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Obama, say the words ‘Radical Islamic terrorists’

Shying away from the religious roots of the violence undermines the fight against terror

Dear President Obama,

Say it. Say the word, “Islam,” say the words, “radical Islam.” Say the words, “radical Islam extremists.” Say the words, “radical Islam terrorists.” Repeat after me. Say the words, “Muslims who murder, Muslims who murder innocents.” Say the word, “jihad,” say the words, Obama. Finally, say the words.

Don’t tell us that this terror is not connected to the religion of Islam when, in Israel, Muslim terrorists again began attacking innocent Israelis this fall after Abbas claimed that Jews were treading on the site of the El Aqsa Mosque with their dirty feet, changing the status quo on the Temple Mount.

After Paris, the free world’s narrative has changed. At least, there is the possibility that the narrative has changed. We here in Israel have not had the luxury of being able to deny this murderous reality. It has happened below our feet — in front of our eyes. Two days ago, a father and a son were murdered in cold blood a week before the daughter’s wedding. A few weeks ago, a father of eight was knifed, or was it shot, or did they throw a Molotov cocktail, or did they throw rocks and then stab the victim, or did they board a bus and toss bombs and kill us? I can no longer count the ways that innocent Israelis have been attacked.

We Israelis cannot drive or walk the streets without fear that a radical Muslim terrorist will attack us. Our narrative has always been one of fighting an enemy sworn to our destruction. And the world has blamed us.

So now, President Obama,, do not continue to deny the reality of radical Islam terror rooted in a religious narrative. Don’t tell us about senseless killings. Because the sense is this: radical Muslim extremists employ their religion to hate everything that the free world stands for. Their ideology is to destroy. Use the words murder, jihad, Obama, use the words. Don’t obfuscate, and don’t minimize our common enemy, because maybe just maybe, the truth of the enemy we are facing can no longer be minimized.

Maybe the eyes of the world have been opened.

Don’t tell us that it’s because of despair. Don’t tell us it’s because of a lack of justice or economic opportunity.

Say the words, “war against radical Islam terror” because that is what we are fighting. Don’t tell us that terrorists attack because they are hopeless. Don’t tell us that it has nothing to do with Islam, when before the murderers kill, they praise the name of their God. Their hope is to kill us, to destroy us. Their pleasure is death and their greater pleasure is weakness, the weakness of countries and leaders like you who for too many years have tried to ignore or minimize the unpleasant reality of radical Muslim terror.

About the Author
Sherri Mandell is co-director of the Koby Mandell Foundation which runs programs for bereaved families in Israel. She is the author of the book "The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration." Her book, "The Blessing of a Broken Heart," won a National Jewish Book Award in 2004. She can be reached at sherri@kobymandell.org
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