On Monday, a former Obama official came forward to explain why the administration never referred to acts of terror as “radical Islam,” citing they did not want to alienate Muslim allies.
Richard Stengel, a former Department of State official, admitted why the Obama administration did not declare various acts of terror as “radical Islam” and, instead, chose to refer to it as “violent extremism” in an op-ed he wrote for The New York Times.
Trump often blasted Obama and Hillary Clinton for shying away from using the term “radical Islam” during this presidential campaign.
Trump even called out Clinton during one of the debates: “These are radical Islamic terrorists, and she won’t even mention the word, nor will President Obama.” He added, “Now, to solve a problem, you have to be able to state what the problem is, or at least say the name.”
Stengel confessed in The New York Times’ article: “For three years, as under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, I would not and could not utter that phrase. No one in the Obama administration could or did. We used the much less specific term “violent extremism.” As in “countering violent extremism,” which is what we called much of our anti-Islamic State efforts.”
Stengel cited that they were concerned the term would alienate Muslim allies in the Middle East.
“To defeat radical Islamic extremism, we needed our Islamic allies–the Jordanians, the Emiratis, the Egyptians, the Saudis–and they believed that term unfairly vilified a whole religion,” Stengel wrote. “They also told us that they did not consider the Islamic State to be Islamic, and its grotesque violence against Muslims proved it,” he added.
The Daily Caller reported:
Stengel argued that since the Trump administration seems dead-set on using “radical Islam” to describe the Islamic State and other groups, we should at least let Muslim allies know that it refers only to an extremely small subset of Muslims, so as not to offend our allies.
But still, Stengel still has serious misgivings, as he thinks it is “not up to us to say what is Islamic and what is not,” and attempting to do so may very well boost recruiting efforts by these terror groups.
It is also noteworthy that in contrast to what Stengel said about the former administration’s avoidance of saying what is Islamic and what isn’t, Obama has reportedly stated that “there’s no religious rationale that would justify in any way any of the things that they do.”
H/T: The Daily Caller
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