It is no secret that Barack Obama stubbornly refuses to utter the words Islamic terrorism, radical Islam or any variation thereof. He has said he believes that connecting the religion of Islam to acts of savagery is a slight to peaceful Muslims everywhere. The fact that the most dangerous terrorist group in the world right now calls itself the Islamic State seems to have no bearing on the president’s decision.
In a free and open society, it is Obama’s prerogative to use whatever label he wants to refer to the terrorist menace. The same freedom of choice belongs to other heads of state, which makes all the more odious a decision by the White House to censor a video of French President François Hollande in which he uses the phrase Islamist terrorism.
The White House briefly pulled a video of today’s session of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. When the video reemerged on the WhiteHouse.gov website and YouTube, the audio had been conspicuously altered.
A “cleansed” version of the video of Hollande’s remarks appears below. In it, the voice of a female translator can be heard reciting the text in English. When she arrives at the portion highlighted in boldface below (which still appear in the official White House transcript), the narrative pauses, and Hollande’s voice alone can be heard faintly in the background:
We are also making sure that between Europe and the United States there can be a very high level coordination.
But we’re also well aware that the roots of terrorism, Islamist terrorism, is in Syria and in Iraq. We therefore have to act both in Syria and in Iraq, and this is what we’re doing within the framework of the coalition. And we note that Daesh is losing ground thanks to the strikes we’ve been able to launch with the coalition.
This affront is unlikely to rise to the level of an international incident. There’s no telling how a similar act of expurgation would be received by this White House if the editor were a foreign leader.
(h/t Craig Bannister, MRCTV)