Talk show host Joe Scarborough questioned why President Barack Obama was "vague" when talking about the threat posed by the Islamic State (ISIS), and wondered why he wouldn't use the words "radical Islamists" to describe the militant group.
"Why is he being vague? I'm not saying this as a Republican. I'm not saying this as a conservative. Why won't he call this what it is when Europeans are? And, by the way, Arabs in the Middle East call this radical Islam," Scarborough asked the MSNBC "Morning Joe" panel on Tuesday. "Why is he trying to put a smoke screen over the truth? What is he afraid of?"
Obama has repeatedly sidestepped using "radical Islam" in referring to the ISIS militants, and has not directly described victims of attacks as Jews and Christians, preferring instead to use words "random," "folks" and "citizens."
After the most recent incident involving a video released on Sunday that purportedly showed the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya, a statement by White House press secretary Josh Earnest called the victims "innocents," but did not mention their faith, Brietbart reported
Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida, stressed military officials say "you've got to know your enemy," adding that ISIS was fueled by a religious ideology.
"They don't do this ... because they're just a bunch of sociopaths. They do this because they are Islamists, radical Islamists, at the rawest, most base form, going back to Muhammad, and the examples that they glean from Muhammad. And, they are seeking to provoke the world into Armageddon, end times.
"This is radical Islam. We're fighting radical Islam. We're fighting a group of people that have the most fundamentalist base reading of the text of the Koran, and they are seeking a religious end to the world, " he said.
Nicolle Wallace, former communications director to President George W. Bush, told the "Morning Joe" panel on Tuesday that Obama's failure to define ISIS as radical Islamists was "becoming embarrassing," noting "he's the only person not calling it radical Islamic extremism."
Scarborough stressed using the term "radical Islam" was not about "bashing Islam."
"You do need to know your enemy," he said. "You need to understand, this is about radical Islam. And, we need to have the billion-plus Muslims that don't want their religion interpreted and viewed this way to step up, and they are."
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