It's no secret that the White House steers far, far away from using the term "Islam" or "Muslim" in the same sentence as "extremist". During a press briefing, Ed Henry called out White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest for not saying that the 21 people killed by the Islamic State in Egypt were Christians, but President Obama did invoke the faith of the three Muslims killed in North Carolina. Is there an ongoing double standard? Glenn has a theory as to what may be happening in the White House.
"I'm curious, why didn't you mention it was 21 Christians killed by Muslims? Is that relevant?" Henry asked.
"It sure is, because the ISIL extremists who carried out this attack indicated that they were killing them wasn't just because they were Egyptian, but also because they were Christian," Earnest responded.
Henry continued, "Two days earlier, on the 13th, you put out a statement under the president saying about the tragic deaths of the three Muslim students at the University of North Carolina, and in there, the president said, quote, 'no one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship.' Why was their Muslim faith relevant in that statement?"
"Well Ed, I think as we have indicated, the situation in North Carolina is still under investigation, and the local law enforcement authorities there are trying to determine exactly what the motivation of the individual who's been charged with this crime was. And so that is still under investigation. But what is clear is that there is this principle that exists, regardless of the faith of the individual in question, that people should not be targeted because of their religion and what they look like or what their last name is or how they worship," Earnest said.
Watch the whole thing unfold below:
Now, this exchange prompted a debate over why the President has avoided using the term "Islamic extremism" and has always been careful to point out that the Islamic faith is one of peace.
"Someone told me this and I think it's accurate. Let's think out loud for a second. The president is not a Muslim. He's not a hater. None of that. Okay?" Glenn said, setting the ground rules for the discussion.
"His father and his stepfather were both Muslim. He grew up in Muslim countries. When he went to school, he claimed that he was a Muslim. That's because the culture he was living in. Not because he's a secret Muslim or anything like that," Glenn said.
"He has just like I do, and you do too, whatever it is in your life, you grew up, you had fond memories, you know your family members were like that, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. You didn't grow up around a lot of Christians. So you come in and you see the people that you love and know under attack all the time. And you see the world from a different prism than us. You see America, because you've been taught and raised your whole life that America is the bad guy. And they're racists and they're haters and they don't like anybody that's different from them. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera."
"So you come into office. All he's doing is protecting what he felt his whole life as a child. This is the faith of my family. I know what Muslims are like. My father was a Muslim. My stepfather was a Muslim. They're not haters. They're not doing that. So all he's doing is standing up in defense of his father's faith. He's trying to be the one to hold up the banner."
Does President Obama feel the need to protect the Muslim community because of his experiences as a child?
Stu presented another theory.
"This is something Major Garrett had reported a couple years ago," Stu said. "They call it stray voltage. It's a media concept that is real that the White House uses. I don't know if they're using it in this case. But the concept is that you intentionally do things that cause media controversies. You intentionally say things that are bound to create back and forth between the sides. Like this, where in this particular theory, you intentionally inexplicably don't say Muslim terrorism so everyone is talking about whether you're saying Muslim terrorism not the actual issue. Could it be that? Because it's so inexplicable. They know no one thinks all Muslims are doing this. They know it."