June 16, 2016 by gregrabidoux2013
Three words. One phrase. Continued executive denial.
President Obama steadfastly refuses to, as he puts it “label” certain acts of terrorism because “why should we go out of our way to inflame all followers of Islam?” and at a National Security meeting recently stated flatly “that the future of the world should not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”
Now imagine this same president standing at a podium at a world gathering and invoking Christianity this same way and passionately declaring that “the future should not and will not belong to those who slander, sacrifice, torture or behead those who believe in the scriptures in the Holy Bible, those who follow the words of the disciples of Christ.”
Good for you. Because try as I may I simply cannot imagine such a scene.
But now onto undoubtedly the larger point.
Does it matter?
Mr. Obama has asked out loud the same question. He recently challenged a White House press corps to tell him “Why would labeling matter? How would it change anything?” He then went on to not so subtly imply that the GOP presumptive nominee Mr. Trump is really the problem. That Trump’s rhetoric helps the job of terrorists and assists them recruit and execute their plans of terror.
So, let me see if I understand this presidential logic.
Labeling clear acts of terrorism that align ideologically with an extreme form of Islamic religion and fanaticism as “Radical Islamic Terrorism” will make no difference. They are merely words after all.
Yet, the words that apparently cascade out of candidate Trump’s mouth are so powerful, profoundly divisive and inflammatory that otherwise peaceful Islam followers are driven to do extreme acts of violence and terrorism against all such infidels, non-believers and tellers of falsehoods?
So far not so good. I don’t understand this logic. Let me take a different approach.
About a year ago I spoke with a staffer at the Obama White House. Over Greek food at Zorba’s in DC the conversation turned from its original subject (domestic policy on energy) to terrorism. I asked why the agonizing over phraseology? What was the fear in refusing to, in my view, call it like it was-Radical. Islamic. Terrorism.
There was no fear he argued. But a very rational and reasoned approach to not wanting to anger, upset or inflame millions of Islam followers by throwing them all under the bus with such a phrase. The whole issue he suggested was a “Fox thing” to stir up partisanship and increase ratings. No more. No less.
I didn’t get that reasoning then nor now. And Fox seems adept at stirring up partisanship and fueling high ratings with no help one way or the other from President Obama.
Look, I get that by “labeling” certain acts of terrorism as radical Islamist terrorism it won’t magically make things all better. I don’t believe this any more than I believe that by banning all Muslims from entering the US our homeland will immediately go from orange to green from danger to tranquility.
If I were a peace-loving, non-terrorist supporting follower of Islam I would have no issue with such terror acts being labeled as radical or extreme.In fact, I would applaud such a clear separation so as to not get broad-brushed with extremists and killers in my religion. I feel the same when I see or hear the phrase “Christian Extremists.” Sorry, but I have no plans to blow up places that do things that are legal but I may disagree with in the name of my faith. Don’t toss me in the same egg basket as those radical murderers please.
I mean, seriously, what is the alternative that such acts of unspeakable horror and terror are NOT radical or are NOT extreme or are NOT part of a minority-driven Islam theology?
That would mean that several billion people across this planet Earth who practice the Muslim are by definition all terrorists with an ideology and faith that makes it mandatory to slaughter all infidels and to engage in horrific acts of murder as part of their basic creed.
Is this the alternative we want to assume?
Donald Trump’s firebrand highly divisive and polarizing rhetoric may not be what is needed to counter the hatred, bigotry and violent tenets advocated by yes, radical Islamic terrorists but by continuing to put the focus on him after such terrorism as occurred in Orlando our president is mistakenly not putting the focus on where it needs to be. Where the problem stems from and where the solution must be targeted.
Radical. Islamic. Terrorism.
To engage in further refusal is to simply and dangerously deny reality.
To paraphrase the “X Files,” the truth, as ugly and scary as it may be, is out there.
And the sooner we let the rest of the world know that we aren’t afraid to recognize and label the problem for what it truly is the sooner we can put the full force of our political, social, cultural and moral powers where they need to be-Putting the Radical Islamic Terrorists out of business.