President Barack Obama refused to say “Islamic terrorism” during a military town hall Wednesday afternoon and said there is no religious rationale behind the Islamic State.
“As a Gold Star mother, my son gave his life for acts of terrorism. Do you still believe that the acts of terrorism are done with a self-proclaimed Islamic religious motives? And if you do, why do you still refuse to use the term racially — I’m sorry, Islamic terrorist?” Tina Houchins asked Obama during a CNN event.
“The truth of the matter is that this is an issue that has been sort of manufactured because there is no doubt, and I’ve said repeatedly, that where we see terrorist organizations like al-Qaida or ISIL, they have perverted and distorted and tried to claim the mantle of Islam for an excuse for basically barbarism and death,” Obama replied. “These are people who kill children, kill Muslims, take sex slaves, there’s no religious rationale that would justify in any way the things that they do.”
The president continued: “I have been careful about when I describe these issues, to make sure that we do not lump these murderers into the billion Muslims that exist around the world, including in this country. Who are peaceful, who are responsible, who in this country, are fellow troops and police officers and firefighters and teachers and neighbors and friends.”
He did say that, “so do I think that if somebody uses the phrase, Islamic terrorism, that it is a huge deal? No.”
Obama used the analogy of a hypothetical Christian terrorist organization to support his viewpoint.
“As a Christian, I’m not going to let them claim my religion and say you’re killing for Christ. I would say that’s ridiculous. That’s not what my religion stands for. Call these folks what they are, killers and terrorists,” Obama said.
The president did not mention Donald Trump by name but alluded to people seeking the presidency. “You can see in some of the language that in talking about Muslim Americans here. And the notion that somehow we’d start having religious tests and who can come in the country and who is investigated and whether the Bill of Rights applies to them in the same way and that’s a slippery slope,” Obama said.