Mona Charen

It's quite possible, likely in fact, that most Americans are aware of the distinction between the majority of Muslims who are law-abiding, patriotic and indispensible in the fight against Muslim extremism, and the small minority of Muslims who are Islamists. Doubtless most Americans, who are fair-minded, non-prejudiced people, vehemently condemn acts of bias or violence against Muslim Americans.

Can the Obama administration likewise acknowledge that exaggerated efforts to avoid the appearance of prejudice can lead to problems of its own? Can it now see that failing to take Maj. Nidal Hasan's progressively more radical religious views seriously as a security threat was a disaster? Does the administration recognize that its subsequent official description of the Fort Hood attack as "workplace violence" was a bad joke? Can it now admit that losing track of Tamerlane Tsarnaev, even after repeated warnings from the Russians and the Saudis and abundant evidence of his conversion to radical Islam, was a politically correct blunder?

This administration's efforts to deny that Islamism has anything to do terror have led it into embarrassing circumlocutions and denials. CIA Director John Brennan testified before Congress, "Our enemy is not 'terror' because terror is a state of mind, and as Americans we refuse to live in fear. Nor do we describe our enemy as 'jihadists' or 'Islamists' because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam." Brennan also expressed the hope that the Obama administration could "build up" the "more moderate elements within Hezbollah." If Hezbollah, an Iranian creation and dedicated terrorist Islamist organization is considered to contain moderates, it's no wonder that James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, described the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as "largely secular."

It's fine for Americans to "refuse to live in fear." It's not fine for Obama administration to insist that we live in denial.

Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
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