I am a high school senior and an American by choice; I was born in Argentina, but am proud to be raised in this wonderful country that fosters freedom, opportunity, and hard work. I now live in a country whose government says it works to counter terrorism all over the world.
I am writing this the week following the attacks in Paris that the Islamic State claimed responsibility of. I am writing to say that the attacks on Paris are not just attacks on Paris. They are attacks on the safety and security of the rest of the world. These attacks are Hamas inciting terror on Israel, they are guerrilla warfare attacks committed by Hezbollah, they are Al-Qaeda fighting in Syria, they are Iranian state-sponsored terrorist regimes and perpetuated terrorism all over the world.
I am writing this from a position of fear: fear of the world I live in and the one that awaits my kids, and fear of an imminent attack on my personal security and that of civilians all over the world. I applaud you for being “prepared and ready” to help France and its people where they need you. But, Mr. President, I need you. I need you to be prepared and ready to help me. I need you to denounce the real terrorism that exists so that I do not have to be as horrified, scared, and saddened as I am when I sit in front of my computer writing this letter and hear of the hundreds of people who died in Paris, the hundreds of thousands of Christians being crucified in the Middle East, and the millions of refugees escaping these radicals. I need you to denounce the source of the issue, as that is the only way we can begin to attack it.
So that’s why I have one question: why do you choose to not utter the words Radical Islamic when that is exactly what we are dealing with? The huge networks of people that plan these acts of terror stem from that. They stem from hopes of waging Islamic jihad and Islamic extremism and feed off the urge to carry out genocide on all people who are different from them.
I am neither saying that Islam is the problem nor that we need to wage war on it. I am not saying that Islamic extremism represents the Muslim people who denounce terrorist ideologies. I am saying that if we continue focusing on political correctness, we will continue repressing the fact that the radicalization of Islam is a legitimate issue. Simply calling it terrorism is denying that a bigger threat exists.
As a current high school senior applying to college to study international relations, I am asking you: where does this leave me? Do you want me to pursue a career in foreign policy, denying that Islamic extremism is a real threat?
How can we ever really fight Islamic extremists as a country, Mr. President, if you do not see it as pertinent enough to be addressed as an issue? To me, living in fear that the country that should be the leader of the free world is not constantly fostering change and peace is not living. As an American, I want to be able to say that I am also proud of the country I’m living in because of its fight on Islamic extremism.
I would be honored to speak to you or hear back from you to understand why.
With my utmost respect and hope,