In a clear sign something is amiss in the Obama administration‘s stance on combating terrorism, White House press secretary Josh Earnest justified the refusal to use the term “radical Islam,” saying it doesn’t “accurately describe” what happened last week in Paris.
NPR’s Mara Liasson pointed out that French President Francois Hollande has identified the ideology at play as being “radical Islam,” asking why the Obama White House will not say the same thing.
“You have bent over backwards to not ever say that,” she said at Tuesday’s press briefing. “There must be a reason.”
“The first is accuracy,” Earnest replied. “We want to describe exactly what happened. These are individuals who carried out an act of terrorism and they later tried to justify that act of terrorism by invoking the religion of Islam and their own deviant view of it.”
An astonishing comment that stunned even MSNBC.
“You got the White House that has downplayed Al Quaeda. Basically said Al Quaeda is in its final stages. ISIS, the JV team,” MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said Wednesday morning. “Now he’s saying it’s not Islamic extremism when you are talking about the Prophet Muhammad.”
After killing 12, the Paris killers shouted, “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad.”
Ernest said another reason not to use “radical Islam” is that the “act that was roundly condemned by Muslim leaders.” He then came back to the accuracy theme.
“Again, I am describing to you the reasons why we have not chosen to use that label, because it does not seem to accurately describe what happened,” he said.
A few well placed Allahu akbar’s notwithstanding.
Watch the exchange with Liasson here via CSPAN:
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