say so is to frankly be misleading. To me john, it would be like discussing pedophile priests but saying ‘don’t utter the word Catholic.’ It would be like saying we’re going to have a conversation about the mafia or La Cosa Nostra, but we’re never going to mention individuals of Italian heritage. I don’t like this censorship. I think the censorship assumes that if you say these words, there will be a revolt among all Muslims, all followers of the Islamic faith. But that’s as bad as individuals who say, in the aftermath of one of these attacks that it’s representative of the entire faith, when it’s not” he stated.
Harris Zafar, author and National Spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, mostly agreed, saying “I don’t really take offense if somebody calls it Muslim extremism or Muslim terrorists,” although he did say that “some do take it forward on other networks, they’ve actually called this an Islamic attack, so the word ‘terrorism’ is removed.” He added “for me the far more offensive thing is the manner in which Muslims react, like this terror attack, when bad things happen, and people do bad things, we have to be out front in condemning it in word and in deed like the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, we hit the streets to condemn these types of acts.” Although he added that while “human decency” simply dictates that we denounce all bad behavior, he didn’t think it was “fair to ever expect a Muslim to have to apologize or condemn an act, especially considering that we have a 10, 20 year track record of doing that every single time.” And “but, part of us, w the same way, e have to be able to push back.”
The discussion then turned to Kareem Abdul-Jabar’s statement on radical Islam, where he argued that since the KKK is instantly recognized as a group that perverts Christianity, Islamic extremists should be considered in a similar manner, which Smerconish said was “apples and oranges comparison,” questioning how often they acted in the name of Christianity, and that if they did “it would be fair to call out the KKK and say ‘these are lunatics who are acting in the name, some perverted notion of their faith.'” He added that if the KKK was using Christianity as a justification, that should be reported.
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