Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said Monday that she would use the phrase “radical Islamism,” but stressed she wanted to steer clear of demonizing an entire religion.
Clinton’s comments came after her Republican rival, Donald Trump, challenged her to use the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” in reference to the mass shooting in Orlando, which was carried out by a 29-year-old man who pledged allegiance to the terrorist group ISIS.
“I have clearly said that we face terrorist enemies who use Islam to justify slaughtering innocent people,” Clinton told CNN on Monday. “And whether you call it radical jihadism, radical Islamism, I think that they mean the same thing. I’m happy to say either.”
She then cautioned against giving ISIS what it wants. The terror group has stated its desire to provoke a “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West.
“But what I won’t do, because I think it is dangerous for our efforts to defeat this threat, is to demonize and demagogue and, you know, declare war on an entire religion,” she said. “That plays right into ISIS’ hands.”
The Orlando shooting was the deadliest in US history and worst terror attack on American soil since 9/11. Omar Mateen, a US citizen, killed at least 49 people and wounded scores more when he opened fire at an LGBTQ nightclub early Sunday.
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