The right is outraged that Obama won’t call the terrorists Muslims, because after all that is who we are really at war with, isn’t it?
Obama, using logic and reason, argues that to call them that is to legitimize them. ISIS and al Qaeda and the other radicals want us to declare that we are at war with Islam, because that’s the best recruiting tool they have.
“We must never accept the premise that they put forward because it is a lie,” Obama said. “Nor should we grant these terrorists the legitimacy they seek. They are not religious leaders, they are terrorists. We are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.”
Ha ha! You see the problem, right? He’s once more assuming the right wing cares for things like logic, facts, and reason! This can also be seen by claims on the right that Obama is doing nothing to fight these terrorists when in fact, he’s been bombing them pretty regularly for months. Facts! Who needs facts when you have anger!
Today comes news that these terrorists have bombed Islamic religious sites and mosques and burned books because, hey, they’re evil. Seriously, there’s not much debate on that part. But that sure doesn’t seem the kind of thing that a Muslim would do, does it?
Using religion as the excuse to cause terror helps to convince others of that religion that it is acceptable because their god wants it. By refusing to legitimize the religion, you can cut some of that power.
Mike – While I agree with trying to take the wind out of their recruitment, you might want to read this article. It argues that ISIS is, in fact, an ultra-fundamentalist Islamic group whose entire strategy is based on the literal interpretation of the Koran. In other words, they are as Muslim as you can actually be–and that this is both their greatest appeal and their greatest weakness. http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/what-isis-really-wants/384980/ It was very interesting, while at the same time not conflating ISIS’s extremism with most Muslims.
The point is not whether they are an Islamic group — it’s whether we should dignify them by acknowledging that, and thus giving them the status they want. They WANT to say “We represent true Muslims” and we need to say “No, you’re a bunch of terrorists who don’t deserve that honor” in the same way Christians treat members of the KKK: “You may say you’re a Christian group but we won’t let you get away with that crap.”
I agree with the strategy, Mike. But I found the article very enlightening as to their mindset and need for territory to legitimize themselves.
Pingback: Trump is ISIS’s best friend