Why Saying ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’ Isn’t Enough

Radical Islamic extremism.

There, I’ve said it.

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.

And for all of that time, we were collectively excoriated by conservatives, Republicans and Donald J. Trump.

“These are radical Islamic terrorists, and she won’t even mention the word, and nor will President Obama,” Mr. Trump said, referring to Hillary Clinton at a presidential debate last year. “Now, to solve a problem, you have to be able to state what the problem is, or at least say the name.”

The implication is that we were all somehow too timid or too politically correct to say it.

But the reason was a much more practical one: 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

 They also told us that they did not consider the Islamic State to be Islamic, and its grotesque violence against Muslims proved it. We took a lot of care to describe the Islamic State as a terrorist group that acted in the name of Islam. Sure, behind the scenes, our allies understood better than anyone that the Islamic State was a radical perversion of Islam, that it held a dark appeal to a minority of Sunni Muslims, but it didn’t help to call them radical Islamic terrorists.

Now the Trump administration wants to toss out the term “violent extremism” and the rubric we used to fight it. Instead, they are renaming it “countering Islamic extremism,” or “countering radical Islamic extremism.”

READ MORE HERE:   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/13/opinion/why-saying-radical-islamic-terrorism-isnt-enough.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region

1 reply

  1. somehow ‘Islamic Extremism’ is liked more by the media than ‘Love for All and Hatred for None’. Wonder why …

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