Obama Prohibits Terms Jihad and Islam

Published: April 7th 2010
in News » World

President Barack Obama
Pic: wikimedia commons

Advisors to US President Barack Obama will begin erasing words such as “Islamic extremism” from the main document that details American national security strategy. Counterterrorism officials say that the updated plan will stress that the US does not define Muslim nations in terms of terrorism, the Associated Press is reporting.


The shift is a sea change in the country’s National Security Strategy. The document, which during the Bush administration carried the doctrine of preemptive war, currently reads: "The struggle against militant Islamic radicalism is the great ideological conflict of the early years of the 21st Century."


Officials would only speak about the upcoming changes on condition of anonymity as the new version of the paper is still in the writing stages. The White House has also remained quiet on the subject.


With the re-write, the document becomes the latest example of Obama’s departure from his predecessor’s foreign policy. Other recent examples include pledges to begin decreasing America’s nuclear weapons stockpile and to curtail instances in which the US would use nuclear weapons.


For the past year, since Obama’s Cairo speech that promised a “new beginning” in the American relationship with Muslim nations, the change in policy has been taking form, with the White House accusing the Bush administration of placing its emphasis solely on fighting terrorism and triumphing in the war of ideology.


"You take a country where the overwhelming majority are not going to become terrorists, and you go in and say, 'We're building you a hospital so you don't become terrorists.' That doesn't make much sense," National Security Council staffer Pradeep Ramamurthy told the Associated Press.


Ramamurthy runs something called the Global Engagement Directorate, the four-person team was launched last May by the president with the goal of pursuing national security objectives by reaching out using diplomacy. The unit has been at the forefront of changing the vocabulary that is used in the fight against terrorism. It has also been an influential voice in dealing with investing in Muslim businesses, studying global warming and encouraging scientific research and fighting polio.


Ramamurthy, or his deputy Jenny Urizar, brief diplomats before they travel overseas. For instance, they maintain a database of interviews done by 50 US embassies across the globe. Also, this month, entrepreneurs and financial leaders from over 40 countries will gather in Washington DC for an “entrepreneurship summit” for Muslim businesses.


Obama speechwriters are delivering this new message by borrowing from former President Ronald Reagan’s visit to China in 1984, where he talked about common interests in space exploration, education and scientific endeavours. While he discussed the issues of freedom and liberty, he did so without specifically mentioning democracy or communism.


Obama is doing the same – by only briefly referring to terrorism in his Cairo speech and instead focusing on collaboration and by announcing that the US is going to partner with the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, which is based in Saudi Arabia, to tackle polio. The disease is at epidemic levels in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.


Related articles: (barack obama, terrorist, terrorism, jihad, national security)
Share with friends Print this page Read later Recommend 0 times