Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Obama rips Trump over proposed Muslim ban, 'radical Islam' rhetoric - USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — President Obama passionately rebuked critics who say he should condemn terrorists as "radical Islamists," saying calling the Islamic State by another name will do nothing to defeat it — and could be counterproductive.

"What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIL less committed to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this?" he said. "The answer is none of the above."

In animated off-the-cuff remarks after meeting with his National Security Council Tuesday, Obama repeated his contention that identifying the Syrian-based terror group as Islamic will only serve as a propaganda tool for their extremist ideology, and potentially alienate Muslim allies. It was his sharpest and most extensive response to date on Republican criticism that his strategy is failing because he's failed to understand the religious fervor of terrorists.

"Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn't he should immediately resign in disgrace!" the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, Donald Trump, tweeted on Sunday following a lone-wolf attack on an Orlando nightclub.

Responded Obama: "There's no magic to the phrase 'radical Islam.' It’s a political talking point. It’s not a strategy."

"Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction." Obama said in a tone that moved from scolding to mocking. "Not once has an adviser of mine said, 'Man, if we use that phrase, we’re going to turn this whole thing around.'"

Obama's remarks were directed broadly at Republican critics, including, he said, "politicians who tweet and appear on cable news shows." White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest later said that Obama wasn't just targeting Trump.

"It's not uncommon to turn on cable television and see some Republican Congressman I've never heard of talking about the president's non-use of the word 'radical Islamic extremism' to define our enemy," he said. "Unfortunately it's not just about one politician in the Republican party who is reacting out of fear and using language that the president is concerned could undermine our homeland security."

But Obama also denounced Trump specifically — referring to him not by name but as the presumptive Republican nominee — over his proposal to call a temporary moratorium on Muslims entering the country — or anyone arriving from countries where Islamic terrorism exists.

"Where does this stop? The Orlando killer, one of the San Bernardino killers, the Fort Hood killer — they were all U.S. citizens. Are we going to start treating all Muslim Americans differently? Are we going to start subjecting them to special surveillance? Are we going to start discriminate them, because of their faith?" he said. "Do Republican officials actually agree with this?"" - Read More
Obama rips Trump over proposed Muslim ban, 'radical Islam' rhetoric

Ryan: Muslim Ban Not in Country's Interest - USA Today


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