by Amir Taheri, NEW YORK POST
“This is not true Islam,” President Obama has again insisted of the Islamic State and other terror groups. That he doesn’t realize this is not for him to say is only one of his elementary errors here.
The three-day White House conference on “violent extremism” exposed anew Obama’s inability or unwillingness to understand the challenge of Islamist terrorism, let alone to lead the fight against it.
The conference was billed as a global event bringing together people of different views from more than 60 countries. In practice, however, it acted more as an echo chamber for Obama’s politically correct approach.
“Violent extremism” is misleading, to say the least. (Is there extremism without violence?) The generic term obscures the fact that we face a specific form of terrorism rooted, nurtured and waged in the name of Islam.
Obama did defend his evasion: “Al Qaeda and ISIL [a k a ISIS] and groups like it . . . try to portray themselves as religious leaders, holy warriors in defense of Islam,” he said. “We must never accept the premise that they put forward, because it is a lie.” Operatives of al Qaeda and ISIS “are not religious leaders — they’re terrorists,” he said.
In fact, these terrorists now call their outfit the Islamic State, or IS, under a caliph. And no higher authority has the legitimacy and power to challenge their claim.
Islam has no mechanism for excommunication. Individuals can leave the ummah and be regarded as apostates (murtad). But no one who swears he is a Muslim can be excluded.
Even very bad Muslims are still Muslims as long as they haven’t thrice publicly rejected the two testimonies. (The two testimonies are accepting the oneness of God and that Muhammad is His Prophet.) Thus, neither Obama nor anyone else is qualified to decide who is a Muslim — or what is “true Islam.”
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