Meet the Press host Chuck Todd told MSNBC’s Alex Wagner that, according to his sources, the White House is debating about the use of words when referring to terrorism. The Obama administration was very deliberate in avoiding labels like “radical Islam” or “Islamic extremism” at its three-day summit to combat violent extremism.
CHUCK TODD: I was just looking at the fact sheet that the White House just put out, to go in conjunction with the president’s statement. And I can already predict exactly what some of the criticism is going to be of the president.
You don’t see the word Islam, or Islamic, or radical Islam anywhere in the fact sheet. They use extremists, they’re very careful not to associate it with one religion and this has been an ongoing debate. Frankly, I’m told there is actually debate inside the White House about, you know, should they be avoiding the phrase radical Islam or not? You know, is this, or do you say it to force other countries and other Muslim leaders to tackle this because it’s happening in their religion and in their faith?
ALEX WAGNER: And I would also say, you know, if this is a convention to sort of talk about what needs to be done to combat extremism. There are different types of extremism here at play. And I think one of the criticisms the White House has gotten is that this is too broad an umbrella. What can be feasibly accomplished when you’re casting a net this wide?
CHUCK TODD: Look, it comes across as if they are trying to be so politically correct that they’re losing focus on what the problem is, which is you have a group of, you know, there was an article in The Atlantic that essentially was comparing ISIS to a cult. And it is a cult that is using a perversion of Islam to create a cult of death, or however you want to describe it.
But their using it, I mean, the problem is here, and it’s not as if, nobody is saying there is not extremism in every religion, but what is the acute issue at hand right now that the Western world is dealing with? It is this group that is using Islam, a radical form of it, to try to recruit terrorists.
h/t: Weasel Zippers
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