President Obama explains his refusal to link terrorism to Islam.
President Obama very gracefully, yet strongly defended his stand on not referring to terrorists as 'Islamic' on Wednesday at a CNN town hall meeting. When asked by Gold Star Mother Tina Houchins as to why he has always avoided connecting terrorism to Muslims, President Obama gave a powerful argument- "If you had an organization that was going around killing and blowing people up and said, 'We're on the vanguard of Christianity.' As a Christian, I'm not going to let them claim my religion and say, 'you're killing for Christ.' I would say, that's ridiculous…That's not what my religion stands for. Call these folks what they are, which is killers and terrorists.”
President Obama said, by calling terrorists as 'Muslims', their radical acts get validation. As such, he believes by refraining from linking terrorism to Islam, he is taking away the mantle of religion under which the terrorists have “perverted and distorted” Islam only to carry out their barbaric acts.
Obama then described the unfairness of linking terrorism to Islam, militant Christians who carried out acts of violence and killed innocent people in the name of Christ. Keeping this situation in mind, he demanded to know if the acts of those few Christians are representative of all Christians everywhere and if they imply Christianity endorses violence. Reflecting on this example, the president acknowledged absurdity to remember the many Muslims who are working towards America's progress.
“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 our fellow troops and police officers and firefighters and teachers and neighbors and friends.”
Linking Islam with terrorism would mean alienating all the Muslims who are law-abiding citizens contributing to American society. He reminded the audience, it is these Muslims who should be considered as the real Muslims, rather the terrorists who are blinded by hatred.
Obama has often been condemned for his refusal to link terrorists with Islam, especially by politicians like Donald Trump. Trump has a very different view on Muslims and believes that Muslims in general have a potential to turn into radicals. Trump even demanded Obama resign from the presidency if he fails to recognize Islam as the cause for terrorism. However, Obama firmly believes that Islam, just like Christianity, teaches peace.