Tuesday in Washington, DC, President Barack Obama said he has been reluctant use the phrase “radical Islam” because there was “no magic to the phrase of radical Islam.”
Partial transcript as follows:
OBAMA: Let me make a final point, for a while now the main contribution of some of my friends on the other side of the aisle have made in the fight against ISIL is to criticize the administration and me for not using the phrase “radical Islam.” That’s the key they tell us. We cannot beat ISIL unless we call them “radical Islam” what exactly using this label would accomplish and what will it change? Will it make ISIL less committed to try to kill Americans? Would it bring more allies for military strategy than it is served by this? The answer is none of the above. Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction. Before I was president, I have been cleared about how extremist group justifying terrorists. As president, I have called on our Muslim friends and allies at home and around the world to work with us to reject this twisted interpretation of one of the world’s great religions.
There is not a moment where we have not able to pursue a strategy because we didn’t use the label “radical Islam.” Not once has an advisor, man, if we use that phrase, we are going to turn this whole thing around. Not once. so someone seriously thinks that we don’t know who we are fighting? If there is anyone out there who thinks we are confused about who our enemies are — that would come to a surprise of the thousands of terrorists we have taken on our battlefield. If the implication is that those of us up here and the thousands of people around the country and around world who are working to defeat ISIL are taking the fight seriously? That come as a surprise who spent those last seven and a half years dismantling al-Qaeda and including the men and women in uniforms that we put their lives at risk and the special forces that I ordered to get bin-Lade, that are now on the ground in Syria. They know full well who the enemy is. So did the intelligence and law enforcement officers spent count less hours disrupting plots and protecting all Americans. including politicians who tweets — and appears on cable news shows, they knew who the nature of the enemy is.
So there is no magic to the phrase of radical Islam. It is a political talking point. It is not a strategy. And the reason I am careful about how I describe this threat has nothing to do with political correctness and everything to do with actually defeating extremism. Groups like ISIL and al-Qaeda want to make this war a war between Islam and America or between Islam and the west. They want to claim that they are the true leaders of over billions of Muslims around the world who reject their crazy notions. They want us to validate them by applying that they speak for those billion plus people that they speak for Islam. That’s their propaganda and that’s how they recruit. If we fall into the trap painting all Muslims as a broad brush and implying that we are at war with the entire religion then we are doing the terrorist work for them.
Up until this point of this argument of labels has been apart of rhetoric and sadly we have all become accustom to that kind of yapping is not prevented folks across the government from doing their jobs. Workers are working really hard to protect the American people. We are seeing how dangerous this kind of mind set and thinking can be. We are starting to see this kind of rhetoric and loose talk and sloppiness of who we are fighting where this can lead us. We now have proposals from the presumptive nominee, the Republican nominee to bar all Muslims from immigrating into America and languages of singling out immigrants and the community are complacent in violence. where does this stop? The Orlando killer, one of the San Bernardino killers, the Fort Hood Killer, — they were all u.s. citizens. Are we going to start treating all Muslim Americans differently? Are we going to start subjecting them to special surveillance? Are we going to discriminate them because of their faith? We heard these suggestions during the course of this campaign. Do Republican officials actually agree with this? That’s not the America we want? It does not reflect our democratic ideals. It will not make us more safe.
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