Photo courtesy of Lance Theroux
Fighting terrorism requires respect for Islam
By Rick Smith
How America’s politicians label the fight on terrorism is a critical issue dividing the two political parties. The Republicans have been unrelenting in their attacks on President Obama for refusing to use the term “radical Islam” when referring to terrorism. The GOP has attacked the three Democratic presidential candidates as well for their refusal to use this derogatory term. Republicans’ insistence on labeling ISIS and Al Queda terrorism as “radical Islam” is extremely dangerous and completely counterproductive in the fight with these terrorists. There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, and the vast majority of them are peace loving. When Republicans use the term “radical Islam,” it paints all the followers of the religion of Islam with the ugly stain of extremism. Republicans choose to forget or dismiss former President George W. Bush’s warning about framing the conflict in religious terms. Bush said, “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. Islam is peace.” Insulting all Muslims by lumping them altogether as “radical Islamists” actually assists the terrorists by giving them credibility and assists them in recruitment. President Obama is right in his attempt to win over the hearts and minds of the majority of Muslims rather than alienating them.