Once again, President Barack Obama has released a statement denouncing a mass terror attack on persecuted Christians, without mentioning the fact that they were killed for their faith.
When 21 Coptic Christians were beheaded by ISIS in February, the president’s statement condemning their deaths did not mention they were killed for their faith. Later, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said he “[couldn’t] account for” the omission.
When nearly 150 students at a Kenyan university were massacred on Friday, the Islamist terrorists affiliated with al-Shabaab separated the Christians from the Muslims, killing only the Christians. But in Obama’s statement condemning the slaughter, once again there was no mention of the fact that the students were killed for their faith:
Michelle and I join the American people in expressing our horror and sadness at the reports coming out of Garissa, Kenya. Words cannot adequately condemn the terrorist atrocities that took place at Garissa University College, where innocent men and women were brazenly and brutally massacred. We join the world in mourning them, many of whom were students pursuing an education in the pursuit of a better life for themselves and their loved ones. They represented a brighter future for a region that has seen too much violence for far too long. We also commend the heroism of the responders who lost their lives in the selfless protection of the students and faculty.
I know firsthand the extraordinary resilience and fundamental decency of the people of Kenya. So I know that the people of Garissa and all of Kenya will grieve, but their determination to achieve a better and more secure future will not be deterred. And neither will the resolve of the United States. We will stand hand-in-hand with the Kenyan Government and people against the scourge of terrorism and in their efforts to bring communities together. This much is clear: the future of Kenya will not be defined by violence and terror; it will be shaped by young people like those at Garissa University College – by their talents, their hopes, and their achievements. This is a message I will relay to the Kenyan people when I visit Kenya in July. Even at this difficult hour, the Kenyan people should know they have an unwavering friend and ally in the United States of America.
Secretary of State John Kerry likewise did not mention any religious overtones to the attack.
The United States strongly condemns al-Shabaab’s terrorist attack on Garissa University College in Kenya today. We extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the innocent victims who were killed in the attack. We also direct our thoughts to the many who sustained injuries.
The United States stands resolutely with the government and people of Kenya in the effort to end the scourge of terrorism. The attack once again reinforces the need for all countries and communities to unite in the effort to combat violent extremism.
But just like Earnest’s confusion over the omission in February, Deputy White House Press Secretary Eric Schultz seemingly didn’t realize the omission the following day. “I hope you saw our statement yesterday on that,” he said during a press conference. ” We extend — we condemn in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attack, and we extend our deep condolences to the families and all the loved ones killed in this heinous attack, which reportedly included the targeted of Christian students.”
The White House has received a great deal of criticism for its constant refusal to adopt religious language when denouncing terrorism. White House press officers refuse to use the term “Islamic terrorism” when referring to groups such as ISIS, and Obama claimed in an interview that the terror attack on a Paris kosher deli was “random.”
[h/t National Review]