Small Wars Journal

Obama’s Overlooked Challenge to Muslims

Obama’s Overlooked Challenge to Muslims by Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic

Earlier this week, Barack Obama, eager to pivot to Asia (and who wouldn’t be?), held a press conference in Turkey that was notable for the repetitive and sometimes-posturing nature of the questions asked of him, and also for the frustrations he occasionally vented. His condemnation of certain Republicans for their retrograde and analytically deficient understanding of the Syrian refugee crisis received a good deal of attention (and criticism), but the president’s comments about the responsibilities of Muslims in the current struggle—comments a) that cut against the grain of what we’ve been conditioned to expect from him, and b) that he went out of his way to make—received comparatively little attention…

This isn’t the first time Obama has asked Muslims to engage in a bit of collective introspection. At the United Nations last year, Obama encouraged Muslims to cease tolerating intolerant clerics and those who would narrowly interpret scripture, and wove into his speech an indirect, but biting, critique of Arab states that use oil revenue to export fundamentalist versions of Islam: “It is time for the world—especially Muslim communities—to explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology of organizations like al-Qaeda and ISIL,” Obama said…

Muslim leaders do condemn extremism, but many do not condemn all forms of extremism, and many remain far too tolerant of Saudi-funded and trained imams…

Read on.