On Feb. 23, 2017, national security adviser H.R. McMaster reiterated his stance that Islamic ideology is essentially irreligious, and that Jihadi terrorists are not true to the religion they claim to be part of.
He discouraged the use of the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” because “terrorist organizations like ISIS represent a perversion of Islam, and are thus un-Islamic.” In December, McMaster warned us to “never buy in or reinforce the terrorist narrative that this is a war of religion.”
Although commonplace, this argument is simply wrong. While I rightly acknowledge it’s perfectly possible to follow Islam without committing or encouraging terrorism, we cannot ignore the link between doctrine and behavior.