The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has expressed concern that President Barack Obama’s official statement about this horrific massacre of Christians at three different churches by a group of Muslim terrorists mentions neither the Muslim perpetrators nor the Christian victims when clearly the intentional aim of the Islamist terrorists was to murder Christians at several churches. The attacks in Nigeria over the Christmas period resulted in the murder of 39 Christians and the maiming of dozens more, the majority of those killed dying on the steps of a Catholic church that was targeted as congregants were exiting following mass. The Nigerian terrorist assaults were perpetrated by the Boko Haram (meaning ‘Western culture is forbidden’) Islamist group, sometimes referred to as the ‘Nigerian Taliban.’ The Boko Haram has been responsible for the deaths of of 504 people this year alone. Yet, in the statement issued by White House spokesman Jim Carney on Christmas Day, the Administration stated only that “We condemn this senseless violence and tragic loss of life on Christmas Day. We offer our sincere condolences to the Nigerian people and especially those who lost family and loved ones. We have been in contact with Nigerian officials about what initially appear to be terrorist acts and pledge to assist them in bringing those responsible to justice” (‘Statement by the Press Secretary on Nigeria,’ December 25, 2011). The statement thus gave literally no clue as to the Muslim identity of the perpetrators or to the fact that Christians were deliberately murdered.
This avoidance of any mention of the Muslim identity and inspiration of various terrorists who have assaulted non-Muslims, including the United States, has been a worrying staple of President Obama. Presidential statements on the anniversaries of the 1983 killing of 242 U.S. servicemen in Lebanon by Hizballah or the 1979 seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, both failed to mention the perpetrators of these acts. The U.S. report on the Fort Hood massacre of 13 U.S. soldiers by Islamist killer, Dr. Nidal Hassan, the was no reference to either Hassan’s Muslim identity or his adherence to jihadist doctrine.
Obama Administration officials generally speak of particular terrorist attacks as being the work of isolated extremists, even when Islamist terrorist connections (for example, between Fort Hood sniper Nidal Hassan and the American-born Al-Qaida in Yemen leader, Anwar al-Awlaki, who advised him) were readily traceable. Also, the Administration has refused almost uniformly to refer to ‘Islamism,’ ‘radical Islam’ and ‘jihad.’ John O. Brennan, Obama’s chief national security adviser for counterterrorism, has even explicitly refused to refer to ‘jihad’ of ‘Islamists,’ even though the doctrines of jihad and Islamism are the direct inspiration for the attacks in question. Brennan said, “describing our enemy in religious terms would lend credence to the lie propagated by al Qaeda and its affiliates to justify terrorism, that the United States is somehow at war against Islam ... Nor do we describe our enemy as jihadists or Islamists because jihad is holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam meaning to purify oneself of one's community.”
Indeed, the Obama Administration’s ‘Strategic Implementation Plan For Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States,’ released December 8, does not mention Islam, whose texts are often used to provide the impetus and rationale that spur terror strikes by Muslims.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “It is deeply worrying that President Obama systematically avoids identifying the perpetrators of terrorist attacks whenever they are Muslims. The argument that all Muslims will be tarred by referring to the terrorists’ Muslim identity is specious. No-one ever said that Irish Catholics as a whole would be unfairly tarred with extremism if a presidential statement mentioned that Catholic IRA terrorists carried out a specific terrorist assault.
“President Obama should precisely identify the terrorists in question in order to make it clear which group of Muslims are carrying out these attacks. After all, just as it is important to understand that we are not at war with the Muslim world, it is equally important to understand that a portion of the Muslim world is at war with us. Instead, however, President Obama seems to be protecting Muslim terrorist murderers by refusing to identify them. Mr. President, it is important for you to tell the American public who the terrorists are by naming the enemy and in most of these cases they are radical, Islamist terrorists. And, when Islamist murderers kill Christians because they are Christians or Jews because they are Jews, the President should make that fact clear to the American public.”
About the ZOA
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is the oldest and one of the largest pro-Israel organizations in the United States. With offices around the country and in Israel, the ZOA educates the public, elected officials, the media, and college/high school students about the truth of the ongoing Arab war against Israel. The ZOA works to strengthen U.S.-Israel relations through educational activities, public affairs programs and our work on Capitol Hill, and to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias in the media, in textbooks, in schools and on college campuses. Under the leadership of such presidents as Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, Rabbis Abba Hillel Silver and Stephen Wise, and current President Morton A. Klein, the ZOA has been – and continues to be – on the front lines of Jewish activism. The ZOA is a 501(c) (3) non-partisan organization.