George Stephanopoulos leveled a simple question at U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Sunday’s This Week on ABC: “Is the U.S. at war with radical Islam?”
Holder meandered through a response which, essentially stated, was — No, America is at war with those who pervert the Islamic faith and engage in terrorism. The U.S., Holder said, has taken measures to combat terrorism not through combat, but through a summit that will offer a “counter narrative” to would-be extremists by “somehow” making terrorism less attractive.
Holder said on the program:
Well, I certainly think that we are at war with those who would commit terrorist attacks and who would corrupt the Islamic faith in the way that they do, to try to justify their terrorist actions. So, that’s who we are at war with, and we are determined to take the fight to them to prevent them from engaging these kinds of activities. Our president has indicated that we will be calling — February the 18th — a summit, so that we deal with better ways in which we can counter violent extremism and get at the core and come up with ways we prevent people from adhering to, being attracted to, this terrorist ideology. We certainly have to work, I think, in a dual way. We need to confront people who engage in these acts, hold them accountable, but we also have to somehow come up with a counter narrative that too many people, especially young men, find attractive. And as I said, February the 18th, the White House will host a summit that I announced at the meeting here today in Paris.
Stephanopoulos indicated that the prime minister of France made the declarative statement that his country is indeed at war with radical Islam in those specific terms. Holder, on the other hand, couldn’t speak as definitively.