President Obama rejected arguments that the United States and the West is under attack from “radical Islamic” terrorists. He mocked presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Republicans for insisting that he name the enemy as radical Islamic terrorists. Obama asked, "What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change?" Obama said, "Is there a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is, none of the above. Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away."
 
In a podcast interview with Spero News, Bill Warner said that only if the United States does name and understand the enemy can it be defeated. Warner is the founder of the Political Islam website and author of several books on the political ramifications of Islam for security in America and the West. In the interview, Warner drew a difference between “religious Islam” and “political Islam.” 
 
“The most amazing thing about Islamic doctrine,” said Warner, “is that over half of it is about you and me. It’s about the kafir: the non-believer. I call the part that deals with the non-believer, political Islam, because it is not religious Islam.”  It was after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 that Warner concluded that while religious Islam may not be defeated, political Islam is upon to challenge. 
 
Going to the deadly terrorist attack on a nightclub frequented by homosexuals in Orlando, Florida, Warner said that Islam views homosexuality as a sin and a crime. Some observers of the massacre contend that Christianity has contributed to an environment in which homosexuals can be freely persecuted. Among these is Catholic Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburgh, Florida, who blamed “religion” including the Catholic faith for the persecution of homosexuals. Under Islam, said Warner, “The punishment for the crime is death,” and is thus a major difference between Islam and Christianity.
 
Warner argues that analogies drawn from Judaism and Christianity fail to adequately define Islam because of its “absolute uniqueness.” “We need to study it for what it is, not for what it is like.” 
 
As to whether this amounts to an Islamic exceptionalism, Warner answered “Islam seeks to overtake and replace all religions. It is an absolute supremacist doctrine: not only religiously (I don’t care about the religious part) – I’m not saying that Christians don’t go to hell and Muslims do – what I’m saying is that I care about how it is treating someone like myself. I am seen as a critic of Islam; so it is possible for me to be killed.”
 

Related to Warner’s analysis, Republicans in the House of Representatives recently said that a coherent policy towards the Islamic threat can evolve only if the Islamic State is properly identified. Echoing Warner, the Republican report said, "Leaders in Washington should also level with the American people by calling the threat what it is."
"You cannot defeat an enemy you refuse to define, so let's state it plainly: We are at war with Islamist terrorists.”


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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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