Obama: There is No I in ISIS

“Sorry Mr. President, ISIS Is 100 Percent Islamic,” Daniel Pipes writes in response to the recently retired president’s speech last night:

In a televised address on how to address the Islamic State this evening, President Barack Obama declared the organization variously known as ISIS or ISIL to be “not Islamic.”

In making this preposterous claim, Obama joins his two immediate predecessors in pronouncing on what is not Islamic. Bill Clinton called the Taliban treatment of women and children “a terrible perversion of Islam.” George W. Bush deemed that 9/11 and other acts of violence against innocents “violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith.”

None of the three has any basis for such assertions. To state the obvious: As non-Muslims and politicians, rather than Muslims and scholars, they are in no position to declare what is Islamic and what is not. As Bernard Lewis, a leading American authority of Islam, notes: “It is surely presumptuous for those who are not Muslims to say what is orthodox and what is heretical in Islam.”

Indeed, Obama compounds his predecessors’ errors and goes further: Clinton and Bush merely described certain actions (treatment of women and children, acts of violence against innocents) as un-Islamic, but Obama has dared to declare an entire organization (and quasi-state) to be “not Islamic.”


So just to review how the left has responded to a 100 years of inconvenient history, National Socialism wasn’t “real” socialism, except that it certainly was — it was just socialism that the rest of of the left didn’t like. The Soviet Union wasn’t “real” communism or socialism, except that as Tom Wolfe once impolitely reminded “liberals” in the mid-1970s, “On the contrary — it was socialism done by experts!” And now ISIS isn’t Islamic. Gotcha.

But say, in regards to all of the above “isms,” what about the “peaceful majority…?”

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