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At some point it became obvious that President Obama and everyone associated with his administration from press secretaries Jay Carney and Josh Earnest to Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry was willing go to any effort, convolute any sentence to dance around the phrase, “radical Islam.”

Instead, the president and his staff used the more benign and less specific “violent extremism,” to describe terror attacks by suicide bombers, men who drive trucks into crowds or open fire in nightclubs, couples who slaughter co-workers at holiday parties and machete-wielding attackers while screaming, “Allahu Akbar.”

Not “God is great,” but “Allah is greater.”

The stubborn refusal to identify the underlying motivation for the attacks – the desire to terrorize and wipe out non-Muslim “infidels” who stand in the way of the establishment of a worldwide caliphate eventually became a ridiculous, as if Methodists, Jews or Hindus were committing the vicious acts in the name of their religion.

Donald Trump was able to seize upon the obvious verbal contortions, essentially daring his opponent in the presidential election, Hillary Clinton, to “call it like it is” and admit that the source of terror attacks is Islamic theology – a radical branch of it, but Islamic nonetheless.

Now, Richard Stengel, an under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs during the Obama years, has come forward to explain the real reason behind the ban on the phrase – the president was afraid of alienating Muslim allies.

While critics suggested that Obama, Clinton and other Democrats opted for the neutral “violent extremism” due to political correctness, Stengel says it was in an effort to maintain good relations with Muslim countries who were not involved in a jihad, or “holy war,” against the United States and the West.

“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,” wrote Stengel in an op-ed in The New York Times.

While Stengel adds that leaders in those countries, “did not consider the Islamic State to be Islamic, and its grotesque violence against Muslims proved it,” in fact, moderate Muslims have failed to take steps to reform the faith to root out the fundamentalist factions that hew to an unquestioning adherence to 7th century writings and practices and seek to impose them globally.

There were an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims in 2010 – nearly 25 percent of the world’s population – and it remains the fastest-growing religion in the world.

Stengel’s role at the State Department involved leading public diplomacy outreach to international audiences through a variety of grants and programs to counter ideological support for terrorism according to the department’s website.

President Trump has made a point of using the more accurate and specific phrase, “radical Islam” when referring to individual jihadists, as well as ISIS and other groups, but Stengel believes he should make every effort to be clear to our allies that he is referring only to a small group of Muslims.

In 2016, when he was campaigning in support of Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama continued to claim that ISIS and al-Qaida “deceptively cloak themselves in Islamic theology to justify acts of barbarism,” maintaining, despite all evidence to the contrary, that “there’s no religious rationale that would justify in any way any of the things that they do.”

A quick Google search of ‘koran’ or ‘quran’ would prove otherwise.

 

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