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 to 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 undersecretary 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.