In an interesting turn of events, president Obama has finally spoken out on religion and terrorism.
The problem is that he only spoke to make sure that everyone understands that Islam isn’t at fault for the terrorist activities of its followers. While he seemed completely comfortable blaming Christianity for the Crusades a couple of weeks ago, he is now reticent to blame any religion for any act of terror… ever.
Now, just as those of us outside Muslim communities need to reject the terrorist narrative that the West and Islam are in conflict or modern life and Islam are in conflict, I also believe that Muslim communities have a responsibility as well. Al Qaeda and ISIL do draw selectively from the Islamic texts. They do depend on the misperception around the world that they speak in some fashion for people of the Muslim faith, that Islam is somehow inherently violent. That there is some sort of clash of civilizations.
Of course, the terrorists do not speak for over 1 billion Muslims who reject their hateful ideology. They no more represent Islam than any mad man who kills innocents in the name of God represents Christianity or Judaism or Buddhism or Hinduism. No religion is responsible for terrorism, people are responsible for violence and terrorism.
Thankfully, president Obama’s simplistic approach to terrorism and his “nothing-burger” of a speech did not go unanswered. Democrat Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) showed up on CNN after the President’s speech to fire back in an attempt to educate our weak-minded President on what is “really” going on in the Islamic world as it pertains to terrorism. You might remember Gabbard because she has recently become the chief opponent of the White House on issues of Islam and terrorism.
“I think one of the things that is important to note is that the administration is misidentifying the enemy and their motivation by saying that they are motivated out of materialistic aspirations, that they’re motivated out of poverty, of a lack of jobs or education or opportunity and as a result, the courses of action that the administration is proposing are also materialistic in nature, saying that if we just go in and alleviate poverty, if we go in and create jobs and increase opportunity and institute this Western style of democracy, that somehow this is going to solve the problem, when really, that’s not the case,“ Gabbard told Blitzer on Wednesday afternoon.
Earlier this week White House spokeswoman Marie Harf was making the stunningly stupid argument that Rep. Gabbard is discounting here. Harf claimed that if we could alleviate some of the “root causes” of Islamic terrorism, like joblessness, things would get better. However, Gabbard has previously made the case that this just isn’t true. Consider men like Osama bin Laden, who come from incredibly wealthy families and still turned to a life of terrorism. It’s just not about money… it’s about ISLAM.
Here’s what Gabbard said last month when John Kerry made the same argument that Marie Harf tried to make a couple of days ago.
We have to identify exactly who they are. Something happened today where Secretary Kerry made a statement which I think was very evident of the problem we’re seeing. In a speech he talked about how these Islamic extremists, they’re engaged in “criminal conduct rooted in alienation, poverty, thrill-seeking and other factors.” And he went on to say, “ultimately this fight will be determined by our success in creating prosperity that’s widely shared.” This is completely missing the point of this radical Islamic ideology that’s fueling these people and mistakenly, a huge mistake, thinking that somehow, ‘Okay, well look, if we give them $10,000 and give them a nice place to live that somehow they’re not going to be engaged in this fighting.’ Osama bin Laden is a perfect example, a millionaire who left and went and lived in the desert because of this radical ideology that was fueling his actions, his attack on the United States and these attacks we’re seeing further now.
It’s time the Obama administration stopped listening to folks like John Kerry and Marie Harf and started listening to people like Tulsi Gabbard.
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