What is this administration so afraid of? For most of President Obama’s tenure in office, he has spent an inordinate amount of time and effort making a distinction between terrorists and the religion they claim to represent. And while I understand the importance of recognizing a difference between radical Islam and the form practiced by most Muslims, the difference isn’t as wide as our president wants us to believe.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Press Secretary John Earnest was asked why he refuses to call the Parisian extremists members of radical Islam. “Based on the fact that the religious leaders of that religion have roundly condemned their actions,” Earnest said, “those religious leaders have indicated that their actions are entirely inconsistent with Islam.” He went on to say that the very fact that most victims of Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations were themselves Muslim was “a pretty clear indication that this is not a matter of the world being at war with Islam.”
It’s an important distinction to make; our ability to rally moderates in the Middle East to join us in extinguishing this deadly flame relies on it. But time and again, this president and his officials have drawn the divide too deeply. They’ve made the distinction so vast that they don’t even believe that these terrorists are acting in the name of religion at all. And that’s simply not borne out in the facts.
President George W. Bush also recognized the importance of separating America’s pursuit of terrorists and any perceived war on Islam. “America treasures the relationship we have with our many Muslim friends, and we respect the vibrant faith of Islam which inspires countless individuals to lead lives of honesty, integrity, and morality,” Bush said in 2002.
But Bush balanced his affirmation of Muslim culture with a hardened rhetoric against Islamic terrorism, and that’s something that’s been wholly missing from his successor’s message. If Obama was as steadfastly determined to destroy terrorism as Bush, critics wouldn’t seize upon the little idiosyncrasies in his speech. Because while it’s important to let the Muslim world know America is not looking to destroy their religion, it’s equally important to let Islamic terrorists know that we’re not going to stand idly by while thousands die under their sword.
It was under President Obama that we withdrew our troops from Iraq, leaving the country in a state of instability that allowed ISIS to gain a foothold. It was under Obama that we withdrew from Afghanistan this year, again giving ISIS an opportunity to wreak havoc. If it weren’t for the fact that Obama was fortunate enough to be in office when Navy SEALS killed Osama Bin Laden, one wonders how much stronger the criticism would be. Because that is one of the few victories this administration can claim in the war on terror, and it’s a victory they don’t deserve the credit for.
Radical Islam is the greatest threat to this nation’s security. This administration believes otherwise. Obama wants to slap that label on climate change. Worse, he won’t even call our enemy by name. When there is more focus on remaining politically correct than there is on killing terrorists, we have a problem. A big problem.