ISIS is at the middle of major political debate in Washington. The group of radicals are burning and beheading people in the name of Islam. Obama’s detractors are slamming the president for making one point: just because a group of people claim to abide by a religion and do acts in the name of it, it does not mean the religion should be associated with their acts.
That bit of Obama logic was applied to the Crusades, where Obama maintained Christians did bad things in the name of Christianity. While Christian values probably do not include razing and pillaging, stealing from the poor and such, many Republicans took offense to Obama’s logic and maintain Obama has a soft spot for Islam in general.
Obama fired back on the recent summit, stating that “No religion is responsible for terrorism — people are responsible for violence and terrorism.”
The crowd that assembled at the White House included Muslim leaders.
Obama continued, saying that “Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding.”
There is an automatic association between ISIS and Al-Qaeda in the minds of many, but as The Atlantic excellently points out the two are very different in beliefs, worldview and application of strategy for spread.
In a very round-about, Obama-esque way (which usually ends up misunderstood by the public and media, but working in the long run), the president is trying to tell American voters that ISIS cannot be treated like the ‘terrorists’ of Bush’s era.
The ‘War on Terror’ is a contributing factor in America’s demise: America tried to cut taxes, wage a global war on an Ideology and make a religion the bogey-man. These items lead to unnecessary cultural tension, warfare, lives lost and cost to the United States, its allies and innocent people in countries such as Iraq.
What we need to understand is the supporters of ISIS behave in a way more Medieval in nature. The comparison of ISIS to Crusaders may invoke immediate feelings of ‘how dare Obama the Kenyan Muslim say that!’ in some, but no matter what you call him his point is the same.
ISIS seeks to recruit and to expand land to gain legitimacy. Its doctrine leaves no room for negotiation. Every negative action by America and its allies proves a philosophy (again, read the excellent article What Isis Really Wants from The Atlantic to gain insight) that its followers will likely support.
Western powers will have to engage in war against ISIS at some point. But by blackballing Islam and marginalizing the people of that faith, whose rich history and culture goes back to the times of Rome and Greece itself, we are only strengthening ISIS. It would be a gift from America to ISIS to grant them the distinction of being “Muslim terrorists” and for our nation to start marginalizing Muslims, declaring a war on “Muslim Terrorists” and the like.