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Why it matters when Obama fails to name the Islamist threat

Reader comment on item: From the Decline of Islamism to Israel's Victory

Submitted by Stu Fagin (United States), Nov 29, 2016 at 17:12

During this interview Dr. Pipes was asked why it matters that the Obama administration has a policy of never associating terrorism with Islam. Pipes' response gave the valid, but general, principle that one cannot effectively respond to a threat without first correctly identifying it. This response would be strengthened if specific examples were cited where the defense against Islamism has been impaired by this policy. I present one striking example.

In the wake of the San Bernardino Islamist attack, retired DHS analyst Philip Haney revealed that the Obama administration had ordered the destruction of a DHS intelligence data base which delineated those mosque networks that pose danger and those that are benign (link below). This was something Haney personally, and very reluctantly, carried out. The administration argued that because true Islam had nothing to do with terrorism, there was no reason to investigate mosques. Haney further argued that this and other attacks he cites could have been prevented because, in this database, the perpetrators attended mosques that had been flagged as radicalizing.

The administration fallacy in a nutshell: Obama's appreciation of the true nature of Islam is utterly unimportant; the more so given his absence of any standing as an authority on the subject. The president's job is not to lead a national theology seminar. Of central importance is his appreciation of the current state of Islamic practice, and the security threats posed by some factions. Because the administration insists that Islam has no association with terrorism, there is no appreciation.



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