The day after masked gunmen shouting “Allahu akbar!” slaughtered 12 people at the Paris office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the United States needs to “redouble” efforts to explain “what the tenets of Islam actually are.”
The mind-boggling comment came in response to a question from a reporter who asked if the U.S. is concerned about a similar attack happening here and if there are any plans to raise threat levels in response to the attacks in France, the Weekly Standard reported.
Following a familiar pattern, in the face of the apparent militant Islamist attack, the Obama White House felt compelled to defend the religion.
“There are some individuals that are using a peaceful religion and grossly distorting it, and trying to use its tenets to inspire people around the globe to carry out acts of violence,” Earnest told reporters, according to the Weekly Standard.
“And we have enjoyed significant success in enlisting leaders in the Muslim community … both in the United States and around the world to condemn that kind of messaging, to condemn those efforts to radicalize individuals, and to be clear about what the tenets of Islam actually are,” he added. “And we’re going to redouble those efforts in the days and weeks ahead.”
Of course, Americans will be hard pressed to identify efforts by this White House to espouse Christian tenets. (They’d probably have to Google it, anyway.)
Earnest opted to refer to the Paris attackers as “foreign fighters” instead of terrorists.
“We’re still trying to figure out exactly, like I said, who’s responsible for this attack in Paris, what their motivations are,” he said.
“But as a general matter, we’re very mindful of the threat from foreign fighters and the threat — and the need to try to counter some of the extremist ideology that ISIL is propagating, using some pretty sophisticated social media strategies.”
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