PuffHo stupidity of the day

Well, today we have PuffHo applauding Obama’s refusal to call ISIS “Islamic terrorism” (I suppose that means they don’t like Hillary Clinton calling it that, as—to her credit—she did). Click on the screenshot to see the “really good reason”:


Here it is:

At a CNN town hall event on Wednesday, a Gold Star mother asked Obama why he does’t use the term “Islamic terrorist.” Obama explained that he avoids it “to make sure that we do not lump these murderers into the billion Muslims that exist around the world, including in this country, who are peaceful, who are responsible, who, in this country, are fellow troops and police officers and fire fighters and teachers and neighbors and friends.”

“These are people who’ve killed children, killed Muslims, take sex slaves, there’s no religious rationale that would justify in any way any of the things that they do,” he said of groups like ISIS. “If you had an organization that was going around killing and blowing people up and said, ‘We’re on the vanguard of Christianity.’ As a Christian, I’m not going to let them claim my religion and say, ‘you’re killing for Christ.’ I would say, that’s ridiculous. That’s not what my religion stands for. Call these folks what they are, which is killers and terrorists.”

Well, of course if you refuse to even say the word Islam as a motivation for terrorism (something that Maajid Nawaz calls “The Voldemort Effect”), then you can deal with it only with bombs and guns: the option of promoting moderate Islam, or engaging in dialogue with Muslims, is simply off the table. As for there being “no religious rationale” justifying any of the things that ISIS does, Obama is either completely ignorant or lying. ISIS has provided plenty of religious rationale; does Obama think he knows better?

And, of course there’s the daily paean to the hijab in PuffHo:


I’ll let Eiynah answer this one, as she has on her “Business Facebook” page:



  1. GBJames
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:34 pm | Permalink


  2. Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    “Well, of course if you refuse to even say the word Islam as a motivation for terrorism … then you can deal with it only with bombs and guns: the option of promoting moderate Islam, or engaging in dialogue with Muslims, is simply off the table.”

    I took Obama’s meaning to be the exact contra-position: that if we blame Islam for terrorism, we damage support among moderates and liberal Muslims. I personally reject the idea that Islam isn’t motivating these attacks, but taken purely as strategy, aren’t we better off distinguishing the bad and good that flow from the same source?

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      Promoting moderate Islam and engaging in dialogue with Muslims are certainly worthy goals, but I’m not sure how they translate into policy that can be effected by the US president. I’m also unsure of how identifying ISIS as radical Islam affects those goals one way or the other. (The dialogue won’t be with ISIS adherents, after all.)

      On the other hand, I’m in favor in all instances of calling a spade a spade, which in this case means calling the ideology that poses a threat to us what it is: radical Sunni Islam of the Wahhabist/Salafist school — the ideology fostered in the madrassas funded by petrol-riyals from the Saudi Royal family, our supposed allies.

      • Posted September 30, 2016 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        Have you ever heard the old chestnut: “Diplomacy is saying ‘nice doggie’ until you can find a heavy rock”? It’s not an endeavor where you say what you actually mean, but what has the highest utility.

        • Posted October 1, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink

          I do not think, however, that Obama ever searched for a rock. He seems to like extreme Islam. He skipped the commemoration of Charlie Hebdo victims but went in person to Saudi Arabia to attend the funeral of odious king Abdullah (and didn’t even use the opportunity to talk about Raif Badawi).

    • Bill
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      I’ll tell you a even better strategy: stop supporting Saudi Arabia and stop working with other countries in that region to topple Assad.

      “aren’t we better off distinguishing the bad and good that flow from the same source?”

      What good?

      Besides, pandering to muslims has been what western goverments have been doing for quite some time now. How’s that working out for you?

      • Posted October 1, 2016 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        I agree, except for Assad. He is a brutal dictator, and has done immense harm. You may consider him better than the alternatives, but I think this stance is hard to defend.

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Eiynah is a fresh breath of clear thinking. She’s become an essential voice on these issues.

    • Posted September 30, 2016 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      “Eiynah is a fresh breath of clear thinking. She’s become an essential voice on these issues.”

      If all feminists were as clear thinking as Eiynah it wouldn’t be the problem it seems to me to be more often than not lately.

    • Posted October 1, 2016 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      + 1

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Obama is sure overboard on his reason for the silent language. “no religious rationale that would justify”. What the heck justified the First Crusade – a quest for dryer climate. Read the book and listen to the terrorist themselves and stop screwing your brain in circles.

  5. Kirbmarc
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    The real reason why Obama refuses to describe the Islamic State as islamic, when they’re actually basing their regime on a literal interpretation of the Koran, is that the Islamic State is pretty much identical in its laws and ideology to a country which has close ties to the United States: Saudi Arabia.

    Both the Islamic State and Saudi Arabia are the political realization of the Salafi/Wahabi school, a sect of islam which is all about muslim supremacy, a literal interpretation of the Koran, and basing one’s life on Mohammed’s.

    The Wahabi/Salafi are eager to label anyone who’s not on their side as an “enemy of islam”, and to apply the punishment which the Koran (a vile book) recommends for “enemies of islam”, namely death or enslavement.

    Hillary Clinton had to admit that the Islamic State is Islamic (gee, thanks for the insight) because she’s facing off Donald Trump, who has received a significant part of his support from people who believe he has a better strategy to deal with muslim supremacist ideas and terrorism. But she’s unlikely to keep admitting that once she’s in power.

    Barack Obama is simply keeping up the old American strategy to never upset the Saudis. The US have significant economic ties to Saudi Arabia. Describing the Islamic State as islamic can potentially lead people to wonder about the damaging results of the Saudi-American alliance.

    • Posted October 1, 2016 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Very well said!

    • somer
      Posted October 2, 2016 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      Yes I suspect also given the Shias are firmly allied with the Russians the US doesn’t want to upset Sunnis in the region too much. The Saudis have also avid Sunni friends including Pakistan, and of course Turkey has become openly religious and no longer friendly to Israel; although Israel is more afraid of Shias than sunnis because the Shias are so keen to prove Islamic credentials in the specific form of attacks on Israel. Russia has been openly bombing civilians and aid convoys and recently (wrongly) been accusing the US of backing El Nusra front implying the US de facto supports Caliphate extremists. In the last day or two the Saudis, Qatar, Emirates have been jumping up and down demanding a UN led intervention force to defend Sunni interests in Syria. The conflict is nothing if not sectarian with the big powers having long established sunni versus shia sides. America under obama has been trying to keep the ME allies on side without being overtly anti shia.
      I saw articles a few years ago arguing the Shia Alouites (led by Assad dynasty) would do anything to maintain a clear border passage into Lebanon – so if they are defeated they can flee there to their friends and proteges Hezbollah to avoid wholesale massacre by enraged Syrian sunnis. Now several years later I see 8 May 2015 Aljazeera Arabic in Dohar Qatar (with translation captions by IraqEnglish) debate “Should we kill all Alawites?”)
      https://www.youtube. [GAP STOP EMBED]

  6. Kevin
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    I think Obama would do well to listen to Maajid Nawaz. Islam obviously has something to do with ISIS. Likewise, many Muslims are not only embarrassed, but terrified by ISIS and what it means for their own faith.

    Obama should take a risk and condemn ISIS for legitimizing their organization’s tenets on the religion of Islam. In the short run, maybe good Muslims will lose their lives because of it. I don’t know. But in that side of the world there are much worse things to give your life to defend freedom over the tyranny of religious fanaticism.

  7. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    “Hijab” is also a word denoting separation of women from men, and it is required by law in Saudi Arabia. It was enforced by the Taliban on the grounds that “the face of a woman is a source of corruption” for men not related to them. There have been acid attacks in Kashmir on women not wearing it, and ISIS has even executed gals not wearing it.

    The best that can be said is that the meaning of the hijab is being transformed.
    (I have to admit it looks good on the ballerina.)

    • Ralph
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      I agree, the hijab looks fine. The ridiculous thing is that she’s also attempting to cover up her body. Surely performance dancing is all about the aesthetics and elegance of the movement of the human body. If you prefer not to expose your limbs because you find it immodest, perhaps you should find some other hobby?

  8. Historian
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    In the same town hall Obama admitted that ISIS claims to speak for Islam, but that he rejects the notion. He went on to state that he also rejects terrorists who are Christian, who claim to speak for Christianity. Thus, Obama implicitly believes (or at least states) that there are certain “true” tenets to Islam and Christianity and that terrorists who assert religious motivations for their actions are deviants from the true faith and in no way represent it. I understand Obama’s political motivations for taking this position, but it is disingenuous to argue that there is only one real version of Islam, Christianity or Judaism, when each of them are divided into a multitude of sects with different beliefs and rituals. In the past or present, there are numerous examples of religious leaders in the various sects justifying, indeed urging, violence to gain religious ends. As should be obvious to everybody, religion (through the preaching of its leaders) can be used to justify anything.

    • johnw
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Looking at this from an historical perspective, I’m rather struck by the fact the US (the land of religious freedom) has a practicing christian, half-African president whose father’s family is muslim (father = muslim turned atheist, stepfather = nominal muslim), mother’s family Christian, and people seem perplexed that he resists waving the rhetorical bloody shirt vis-a-vis Islam, or any religion for that matter … Sure he’s using a “no true muslim” sort of spin that may be fallacious, but really what choice does he have. What should he say? Seems to me another no –win for him no matter what he does.

  9. Bill
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Instead of asking why he won’t call these terrorists “islamic”, americans should be asking why he continues to support Saudi Arabia.

    Ask him if the atrocities being done under the Saudis regime is islamic for a fun time.

    By the way, Obama calling ISIS islamic won’t change anything. The problem runs way deeper than a mere word.

  10. johnw
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Though I see the three monotheistic religions very differently than the president, I have no issue with him on this. He’s not lying and he’s certainly not ignorant. He’s simply in no position to start pointing out problems with specific religions, any more than he is in a position to point an accusing finger at those who lack religion. That’s not his job nor would it be very productive for him to do so. He’s the chief executive of a government with freedom of religion as a foundational principle. He doesn’t get to pick and choose which has merit. He did add btw: “So do I think that if somebody uses the phrase Islamic terrorism that it’s a huge deal? No. There’s no doubt that these folks think that — and claim that they’re speaking for Islam.” That’s about all he can do as I see it. And he’s entirely right in pointing out that this is a manufactroversy, drivenly primarily by the extreme right in the US, as a way to smear him, and anyone else who doesn’t preach or cling to their wingnut/ Faux News gospel of Islam is coming to get us.

  11. chris moffatt
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    To Daesh the koran is on their side and all those “moderate” muslims are apostates deserving only of death. It’s all in the koran – read it!

    As for the ballerina, she’s showing her ankles – that’s haram!

  12. Nicolas Perrault
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    What would Islam have to do to engage in Islamic terrorism?

    • Posted October 1, 2016 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Good question.

    • GBJames
      Posted October 1, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      I think this question (“What would Islam have to do to…”) misses the point.

      Refusal to call ISIS “Islamic terrorism” is not motivated by the (wrong) belief that “real religion” doesn’t condone violence. It is an incorrect idea but it is very different from “they would need to do something even worse to be called Islamic terrorism.”

      The pedant in me also notes that Islam doesn’t engage in anything, it being nothing but a set of bad ideas. Muslims who tend toward the extreme, motivated by Islam, engage in terrorism.

  13. mordacious1
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    I have mixed feelings about Obama not calling people islamic terrorists. I think that all terrorist groups purporting a religious motivation should be labeled as such. OTOH, these labels should be widespread and not just targeted against islam. Rarely do I see the KKK labeled as christian terrorists or the IRA as catholic terrorists. Or the Orange Volunteers as protestant terrorists. If we’re going to protect the christians, isn’t only fair to protect the muslims too?

    The best thing would to pull the gloves off and call a shovel a shovel. Then the muslims can’t claim persecution.

    • Posted October 1, 2016 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      They will.

    • somer
      Posted October 2, 2016 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      The IRA are Irish nationalist terrorists – not specifically about Catholicism at all

      • mordacious1
        Posted October 2, 2016 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

        And ISIS? They started out when the Sunni lost power in Iraq and now they’re promoting a regional caliphate. Both groups extend their terrorism beyond the area they’re concerned with. Both groups are made up of recruits from one particular religion.

  14. Flemur
    Posted October 1, 2016 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Here’s a PuffHo side-splitter:
    This May Be The Most Horrible Thing That Donald Trump Believes

    Apparently he believes that people are different because of their genes and that genes do stuff. That’s horrible.

    Genomic prediction of adult life outcomes using SNP genotypes

  15. Shwell Thanksh
    Posted October 1, 2016 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Based on the taxonomy of prudity shown in your post on polls of how Muslim women should dress, the hijabi ballerina wouldn’t seem to be enough cover for Saudi Arabian senses.
    Will the next trend for PuffHo be to laud “niqabi” or “burqi” ballerinas, extolling the grace of shapeless blobs dancing while hidden entirely from view so that none of their dangerous feminine allure leaks out?
    It will be interesting to see if scientists can ever perfect an invisibility cloak whether that will become the new culturally mandated standard for Muslim women’s dress.

  16. somer
    Posted October 2, 2016 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Imagine trying to do some of the more acrobatic ballet moves with a partner in that garb – downright dangerous of course cos its designed that she should not be anywhere near a partner. Frankly the outfit is clunky and ugly.

    • somer
      Posted October 2, 2016 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      Eiyna’s point about hijabi ballerina and Playboy hijabi fashion being analogous to steak-eating vegetarian is apt

  17. Mike
    Posted October 3, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    One could argue that as ISIS follow the “teachings” of the Q’uran literally, then they are the true Muslims.As for that Ballerina , I think it looks ridiculous.

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