Prejudice and discrimination are indeed never justified, and should always be rejected. And Obama does say that “Muslims around the world have to keep rejecting any twisted interpretation of Islam,” but he devotes only half a sentence to that, without going into any specifics such as calling on them to institute programs in mosques to teach against the Islamic State’s understanding of Islam, or to end the victimhood posturing and opposition to counterterror efforts. Then he spends fourteen sentences explaining how we must reject prejudice and bigotry.
The problem with that is that Islamic advocacy groups such as the Hamas-linked terror organization CAIR and others have for years claimed that to speak honestly about how jihad terrorists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism was a manifestation of “prejudice” and “bigotry.” No innocent person should be victimized or discriminated against under any circumstances. Unfortunately, that simple and obvious truth is being used by groups with frankly sinister agendas to prevent honest discussion of the motives and goals of those who would destroy us. No good can or will come of that.
Also, is the key lesson of San Bernardino really that we must show love for our Muslim neighbors? Is that the most important takeaway — that we should be nice to people? We knew that already. Wouldn’t a better lesson be that we need to deal realistically with the jihad threat, strengthen screening efforts, etc.? Will being nice to Muslims really prevent jihad mass murder attacks?
“Obama Weekly Address: ‘Reject Bigotry’ As Muslims Reject ‘Twisted Interpretation Of Islam,'” Real Clear Politics, December 12, 2015:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Hello, everybody. This week, Americans across our country have shown what it means to be strong in the face of terrorism. In San Bernardino, even as the community continues to grieve, people are refusing to be ruled by fear. Across the county, dedicated public servants are on the job – and more will be returning to work this week. Faith communities have come together in fellowship and prayer. Families lined the streets for the annual children’s Christmas parade—because we can’t let terrorists change how we live our lives.
Meanwhile, our men and women in uniform are stepping up our campaign to destroy ISIL. Our airstrikes are hitting ISIL harder than ever, in Iraq and Syria. We’re taking out more of their fighters and leaders, their weapons, their oil tankers. Our Special Operations Forces are on the ground—because we’re going to hunt down these terrorists wherever they try to hide. In recent weeks, our strikes have taken out the ISIL finance chief, a terrorist leader in Somalia and the ISIL leader in Libya. Our message to these killers is simple—we will find you, and justice will be done.
This week, we’ll move forward on all fronts. On Monday, I’ll go to the Pentagon. And there, I’ll review our military campaign and how we can continue to accelerate our efforts. Later in the week, I’ll go to the National Counterterrorism Center. There, I’ll review our efforts—across our entire government—to prevent attacks and protect our homeland. And this week, the Department of Homeland Security will update its alert system to ensure Americans get more information, including steps that you and your communities can take to be vigilant and to stay safe.
In the wake of the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, I know a lot of Americans are asking—“what can I do?” First, as always, we have to stay vigilant. If you see something that seems suspicious, say something to law enforcement. Over the years, plots have been uncovered because someone saw something and spoke up.
That is, say something unless what you see is a Muslim boy who has built a clock that looks like a bomb. Then you better not speak up, or you will be vilified as an “Islamophobe.”
As I said in my speech last weekend, one of the most important things we can do is to stay true to who we are as Americans. Terrorists like ISIL are trying to divide us along lines of religion and background. That’s how they stoke fear. That’s how they recruit. And just as Muslims around the world have to keep rejecting any twisted interpretation of Islam, all of us have to reject bigotry—in all of its forms. I’ll say it again, prejudice and discrimination helps ISIL and it undermines our national security.
The good news is that Americans are coming together to reaffirm the core values that keep us strong. Political leaders across the spectrum—Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives—are standing up, forcefully, for freedom of religion. Churches and synagogues are reaching out to local mosques—reminding us that we are all God’s children. Grateful citizens are saying thank you to our patriotic Muslim American service members and veterans. Some of our greatest sports heroes have reminded us why they’re true champions—and voices for tolerance and understanding. Across the country, Americans are reaching out—to their Muslim friends, neighbors and coworkers—to let them know we’re here for each other. I think of the woman in Texas carrying a sign saying, “We love our Muslim neighbors.”
That’s the message I hope every Muslim American hears—that we’re all part of the same American family. And it’s a message all of us can deliver—parents to our children, teachers to their students, leaders in politics and business and entertainment. Back in San Bernardino, people from across the community have joined in prayer vigils—Christians, Jews, Muslims and others. They’ve sent a powerful message—we’re all in this together. That’s the spirit we have to uphold. That’s what we can do—as Americans—united in defense of the country that we love.