Author Urges President Trump To Deliver Major Address Defining ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’
As the President rallies coalition of 68 nations in Washington today to work together more closely to defeat the Islamic State, new poll reveals Americans want their leaders to define the enemy
DALLAS, March 22, 2017 – A new survey commissioned by Middle East expert and New York Times bestselling author Joel C. Rosenberg reveals Americans believe we are losing the war against the Islamic State and fear ISIS is preparing to launch catastrophic terror attacks inside the homeland. The poll also reveals Americans want their leaders to define the nature of the enemy we face.
“Mr. Trump is the first president in American history to use the phrase ‘radical Islamic terrorism,’ which he referred to in his Inaugural Address and his Joint Address to Congress,” said Joel C. Rosenberg, author of Without Warning, a political thriller that provides a fictional look into what could happen if leaders do not take seriously the threats of our enemies and are blindsided by a series of catastrophic terror attacks by ISIS inside the American homeland. “Neither Presidents Bush nor Obama chose to use this term.
“President Trump is absolutely right to shine a spotlight on the homicidal ideology that drives jihadists to wage war against us and our allies,” Rosenberg noted. “But he must be careful not to assume that everyone understands what he means. The phrase, after all, is simply shorthand. Now that he has captured people’s attention by using the term ‘radical Islamic terrorism,’ he must define it. As leader of the free world, he has an extraordinary platform to educate a national and global audience about the true nature and magnitude of the threat in more detail and with more precision. He should seize it.
“In particular,” Rosenberg stressed, “the President needs to be clear that we are not at war with the religion of Islam, and that he is not talking about the vast majority of Muslims who, in fact, do not pose a threat at all. The data show that upwards of 90 percent of Muslims worldwide are not radicals, but that between 7 and 10 percent do support ISIS, suicide bombings and other acts of violence to accomplish their political objectives.”
Fortunately, according to the new poll, the American public overwhelmingly rejects the idea that in the conflict with the Islamic State we are at war against the religion of Islam. Only 10 percent believe that. What’s more, only about one-in-three Americans (36 percent) think our leaders should say we are at war with the forces of “violent extremism.” A plurality (45 percent) support the President in saying that we are waging war against the forces of “radical Islam,” but add that they want our leaders to be careful to explain that most Muslims are not our enemy.
The survey was conducted by McLaughlin & Associates, a nationally respected polling firm, on February 20 and polled 1,000 likely U.S. voters about their view of the war with the Islamic State.
The release of the results comes as the Trump Administration gathers foreign ministers from 68 nations in Washington on March 22-23 to discuss how to work together more closely to defeat ISIS. President Trump recently met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince to discuss the war against ISIS. This week, he also met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, after which the President pledged to speed up U.S. support to Iraq in the fight against the Islamic State. Mr. Trump also invited Egyptian President el-Sisi to Washington in early April to further these discussions.
“The President is wise to embrace our Sunni Muslim allies and work closely with them,” said Rosenberg. “But he should not only seek their counsel on developing a better war strategy. He should also get their input on how to craft a much better strategic communications plan to define the nature of our enemy and explain to the public why the stakes are so high. Then he should address the American people.”
The new survey revealed most Americans significantly overestimate the percentage of Muslims who support terrorism. One in four Americans believe more than 30 percent of Muslims worldwide support terrorism, when in reality polling data over the last 15 years shows that the real figure is between 7 and 10 percent.
“Again, the good news is that most Muslims aren’t a threat,” noted Rosenberg. “But that said, let’s be clear: in a world of some 1.6 billion Muslims, 7 to 10 percent would mean that upwards of 112 million to 160 million people could be characterized as followers of ‘Radical Islam’ or, more precisely, ‘militant Islamism.’ Not all who hold these extreme views will necessarily become engaged in violent activities. But this is the pool from which Islamist terrorist organizations and states raise funds and recruit new members.”
This same survey revealed 41.2 percent believe the U.S. and its allies are losing the war against the Islamic State, and almost 1 in 4 are uncertain whether we are winning or losing. Additionally, nearly 7 in 10 Americans (68 percent) fear catastrophic terrorist attacks by ISIS are coming to the U.S. homeland, possibly involving chemical or biological weapons.
For the complete results of the poll, please visit JoelRosenberg.com/articles.
Rosenberg is the author of a dozen political thrillers and five non-fiction books, mostly about the Middle East. His latest, Without Warning – about a wave of ISIS terror attacks inside the American homeland – is available now at retailers nationwide. For additional information, visit JoelRosenberg.com.