Journalist Thomas Friedman, normally a staunch supporter of US President Barack Obama, derided the leader of the free world for dancing around the issue of Islamic extremism.
In a recent op-ed for The New York Times, Friedman slammed the Obama administration for being “so fearful of being accused of Islamophobia, [it] is refusing to make any link to radical Islam”.
What prompted his comments, he explains, was the announcement of a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism.
He then proceeded to point out other examples of the current administration’s reluctance to “say it like it is”, such as the remarks of White House spokesman Josh Earnest, who explained the Charlie Hebdo attack as “individuals who carried out an act of terrorism, and they later tried to justify that act of terrorism by invoking the religion of Islam and their own deviant view of it.”
Friedman is quick to assert that not all Muslims should be held responsible for the acts of the extremist fringe. However, he says, “ it is not good for us or the Muslim world to pretend that this spreading jihadist violence isn’t coming out of their faith community.”
Doing so only prevents those in a position to change things from being able to take action by stifling conversation on the topic. It also serves to empower those who wish to perpetuate the current situation.