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CAIR LA Director: US Foreign Policy ‘Partly Responsible’ For Terrorism


Hussam Ayloush, the Executive Director of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) argued that “some of our own foreign policy, as Americans, as the West have fueled that extremism. … We are partly responsible” in Los Angeles on Friday’s broadcast of CNN’s “New Day.”

Ayloush said, “let’s not forget, as we speak today, ISIS has killed — 95% of the victims of ISIS have been Muslims themselves, and let’s not forget that at the forefront of fighting ISIS today, are the brave Syrian people, who are fighting on both fronts, the barbaric regime of Assad, and the barbarism of ISIS. So, we should give credit when credit is due. We actually have left the Syrian people alone, as they’re fight[ing] and battl[ing] with ISIS, and then we complain and say what are the Muslim people doing to route out terrorism and extremism? Let’s not forget that some of our own foreign policy, as Americans, as the West have fueled that extremism. When we support cruel leaders in Egypt, or other places, when we support dictatorships, repressive regimes around the world, that push people over to the edge, then they become extremists, then they become terrorists. We are partly responsible. So, this is — terrorism is a global problem, not a Muslim problem. And the solution has to be global. Everybody has a role in it.”

Ayloush began by stating, “Quick things, obviously, being here, at this, just heavy on my heart. Again, expressing my condolences, my heartfelt condolences to the families, to the loved ones of all the injured, all the killed ones. It just — you know, we’re all one at this point. We don’t look at the religion or the race of the victims. We’re all Americans. We’re all human beings, and my prayers go to those families, and to all those victims. Now, dealing with the shooters themselves, I think it is important whether we find out, we’re still — the investigation is still going on. We don’t know for a fact what motivated that horrific act. Now, if it turns out radicalization was an act — was a reason behind it, I think we should be very careful not to link religion to it. Radicals come in all shapes and forms. Terrorists in all shapes and forms. We shouldn’t link a religion to it, because then, we are validating what these terrorists try to do. They try to claim to be representing that religion. We don’t call the shooters in Colorado Springs a christian terrorist. They’re terrorists. We don’t call them — or when the KKK commits crimes, we don’t call them Christian terrorists.”

After anchor Chris Cuomo asked Ayloush about those who would say, “you don’t hear Christians, as often at least, coming out and saying I do this in the name of Christianity, the way we seem to experience it with Muslims and that drives a phobia.” He responded, “Of course. But, I mean, we have to put it things in perspective. There are 1.6 billion, with a b, Muslims in the world. The number of people who join groups like ISIS, Daesh, al Qaeda, is a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of that whole number. When we allow them to hijack the name Islam when they commit their horrific act, we are doing an injustice, unfair injustice towards the rest of the Muslims who reject such behavior. And we’re giving these people a credit they don’t deserve because they’re claiming to be Muslim. They’re claiming to be acting on behalf of Muslims and Islam, and they’re not.”

He further stated that President Obama not using terms like “radical Islam” is “on point, because he understands that we do not need to alienate our allies. The 1.6 billion, for the most part, are on our side as we fight these extremist viewpoints, these terrorists. We — once we start blaming and defaming their religion, our religion, in this case for myself, then we’re alienating them.”

Ayloush further argued that the term “Islamist” wouldn’t be accurate either because it’s “an adjective of Islam. Basically, we’re linking it to Islam.” He added, “there is no way to separate. Once you use the word ‘Islam,’ or try that with Judaism. You’ll see. Try that. I think most of us have become desensitized when it comes to Islam. We think we can separate. We cannot.”

(h/t Mediaite)

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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