Accuracy in Media

It has taken eight years for President Barack Obama to be asked “the question.”

Unsurprisingly, it did not originate from the media. It came from one suffering a great personal loss in the war on terror-her son-and she deserved an answer.

Gold Star mother Tina Houchins asked Obama at a September 28 CNN presidential town hall why he still refuses to link terrorism to Islam. Obama’s response suggests he is lying-and harboring a motive he is unwilling to share-or else has no respect for young men, like Houchins’ son, who battled Islamic terrorism.

Describing the issue Houchins raised as “sort of manufactured,” Obama explained:

“There is no doubt, and I’ve said repeatedly where we see terrorist organizations like al Qaeda or ISIL-They have perverted and distorted and tried to claim the mantle of Islam for an excuse for basically barbarism and death. These are people who’ve killed children, killed Muslims, take sex slaves, there’s no religious rationale that would justify in any way any of the things that they do. But what I have been careful about when I describe these issues is to make sure that we do not lump these murderers into the billion Muslims that exist around the world, including in this country, who are peaceful, who are responsible, who, in this country, are fellow troops and police officers and fire fighters and teachers and neighbors and friends.”

Unfortunately, no one in the audience took advantage of Obama’s response to compare it to what he shamelessly did in 2009.

If only someone followed up with: “Accepting your rationale, Mr. President, why then did you (via the Department of Homeland Security) in 2009 warn Americans of potential terrorist activity-not by Islamists-but ‘right wing extremistsin the form of our returning war veterans? Are you suggesting it is improper to disparage a peaceful Muslim majority yet appropriate to disparage a veteran majority one?”

It is unconscionable Obama chooses to take an ostrich-like mindset towards Islamic terrorism while unabashedly attaching right wing extremist labels to our brave warriors fighting it. And he does this despite the former’s long history of terrorism and the latter’s lack thereof.

In his litany of professions into which American Muslims have entered, Obama included the military-but failed to mention a frightening statistic about their performance.

While several Muslims in uniform have died fighting terrorism abroad, more Americans have died at the hands of Muslim American soldiers acting in Allah’s name. These incidents include the 2009 Fort Hood shooting spree of Maj. Nidal Hasan. Thus, no longer can our warriors count on their backs being covered by their fellow warriors.

There is irony too in Obama’s suggestion today’s terrorist groups simply use Islam as an excuse to commit barbarism and other criminal acts. This statement totally ignores the fact all the acts he mentioned have plagued Islam for 1,400 years-some even committed by Prophet Muhammad himself, which is what still gives them credence fourteen centuries later.

Obama proffered “there’s no religious rationale that would justify in any way any of the things that they (ISIL/al-Qaeda) do.” But, not only is the Koran replete with such justifications, one need only listen in any mosque to Friday prayers‘ messages of hate for non-Muslims.

Obama suggested too these terrorist groups are no different than a terrorist group acting in the name of Christianity. The comparison is outrageous. The difference between the histories of the two religions is defined by Islam’s goal to dominate all other religions and Christianity’s tolerance of them.

Obama has enjoyed the luxury of never really being challenged on his knowledge (or lack thereof) of Islam or his refusal to link it to terrorism-opting to categorize all terrorism as “violent extremism.” That is changing.

From time to time, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is responsible for publishing a National Military Strategy. The document is to provide guidance to senior military commanders on how to deal with various threats they face. Subordinate commands provide input as well. The current Chairman, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, is going through this drill now.

One of the subordinate commands providing input is the Special Operations Command (SoCom), responsible for hunting down and eliminating terrorists.

SoCom seeks to have the Strategy discuss Salafi jihadism as the branch of Sunni Islam responsible for most the world’s terrorism today-including Islamic State and al-Qaeda.

What SoCom wants explained is what Obama does not. A person familiar with the Strategy initiative says, “If you look at threat doctrine from that perspective (i.e., the Islamic link), it’s a much bigger problem because it’s not just the violent jihadists, it’s the non-violent jihadists who support them. Pretending there is no relationship between the violent jihadists and Islam isn’t going to win. We’re completely ignoring the war of ideas. We’re still in denial. We’re pretending the enemy doesn’t exist.”

The last National Military Strategy published failed to mention this link. It will be interesting to see if our military leadership now recognizes Obama’s denial policy about Islam needs to be reversed.

As important as it is that this be done, Obama will reject the recommendation for one major reason: This branch of Islam is also linked to the Muslim Brotherhood Obama has long embraced, having even invited its leadership to the White House. Revealing such linkage not only undermines his credibility but also that of the women he counts on to replace him, continuing his legacy.

Such linkage would raise issues for Hillary Clinton. Her top advisor, Huma Abedin, who worked twelve years for a Brotherhood-financed Islamist publication and has links to the organization raising numerous security concerns, was never fully vetted for clearances, ultimately received, because Clinton demanded they be rushed.

As Obama leaves office, future historians will need determine his true motivations concerning Islam. Until then, like the famous idiom from the 1930s radio program “The Shadow,” we are left to ponder, “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?…”

A version of this piece also appeared on

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