President Barack Obama still refuses to use the words “radical Islamic terrorism” even after the recent beheadings of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, the burning to death of a Jordanian pilot, and the murders in Denmark, and the Paris based murders at the satirical publication Charlie Hedbo and a kosher deli. During this week’s White House Summit on “Countering Violent Extremism” (CFE), President Obama commented that “We are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.” He also said “No religion is responsible for terrorism. People are responsible for violence and terrorism.” The President’s comments show that he still is not fully addressing the issue. The people who are “perverting Islam” are using their “perversion of Islam” as a justification for mass murders. So if a misinterpretation of Islam is responsible for these killings, we need to ask ourselves why these extremists are finding their inspiration to commit murder in the words of the Koran.
While President Obama’s comments that military force is not sufficient to stop the spread of violent extremism and that the recruitment must be stopped from within are valid, he is still not fully confronting the problem. Of course, the Muslim community needs to look within to stop the terrorist recruiting efforts, particularly among the most vulnerable members of their community, including the young disenfranchised, and in some instances, economically disadvantaged youth. More effort needs to go into exploring why individuals want to kill others and how they are finding justification in the Koran for their murderous intent. But we cannot oversimplify the situation and say that these individuals become terrorists because they are economically disadvantaged or poorly educated. While some individuals who become prey to terrorism fit that model, there are many examples of terrorists who come from affluent backgrounds and who have received Western university educations. Terrorists need to be punished. Furthermore, more efforts need to go into destroying their cells. One way to do this is to cut off the money supply. If the U.S. and other countries impose trade restrictions on countries that serve as hot beds for terrorists, the money supply will dry up.
President Obama needs to stop focusing on correcting “the lie that the United States is anti-Islam.” He dedicates way too much of his speeches to conveying the message that the United States views most Muslims as peaceful. And while that may be true, it ignores the elephant in the room. His words at the National Prayer Breakfast where he harkened back to the Crusades to warn Christians of “getting on their high horse” after they had killed Muslims in the name of Christianity 1000 years ago shows that he is still focused on apologizing, not on developing real solutions to the problem of radical Islamic terrorism. Furthermore, in the White House’s first public statements regarding the beheading of the Coptic Christians, the victims were referred to as citizens, not Christians. Interestingly enough, The White House was very quick to refer to the three individuals murdered in Chapel Hill North Carolina as Muslims. The Chapel Hill incident is still being investigated as to whether it actually was a hate crime. The President also needs to think about the company he keeps. The CFE guest list included several members of the Muslim community who have previously made anti-Judeo-Christian comments, including Salam Al-Marayati, the founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). Following 9/11, Al-Marayati appeared on radio show where he suggested that Israel be put on the suspect list because the 9/11 attacks “divert attention from what’s going on in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies”. President Obama will invite Al-Marayatito the CFE Summit, but he won’t meet with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu? There were other radical Muslim in attendance, as well including Nicole Mossalam, a Boston Muslim leader who heads a mosque which encouraged its congregants to avoid giving information to the police following the Boston Marathon bomb, and Nabeel Khudairi, a Boston Muslim leader who created a lawsuit to stop the Boston media from reporting what it knows about the largest Islamic Center in New England.
President Obama needs to stop acting like a social worker or a community organizer and start acting like the leader of the free world. He needs to correctly label radical Islamic terrorism and admit that is connected to religion. How many more horrible acts will it take for him to open his eyes and see the problem for what it is? When will he stop apologizing and start leading?
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com