President Barack Obama this week hosts a White House summit on combating violent extremism, searching for strategies beyond just military action for countering terrorist groups like the so-called Islamic State or al-Qaida. The long-planned event arrives right as Obama is emerging from his latest skirmish with critics who say his reluctance to tie terrorists publicly and directly to Islam shows he does not understand the threat — and therefore cannot adequately respond.
At the National Prayer Breakfast earlier this month, Obama suggested people get off of their “high horse,” reminding his audience that the West had its own history of “terrible deeds” in the name of religion, including the Crusades, the Inquisition and slavery. The remarks touched off a predictable firestorm, and his critics pounced.
“There’s a set of words, it’s almost as if they’re given a card — a do-not-speak card,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R.-Texas) said last week at the conservative Center for Security Policy think thank.Read More »from Obama’s ‘Crusades’ controversy highlights war on terrorism’s rhetorical minefield