White House: Extremists pervert Islam

By Kasim Ileri

WASHINGTON (AA) – President Barack Obama will not legitimatize terrorist organizations by calling them “radical Islam” which perpetuates the myth that they represent Islam against the West, a White House spokesman said Monday.

“Many of those organizations pervert the religion of Islam to justify their murderous, nihilistic agenda,” according to Josh Earnest.

Earnest’s comments comes after Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump demanded Obama use “radical Islamic terrorism” to describe the deadly shooting in Orlando that killed 49 victims and wounded 53 others.

The spokesman said Obama is aware terrorist organizations such as Daesh try to claim “the mantle of Islam to describe themselves as holy warriors or religious leaders” fighting the U.S. or the West.

“They’re wrong about that. That is a false agenda. That is a myth. That is not true,” Earnest said. “This administration’s gone to great lengths to debunk that myth because to perpetuate that myth only gives the terrorists what they want, which is legitimacy.”

Attributing acts committed or inspired by Daesh to the Muslim community will make it harder for the U.S. to mobilize the Muslim world to fight the threat of the militant group, Earnest said.

Earnest noted the contribution of Muslim majority countries to the U.S.-led war against Daesh saying American pilots are flying alongside Muslim pilots as they strike militant groups’ targets in Syria and Iraq.

He also criticized Congress for not passing pending legislation on gun control.

“There are certain common-sense things that Congress could do that would make it harder for any individual to get their hands on a weapon of war,” he said, noting Obama’s frustration with lawmakers’ inaction.

The Obama administration has asked Congress to take steps that would require background checks for individuals who want to buy firearms and place restrictions on the sale of guns.