The ISIS phenomena, Islamic terrorist attacks have occasioned an interesting response pattern from the administration of President Obama and even from him personally. There are doubtless multiple reasons as to why there is hesitancy to identify the contemporary Jihadist movement as Islamic in both ideology and motivation. But whatever the reasons are, the fact is – our national leadership will, with both tortured rationalizations and inconsistencies, avoid labeling it as “Islamic” seemingly at all costs.

ISIS (Islamic State In al-Shama) is arguably the 7th Caliphate of Islam, an Islamic brand of theocracy that is determined to impress Sharia law upon the entire world. This movement is now spawning a Jihadist, terrorist, genocidal initiative against non-compliant Muslims, non-Muslims and other religions but, in particular, Jews and Christians. The focus upon Jews and Christians has been painfully obvious in recent attacks. But equally obvious was the resolute Administration’s commitment to avoid identifying those targeted (Jews and Christians) or the terrorists (Islamic). In contrast the assailants publicly identified both themselves and the victims.

Recently in Paris a Jewish, kosher delicatessen was attacked. Four Jews were killed, and the perpetrator called a journalist to celebrate “killing some Jews.” Yet, the President insisted on a veiled and incomplete assessment of the event as a “random act of despicable terror by an irrational religious death cult.” While it was certainly “irrational” and “despicable” and it was the work of a “religious death cult,” it was neither “random” nor was it just any “death cult.” It, by the terrorists own affirmation, targeted Jews and was fundamentally rooted in a consistent and cleric-approved interpretation of the Quran by Muslim adherents of Islam.

More recently, ISIS Jihadists marched 21 Egyptian Christians, who were in Libya to find work, onto a sandy Mediterranean beach. After verbally berating their captives and their Christianity, they ritually decapitated them because of their faith in Christ. Again, our President condemned the action by describing it as an “unspeakable act of barbarism upon Egyptian citizens.” This, at best, is an incomplete assessment, not only ignoring the explanatory words of the Islamic Jihadists but also insinuating that these men were killed because they were “citizens of Egypt.”

Never mind the fact that all of these victims happened to be Christians on their knees calling upon Jesus to deliver them while being beheaded by self-identified Islamic Jihadists. Even still, our leaders would have us believe they were killed because they were Egyptian citizens at the hands of deranged cultists. These men were not only murdered because they were Christians. They were executed because they refused to recant their salvation, even though it might have saved them. Such disingenuous commentary upon their death dishonors them and makes the labeling of Maj. Nidal Hasan’s killing spree in the name of Allah that produced 13 causalities at Fort Hood as “work place violence” almost plausible. So why is our President doing this?

Honestly, I don’t know for sure. I can only surmise five possibilities.

He personally senses or feels a need to protect the Islamic religion from being identified with the contemporary Islamic Jihadist Caliphate because of either its influence on him personally or perhaps family loyalty since he was raised in a family of professing Muslims. In other words, because of his personal connection in the formative years of his live he has a desire to defend the religion he knew from being identified with embarrassing elements now identified with the religion.

He is concerned that he will offend (what we are told are the majority of Muslims) who reject this Caliphate Jihadist movement or at least its strategy and tactics.

He is concerned that Americans will be unable to discern between Jihadist Muslims and those Muslims who have rejected the current Caliphate or Holy War.

He, like the vast majority of Washington and the cultural elite, cannot believe that the Islamic religion could actually be the motivating and defining factor of those who are engaged in this genocidal Jihad. It is inconceivable to them that any religion could possibly matter that much to anyone. The fact is, those culturally committed to secular humanism find it unfathomable that religion could ever be a life and death issue to anyone.

My inclination is #4 but it could be none or some combination of any or all of them.


Mr. President, my unsolicited advice is this: If you either sympathize or personally desire to honor the Muslim religion of your family, then simply tell us. But by the way, your recent apologetic on behalf of Islam to distance it from the self-identified Islamic Caliphate by illegitimately and inaccurately comparing it to the Crusades, may have been a brief but helpful insight as to your perspective on both Islam and Christianity. Or…

If you are concerned that an intellectually honest assessment of the ISIS-affirmed Islamic Caliphate will offend “peace loving Muslims” – then say so. As you do, you can call upon all “peace loving Muslims” to theologically, organizationally and politically police themselves and their religion. Throughout your Presidency you have displayed no hesitancy in telling Americans and/or Christians our perceived faults and how we need to correct ourselves relationally and socially for which, when accurate, we thank you. And it is distinctly possible that as you provide similar admonitions for the Muslim community perhaps they will also be grateful. Or…

If you are concerned that Americans will overreact and engage in wholesale persecution of all Muslims, then again say so and challenge us not to do so. Personally, given all that has happened since 9/11, I think you should be encouraged by the restraint of Americans and their overall consistently demonstrated desire to avoid overreaction and instead treat our Muslim neighbors with respect while affirming their First Amendment rights.

Finally, Mr. President, first, as a Christian and second, as a grateful American, my unsolicited advice and appeal is simple. I don’t expect you to be an apologist for Islam. I am fully aware the Muslim religion has had an influential role in your life and you are adequately informed of its tenets and objectives. But you were not elected to evaluate whether a self-confessed Islamic Jihadist Caliphate is an authentic expression of their religion. You were elected to defend this country and its citizens “from all enemies foreign and domestic.” By the way, I do not expect you to be an apologist for Christianity either. You were not elected to be a Pastor or Imam but simply, yet profoundly, you were elected to be President of the United States and to fulfill your oath to protect us from avowed enemies. You need not evaluate the authenticity of the ideology or religion motivating those enemies – in this case whether their interpretation of Islam is valid or not. Simply protect the citizens of this nation – Christians, Jews, Muslims or atheists – who have been targeted in this state supported and religiously declared Holy War.


So exactly what is America facing? ISIS is the latest contemporary Muslim movement designed to impose Sharia Law through a world-wide Theocratic Fascist Islamic Caliphate. America is not faced with a “war on terror.” Terror is a tactic of an unjust war not an enemy to defeat with war. Therefore this war is not against terror but Islamic terrorists. Our President is correct when he says we are not at war with Islam. We are at war with an Islamic Fascist Theocratic Caliphate affirmed by Muslim clerics who believe the Quran which teaches that those who do not convert and submit to Sharia Law in the name of Allah can be executed in a Holy War. In the Quran this doctrine is called “Takfir.” But the result is whether we desire to acknowledge it or not they have embraced the practice of “takfiri” thereby declaring war on us.

It is a Caliphate. Al-Qaeda was not. It desired a Caliphate but could not declare one. ISIS can since a Caliphate requires both clerical authorization and a true state with boundaries to be authentic. ISIS has both. In fact, it occupies a land mass larger than the nation of Great Britain.

It is a Fascist movement. Fascism is a governmental system marked by centralization of authority employing governmental power to control and implement policies of suppression and marginalization of any opposition by coercion with economic, legal and if necessary, lethal power to achieve its objectives. Islam with its governmental enforcement of Sharia is Fascist.

It is a Theocratic religious movement defined by a historically consistent Islamic interpretation of the Quran, with an objective of a world-wide Islamic Caliphate or Apocalypse.


Finally, to my Christian brothers and sisters in America – It is both righteous and faithful to God’s Word for the President of the United States to use the power of the sword to protect us. Therefore, it is righteous and appropriate for our sons and daughters to give themselves to bear the sword of the State in a just defense of the country’s citizens. In fact, the government’s most important role, as defined by Scripture, is to serve as a minister of God to protect the lives of its citizens from any and all lethal aggression. The same text calls for us to both pray for our leaders and display respect for those who rule over us by God’s sovereign hand (Rom. 13:1-7).

Furthermore, it is also right for us, as our Lord’s church, to send our sons and daughters with the Sword of the Spirit and the Gospel to encourage His people and to reach His enemies. While remembering we too, were enemies of Christ when the Gospel came to us through His people proclaiming Jesus who will redeem His enemies and bring them into His family by delivering us from sin’s deception and power as well as its guilt and shame. All of this is made possible because of His atoning death upon the Cross and His triumph over the grave.

So, Mr. President, respectfully we are praying for you. And our sons and daughters are ready to protect and serve the citizens of this country with the Sword of the State in a just war.

And, to our enemies, we are also sending our sons and daughters with the “Weapons of the Spirit” protected by the “Armor of Christ” as “sheep to be slaughtered.” They come with the Sword of the Spirit – the Word of Truth – so that you may be set free from sin and fear. We long for you to hear the Spirit of God say “Come,” and the Bride of Christ – His Church – say “Come.” As we heard Christ, we pray you will also. We go to you so that you might hear the Gospel, His glorious message of salvation by grace and “come to Christ” – the King who died and is risen so that we who were His enemies – helpless and hopeless – might have life forevermore – “Come.”

Harry Reeder is a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and serves a pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Ala. This article appeared in his blog