Obama on ISIL: Not Islamic, Not Religious, Not a State

Who Put the IS in ISIL?

«ISIL … calls itself the “Islamic State.” Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not “Islamic.” No religion condones the killing of innocents. And the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim. And ISIL is certainly not a state. It was formerly al Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq, and has taken advantage of sectarian strife and Syria’s civil war to gain territory on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border. It is recognized by no government, nor by the people it subjugates. ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.»

— Barack Obama, 9/10/2014

Obama’s words need to be taken apart and examined. I’ll do that later. For now, I post this quote for the simple purpose of highlighting the absurdity of this public statement. It’s a funny joke to say that the “Holy Roman Empire” was neither holy nor roman nor empire. But it’s neither as funny nor as accurate to debate the IS in ISIL.


The White House Office of the Press Secretary, “Statement by the President on ISIL” (9/10/2014) http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/09/10/remarks-president-barack-obama-address-nation

The New York Times on YouTube, “Obama ISIS Speech [FULL] Today on 9/10/2014: ‘Ultimately Destroy’ Militants | The New York Times” (9/10/2014) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spIWGoNZnaU

UPDATE: 9/19/2014

I did write a more extended critical examination of the above quote, “Religion, Public Policy, and War: The Case of ISIL”.

what do you think?

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