By Any Other Name

“The Knives are out” reads a headline of an article describing the scathing criticism being leveled at Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI). Her “mortal sin” according to Michael Perry (Radio KSSK) is that she is a Democrat and has dared to express an opinion critical of President Barack Obama’s refusal to refer to the brutal terrorists of ISIS as “Islamic Terrorists.” According to Fox News reporter Malia Zimmerman’s article, Democrats are apparently unwilling to accept any variance in position or statement among members of their party. The political future of this recently lauded “rising star” is being seriously threatened by her boldness in expressing her heartfelt and experienced opinion.

That seems a little odd for a party that continually cries out for the rights of people to speak their mind. Why are they now vilifying this decorated combat veteran, and dedicated public servant? I will state unequivocally that I support not only Ms. Gabbard’s right to express her views, but I applaud her principled stand on values when she states that “Our national security and the future of our country is infinitely more important than partisan politics or my personal political future.”

I also believe Congresswoman Gabbard is correct when she asserts that “Every soldier knows this simple fact: If you don’t know your enemy, you will not be able to defeat him.” The matter of defining the enemy is at the heart of the current debate over what approach will best ensure the defeat of a vile, heartless evil that seeks to destroy all disagreement with their radical theology.

President Obama (and by extension those in his administration) say that calling the ISIS army “Islamic terrorists” bestows legitimacy on their claim of religious foundation that they don’t deserve. The President’s motive in this is said to be maintaining good relations with the majority of Muslims who are peace loving by refusing to link terrorism directly to their religion.

Mr. President, with all due respect that ship has already sailed. The terrorists are in fact religiously motivated. It is religion that drives their actions, and in their minds justifies their barbarism. The matter of separating this radical interpretation of Islamic Scripture with the motivation of a majority of Muslims is a matter for Islam to sort out among themselves. They are either willing to do that or they are not, but it is a completely separate matter from the imperative defense of American citizens that is the heart of the President’s oath of office.

The term “Islamic terrorist” is simply an accurate description of the enemy we face. The term does not impugn anyone of Muslim faith who is not “radical,” any more than it describes anyone who is radical, but not Muslim. Timothy McVeigh was a radical and a terrorist, but he was not Muslim. The term Islamic cannot be aptly linked to his bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Likewise, it is also inaccurate to describe Osama Bin Laden as a terrorist without including the basis for his violence as being Islamic.

Whatever the President’s motives are for refusing to use the term Islamic extremists or Islamic terrorist, his motivation is a separate discussion from the matter of national security in which full understanding and accurate description of our enemy is an essential part of our battle. If we fail to acknowledge the undeniably religious motivation of the enemy, we will never be able to defeat them. While it is true that there is a philosophical as well as a military component to the ongoing battle with terrorism, it is absolutely essential that America not fail to honestly face the truth about what the threat really is. Many are being slaughtered every day, in the name of religion. Over 200 people were recently kidnapped by ISIS and are facing almost certain martyrdom for only one reason. They are Christians.

Mr. President, the war on terror is far from over, and whether you are comfortable with it or not, this is a religious war. It is not a war with anyone who may happen to be Muslim but is not a terrorist; but is a war against terrorists who cannot be separated from their view of Islam because that is the heart and soul of what motivates them.

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