Clinton: Orlando Rampage Was ‘Radical Islamism,’ But That’s Not The Point

June 13, 2016 12:06 p.m.

After months of Republicans taking President Obama and Democrats to task for refusing to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism,” Hillary Clinton said this weekend’s deadly mass shooting in Orlando, Florida was the work of “radical Islamism.”

“I have clearly said many, many times we face terrorist enemies who use Islam to justify slaughtering innocent people,” the former Secretary of State said on MSNBC. “We have to defeat radical jihadist terrorism or radical Islamism, whatever you call it. It’s the same.”

She continued: “But we cannot demonize, demagogue and declare war on an entire religion. That is just dangerous. And it plays into the hands of ISIS and other jihadist terrorists.”

During a call-in on NBC’s “Today,” Clinton said, “it matters what we do, not what we say.”

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“It matters that we got bin Laden, not what name we called him,” she said, as quoted by Politico. Clinton went on to say the terms “mean the same thing.”

“To me, radical jihadism, radical Islamism, I think they mean the same thing. I’m happy to say either, but that’s not the point,” she said.

Obama’s pointed refusal to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism,” a favorite of conservatives, was not lost on Republicans during the presidential primary. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) often attacked the President’s leadership by framing him as unwilling to “name the enemy.”

In a December 2015 interview with ABC News, anchor George Stephanopoulos pressed Clinton on why she doesn’t say “radical Islam” when talking about terror attacks. Clinton said there are “radicals” in “every religion in the world” and that using the term would promote the idea of “this clash of civilizations” that groups like ISIS use to recruit.

“It doesn’t do justice to the vast numbers of Muslims in our own country and around the world who are peaceful people,” she said.

Obama has said referring to the terrorists the “Islamic State” lends them legitimacy and propagates a notion that the West is at war with Islam, rather than “with people who have perverted Islam.”

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