Fact-Check: Yes, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama Have Refused to Say ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’

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During Sunday night’s presidential debate, the second of three such meetings, Republican nominee Donald Trump condemned his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama for refusing to use the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” when discussing jihadist mass murders.

Fact-Check: TRUE

Responding to an audience question asking what he would do to diminish “Islamophobia,” Trump noted that the United States has been targeted on multiple occasions in the past year by “radical Islamic terrorists. “And she,” referring to Clinton, “won’t even mention the word and nor will President Obama.”

“He won’t use the term, ‘radical Islamic terrorism,'” he continued. “Now, to solve the problem, you have to be able to state what the problem is or at least say the name. She won’t say the name and President Obama won’t say the name.”

In their coverage of Sunday night’s debate, website Politifact noted that “Trump is right that Clinton and Obama prefer to avoid those words.” While Clinton has, during the course of her campaign for president this year, claimed that she was comfortable saying “radical Islamism” (though not “radical Islamic terrorism”) she has previously refused to use the term because “it sounds like we are declaring war against a religion.”

President Obama has refused to describe jihadist attacks as radical Islamic terrorism because “terrorist organizations like al Qaeda or ISIL — They have perverted and distorted and tried to claim the mantle of Islam for an excuse for basically barbarism and death.”

A recent Breitbart/Gravis poll found that the issue of addressing jihadist attacks as “radical Islamic terrorism” is of particular concerns of Americans of Hispanic descent. 67.7 percent of Hispanic American respondents – more than any other ethnic group, including White Americans – in the September 20 poll agreed with the phrase “We must identify Islamic radical terrorism for what it is. You cannot defeat something if you cannot talk about it.”


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