From all appearances, the White House and State Department present a unified front that, despite its name, the Islamic State is not rooted in Islam, and the problem in the Middle East stems from radical extremism — not Islamic extremism.
But appearances can be deceiving, according to NBC News political director and “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd.
While awaiting President Obama’s statement Wednesday following the first day of the White House forum on terror, Todd scanned the White House’s fact sheet issued in conjunction with his remarks and said he could already predict the coming criticism.
“You don’t see the word, ‘Islam’ or ‘Islamic,’ or ‘radical Islam’ anywhere in the fact sheet,” he said. Instead, “they use the word ‘extremist’” without identifying it to any particular religion.
Pundits, journalists and politicians have debated this omission by the administration for months — but that’s not the only place the issue is being debated, according to Todd.
“I’m told there’s a debate inside the White House,” he said.
“Should they be avoiding the phrase ‘radical Islam’ or not?” he asked.
He later identified “the acute issue at hand right now” as a group using a “radical form” of Islam “to recruit terrorists.”
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