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The Obama Administration’s Willful Blindness in the Face of Jihadist Horror


Harry G. Hutchison

August 3, 2016

5 min read




It is bewildering, puzzling and unbelievable.

The pace, scope, and barbarity of the killing mounts every day. Forty-nine victims were murdered this past June in Orlando. More than eighty victims lost their lives in Nice this past month as part of a continuing terror campaign in which ISIS (the Islamic State) has launched attacks every eighty-four hours in Europe. Recently, this campaign culminated in terrorists slitting the throat of a priest, while he was celebrating Mass in a church near St. Etienne-du-Rouvray, France. This atrocity followed terror attacks in Germany, including one by a refugee who declared his allegiance to ISIS before blowing himself up, injuring dozens and shattering the calm in Ansbach, a picturesque town in Bavaria.

At the same time, evidence mounts showing that the French authorities were aware of terrorist ties of one of the St. Etienne-du-Rouvray jihadists. Similarly, the record shows that Omar Mateen, the Orlando killer who pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State, was on the FBI’s radar on at least two prior occasions over the past several years. This intelligence failure is all the more puzzling in light of the failure of American authorities to examine the social media account of one of the San Bernardino terrorist, Tashfeen Malik, before admitting her to the United States.

Such intelligence failures enable law enforcement officials in the United States and France to ignore evidence that is right before their eyes.

These failures, taken together, raise an important issue: Why have the authorities failed so frequently?

One answer becomes increasingly clear with each attack as information is gleaned and our leaders respond: the unwillingness of policy makers to identify the enemy as radical Islamic jihadists pursuing Islamic supremacy based on their radical worldview.

Instead of identifying our enemy, the Obama Administration has surrendered to the notion that peace, love and tolerance is our most important weapon, a view that is reinforced by the Administration’s falsifiable claim that radical Islam is not at fault for the continuing spate of atrocities that have left hundreds dead in Istanbul, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, France, Germany and Fort Hood, Texas. Instead of identifying our enemy as radical Islam, an ideology that is fostered by groups located in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere, this Administration is more concerned with eliminating references to Islam and Sharia from law enforcement training manuals.

Directly contradicting the Administration’s understanding of the Islamic State’s motivation, the leadership of ISIS offers a clear-eyed assessment on what motivates its reign of terror. In its new edition of its magazine, Dabiq, published on July 31st, the Islamic State refutes the Administration’s approach. In its new issue titled “Break the Cross,” and in its new editorial titled “Why We Hate You and Why We Fight You,” ISIS takes clear aim at Westerners and ostensibly “apostate imams” such as Pope Francis who refuse to define the Islamic State’s motivation as originating in a radical understanding of Islam itself.

While President Obama insists that he will refuse to use the term, “radical Islamic terror,” because that would lend religious legitimacy to terror groups or, alternatively, provide the terror groups with additional recruitment material, ISIS revels in its connection with Islam. In their magazine they state in unequivocal terms that those who identify Islam with ISIS are absolutely correct.

As evidence of the scale of the monumental slaughter in Nice, in Orlando, in Istanbul, in San Bernardino, in Brussels and Paris multiplies, the American people have been treated to the spectacle of medieval barbarians, who boil people to death and who burn young girls alive. As a consequence, ISIS has placed the world on edge.

As the frequency of these attacks rises, it raises a vitally important question: how many more people must be slaughtered, and how many people must be tortured, before we realize that ISIS and other radical Islamic terrorist organizations are at war with us?

Responding to this issue, the ACLJ again renews its call to action arguing that we must focus on protecting human life rather than protecting people from being offended by political correctness that is advanced by eliminating references to radical Islam.

Rather than eradicating references to radical Islam or Sharia from law enforcement training manuals, rather than focusing on redacting Omar Mateen’s 911 phone call, let’s take the enemy at their word and name them.

That’s why we’ve filed legal demands, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, with the Obama Administration to get all the information the American people are legally entitled to about these absurd decisions.  We are demanding to find out why political correctness is prioritized over our national security.

That’s why ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow wrote his new book coming in September, Unholy Alliance: The Agenda Iran, Russia, and Jihadists Share for Conquering the World.

Once again the ACLJ calls on the Administration to accurately define the enemy. This is not a war that we have sought. Rather, it is time for the United States to intelligently understand what motivates our enemy and take the war to them before more innocent lives are lost.

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