February 20, 2015

Don’t ‘Embrace the Terrorist Narrative’ by Blaming Islam

A day after Barack Obama insisted at his White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, “We must never accept the premise” ISIL and al-Qaida put forward about their Islamic motivation, he blamed his critics for inflaming ISIL by drawing the connection. “All of us have a responsibility to refute the notion that groups like ISIL somehow represent Islam, because that is a falsehood that embraces the terrorist narrative,” he explained. “That narrative becomes the foundation upon which terrorists build their ideology and by which they try to justify their violence. And that hurts all of us, including Islam, and especially Muslims, who are the ones most likely to be killed.” He’s right that Muslims in the Middle East are the ones perhaps suffering most under ISIL, but it doesn’t help them to deny the role of radical Islam as ISIL’s motivation. Obama can insists all he wants that this is a “very distorted impression” of Islam, albeit with “legitimate grievances,” but if even 5% of the world’s one billion Muslims hold to a radical and violent interpretation of the Koran, that’s millions of what he might call “violent extremists.” For him to blame conservatives for reinforcing this “narrative” only further exposes his cynical and craven political purposes.

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