Denial: Obama Nat'l Sec. Advisor Says 'Many Different Faiths' Turn to Terrorism

-By Warner Todd Huston

What do they say about denial, that it isn’t just a river in Egypt? That old quip constantly is brought to mind as President Obama and his administration prove over and over again that they are in complete denial about the danger we are facing in radical Islam.

This time it is the woefully absurd claim made by Denis McDonough, Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor, who said that members of many different religions “succumb to terrorist ideologies.” McDonough said this in an address given on March 6 at the Islamic ADAMS Center in Sterling, Virginia. With his remarks at the headquarters of this Muslim organization, McDonough proved that he simply refuses to recognize reality concerning radical Islam and is even willing to minimize that threat by pretending that all religions contain “terrorists.”

“For example,” McDonough said, “we know there are many different reasons why individuals — from many different faiths — succumb to terrorist ideologies.”

Obviously this is an idiotic contention. No Christians are perpetrating acts of terror throughout the world. No Hindus are blowing up trains in Spain. No Jews are fostering suicide bombings in England or the United States. No Buddhists have flown jetliners into high-rise buildings. Islam is responsible for the bulk of the world’s acts of terror. To use such rhetorical conventions is dangerous because it disarms us from the real threat.

It is odd that Obama and McDonough would choose the ADAMS Center, too. The Adams Center, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, is an organization of DC area Muslims that claims to engage in “regular interfaith, government relations, social services, and community service.” The ADAMS organization has also in the past been under suspicion of being linked to terrorism and was once even raided by the FBI for just that reason.

Some of what McDonough said about Islam was well put, but his extreme efforts to absolve Islam for the terrorism perpetrated in its name is dangerously misguided.

For instance McDonough was correct to say that, “the most effective voices against al Qaeda’s warped worldview and interpretation of Islam are other Muslims.” Of course, this is far more of a wish than an idea currently effecting radical Islam. It most certainly is correct to say that voices of Muslims that oppose radical Islamic terror would be the most effective tool, but that tool is currently laying idle for the most part as few Muslims are speaking out against radical Islamists. In fact, polls show that the bulk of the world’s Muslims fully agree with the goals of the worst terrorists.

If we could get Islam to institute its own internal reform, that really would be the best way to stop radical Islamist terror. But how to implement that intra-faith discussion is the problem.

McDonough also indulged that decade old claim that we aren’t at war with Islam. “That is why President Obama has stated time and again,” McDonough told those gathered, “that the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam. ”

I similarly agree that we are not necessarily “at war with Islam.” But the problem with that phrase is that it seems to deny that we are at war with some of Islam. McDonough said that those radical Islamists we are facing, “falsely claim to be fighting in the name of Islam.” This is simply untrue. They are not in any way “falsely” claiming to be fighting in the name of Islam. They are, indeed, very much fighting “in the name of Islam.”

To say otherwise garbles the truth and makes us unsafe by preventing us from understanding the enemy and his motivations. And the fact that our very own president and those he’s put in place to keep us safe have so dangerously misunderstood the nature of the threat that faces us is disturbing to say the least.

Speaking of garbling facts, McDonough also began his address with a lie that Obama himself has in the past perpetrated on America. In his very first paragraph, McDonough said the following:

I know that President Obama was very grateful that you led the prayer at last summer’s Iftar dinner at the White House–which, as the President noted, is a tradition stretching back more than two centuries to when Thomas Jefferson hosted the first Iftar at the White House.

It is simply untrue to claim that Thomas Jefferson held the first Iftar dinner in the White House. It is true that in 1805 President Jefferson hosted a late night dinner with a visiting Muslim official from Tunis, a dinner that came at the end of Ramadan. But there is simply no historical evidence that Jefferson imagined himself holding any Iftar dinner or that the visiting Muslim official even told Jefferson what an Iftar dinner was. It is spin of the highest order to claim that Jefferson “held” an Iftar dinner when there is no proof that he intended to do so.

McDonough and Obama both show that they are dangerously uneducated in the dangers of radical Islam. This speech certainly proves that Obama and his minions simply don’t get it. They don’t get it at all.


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  • The Omagh bombing and other terrorism in Northern Ireland.

    Basque separatists in Spain.

    Front de lib

  • In reply to WestLooper:

    Timothy McVeigh is not "terrorists." He's one guy and he was arrested and executed. Doesn't count in the same discussion with al Qaeda. And your others have been inactive for quite some time for the most part and they are isolated to one section of the world. They're are not international menaces. Finally, NONE of them are religious based they are all territorial or political. So, no, your list does not fit the discussion at all.

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    First, what definition of terrorist do you use that McVeigh doesn't fit? According to Webster's terror is "violent or destructive acts (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands". McVeigh did not act alone, and he had some deranged political point he was trying to make.

    Second, you concur the others are terrorist groups, so the statement that people of many faiths are known to engage in terror attacks is true. That seems to be exactly what McDonough said.

    Apparently you read his comments as meaning that people of many different faiths engage in terror *in support of their faith*, and it is this with which you disagree.

    That stronger statement (which it does not appear McDonough made) may also be true. What about extreme anti-abortion activists that have engaged in clinic-related violence? The perpetrators justify those acts on the basis of faith, and you could characterize certain types of anti-abortion clinic violence (e.g. arsons) as terrorism.

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