The White House Sunday issued a statement condemning the barbaric beheadings of more than a dozen Egyptian Coptic Christians, but somehow the statement failed to note that that they were killed because they were Christian – or even that they were Christian at all.
The United States condemns the despicable and cowardly murder of twenty-one Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIL-affiliated terrorists. We offer our condolences to the families of the victims and our support to the Egyptian government and people as they grieve for their fellow citizens.
ISIL’s barbarity knows no bounds. It is unconstrained by faith, sect, or ethnicity. This wanton killing of innocents is just the most recent of the many vicious acts perpetrated by ISIL-affiliated terrorists against the people of the region, including the murders of dozens of Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai, which only further galvanizes the international community to unite against ISIL.
President Obama’s determination to portray Islamist terrorism as merely “extremism” untethered from any religious motivation has now crossed the line from absurdity into profound offensiveness. These people died, horrifyingly, because of their religion. They are martyrs. But not, apparently, in the view of the White House.
Also deeply offensive is that the killings did not rate a “presidential” statement. The statement above was issued by the press secretary, a determination that is calculated based on what the White House perceives as its importance.
Clearly, this is part of Obama’s effort to minimize the threat from Islamist terror. It also may reflect his hostility toward Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who overthrew the Islamist revolution in Egypt that Obama supported and who has made clear that part of what is animating Islamist extremism comes from within Islam, and that Muslim religious leaders need to reform their practices.
The statement, furthermore, is inaccurate. ISIL is not “unstrained by faith, sect or ethnicity.” While it involves many sects and ethnicities, it features only one religion: Islam.
The sources of Islamist extremism must be combated from within Islam and from without, by the United States and its allies. But if the problem is not understood, it will never be eradicated.
Here’s someone who understands the threat. I’ve never seem Giuliani so passionate. “What is wrong with out president?” he demands to know.