Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina said President Obama made the dumbest comment by a U.S. president, ever.
"'The Islamic State is not Islamic' might just be single dumbest thing an American President has ever said," Duncan said in a Facebook post on Sept. 11. "I was disappointed in the President's remarks and disheartened that he took an issue that could have generated strong bipartisan agreement but instead presented us with a plan that raises many concerns. In my opinion, the President's speech on combating ISIS was 'JV' at best."
In President Obama's address to the nation last week on his strategy to combat ISIS, the president said, "ISIL is not Islamic."
"Now let's make two things clear: ISIL is not 'Islamic.' No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL's victims have been Muslim. And ISIL is certainly not a state," Obama said. "It was formerly al-Qaeda's affiliate in Iraq, and has taken advantage of sectarian strife and Syria's civil war to gain territory on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border. It is recognized by no government, nor the people it subjugates. ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way."
Obama comments echo those of former President George W. Bush who sought to categorize al-Qaeda terrorists as not practicing the true faith of Islam during his time in office.
"Islam is a vibrant faith. Millions of our fellow citizens are Muslim. We respect the faith," President Bush said in a speech in October 2002. "We honor its traditions. Our enemy does not. Our enemy doesn't follow the great traditions of Islam. They've hijacked a great religion."
"The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam," Bush said in a speech to Islamic Center of Washington, D.C. "That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace. They represent evil and war."