At the recent National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C., President Obama proudly asserted yet again what has become a tired and predictable platitude; one endlessly repeated by countless media pundits, heads of state, and religious leaders following every fresh outbreak of religiously inspired violence. It’s the notion that groups like ISIS “seek to hijack religion for their own murderous ends;” that somehow they represent faith “twisted and misused in the name of evil,” as opposed to just diligently doing as their holy books command.
As he put it:
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From a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris, we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith… to stand up for Islam, but, in fact, are betraying it. We see ISIL, a brutal, vicious death cult that, in the name of religion, carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism – terrorizing religious minorities like the Yezidis, subjecting women to rape as a weapon of war, and claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.