Tags: Barack Obama | Orlando Terror Attack | barack obama | radical islam | orlando | shooting | speech

Obama: What Good Will Saying 'Radical Islam' Do In Terrorism Fight?

 (YouTube/FOX 10 Phoenix)

By    |   Tuesday, 14 June 2016 01:06 PM

President Barack Obama Tuesday afternoon struck out against Donald Trump and other critics who complain that the fight against the Islamic State and radical extremist terrorism isn't being taken seriously because of his failure to use the term "radical Islam."

"We cannot beat ISIL unless we call them 'radical Islam?'" the president said during a noon address about the Orlando shootings and the threat of terrorism. "What exactly using this label would accomplish and what will it change? Will it make ISIL less committed to try to kill Americans? Would it bring more allies for military strategy than it is served by this?"

The answer, he said, is "none of the above."

"Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away," said Obama. "This is a political distraction. Before I was president, I have been cleared about how extremist group justifying terrorists. As president, I have called on our Muslim friends and allies at home and around the world to work with us to reject this twisted interpretation of one of the world's great religions.

"There is not a moment where we have not able to pursue a strategy because we didn't use the label "radical Islam.'"

And not once has an adviser told him that if he uses the phrase would it turn the battles around, he added.

"So someone seriously thinks that we don't know who we are fighting?" Obama continued. "If there is anyone out there who thinks we are confused about who our enemies are, that would come to a surprise of the thousands of terrorists we have taken on our battlefield?"

Obama peppered his speech with references to Trump, without using his name. The presumptive nominee has hammered Obama frequently for his refusal to use the "radical Islam" term.

The United States has to make it harder for people who want to kill Americans to get their hands on the weapons of war that allow innocent people to be slaughtered, such as what happened early Sunday morning at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Obama said.

"We cannot prevent every tragedy," said Obama. "We know that consistent with the Second Amendment. There are common sense steps that could reduce gun violence and the lethality of somebody intense to do somebody harm."

It's not enough to just talk about being tough on terrorists, said Obama, but the nation also needs to "stop making it as easy as possible for terrorists to buy assault weapons. Reinstate this weapons ban and make it harder for terrorists to use these weapons to kill us."

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, speaking to supporters in Pittsburgh, said Trump's proposal bolstered her case that Trump is temperamentally unfit to serve as president.

Commander-in-chief "is a job that demands a calm, collected and dignified response" to events like the Orlando massacre early on Sunday, she said. 

She noted that Trump seemed to suggest on Monday in a television interview that Obama might have somehow been responsible for the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, a point that Trump said he did not make.

"I have to ask: Will responsible Republican leaders stand up to their presumptive nominee or will they stand by his accusation about our president?" she said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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President Barack Obama Tuesday afternoon struck out against critics who complain that the fight against the Islamic State and radical extremist terrorism isn't being taken seriously because of his failure to use the term "radical Islam."
barack obama, radical islam, orlando, shooting, speech
Tuesday, 14 June 2016 01:06 PM
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