In forceful comments Tuesday that repudiated calls to use the term “radical Islam” while underscoring his administration’s efforts to defeat terrorism, President Barack Obama blasted such language as dangerous and reactionary and slammed Donald Trump's proposed ban on Muslims.
“There’s no magic to the phrase radical Islam. It’s a political talking point,” Obama said. “The reason I am careful has nothing to do with political correctness and everything to do with defeating extremism.”
The president also directly singled out Trump, who on Monday doubled down on his proposed ban of Muslim immigration and expanded his proposal to "suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or allies."
"Where does this stop?" Obama asked on Tuesday in an emotional appeal. "Are we going to start treating all Muslim Americans differently? Place them under special surveillance? Discriminate against them because of their faith? Do Republican officials actually agree with this? Because that’s not the America we want. It doesn’t reflect our ideals."
The president called this type of mindset "dangerous" and such "rhetoric, loose talk and sloppiness" careless comments that undermine greater goals and higher ideals of a democracy.
"If we fall into the trap of painting all Muslims with a broad brush we are doing the terrorists' work for them," Obama said adding " We don’t have religious tests here. If we even abandon those values we will not only make it easier to radicalize people around the world we will betray… the very things that make us great. We can not let that happen. I will not let that happen."