- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Obama administration is doubling down on its refusal to call the Islamic State group “Islamic,” with the director of the CIA saying the word would give the group “legitimacy.”

“It is totally inconsistent with what the overwhelming majority of Muslims throughout the world” view as Islam, said CIA director John Brennan, at a discussion Friday hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations.

“By ascribing it as Muslim terrorism or Islamic extremism, I think it really does give them the type of Islamic legitimacy that they are so desperately seeking but which they don’t deserve at all,” Mr. Brennan said.

He said it was important to remember that terrorist groups like al Qaeda and ISIS do believe their actions are consistent with their religious views. But Mr. Brennan rejected the idea that those views represent Islam, calling the terrorists “criminals…psychopathic thugs [and] murderers.”

“It does injustice to the tenants of religion when we attach a religious moniker to them,” Mr. Brennan said. “The words that we use can have resonance…We don’t want to give them any type of religious legitimacy because what they do has no basis in any upstanding religion.”

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