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Tags: Thomas Friedman | radical Islam | Paris attack

NYT's Friedman: Obama 'Ridiculous' in Whitewashing Radical Islam

NYT's Friedman: Obama 'Ridiculous' in Whitewashing Radical Islam
(Mandel Ngan/TNS/Landov)

By    |   Wednesday, 21 January 2015 02:28 PM EST

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who frequently backs Obama administration policies, has blasted the administration's decision to organize a "Summit on Countering Violent Extremism" in response to this month's jihadist murders in Paris.

"I had a visceral reaction," Friedman wrote. "Is there a box on my tax returns that I can check so my tax dollars won't go to pay for this?"

Friedman emphasized that he objects to the refusal of the Obama administration to tell the truth about the role of radical Islam in fueling terrorist violence by the Taliban in Pakistan, Boko Haram in Nigeria, al-Qaida in Paris, and jihadists in Iraq and Yemen.

"When you don't call things by their real name, you always get in trouble," he wrote. "We've entered the theater of the absurd."

Friedman said that when he read a Politico Magazine op-ed written by National Review's  Rich Lowry quoting White House spokesman Josh Earnest on the Paris terror attacks, he was "sure" Lowry had made it up.

But once he checked the transcript and learned that the quotes were accurate, Friedman agreed with Lowry's conclusion that the Obama administration "has lapsed into unselfconscious ridiculousness" on the topic of radical Islam.

Earnest said last week that the terrorists who struck Paris carried out an act of terrorism and "later tried to justify that act of terrorism by invoking the religion of Islam and their own deviant view of it."

This "makes it sound as if the Charlie Hebdo terrorists set out to commit a random act of violent extremism, and only subsequently, when they realized that they needed some justification, did they reach for Islam," Friedman wrote.

While it is wrong to hold all Muslims accountable for the acts of a few, he added, "it is not good for us and the Muslim world to pretend that this spreading jihadist violence isn’t coming out of their faith community."

Only Sunni Arabs and Pakistanis will be able to challenge the narrative embraced by militants who seek to "purify" their worlds by attacking Westerners and Muslims deemed insufficiently pious, Friedman wrote.

If the West isn't prepared to help advance an internal Muslim dialogue, "let's just be quiet. Don't say stupid stuff," he added. "And don't hold airy fairy conferences that dodge the real issues, which many mainstream Muslims know and are actually starved to discuss, especially women."    

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New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who frequently backs Obama administration policies, has blasted the administration's decision to organize a "Summit on Countering Violent Extremism".
Thomas Friedman, radical Islam, Paris attack
394
2015-28-21
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 02:28 PM
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