During a December 6 speech on national security and the fight against terrorism, President Obama refused to criticize radical Islamic terror but had no problem suggesting that the availability of firearms in America is problematic.
At one point during the speech, Obama actually warned Americans not criticize Islam for the attacks that Muslims have carried out on our soil–most recently the Ohio State University attack, but also the attacks on the Minnesota mall, Orlando Pulse, San Bernardino County building, Chattanooga military offices, and Fort Hood (2009), to name a few.
We are fighting terrorists who claim to fight on behalf of Islam. But they do not speak for over a billion Muslims around the world, and they do not speak for American Muslims, including many who wear the uniform of the United States of America’s military.
If we stigmatize good, patriotic Muslims, that just feeds the terrorists’ narrative. It fuels the same false grievances that they use to motivate people to kill. If we act like this is a war between the United States and Islam, we’re not just going to lose more Americans to terrorist attacks, but we’ll also lose sight of the very principles we claim to defend.
He then rejected the idea of scrutinizing Muslims more closely:
The United States of America is not a country that imposes religious tests as a price for freedom. We’re a country that was founded so that people could practice their faiths as they choose. The United States of America is not a place where some citizens have to withstand greater scrutiny, or carry a special ID card, or prove that they’re not an enemy from within.
Obama said his administration’s counterterrorism efforts make another attack on the scale of 9/11 “more difficult,” but no means impossible. At the same time, he did not refer to the 9/11 attackers as radical Islamic terrorists, nor did he grapple with the fact that we may have traded one 9/11 for numerous OSU and/or San Bernardino-style attacks that serve a similar purpose in the long run: they keep the American people unsettled and unsure.
One thing Obama did, however, is criticize the availability of firearms in America. He said, “Somebody who is trying to kill and willing to be killed is dangerous, particularly when we live in a country where it’s very easy for that person to buy a very powerful weapon.”