Obama White House Censors French President for Using the Term 'Islamist Terrorism'
When French President Francois Hollande met with President Barack Obama at the White House on Thursday to share ideas on how the two countries can fight Islamist terrorism, it probably didn't occur to him that saying the words "Islamist terrorism" would be a problem. But in the Obama White House, putting the word "Islamist" (or Islamic) next to the word "terrorism" is a faux pas worthy of being struck from the record.
Via the Federalist:
While the official transcript available on the White House web page includes Hollande’s use of the phrase “Islamist terrorism,” the White House video of the remarks muted the audio during that portion of Hollande’s remarks. The audio of the French-to-English interpreter stops right before Hollande characterizes “Islamist terrorism” as the root of terrorism in Syria and Iraq.
“But we’re also well aware that the roots of terrorism, Islamist terrorism, is in Syria and in Iraq,” Hollande told Obama, according to the transcript of the exchange provided by the White House. “We therefore have to act both in Syria and in Iraq, and this is what we’re doing within the framework of the coalition.”
Blogger "Allahpundit" made the point at Hot Air that Hollande actually chose the term carefully for the sake of accuracy. And it was still rejected by the Obama White House.
You know what the worst part is? Hollande didn’t say “Islamic terrorism,” which is the supposedly objectionable term. He said “Islamist terrorism.” “Islamist” was, I thought, a term that came into use precisely because it gave the speaker an efficient way to distinguish between “moderate Muslims” and the more jihad-minded. “Islamic” describes all things Muslim; “Islamist” describes a supremacist view in which Islam is the highest authority of the state. Many critics of Islam would dispute that there’s a meaningful distinction between those two, but Obama and Hollande certainly wouldn’t. ISIS may not be Islamic to Obama but it’s certainly Islamist. Point being, Hollande chose his words carefully here according to the White House transcript so as not to conflate the average Muslim with the jihadis he’s discussing — and the White House still censored him. That’s the point we’re at.
A French paper noticed the omission and wondered if it was a "technical problem or a real deliberate act of censorship."
The White House has not definitely said. But it's all the same a strange moment that Francois Hollande experienced, Thursday March 31 at Washington, even if the President of France wasn't fully aware of it.