Islam vs. Terrorism: Why Obama Gets It

This past week, Obama has been receiving major backlash for not referring to the military intervention against ISIS as a war on radical Islam. First of, when does Obama not get called out by fellow politicians and the media? He would probably stir controversy if he was doing the exact opposite…just saying!

All Buzzfeed jokes aside, the President’s stand isn’t another careful choice of words. It’s a remarkable humanist move but also a well-thought political strategy. Nothing sums up Obama’s position better than a meme that has been circulating for a while now: the Ku Klux Klan members were never labeled as religious extremists.

Yet, the organization – among many other White supremacy groups – used Christianity as an instrument to implement the most archaic theories. America never perceived the KKK through the lens of religion because the threat was internal. Not a single sane soul needed to hear how far the Ku Klux Klan’s ideology stood from Christianity because America was already familiar with the religion’s founding principles. In the eyes of History, the Klan will always be known for what it truly is: barbaric, inhuman and as Tarantino loved to remind us…moronic.

ISIS is orchestrating the same exact domination plan, but because it’s in the name of a religion little known to Americans, the threat should be considered differently? As Obama said, the fight against ISIS cannot be treated as a religious war unless we want to “Grant these terrorists the religious legitimacy that they seek. They are not religious leaders. They are terrorists.” Just like fighting the KKK, this is a fight for human rights.

By not giving into fear and stereotypes, the President is not only lending American Muslims a much needed helping hand, he is attacking ISIS at its core. Obama’s enemies might be too short-sighted to recognize the necessity of his words in times of tension, or maybe anti-discrimination is not on their mood board. But they should at least grasp their political meaning and strength.

ISIS needs to perpetuate the idea that the world is against Muslims in order to turn Muslims against the world. The group feeds directly on Anti-Muslim sentiment and prays at night that Western politicians and journalists entertain that vicious circle. ISIS wouldn’t be such a growing threat without Islamophobia, which is the leitmotif of the group’s recruiting campaign. Unfortunately, the United-States and European countries seem to easily fall into the trap. The President’s choice of words is simply aimed at reversing that dynamic which will eventually help destabilize the organization. That’s if American dares to listen.

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10 Things You Can’t Say Out Loud In New York

New Yorkers are not the judgy type – you could pretty much go out naked in the blizzard currently happening and people wouldn’t even turn their heads – but like everyone else, they have their limits. As a foreigner in the City, I’ve realized that some things are just tabou here.

Thankfully, I can always play the French card: “but, you know where I AM from…” and get out of most situations without being considered a social pariah. To save you from any embarrassment, I compiled a few things that you should never say out loud to a New Yorker unless you are prepared for some major shade throwing:

#1 “I never had a pumpkin spice latte”

Mostly because I’d rather sleep in the morning than wait 20 min on line at Starbucks. Oh and also the ingredients it gives people cancer. Yep, that too.

#2 “I don’t do Instagram”

“But…but…where do you post your pumpkin spice latte pictures?!”

#3 “Fuck Yoga and Soul Cycle!”

No, I don’t enjoy cycling to Taylor Swift’s album nor opening my Chakras to complete strangers.

#4 “Apple picking? No thanks.”

Because being THAT excited about apples, trees or nature in general is a little sad. Although one more year in the concrete jungle and I probably be that person.

#5 “Screw The Hamptons”

Paying the price of an international trip to spend the weekend with the SAME people I see all year and swim in questionable water? Seriously…why?!

#6 “If you can’t walk two blocks in heels, just wear flats”

But please don’t walk to work in sneakers and then change to heels…pick a damn side!

#7 “I love carbs”

It’s fine to be on a diet every once in a while – but don’t pretend you don’t LOVE carbs and that you are not depriving yourself of something truly amazing.

#8 “I don’t have a credit card”

I pay bills and buy stuff with real money that I earn, not the bank’s. Shocking.

#9 “I hate the gym”

I totally understand the reasoning behind people going everyday – but don’t try to make me believe that you enjoy it or that it’s some sort of therapy. I hate it, you hate it, everybody hates it.

#10 “I’m not on the list”

No one is on the list because there is no list. Just be creative and you will get anywhere!

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