Slate Article Claims Republicans Aid ISIS’ Recruitment, Social Media

Erica Wenig | Contributor

Remember that time Republicans unleashed a terror campaign across Iraq and Syria, raping, torturing and killing anyone in their path?

Wait a second, that was ISIS.

A Slate article by William Saletan actually claims Republicans “became backup singers for Osama bin Laden” and are helping Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, with recruitment.

President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are correct in disassociating the Islamic State and al-Qaida from Islam, argues Saletan in his article, titled, Preaching To The Choir, ISIS’s Leader Sounds A Lot Like A Republican Candidate For President. He criticizes Republicans who have the gall to call the Islamic State what it calls itself – i.e. Islamic.

Framing the conflict in religious terms is akin to aiding terrorists, according to Saletan, making the dubious claim GOP rhetoric assists Islamic State recruitment and “social media,” but failing, of course, to provide evidence.

In the taped Baghdadi speech released last week, the terror leader said Islam is a religion of war, pitting Muslims against non-Muslims. Therefore, as Saletan declares: “Rhetorically, ISIS and the GOP are in perfect harmony.”

Saletan alleges Baghdadi is riding the coattails of Republican claims the Islamic State is religiously-based so the terror group can build ranks. “To build popular support, it needs to frame the conflict in religious terms,” wrote Saletan. “That’s why Baghdadi agrees with American conservatives who say our enemy is Islam.”

In Graeme Wood’s lengthy investigation on the Islamic State, he states: “The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic.” Analysts have pointed out the Obama administration’s inability to recognize the religious dimension of terrorism as a major flaw in its counterterrorism strategy. (Obama Alone In Ignoring Roots Of Islamist Terror)

To support his argument that the Islamic State relies on GOP rhetoric to exploit its religious bent and boost recruits, Saletan alleges the Islamic State can’t wage a regional war with 30,000 fighters. Actually, the Islamic State waged a successful, relatively unabated terror campaign in Iraq until the U.S.-led coalition got involved last fall. And estimates indicate the Islamic State’s total force is closer to 100,000, more than triple Saletan’s number.

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