What part of Islamic State does the Obama administration not understand?
On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the Obama administration does not use the term radical Islam because it's not accurate. NPR reporter Mara Liasson questioned Earnest as to why the Obama administration would not use the term radical Islam.
Liasson: Is there a reason for that?
Earnest: The first is accuracy. These are individuals who carried out an act of terrorism and they later tried to justify an act of terrorism by invoking Islam and their own deviant view. The second is, this was an act that was condemned by Muslim leaders. We have not chosen to use that label because it does not accurately describe what happened.
We are trying to be as specific an accurate as possible.
I think the fact that the majority of victims of terrorist attacks carried out by Al Qaeda and adherents and their particular brand of violence, the majority of them are Muslims, I think is a pretty clear indication that this is not a matter of the world being at war with Islam. The world and the United States, as we’ve discussed before, are in the context of ISIL, is at war with these individuals, violent extremists, who carry out these acts of terror and try to justify it by invoking this religion.
Liaison: France, your ally in this effort, has put a name on this ideology, which he calls radical Islam. You have bent over backwards to not ever say that. There must be a reason.
Earnest: The reason is twofold. I certainly wouldn’t want to be in a position where I’m repeating the justification that they have cited that I think is completely illegitimate. They have invoked Islam to try to justify their attacks.
Liaison: So to call it radical Islam, you feel, would be playing into their hands?
Earnest: Well, I think what I’m trying to do is describe to you what happened. These are individuals who are terrorists.