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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Repeat After Me – Radical Islamic Terrorism

What’s in a phrase? President Obama and the Democrats running for the presidency including Hillary Clinton won’t say it. Republicans say if you can’t say it, you can’t begin to win the War on Terror. The phrase is “radical Islamic terrorism.”

Just a couple months ago the president gave a speech in which he again insisted that the Islamic State group ISIS, our chief opponent in Iraq and Syria and the mastermind behind the weekend’s massacres in Paris, is not Islamic despite its name. His fellow Democrats worry that calling the mass killers Islamic terrorists paints a broad brush stroke condemning their entire religion. A year ago, U.S. voters agreed by a two-to-one margin that ISIS does not represent true Islamic beliefs, although 20% were not sure.

Republicans bluntly disagree. Donald Trump says the problem of terrorism won’t be resolved until the president and other senior Democrats recognize and say what the problem really is. Jeb Bush, like several of the other GOP presidential candidates, declares, “We are at war with radical Islamic terrorism.”

After the events in Paris, it’s not clear which side voters think is right. But they are Very Concerned about the thousands of Syrian refugees the president wants to allow into this country. As recently as January, 52% said Islam as practiced today encourages violence more than most other religions, and 75% said Islamic religious leaders need to do more to emphasize the peaceful beliefs of their faith. The world is still awaiting more of those Islamic leaders to speak out while the living bury the dead in Paris.

For Rasmussen Reports, I’m Fran Coombs.